For those of us who depend on our laptops for business or pleasure, joining different networks has always been a subject of pain and suffering. One would think that Mr. Gates and his team would have addressed this issue by now.
I am a partner in a small Real Estate Brokerage and for the longest time I had a desktop computer at my office, another one at home and my laptop which I would take with me when I went on the road and for appointments. Keeping these machines synced together, especially when it came to email took a tremendous effort on my part. Then there is the issue that at work I run a domain instead of a workgroup. For anyone who has found themselves in this situation, they can attest that requires switching back and forth between domains and workgroups takes reconfiguring Windows network settings.
It is also more than just setting up network settings; we are also talking about printer configurations on the domain, and printers at home on the workgroup, as well as other peripherals that are connected. Since the advent of USB these little items seem to be the kitchen counter gadget for us computer geeks. Now if you take this further and visualize someone who travels for a living and needs to connect to multiple networks and domains. Finally we might as well throw in Wireless Access Points (WAP) into this equation.
This was the problem and I was determined to find a solution. In my research I looked a line of software called network switches. As you can imagine there are quite a few products out there. They all work off the same concept in that they allow the laptop user to switch from one network to another. They all come with various option sets that should be carefully researched prior to purchasing. I settled on a product called Mobile Net Switch. This product allows you to create unlimited network profiles where you can switch from one to the other as required. Some of the features that this application provides is the abilty to switch between several network profiles instantly, without needing to restart your computer.
Most of thes types of programs are based on setting up profiles. Depending on the applicaiton each profile can allow settings for a wide range of network settings such as: IP Addressing, Domain and workgroup configurations, Desktop Configuration, Internet settings, Drive Mappings, TCP/IP, WIFI, LAN settings, Printers, Outgoing SMTP mail server, Sound Volume, Display Resolution, as well as others.
This program has been a lifesaver for me, so much I have been able to purchase a docking station for my laptop and now use it for my work desktop. Well worth the $33 (€ 24) price tag.
If you find yourself in a similar situation I would recommend this type of software for any laptop user. You can download a 30 day trial of Mobile Net Switch at: