Many people that brings laptop to work normally faces a problem in switching between network configurations because at home normally you can just set obtain this settings automatically using DHCP and it would work but in corporate networks, they probably require a more strict and specific configuration to allow the network administrator work easier. We have previously covered SwitchNetConfig, a free tool that lets you switch network configurations with a click.
We have discovered another similar application called TCP/IP Manager which does the same. You are able to save up to 10 network profiles which should be more than enough. As for TCP/IP settings, you can get configure which adapter to change and then the IP address, subnet mask, default gateway and DNS server. Once you have your profile saved, you can easily switch by right clicking on the TCP/IP Manager icon at the system tray and select from the list. If you have 5 profiles, it will only show 5 on the list.
The good thing about TCP/IP Manager is when it is running, it takes up very little memory, as low as few hundred K but never more than a MB. This application is free and runs on Windows.
If you didn’t know about DNS settings, it is pretty much the most important part of the internet structure and you can’t browse the web without it. The world’s network works via IP address and thanks to DNS, we can type the domain name instead of the IP address in the web browser’s address bar. What DNS do is it resolves the domain name into IP address and this works in background without you noticing it. You could be performing a lot of DNS lookups per day without realizing and having a good and fast DNS is important so that website loads faster when the domain name gets resolved to IP faster.
There are many free DNS available today such as Google Public DNS, OpenDNS, FoolDNS, your ISP’s DNS and etc. Switching between them requires you to go to the advanced network adapter settings and changing the TCP/IP DNS. If you don’t know how to set a DNS on your computer or requires to change them very often, DNS Changer simplifies this for you with a click.
Dns Changer is a free and simple utility for changing Windows DNS settings to point at the open providers such as Google DNS, Open DNS and Foole DNS. It performs the same task as using the Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) setting of your network connection to edit the Use the following DNS server addresses. This application is portable, just run DnsChangerApp.exe, click on the drop down bar to select your preferred DNS and then click Apply Changes. The new DNS takes effect immediately without rebooting Windows. You can even specify your own DNS by selecting Manual and key in the DNS server IP address one per line.
There are many internet and bandwidth monitoring tools but very seldom we can find a software that can monitor a specific process or application network usage. By default Windows 7 has a Resource Monitor where you can monitor a process network activity showing the sent and received bytes per second but it doesn’t support saving of the network usage to determine how much bandwidth is being used by a process.
NetLimiter is a powerful bandwidth shaping tool which comes with a couple of useful features such showing a list of all applications communicating over network it’s connections and transfer rates and the stats module is intended for long-term measurement of internet traffic.
NetLimiter 3 beta has been out for quite some time for full Windows 7 compatibility with the first beta testing release of public version on May 2009. Currently NetLimiter 3 is still in beta but at a much later stage with a lot of bug fixes and new features added. The latest NetLimiter 3 beta 8 has added the long awaited Stats plugin to able to browse your internet traffic history.
All you need to do is select a process from the NetLimiter’s list, right click on it and select Show Stats. We have tested it and it works but it gets a little slowing loading the different date of stats. Users that has purchased NetLimiter 2 license after 25.11.2008 will be able to use the same registration name and registration code to register NetLimiter 3 Pro. If not, you will be able to use a free 64 days trial.
Laptops offers great portability of allowing you to use your own computer whenever you go and can connect to any network such as office, home, university, relative and etc. However every network configuration is different and you might face the annoyance of going to the network adapter to change the settings all the time. Sometimes you may even forget some of the important information which setting it wrong and you won’t get fully connected to the network.
To overcome this problem, SwitchNetConfig allows you to create profiles and save them to a profiles.xml file so that you can easily switch between ip configuration such as IP, Subnet, Gateway, DNS, and even Internet Explorer proxy settings. By default a few profiles has already been created but they must be configured to work with your network. Simply click the drop down menu of the Profile and enter the information on the appropriate boxes.
Whenever you want to switch network profiles, simply select it from the drop down and click the Activate Profile button which will automatically and instantly set the configurations. SwitchNetConfig is only 72KB in size, free and it requires .NET Framework to run.
Analyzing network traffic by sniffing the packets and decoding the data to find out what is being transferred in and out of the network is important. This is normally done by network administrators that has very advanced knowledge of networking and knows how it works. Wireshark is the most popular free packet sniffer which is used to be known as Ethereal. Another packet sniffing Wireshark alternative is LayerView.
LayerView is a light weight and fast packet sniffer. It is able to capture and tells you what data are being sent and received in a network. It uses its own Packet Capture driver instead of the public WinPcap library. It has a convenient feature called conversation view which reconstructs entire TCP/UDP data for browsing. Other than that LayerView can decode a wide range of protocols and supports filtering for easier analysis of packets.
LayerView normally cost $39 for a 3 user home license but Ask The Earth Ltd, the company of LayerView is having a promotion in giving out free 3 user home license for free. This offer will expire on May 13, 2010.
1. Visit http://www.layerview.net/freelicense.php
2. Enter your email address and click “Email License” button.
3. Click Download Software to download LayerView setup file.
4. Click Download the LayerView License Key file “layerview.license”
5. Install LayerView Packer Sniffer setup file.
6. Allow driver installation when prompted
7. At the LayerView Evaluation window, click “Click here if you already have a license key”
8. Browse for the license key file and click Apply License.
9. Click Activate LayerView automatically online now.
There are not many free software that can control the Internet speed for a particular process. For example you are downloading a huge movie from DivX player and the download is taking up all the bandwidth which leaves you with nothing to use and your web browsing activity is slow as snail. Or probably you are downloading from P2P which is well known for eating up all the bandwidth and you cannot use the Internet for other purposes if it is not correctly configured.
NetBalancer offers a free solution to prioritize traffic on different process that is running on your computer. The free version allows you to only control 5 process at a time but that would normally be enough. You can set the internet speed priority of Low, Normal and High. If you go to Edit > Level Severity, you get to set the default speed for a priority. If you prefer to set a limit, then you can right click on the process and select Limit. Blocking a process from using any of the bandwidth is also possible.
Other than setting bandwidth, NetBalancer can also be used as a network monitoring tool since it can view all connections on the process. It can tell you if a process is secretly sending any data over the Internet. Currently NetBalancer is compatible with Windows XP/2003/Vista/Win7 except Vista/Win7 x64.
You have heard of search engine. Basically a search engine has a bot which automatically crawls a lot of websites and index them to a database so when you perform a search, it tries to match your search query with the database. You can now create a search engine for your domain network by crawling all the shared folders in the network. As a network administrator, administering a network is already a very tough job especially maintaining with the security but this tool called Network Search Engine makes it all easier by crawling and indexing all files found on network.
Network Search Engine Features:
* Can index all available shared folders on the network or just those that you select.
* Provides a built-in high-speed searchable database.
* Accessible via Web-interface and Windows GUI client.
* Highly configurable using inclusive/exclusive file, folder and computer filters.
* Convenient administration console.
* Complete and incremental scheduled crawl modes.
* Built-in database- and web-server with ability to use third party web-server.
* Separate ISAPI & CGI web-server modules supplied.
* Does not index file contents.
This software works on a domain network. If you are an admin on the domain, all you need to do is install this software on your computer, specify the domain name and your username and password so that it can login to the network and crawl all the shared folders available. You can schedule the bot to crawl at a specific time, folders to be excluded during the scan and type of files to be included or excluded.
Once you’ve correctly set up the crawl and index has started, you can search for files what in web search engine. Network Search Engine is free which can be run on Windows 2000, XP, 2003, Vista, 2008, 7 both 32 and 64 bit.