6 useful Wi-Fi tools for Windows

Free or cheap apps can help troubleshoot your wireless network, turn your laptop into a hot spot and more

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Plug and Browse

If you use your laptop to connect to more than one wireless or wired network, you might be spending more time than you'd like switching network settings.

For example, if you're a typical notebook user, at work you might have a static IP address, a default network printer, a set of scripts that need to be run, proxy servers for security and a set of mapped network drives. At home, you might have a DHCP-assigned network address on a wireless network as well as a home printer, and you might use Windows Firewall but no proxy servers. And then there's that coffee shop hot spot that you visit regularly with its own set of requirements, such as a DHCP-assigned network address.

Each time you switch networks, chances are that you have to tweak settings such as your default printer, mapped network drives, proxy servers and so on.

Plug and Browse from Interactive Studios puts an end to all that manual configuration. It allows you to create profiles for all the networks you use, and then when you switch from one network to another, you simply choose the new network's profile. All your settings will be intact.

Plug and Browse
Plug and Browse makes it easy to switch among multiple networks, including Wi-Fi-based ones, without having to go through constant configurations.

A very nice touch is that you can tell Plug and Browse to automatically create a profile for you and it will grab all of your current settings for the network to which you're connected. You can still edit the settings after that if you need to.

Price: $39.99 (with 30-day free trial)
Compatible with: Windows XP, Vista and 7
Download Plug & Browse

Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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