WinGate 4.1.1Internet Connection sharing software solution
Installing and Setting up Wingate
I am going to use Wingate Pro Unlimited User version for my review, simply because I needed to have all options available to try them all out and see what this baby is capable of. I did also try out the WinGate Home 6 user version to see what itís like for Home users to set it up. If you go to their download page located right ĖHere- you yourself can sign up and download a 30 day Evaluation version so you can try it out hands on to see if this might work for you. As you will notice on their download page they support all versions of Windows including Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows 98SE, Windows ME, Windows NT4 Server, Windows NT4 Workstation, Windows 2000 Server, Windows 2000 Advanced Server and Windows 2000 Professional. Wingate 4.1.1 has been tested on all these platforms and works fully with them. You will notice the first table is for people who are downloading and setting up Wingate for the first time, a new clean install. It is just one download that has support for all versions of Windows, so no need to download specific files for certain Windows versions. And the neat thing is the whole thing is only 3.6MB in size! The next table below that one is for people who are currently running a previous version of WinGate and need to upgrade to 4.1.1 The table below that is to download the (NSW) Network Setup Wizard which is only intended for the Wingate Home, the point of it is to automatically guide Home users through the Setup and Installation process of getting everything working just right, perfect for novices who need a little help setting something like this up. Note that this only works on Win95/98/ME. The size of this download is 6.44MB.
Below that are some tables to download the WinGate Plug-Ins. WinGate is unique in that you can download Plug-Ins to expand its feature base. The two plug-ins they have available are InterQuick and (ENS) Extended Network Support. InterQuick combines the best features of web accelerators, content control, and advertisement blockers and scheduling, resulting in increased Internet performance, it is 1.95MB in size. ENS offers three new options for WinGate: A firewall to secure the WinGate server, NAT to make Internet sharing even easier, and bridging to allow users to share drives, it is 612KB in size.
I cannot stress enough to READ the SETUP DIRECTIONS, you will find them ĖHere- You choose what operating system you are installing on then choose what type of Internet Connection you are using and it will give a detailed numbered description of how to set it up properly. Let me give you this advice, Follow those Instructions, DO NOT try it on your own without reading the instructions. This is where I made my mistake, I thought since I knew so much about networking I wouldnít need to read the instructions so I tried to setup Wingate without reading them. Well it took me 3 hours and I still didnít have it working, so I finally decided to read the instructions. I started all over and had the thing working in under 5 minutes! What I was doing wrong was I inputted the IP and Subnet mask AFTER I had installed Wingate on the server, but the directions say to input the IP and Subnet before you Install Wingate at all. So moral of the story, READ the DIRECTIONS and follow them FIRST, donít assume you know what you are doing, read read read first.
Ok, here is how I started and how I hooked everything together on my LAN here at home. Hereís a little diagram of my setup:
My system specs are as follows:
The Main Internet Connection Server
The First Client
The Second Client
The Switch is a Cornet 8-Port 10/100 Auto sensing Full Duplex Switch, the Internal network was running at a full 100Mbps Full Duplex (100TX), the cable modem syncs at 10Mbps Half Duplex (10BaseT)
Hereís the layout, Iíve got my Cable modemís Ethernet cable going directly from the cable modem into my servers Intel 10/100 PCI NIC. I then have a regular cat5 straight through Ethernet cable going from the other network card in my server, a D-Link PCI 10/100 NIC to a regular Port on my Switch. I then have each client PC hooked up to the Switch via regular Cat5 straight through cables into a port on the Switch.
Now hereís where following the instructions help a lot. The first thing you need to do after everything is physically hooked up is to make sure you have TCP/IP installed on the server and client machines, make sure on the client machines IP and DNS are on Auto Detect. Now go to the Server machine and set an Internal IP, the one they like to use is 192.168.0.1 and set a subnet of 255.255.255.0 Now Reboot your computer. Now once your server comes up itís time to install the WinGate software. Download the main new install for all Windows Versions of WinGate 4.1.1 run setup and choose that this machine is the Server. Go through a typical setup just clicking next on each screen. Enter your Name and Serial number to unlock whatever package you have purchased. Once itís all installed you may have to restart your computer for the changes to take effect, so go ahead and do that anyways. Once it comes back up make sure you can still access the Internet on that computer, if you can itís all setup correctly on the server end. Now go to the client Machines and you will need the same WinGate 4.1.1 software that you installed on the server for the clients, run the setup and choose you are installing this for a Client machine. After itís all done restart the client computer. Now go to Start/Programs/Wingate Internet Client/Wingate Internet Client Applet and run that. Go to the WinGate Servers tab and make sure it sees your server in there. If it does not try Manually entering the server name and IP and see if that works, reboot to make changes. After you are all done you should be able to surf the web on the client machine as long as the server machine is on and running WinGate Server Engine. Now I know this all sounds maybe a little complicated but as long as you follow the directions on the WinGate homepage it should go very smooth, as I said once I read the directions I had it all running in under 5 minutes.
The only part I donít like is you do need to have the same setup program for Wingate on both the client and server computers. So since itís too big to fit on a diskette you need to either put it on your client computers via a LAN transfer or burn it on CD so you can get it to your client computers. Itís one program with many programs inside of it basically, you can select it to install the Server components or the Client components, and your ID key unlocks whatever package you purchased.
Once itís running thatís pretty much All you have to do. It uses DHCP to automatically assign DNS and IP settings for the clients, that service is run on the WinGate Server. If you have the Home version no tweaking is necessary, if you have the Standard or Pro version you can tweak a wide variety of things. You can manually setup the IP scope, and the DNS and so forth, and you can totally configure every service in WinGate. Itís actually a very powerful piece of software. The home version is perfect for the Home/SOHO user and the Standard and Pro is perfect for the SOHO/Business/Corporate users. Itís very scalable and with plug-ins allows you to expand it even more.