If you constantly use your laptop or PC between several different internet connections, then you’re probably tired of having to constantly configure them. Entering proxies, static IP addresses and other LAN configuration data can be really annoying if you have to switch quickly or regularly. NetSetMan takes the pain out of this by allowing you to rapidly change between pre-configured network settings.
The free version of this program (for non-commercial use only) allows you to create 6 profiles – more than enough for most users – including IP address settings, Subnet Masks, Default Gateways and DNS servers. These settings are then saved as tabs which you can flick between and activate according to the connection you are using. Other settings you can configure are the Computer Name, WINS Server, Default Printer and Run Scripts.
The good thing about this program is that it’s very easy to set up a connection. As long as you have the details to hand, you can set-up 6 different connections in just a few minutes. The entry fields are also easier to input data into than Windows ‘Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) Properties’ dialogue, which for some strange reason, tends to add extra zeros. You can also backup all of your connections settings in a separate file which you can then send via e-mail to another person who has NetSetMan installed.
The downside is that the interface is not very clearly designed. For example, if you want to do the simple task of renaming a configuration, you might end up spending more time looking for an ‘edit’ option than configuring the connection itself! In the end, all you have to do is right-click on the name and choose ‘re-name’ but it would have been easier if the developer had added such an option to the interface itself. In addition, you can’t configure SMTP or Firewall settings so in reality, it only saves you half the job of configuring a connection.
Nevertheless, NetSetMan is an essential tool if you do have to change connections from office to home or on the road regularly. It today’s increasingly mobile world, this sort of tool should come as standard with Windows.