PC Magazine -- September 10, 1996

Lantastic 7.0 Delivers

Steve Rigney

Even with the recent introduction of built-in peer-to-peer networks in many desktop OSs, LANtastic 7.0, the newest version of Artisoft's workhorse, is a product that can't be topped. In addition to letting you share hard disks and printers, LANtastic lets you share modems and Internet connections. So if you need a powerful network but can't afford a dedicated server at $499 for 10 users, LANtastic 7.0 is one of your best options. The product is a snap to use, and it offers strong security, basic network management, and such other utilities as e-mail, network chat, a remote-control host, and enhanced network printing.

The first thing you'll notice about the new release is LANtastic's improved installation routine. It automatically determines which OS you're running, detects your network adapter, and creates all icons. And a new one-floppy-disk installation utility saves considerable time on larger networks.

As for connectivity, LANtastic is one of the most flexible products on the market. We installed it on a PC running DOS, Microsoft Windows for Workgroups, and Windows 95. We connected all the PCs on the network and then connected to our Windows NT and NetWare servers. You can also hook up a PC running the built-in network in OS/2 Warp, Windows for Workgroups, Windows 95, and Windows NT to a LANtastic server.

The two newest features, modem sharing and the Inter-net gateway, are outstanding. Modem sharing will save the expense of buying a modem for each user and installing separate phone lines. But only one person can use a modem at a time, so you may need to share several.

The Internet gateway lets all users on the network share one Internet connection. A user can establish an Internet link and others can surf the Web without having to install separate modems or the TCP/IP network protocol on their PCs. But even a 28.8-Kbps dial-up connection slows to a crawl if multiple clients cruise at once. To make getting on the Internet easy, LANtastic includes the Compu-Serve/Spry Internet dialer, Netscape Navigator 2.0, and a built-in TCP/IP protocol stack.

The ability to control servers remotely from a single location is another of LANtastic's valuable tools. As for security, LANtastic lets you set up detailed user privileges all the way down to the file level. The Access Control Lists make it easy to control entire user groups that require the same access privileges. A time-saving security feature lets you make exceptions for certain users in a group without changing the security for the entire group.

The printing features are no slouches either. The advanced print job control allows you to print to any printer on the network, not just those attached to a file server. The utility is a 20K TSR that lets you attach as many as seven printers to a single client PC and share them on the network. This is a convenient way to place your network printers anywhere you want.

LANtastic 7.0. List price: For 10 user licenses, $499. Artisoft Inc., Tucson, AZ; 520-670-7100; www.artisoft.com. SHARE ALIKE: Users can share an Internet connection via the gateway.


Copyright(c) 1996 Ziff-Davis Publishing Company