People have multiple computers in their homes these days. In my San Francisco apartment, there are currently 6 computers. I can vouch for three of them, that’s 50% of my home network. A computer, by itself, is merely a computer. Multiple computers in the same establishment can combine forces and create a network, like the lions of Voltron.
Network Magic can be downloaded and installed, or installed via a CD and your CD-ROM. I popped in the disc to my CD-ROM and after a few clicks, entering my product key, and I was up and running.
I took the CD to all other Windows machines (Network Magic doesn’t have support for OS X or Linux yet), and installed. Since the key had been entered initially on my first computer, I didn’t need to re-enter it, the network was already performing like magic.
A cute little green house icon with a checkmark tells you that everything is A-OK in your taskbar. Clicking on it brings up the network map. Views vary from “What’s New”, “Network Map”, “Shared Folders”, “Net2Go Manager”, and “Printer Manager”.
What’s New brings you to a page that gives you the newer shared folders, news about Pure Networks, and the recent network activity on your network. For example: “office computer joined the network 2:34pm”.
The Network Map is your view of what’s going on. The flowchart-like diagram is dynamically updated with who’s on, who’s off, and plenty of other interesting details. This is where intruders can be seen and tracked. I am also able see information about my roommate’s computer, it is named ‘awesome’, is wirelessly connected, has an Epson Stylus printer installed, is running Win XP SP2, has 128mb of RAM, has excellent signal strength, is connected at 11.0 Mbps, is using a D-Link USB wireless network adapter, and more.
Net2Go Manager is something a bit bigger than I expected. It is the ability to share files over the internet. The simple setup requires you to create a URL in the format of http://_____.net2go.com. Once you have created your unique URL and a password, you need to enable web sharing for your chosen shared folders. Three minutes to set up the whole thing and I was sharing folders over the net. I had a friend who lives in Southern California (I’m in San Francisco) go to my net2go.com address and share some files! I see this coming in rather nicely when I want to share photos, music, video files, or accessing my important data remotely. Password protection is an option for sensitive information.
There are a few more options to this software package such as printer sharing, network management (health and status), and router information. The program does tell users how to set up WEP security for their wireless configurations, but does not assist in doing so. Also, a pop up window alerts me whenever an intruder joins my network, but I don’t have the capability to disconnect them, I am only able to track them. I would like to see these features added in the upcoming versions.
Who is this for:
This product is simple enough for the beginner to install, work, and comprehend. But has features that advanced users like myself would find useful
Who is this not for:
Mac users, Linux users, and people who only have one computer at home with no intent to share or access files over the net.
This product is LD approved, I have enjoyed using, and will continue to use Pure Network’s Network Magic.
Thanks to Pure Networks for supporting this review.