Simplifying network setup and maintenance is the mainstay of any home networking software. Sereniti Inc. has developed NetTrooper, a software platform that streamlines the sharing, security and management of network resources for the home user. To view other software in this category, please check out our home network software review site.
NetTrooper provides a series of utilities that conquer even the most challenging home networking problems. The software displays all networked devices on an organized centrally located map that is accessible from across the home network.
Point and click administration decreases the amount of time spent on home network maintenance and repair. To find information about a connected network resource, simply roll your mouse over a listed device and view its status. Troubleshooting capabilities allow the automatic resolution of connectivity problems. NetTrooper's implementation of task wizards walk the user through the simplified steps of what were once thought to be complex tasks.
NetTrooper can automatically identify devices that are connected to the home network by name and type. It will successfully identify printers, game consoles and more. However, users report that in some instances, the software misidentifies the format of hard drives, and printers are sometimes labeled as computers. Additional naming and categorization quirks are also reported. This problem, though minor, may result in confusion for the novice home network user. NetTrooper does allow the editing of a device's name but has no provisions for the reassigning of its category, which we view as a potential drawback.
As long as all computers within the home network have NetTrooper installed, sharing of resources is performed with ease. Clicking on the "Printer Sharing" view, located in the network map, allows the user to highlight a connected printer and allocate it as a resource available to other computers in the home network. File sharing is accomplished with an equally simplified process. Utilizing network shares is also done with the simple click of a mouse - ending the need to run from room to room to access the files you need.
With a report card sort of grading system, NetTrooper assigns a letter grade (A-D) to multiple security and safety-related categories for each computer. These categories include making sure virus and spyware detection software is up to date and enabled. It also looks to determine if internet browser settings provide adequate protection for the user. The program is diligent about scanning for P2P (Peer to Peer) connections that potentially compromise a home network.
NetTrooper is an excellent application for monitoring the health and maintenance of computers. However, it lacks a means to track the activity of unauthorized systems once they have gained access to the network. Additionally, it has no features that will ban intruding eyes from the network.
The security grades for all NetTrooper-enabled PCs can be viewed from any computer within the network. If a grade of less than an "A" is given in any category, a link is given that provides suggestions to correct the problem. Unfortunately, the links are reported to be from sponsors and point to software solutions that are not necessarily free. This is a major drawback to what could be a one-stop home network software solution.
NetTrooper's "Repair Connection" feature restores dropped connections. When implemented, the software attempts to contact the internet via a series of pings and http calls. Should NetTrooper fail to restore the connection, it recommends courses of action that a user can take in order to re-establish connectivity, such as checking to make sure network cables are plugged in, restarting routers and more.
Sereniti Inc., boasts that NetTrooper can be used to access and configure routers and perform tasks such as setting the administrator password, setting the wireless encryption method, or re-assigning the name of your wireless network. At present, the company does not specify what routers NetTrooper supports. Some users are reporting that only three are supported and no one seems to know exactly what three those routers are.
With the purchase of NetTrooper, the consumer may install the product on up to three computers and receive free software and Security Assessment Signature updates for 12 months.
The company's support for NetTrooper is dismal. Emails regarding their product were not returned. When visiting their website and clicking on the support tab, one is directed to a web page that prompts the user to run a "PC Security Assessment Wizard"” that is supposed to give the user a report about the vulnerability level of their computer and tell them what they can do to improve their risk.
This version of NetTrooper only supports Microsoft Windows XP. It is unclear if later versions of Windows will work with NetTrooper.
NetTrooper clearly simplifies the sharing of network resources such as files, printers and other devices. If a more robust home network software is needed for things like network security, router management and tracking unwanted connections, other home network software options should be explored.