Network Magic is one of those software products that is quite simply a game changer. Install it on your home computers and instantly gain the power to configure, test and use all of the wireless components in your network area. Thinking about getting a wireless printer? Forget it, just install this on a computer which is hooked up to a printer and you’ll give every machine in the house (or office) access to that printer. Sure you can do this with Microsoft Windows, but have you ever tried to configure a wireless network sharing config out of the box? Yeah right.
Installation takes all of two minutes while the software scans your WiFi network for computers and peripherals. You get to choose the printers and computers you want to add to the network management, and after that it’s just a matter of installing the software on each machine and off you go. The full Pro version comes with a suite of useful tools including a network troubleshooter to test and repair problems, an Internet speed tester and a simple wizard to add a new device.
You can share folders locally between your family machines in seconds (great for sharing photos with zero hassle) and also share folders publicly on the web via a Net2Go website account you are given. There’s also a full set of security tools and a facility to track Internet usage for any machine on the network. If you’re a nosy neighbour type parent this is your chance to find out where your kids are surfing to, and good luck with your relationship if they discover your sneakiness.
One really awesome resource is the ability to mix and match Apple and Windows computers on a single wireless network. Again, there’s other ways to do this out there, but I’ll warrant that none are as easy as this. And really it’s the ease of use of the whole Network Magic package that makes it such a superb tool.
The amount of hours I’ve wasted in the past trying to configure and troubleshoot Windows wireless network and file sharing is criminal. Why the designers couldn’t build in easy tools from the start – are you listening Redmond? – is absolutely disgusting. It’s not rocket science, as Apple has shown with its own networking plug and play.
If you run a home wireless network with more than one computer on it (or even a printer you want to access from your laptop in the living room), then you’ll want to run, not walk, to the site to download and install this product. There’s a ‘free’ version, but actually it’s just a 7 day demo of the features, so you will need to spend upwards of $29.99 for 3 PCs ($54.99 for 3 PCs and up to 8 Macs) but it will probably be one of the most rewarding tech spends you’ll ever make. Superb!