Thursday, September 22, 2011

Using NetSetMan to change Windows network settings with a single mouse click

If you are using a laptop, you must have faced the problem of having to manually adjust the network settings to connect to the network (either LAN or WiFi) in different places. This is really a tedious thing, isn't it?

Although many places make use of DHCP to automate the IP address assignment (so that you are free from the hassle to manually set the IP address, subnet mask, gateway IP, etc.), you might probably still need to do some adjustment to some other settings, such as the SMTP email server, the DNS server, the default WiFi AP you want to connect with, the default printer, etc. Worse still, there are places that don't make use of DHCP server, and you have to manually change the network settings, especially the IP address, subnet mask and gateway IP, in order to connect and use the network there.

For example, the DHCP server might assign you with the ISP's DNS servers, and you prefer to use Google's DNS servers instead. In some other places, you cannot use Google's DNS servers because the firewall might have blocked DNS request to WAN, and you have to use their internal DNS server.

I found NetSetMan to be a very handy tool allowing you to quickly change your Windows network setting with just a mouse click to connect to the network in different places. It lets you pre-configure the network settings and save them in different profiles. By switching the profile, all the pre-configured settings will be switched over accordingly.

NetSetMan is free for personal non-commercial use. The free version lets you set up to 6 network profiles, while the Pro version lets you set unlimited profiles.

You can customize the settings in each profile for:
  • IP address (to use DHCP or manual setting)
  • DNS servers
  • DNS domain
  • WINS servers
  • Default WiFi AP
  • Default printer
  • Network adapter status (activate, deactivate or restart)
  • Your PC name
  • The workgroup / domain to join
  • SMTP server for email sending
  • Network drive mapping
  • Browser homepage and proxy setting
  • Local "host" file setting for mapping domain names with IP addresses. Normally the setting in this "host" file will supersede the DNS result
  • IPv6 settings
NetSetMan also allows you to run Windows script before and/or after a profile is changed.

It also has feature to allow you to copy-and-paste profile settings from one to another. This is handy to create a new profile where most of the settings are the same with the existing. You just need to make a copy, and modify those settings that need to adjust with.


Post a Comment

Hint: Click on the "Older Posts" link to continue reading, or click here for a listing of all my past 3 months articles.