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The July 9, 2002 Issue Provided by System Dynamics Inc.
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Broadband Traveler - Taking the Broadband Home on the Road

MultiNetwork Manager 6.2

Portable computers are an important part of the broadband home. Several years ago we found ourselves sitting at our daughter's house in California and fighting over our one portable; before we left, we bought another portable and now carry both with us whenever we travel. We've found it hard to cope with all the different network environments we run into in airports, hotels and trade shows - and our children's houses!

Some time ago we downloaded and installed version 4 of MultiNetwork Manager, a low-cost program designed to switch between multiple networking environments, on one of our portables. That substantially reduced the amount of reconfiguring we need to do at each location. But it only handled some of our needs; we often needed to manually reconfigure some additional settings.

We received an email several months ago from Magnus Ekeberg, CEO of GlobeSoft AB, the Swedish company that developed MultiNetwork Manager. It announced that mnm version 6.2 was now available with many additional features. After some correspondence with Magnus, we downloaded and installed the new version and have taken it on the road several times.

With mnm, you set up multiple networking configurations, each with different settings for protocols, adapters, file sharing, and domain login. The new version handles all of the settings we previously needed to change manually. Once you've set up several configurations, you can select between them when you start a machine, and can switch between configurations on the fly.

On one of our portables, we have now set up configurations as

  • the control PC for our cable modem
  • a DHCP client PC when docked in our Windows NT domain
  • a substitute server while running both portables together through Ethernet on a airplane
  • a DHCP client over Wi-Fi to our other portable running Internet Connection Sharing connected to a broadband port in a hotel room
  • a static client to connect over the Wi-Fi network at a trade show
  • a DHCP client over Wi-Fi through a gateway and DSL modem at our daughter's house

mnm 6.2 has worked flawlessly except for one minor setup glitch. It's a lot easier than trying to manually reconfigure the machines each time we get somewhere. It works well and doesn't break the bank at $36 for a single copy. We recommend it to anyone who frequently needs to switch configurations.

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