PROS / Sagemcom NetGuru makes it easy to establish and maintain a home network.
CONS / No parental monitoring, blocks or controls are available.
VERDICT / Sagemcom NetGuru is an excellent home network software solution.
The ability to create a functioning home network is the desire of many home users. Unfortunately, the task is not easily accomplished. It requires, what seems like, many endless steps for the technical novice. Sagemcom, a globally active French high technology group has developed NetGuru home network software. TopTenREVIEWS Silver Award winning Sagemcom NetGuru assists the home user in gaining control over their networked devices. Sagemcom NetGuru is available to both the end user and broadband service providers. The software is a Windows-based desktop tool that simplifies the tasks needed to establish a home network. To view other highly rated software in this category, please check out our home network software review site.
Ease of Use
With the implementation of an easy-to-navigate dashboard that consists of concise and easy-to-use screens, users are able to find new devices, save network maps, create reports, repair connections, view a network log, perform speed tests, create a wireless connection, share files, manage printers as well as save and restore network settings. A click of the mouse provides details about each networked element.
When questions arise, contextual help is given to assist with problem resolution. Simple to employ wizards walk the user through the configuration of connected PCs and devices as well as the diagnosis and fixing of commonly encountered problems.
Network Device Connectivity
The NetGuru home network software performs an automatic self-discovery of any new devices or computers connected to the network. It also checks to see if any devices or computers have lost their network connection. The detection process runs in the background and uses minimal machine memory to perform its scan.
Easy to understand visual indicators, such as green, red, or yellow graphics, display if a device or computers is active on the network or if it has become disconnected.
Sharing of Network Assets
From the dashboard, the user can easily share printers, files and other assets. New networked devices are easily added because the home network software automatically detects them, assigns an icon, and displays them on the network map.
The "Remote Connect" feature allows a user who is running NetGuru to remotely access shared resources on the home network. This is a helpful tool for family members who are away or traveling.
Network Control and Monitoring
NetGuru scans for installed anti-spyware, anti-virus and firewall programs. When an installation is discovered on a machine, the home network software lists information about the version number of the installation as well as determining if the program is enabled on the installed machine.
NetGuru has the ability to capture complete and detailed information about connected computers and other home network devices. It generates a comprehensive log that is helpful for solving issues. Details included in the report can include when a connection was made and when it was lost, when devices were added or dropped off the network as well as if intruders gained access to the network.
NetGuru users are able to view an entire software inventory of all applications on a specific PC via the "Computer Details" panel. This handy feature allows the monitoring of licenses as well as the determination that all software is up to date.
Protecting a network from prying eyes who seek to exploit network resources is a challenge for both large enterprise networks as well as the home user. This home network software assists the user with network security by stopping unwanted threats.
With the "Configure your Wireless Router" option, users are able to generate encryption keys utilizing WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access). NetGuru supports a wide range of commonly used routers.
NetGuru comes with the ability to do screen captures of other machines on the local network. However, missing is the ability to schedule automatic screen shots. Also absent is a parental control feature. Further, the ability to restrict internet access during specific times of day for identified machines or the blocking of sites that may contain questionable content is noticeably lacking from this otherwise excellent software.
Network Repair and Maintenance
NetGuru continuously scans the network to verify the health and status of connected machines and devices as well as internet connections. Ethernet and wireless connections are monitored and verified. When a connectivity problem arises, the software displays a clickable link notifying the user that something is disconnected or unreachable. Upon clicking the link, the home network software launches a wizard that assists the user in repairing the problem or resolving connectivity issues.
This home network software has a 10-use free trial. Support is available via their website where a small searchable knowledge base and FAQ exists. Free software updates are available.
Supported Operating Systems
The minimum computer system requirements to run Sagemcom NetGuru are:
- Windows XP (service pack 2 or higher)
- Windows Vista
- Windows 7
- Pentium class processor or equivalent
- Recommend minimum of 512 MB RAM
- Minimum of 100 MB free hard-drive space
Sagemcom NetGuru is a comprehensive home network software solution that supports the majority of commonly used routers. Even the novice can establish and maintain a well-functioning home network. Sagemcom NetGuru is a well-developed home network software application that is well worth the investment.