Home Network Management Software Review
Home network management software such as Network Magic Pro from Cisco Inc. are software programs that simplifies home and small office network configuration, assists with troubleshooting and performance, and delivers a secure, reliable and effortless way to share Internet connections, printers, files, pictures and more.
It virtually connects your computer to various devices such as network storage devices, printers, entertainment appliances, gaming consoles and digital and web cameras. It’s ideal solution for managing your small office and home computer network.
Currently, there are not so many network management programs for home and small office to choose from. After intensive home network software research and comparison, I found only a few network management programs suitable for home and small office use.
The mainstream programs in network management industry, such as SpiceWorks, are developed for big business networks and require IT professionals to setup and manage them. Also, these software is usually highly complex and mostly expensive to buy and/or support.
Nevertheless, here are a few simple network management programs, free and paid, suitable for a home and small office network you can choose from. Below I listed the best network management programs in my preference order.
Price: Network Magic Pro 5.5 – $39.99 | Trial: 7 days
NOTE: Network Magic is no longer available for purchase as of August 31, 2012. If you currently own Network Magic and need support, please visit support.linksys.com
Operating Systems: Windows XP (all version with SP1 or later, 32 & 64 bit), Windows Vista (32 & 64 BIT), And Windows 7 (32 & 64 bit)
Network Magic Pro 5.5
Network Magic Pro 5.5 will help you eliminate the tech support phone calls, online forums and expensive on-site consultants. Network Magic Pro provides do-it-yourself tools to help you set up, manage and secure your network like an IT professional.
You can install a free 7 day trial version of Network Magic Pro 5.5 when you install a Linksys by Cisco router, or you can download the trial version from the Network Magic Web site for use with a different router. Install Network Magic on each computer in your home or small office that shares an Internet connection.
Network Magic Pro 5.5 Key Features:
- Connect your devices together in minutes
- Share Internet connections, printers and files
- Protect your network with enhanced WPA security capabilities and status alerts
- Repair your network and Internet connections to stay online and productive
- Control access to the Internet and track online activity with remote desktop screenshots
At any time during the trial you can choose to purchase either Network Magic Essentials, or Pro, and the Mac Add-on. (Network Magic Essentials 5.5 -$23.99 | Network Magic Add-on for Mac 4.0 – $19.9)
Price: $39.95 | Trial: 30 days
Operating Systems: Windows 2000, Windows XP and Windows Vista
SingleClick HomeNet Manager 4.0
HomeNet Manager is a workable home network software for the non-technical user. Easily and painlessly deploy, configure and maintain your home or small office network with HomeNet Manager! You can add, share, and manage all network devices within your home or small office instantly through HomeNet Manager’s easy-to-understand graphical interface: add, remove, troubleshoot and configure all your network devices.
The application provides a full wireless client to simplify the task of connecting to and roaming between wireless networks, and an Intruder Blocking technology that keeps unwanted users off your network.
HomeNet Manager 4.0 Key Features:
- Start Up Wizard for simple, point and click set-up and configuration of networks for individuals and SMBs
- Security: Intruder Protection feature prevents unauthorized systems from connecting to yours and blocks any new client that attempts to join the network
- Remote Access: enables users to access their personal and company devices and digital content anytime, anywhere
- Resource Sharing: simple sharing mechanism enables folders or printers to be shared and accessed between PCs
- Bandwidth Testing: measures upstream and downstream bandwidth of the Internet connection and qualifies the types of services that the user’s Internet connection can support
Price: $49.95/year or $4.99/month | Trial: 30 days
Operating Systems: Windows XP, Windows Vista (32 & 64 bit), Windows 7 (32 & 64 bit)
SingleClick Connect 5.1
SingleClick CONNECT is a simple, powerful tool for Home and Small Office users to connect, protect and share their digital world. SingleClick CONNECT helps the most novice user set up a secure wireless network, easily sharing printers, photos, music and videos while automatically detecting and repairing common networking issues.
A built-in interface provides access to SingleClick Systems’s global connectivity network for instant, secure access to all the devices in the network from your desktop, laptop, cell phone, Netbook, tablet PC or any Internet-enabled device.
SingleClick CONNECT Key Features:
- Graphical Map of all networked devices (includes 3D Virtual Home/Office view)
- Robust Wireless Connection Engine with full troubleshooting capabilities and integrated speed test
- Powerful Intruder Detection and Blocking keeps unwanted devices off the network
- Simple Setup Wizards for connecting devices and sharing network resources
- Instant Interface to the SingleClick Systems global connectivity network provides secure, remote access to all Home/Office devices from anywhere in the world
Price: $39.99 / Amazon.com Price: $19.97 – You Save: $20.02 (50%)
Operating Systems: Windows XP
SingleClick Network Now! Pro
SingleClick Network Now! Pro allows you easily share photos, files and other data with friends and family. Network Now! Pro can set-up your wired or wireless home network in just three quick steps.
Simply install the program on all the computers connected via a router and the program automatically detects all the devises so you can quickly begin using your network. The exclusive 3D house interface enables you to visually drag and drop and connect your network for even easier set-up.
The comprehensive help menu quickly troubleshoots and fixes any problems in the process. If failure is detected, the program will notify users and automatically resolve the problem.
For added wireless security, only Network Now! Pro protects your network and data from intruders by automatically detecting your wireless WEP/WPA key. Network Now! Pro can connect up to five PC’s and is covered by a full money back guarantee if your home network cannot be set up.
SingleClick Network Now! Pro Key Features
- Sets up & Secures Wireless & Wired Networks
- Automatically Install & Configure Any Home Network
- Easy Visual Set Up With Unique Three-Dimensional Home Graphic
- Share Network Resources For Convenience & Efficiency
- Protect Network And Data From Intruders
Price: $39.99 / Amazon.com
Operating Systems: Windows 2000 / XP Professional / XP Home Edition
SingleClick Wireless Network Ignition software program will manage the process of getting and staying connected to your wireless network. It’s ideal for home, at the office, or on the road. Wireless Network Ignition eliminates the guesswork typically associated with installing and configuring safe-and-secure wireless networks. The software transparently manages the process of securely getting and staying connected to a wireless network. Wireless Network Ignition automatically determines all of the technical parameters required for a safe, secure and reliable connection.
SingleClick Wireless Network Ignition Key Features
- Trouble-free wireless network setup and operation
- Automatically detects all wireless network parameters
- Simple, secure, and private wireless network access at home or away
- Instantly resolve technical problems; self-diagnosis and self-healing
- Includes bonus software, HomeNet Manager
Price: NetSetMan: Free | NetSetMan Pro: $21.50
Operating Systems: Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows 2003, Windows Vista, Windows 2008, Windows 7 (34 & 64 bit)
NetSetMan is a network settings manager, which can easily switch between 6 different, visually structured profiles. NetSetMan offers you what have been missing in Windows until now:
A powerful, easy-to-use interface to manage all your network settings at a glance. All settings and changes are saved automatically in a separate file (settings.ini) so a backup, transfer or upgrade to another version is absolutely no problem.
NetSetMan Key Features:
- IP Adress settings
- Subnet Mask settings
- Default Gateway settings
- Preferred as well as Alternate DNS Server settings
- Computer Name + Workgroup settings
Network Software Review – Conclusion
Any software program from 6 network management solutions presented here will help you setup and manage your home or small office wired, wireless or mixed computer’s network. You choice will be determined by particular configuration of you network and operating systems you use.
Home network management software can make your life much easier when it comes to home network’s setup, maintenance and troubleshooting.