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      03.05.2002 20:38
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      As a techie, I often get asked to help users out with setting things up on their home computers. One of the most common requests is help in setting up a home network. With more and more people buying broadband connections of one type of another (most commonly cable and xDSL), people want to share the connection between their PCs. The big question is how best to achieve this. A lot of people use the Internet Connection Sharing built into some versions of Windows. This is a 'quick fix' solution, but can be difficult to set up and requires that all PCs have an IP address that Microsoft dictate. Still others use a spare 486 to build a Smoothwall or IPCop box. Although a brilliant solution in terms of power and security, it's a pain to set up if you don't know your TCP/IP protocol from your DHCP server. Enter AnalogX Proxy. AnalogX specialise in freely available networking tools that are a snap to install and configure. Take, for example, their web server product - SimpleServer(WWW). It literally has two steps: point it at the directory your website is in, and click 'Start'. Proxy brings this level of user friendliness to the world of proxy servers. With support for all the major ports (including HTTP for webpages and FTP for file downloads) sharing an internet connection is a snap. For the power user the software can be configured for custom port forwarding, with a helpful guide included in the ReadMe file. Using this tiny download on your main PC (the one connected to the Internet) allows you to share that connection between all your PCs without ever having to worry about the technical side. Where Proxy falls short of the competition is in security. Although there are features to only allow access from a local network, it is purely a proxy server. It offers no firewall features to protect your network. However, there is nothing to stop you using a personal firewall such as ZoneAlarm or BlackICE
      in conjunction with Proxy. All in all, a brilliant little programme, and highly recommended! -Blacklaw

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