If you’ve ever been tempted by the idea of wireless broadband – being able to surf the Internet from the comfort of your living room sofa seems to be the main advantage – and have a couple of notebooks about the house, this software should help you set up and maintain a secure connection.
In theory that’s exactly what Swiss Security has in mind: setting up the connection and keeping it secure. In practise, managing a network isn’t really that difficult but having security in place is always a good idea as manufacturers ship their wares with it switched off.
The software works by taking control of the router and any Wi-Fi adapters on your network. Once they are identified, it sets about making them communicate in one easy session. This is certainly easier than configuring each separately, which is the normal way, but we found it less than ideal.
If you’re really this worried about setting up a connection, then we’d suggest you get the right hardware as the likes of Buffalo and D-Link devices comes with one-touch setup tools, which as just as, if not better, at handling networks than Swiss Security has to offer.
Once setup, the software takes overall control of the wireless connection from Windows. This shouldn’t be a problem as any number of Wi-Fi tools do just the same. However, in reality things didn’t work out so well, with the connection being a lot less than the default Windows settings. In fact, on several occasions we had to switch the software off as the connection was dropped. When we turned Windows wireless connectivity back on, the connection was immediately picked up.
The main problem comes when you try to add an extra layer of security to your network. You would expect the software to be compatible with as wide an array of chipsets and adapters as possible. Sadly, this isn’t the case and you may well find yourself having to configure the router manually. Considering the main reason for the software is to take this burden away from the novice user, it undermines the aims of buying it in the first place.
You’ll also find a PC blocker installed, which prevents machines outside your network from piggy backing onto your network. This is a necessary tool but if you’ve already got a firewall installed with your anti-virus suite it’s a little superfluous.
If you really need help in configuring your network and your hardware is compatible then this software is for you. However, for the vast majority, you’ll find it as frustrating as getting your network to run as Windows itself.
Overall, this software may mean well, it just isn’t executed in style.