Software Reviews: WinProxy & pcANWYHERE32

Software Reviews - WinProxy & pcANWYHERE32

by J.A. Hitchcock

As it appeared in the March/April 1999 issue of Link-UP magazine

After toying with the idea of connecting the two computers my husband and I have into some sort of network, I began looking into the various options available. One that impressed me was Ositis Software's WinProxy, which serves as a firewall proxy server. In addition, I wanted something I could use when I was on the road to connect to my PC at home. Again, I did some research and that's where Symantec's pcANYWHERE32 comes in. If one product won't satisfy your needs, I'm pretty sure the other will.

WinProxy by Ositis Software

After opening the box, I was a bit surprised to find a 3.5" diskette in the box - no CD-ROM. The manual was comprehensive and easy to understand. What impressed me most was that the program runs on any PC running Windows 95/98 or NT, allowing you to link all the computers in your home or office, no matter which Windows platform you use.

I installed the program in a snap, then ran it and let the "wizard" take me step by step through the configuration setup. You do need a working LAN (we used my old P200 with a LAN card installed in it as our network computer) - the box states you should have a "WinSock API compliant networking package" already installed.

The next step was assigning each of our computers a unique IP address. Since our internet account with Netcom randomly assigns them, WinProxy showed me how to do this. I found WinProxy's protocol support superb - it provides proxy services for DNS, FTP, HTTP, IMAP4, NNTP, POP3, SecureSockets, Socks 4, and RealAudio, staying online long enough to download or do what you want, then automatically disconnecting when done.

When the program initially runs, it looks similar to the old DOS window, which took some getting used to. I looked at the security options - restricting Internet access to certain PCs and blocking web sites (if these are accessed, the message "Forbidden HTML" appears onscreen). I didn't need to apply either of these, but they would be useful for a business using the software.

WinProxy is not only inexpensive, it saves money on additional modems or ISP fees. The online help is comprehensive and the WinProxy web site offers additional information, online tech support and updates. It also retrieves and stores web pages for review when not online, which is a bonus.

The best thing I like about WinProxy is that my husband and I can be online at the same time - no more fighting over who can go online first!