If you use your laptop in multiple places you may know how hard it is to keep changing network settings over and over again. For example you may use the laptop at your home, office or even at your local start bucks coffee shop. Every time you go to a new place there is a new network configuration you have to setup.
This gets quite tedious over time and specifically when you have to setup a manual IP (Internet Protocol) address to access the Internet connection. I definitely have had a lot of problems earlier when I was in India as neither my office nor my home connection used DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) which automatically assigns dynamic IP address to your PC.
The switch from home to office had to be done manually so that I could use the Internet at both places. Well as you may already see how boring and tedious it is to switch between different network setups.
Net Profiles is a nifty little tool that allows you to create profiles for different network setups and connect to them without having to manually change the settings yourself. This can get pretty useful when you regularly use different networks.
Using Net Profiles is pretty easy you can create multiple profiles for different networks you use. To create a new profile click on the New Profile button and enter the network settings.
The profile creation is a one time process, so you can create as many profiles as you want. Once you have done that activating and using those profiles is much more easier. Once you are hooked into a particular network fire up the Net Profiles application and right click on it. Click on the Activate Profile link and your network profile should be activated.
It definitely adds a great deal of flexibility while you move around. This is specially a very good utility for laptop users. Well that is not where the functionality ends. Lets have a look at the other features of Net Profiles
Automatically Configure Proxy Server Settings
If you network forces you to use proxy servers to access the Internet which usually happens in offices you will have to configure each and every application to use a particular proxy server and change it back when you get onto another network. With Net Profiles you can easily configure a particular profile to use proxy servers.
Once you do that all your applications will go through the proxy without you having to configure each and every application.
Map Network Drivers Per Profile
Usually network drives are available for you to use from where you can access shared files and resources but having those mapped on your computer can slow down your computer as Windows Explorer checks for mapped drives every time it starts up.
You can specify the network drives you want to map to specific only to profiles so that those drives are only mapped when you load a particular profile.
Select Default Printer Per Profile
You can also select default printers for each profile. So if you have a printer in the office and a printer at home you do not have to keep changing the default printer every time you change networks.
Run Programs When You Change Networks
If you want to run particular applications when you activate a profile you can easily do so with Net Profiles. For example you may want to load up your download manager or your torrent software once you get back on your home software so that you can resume the downloads.
With Net Profiles this becomes quite easy to accomplish.
Change Display Settings
This is a real good feature when you use the same laptop for your home as well as your office. I usually use a wallpaper with my loved one at home whereas at the office I use a blue background. Every time I head to office I have to change the desktop settings. Net Profiles allows you to set screen resolutions, color quality and desktop background per profile.
This means that I can easily change the background without having to do so manually.
Manage Wireless Connections
If you use wireless everywhere simply add the Wireless SSID to the profile and Net Profiles will automatically detect it and connect to it as a preferred network when it is available.
My 2 Cents
Phew that’s a lot of features built into one small and nifty utility. If you thought that this only allowed you to change network settings then you are wrong. It has a host of features which can be automated just by the click of a button.
I recommend this utility for laptop users who are constantly changing networks while on the move. Even if you use DHCP you can easily change the a whole more than just your network profile.
This is another Free utility which just kicks butt of several paid software which have the same functionality. Open Source Rocks.
Download: Net Profiles