Copernic 2000 Plus v4.0

Reviewed by: Robin Nobles, send e-mail
Published by: Copernic Technologies Inc., go to the web site
Requires: 486-33 MHz, 8 MB of RAM, 5 MB of disk space, Windows 95/98 or later, Windows NT 4.0 or later; Mac version is also available
MSRP: $39.95

A few months ago, a CompuNotes reader wrote and asked me if I had ever used Copernic and how it compared to WebFerretPro. Being an avid WebFerret user and a major web searcher, I was interested in learning what Copernic had to offer.

Copernic 2000 Plus is a software program that allows you to search through several search engines at the same time. Why bother with a software program, when you have access to numerous meta- search engines on the Web? The program offers so many features that aren't available through a meta-search engine, such as the ability to validate your results. Plus, having a program that resides on your hard drive is so much easier and faster to use.

Let's talk about Copernic's myriad features before comparing the two programs.

With Copernic 2000 Plus, you can search the Web, or you can choose a category, such as Newsgroups, E-Mail Addresses, Buy Books, or Software Download.

To search, you simply choose "New," then pick your category. If you want to search the Web, you choose "Web." From there, you put in your search terms, utilizing different parameters depending on your search. The program will search and produce the top 10 results, or you can increase the number of results per engine. You can choose which engines to use, or let the program utilize the default engines.

As the program searches for you, you can watch its progress on a search screen. It will automatically delete duplications.

The program is simple to use, and it gives you so many different ways to fine tune your searches. You can refine a search using Boolean parameters, such as "AND." After you've been presented with the results, you can validate those results, which gets rid of unreachable sites.

You can choose for the program to highlight your search term in the results, and you can choose to see summaries of the site in the results. By right clicking on any result, then choosing Properties, you'll see more information about that site, such as the relevancy score, which engines produced the site in their results, etc.

No doubt about it-this is a top-notch program that's worth every penny it costs, plus more. I was quite impressed with its capabilities and its ease of operation.

So, how does it compare with WebFerretPro?

I'm using WebFerretPro 2.51, and I don't know what updates have been made to the program since I reviewed it. But, I do know that WebFerretPro 3.00 has 33 engines. Copernic has more than 250 search engines grouped in 32 categories.

With WebFerretPro 2.51, you can't choose to search in a particular category. You can search the Web, and that's it. WebFerret offers numerous ways to fine tune your search, such as searching only through page titles or through the entire page. Like Copernic, you can save your results, then view them again at a later date. WebFerret will also remove duplicate URLs.

By moving your mouse over the search results in WebFerret, you can read a description of the site. The results will show you one of the engines that produced the URL, but not all of them like Copernic does. Once you've been given the results from WebFerret, you can't refine or validate those results.

Both programs are offered in a free version with less features than the "pro" or "plus" versions. Copernic is also offered in French.

In a nutshell, both programs are excellent, but WebFerretPro 2.51 doesn't offer nearly the features that Copernic 2000 Plus 4.0 does. With Copernic, you can search newsgroups or hunt for e-mail addresses, which isn't a feature of WebFerret, at least not in the version that I have.

Copernic 2000 Plus is a superb program and I highly recommend it to anyone who does a lot of searching on the Internet.

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