Network Assistant 4.5 Beta 1

If you work in a small network spread across a small or medium-sized office, perhaps you’ve wished for some way to easily communicate with the group that’s faster than email but isn’t public like IM programs. The old WinPopup method of broadcasting short messages to everyone in the LAN is still an option, but a better one is Network Assistant, which has more features than a Swiss-army knife and is easy to use and configure. Network Assistant doesn’t require a centralized server to coordinate things: It just multicasts over IP or with UDP packets over your LAN, finding other instances of NA automatically. By default, NA users are identified by their Windows username, but custom names are available, too. Users on the LAN appear in a list, and by rightclicking a user, you can send a pop-up message, initiate a private chat, send a file, or even send a “beep” over his speaker. Other communications options include an IRC-style group chat (complete with several channels), a shared whiteboard, and a more permanent message board. There are some handy administration tools, too. Users can be divided into groups, making it easy to handle offices with dozens (or hundreds) of users. Operators can share screenshots of their desktops and make their Windows task-list visible, allowing for a basic kind of remote support option for an IS department. Certain features can be locked out with an administrator password, thereby forcing users to utilize certain options. The pricing for Network Assistant boils down to $30 a seat, and you can only buy licenses in groups of two or more. (There are discounts for bulk licenses.) If you’re just looking for a cute way to chat with your wife in another part of the house, this is probably a tad expensive, but this is actually a good price for small-office, groupware-type software. The 30-day trial should be enough time to figure out if the expense is worth it.


Network Assistant 4.5
Publisher and URL: Gracebyte Software, www.gracebyte.com
ETA: Q3 2009
Why You Should Care: Add big-network communications to any small LAN with ease.

Source of Information : CPU Magazine 07 2009

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