Home networks aren’t easy to maintain. If you have a home
network, and you need help managing and troubleshooting it, you’ll
want to give Cisco Network Magic Essentials a try. It’s got just
about every tool home network users need to solve most of problems
that pop up.
Cisco Network Magic Essentials crawls through your network to
find attached PCs and devices (including printers), and reports on
what it finds. It’s designed for those with no network experience,
so you don’t need to be an IT pro to use it.
Among Network Magic Essentials’s most useful tools is a network
map that shows all devices on your network, and gives you plenty of
details about each, such as device name, hardware and software
configuration, IP information, security software used, and more.
However, if you want to get information about network-attached
storage, you’ll have to use the Pro version of the software.
Other helpful tools in Network Magic Essentials are
troubleshooters for fixing broken network connections and setting
up wireless security. Of particular note to those with home
networks is the ease with which the software lets you share files
and printers. You’ll also get alerts if there are any issues with
the network that need to be fixed–and troubleshooters to help you
do the fixing.
Note: There is also a $50 version of the
Network Magic Pro, designed for small business networks, that
supports more PCs and network-attached storage devices, offers
Internet access controls, and has other network management
features. Cisco Network Magic Pro and Cisco Network Magic
Essentials are the same download, which times out after seven days.
During that seven-day period, you get all the features of Cisco
Network Magic Pro. To use the program after that, you’ll have to
pay the registration fee for either version. Also note that if you
have a Linksys router if after seven days you don’t register, you
can use the software as Cisco Network Magic Basic, which includes
the network map, some security features, and several other useful
tools, but not nearly as many as for Cisco Network Magic Pro and
Cisco Network Magic Essentials.