"A network settings manager."
NetSetMan is a network settings manager with many neat features. You can create up to six different profiles and switch between them whenever you need to. Each one can contain completely different settings, which can include different IP addresses, gateways, DNS servers, network drives etc. In the program you can find gathered all the network options you would find scattered in Windows and change them quickly and easily.
When you run the installer you will be asked to choose if you want to normally install the application in your computer or just extract all the necessary files to a folder for portable use. If you have a previous version of NetSetMan installed, a third option will be available to update it with the one you’re installing. The installation finishes fairly quickly.
The supported operating systems are Windows 2000, XP, 2003, Vista, 2008, 7, 8, 8.1, 10.
It has a stylish interface, with the tabs for changing profiles being on top of all the options. Below is a big dropdown menu from which you choose the network device you want to use for this profile. Then at the center are the configuration settings. They are split into 4 categories: IP, DNS Server, WINS Server and Additional (includes additional options). There is also a compact mode button available at the top-right of the GUI, which changes the window to show only the profiles and their settings as well as the option to activate them.
At the top, slightly to the right, there are 3 buttons for: Profile Management (for basic management such as Add, Delete, Rename), Note (for adding notes about each profile), and AutoSwitch (explained further down below under Pros).
In each category there are plenty of settings to configure. For example, in the first category regarding IP address you can choose to automatically obtain an IP address or manually enter it yourself along with subnet mask and default gateway. For the DNS server settings you can do the same; either obtain a DNS address automatically or do it manually yourself. In the Additional settings category you can view and change a lot of extra options: you can choose a WiFi network to connect to, select the default printer, change the adapter’s status (Activated/Deactivated or Restart it), enter PC name, change display settings, edit Hosts file or run a script. And once you’ve set up your profiles, it is very easy to alternate between them; just go to the profile’s tab you want to change to and click Activate. You can access profiles from tray as well.
The AutoSwitch feature improves the functionality further, by allowing you to configure automatic profile switching. Once you activate AutoSwitch, you can configure conditions for the Surrounding WiFi Networks, Network Locations, the status of the Network Adapter, and different Time intervals. More info on the AutoSwitch feature can be found on developer's Help page.
The only negative to say about this program is that it has a few graphical glitches. For example, when a balloon tip appears whenever you hover your mouse over a setting it shows a random profile’s name. These glitches are now fixed in the latest versions of NetSetMan.
The top 3 buttons, Profile Management, Note, and AutoSwitch, are not as visible as they can be. Adding a small text label next or under them, should make them more obvious to all users. For instance, on my testings, I knew the AutoSwitch feature was interesting but I looked for it under Settings first, then under Profile in the main menu, and only then hovered the mouse over the 3 main buttons, out of which one was indeed the feature I was looking for. Right-clicking the tray icon was not listing AutoSwitch either.
Net Profiles is a nice alternative to NetSetMan. It is open source, and allows you to create profiles with stored network settings and easily change between them when you move your laptop or desktop to another location. In contrast to NetSetMan, you can create as many profiles as you want.
Mobile Net Switch is a decent program to help you configure and switch between profiles with different network settings, but it is not free, unlike the above two programs. Other than that, it is quite good with many features.
NetSetMan is a program that anyone can use, even users who don’t have much technical knowledge. The free version comes with limited number of profiles you can set as well as the number of detailed settings you can make. It is ideal for the average computer user. The paid version adds unlimited amount of profiles using profile groups.
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