SoftRouter Plus 6.0.1

When hordes of network users are surfing the Web, the result is redundant traffic and wasted bandwidth – particularly when users are accessing the same Web sites. SoftRouter Plus 6.0.1 solves this problem by storing a copy of repeatedly accessed sites on a local server’s hard disk for faster performance. SoftRouter Plus also features world-class TCP/IP routing and network-administration services equivalent to those in expensive hardware routers. Besides offering all the functions of a hardware-based router, SoftRouter Plus has a graphical interface and a set-up wizard that will have even non-technical users up and running quickly. A good route
The package also includes a slew of helpful network-administration aids: Routing Information Protocol support for automatically configuring route tables, RADIUS (Remote Authentication Dial-In User Service), network address translation, Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP), a dynamic DNS server that synchronizes names with DHCP-assigned addresses, host-access rights, and TCP/IP multi-homing. And with the right Mac hardware, you can even set up multiple-serial PPP dial-in ports for remote users. But the big improvement in version 6.0.1 is a bundled caching Web-server, which makes copies of Web pages that users access most frequently and then retrieves them from the cache to satisfy repeat requests. Caching is transparent – you don’t need to reconfigure users’ browsers to access a proxy server – and you can archive selected Web sites for access even when your Web connection is down. In tests over an ISDN Internet connection with five remote users, SoftRouter Plus demonstrated T1-like performance when accessing cached sites. For even better performance, you can run the caching server software on a separate machine, or even redirect HTTP requests to another vendor’s caching server, freeing-up your own.

OUR VERDICT

SoftRouter Plus 6.0.1’s Web cache does wonders for Internet performance when multiple users chase the same online content. The program’s many other administration aids make it perfect for cross-platform networks. If you can’t afford a £1,000 hardware router but have a spare Mac, SoftRouter Plus can be a budget-saver, too; its low per-user pricing makes it affordable for virtually any workgroup.

Find the best price