Mobile Net Switch

Reviewed by: Paul Schneider
Published by: Mobile Net Switch
Requires: Windows 2000, XP, or server 2003; reviewed on a Dell Latitude CPx
MSRP: $19.00

Mobile Net Switch aims to provide a niche audience, those who have to connect to a variety of networks in their travels, with a handy utility. If you are a self proclaimed Road Warrior or simply shuffle your laptop between work and home networks, you have probably experienced some network angst. Often your printers, network drives, mail servers and network settings will be different for each of your networks. Although DHCP helped to solve some of these problems there are still plenty of little things that make these switches less than simple. Apparently Mobile Net Switch feels your pain!

Mobile Net Switch allows you to set up different profiles for each of your different network locations. Within each profile there are a number of options that you can set to customize it for a particular network. Anything you do not specify will remain the same as profiles are switched. The main categories you can make adjustments to are IP Addressing, Hosts, Internet, Miscellaneous and Scripts. There is also a Remarks section where you can make notes about your profile settings.


These days we are often blessed with the ability to just plug our computer into any network and play. Although it seems this way at first, it’s not quite so when it comes to network drives, sending e-mail, accessing printers and more. If you are not blessed with this type of environment Moblie Net Switch can help out.

The IP address settings area is where you can specify which network cards are enabled (if you have more than one), all of the IP address settings, whether to use DHCP or Manual settings, and even advance settings like specifying a DNS suffix.

The Hosts section allows you to specify entries to your hosts file that are available for a given profile. When a profile is changed these elements are replaced as indicated by the profile’s settings.

The Internet section allows you to specify things such as the default start up page in Internet Explorer as well as the connection properties and when or when not to use a dial-up connection. You can specify the dialing location and associated properties for each profile.

The Miscellaneous section was my personal favorite. In this section you can setup the default printer, default MAPI profile and default SMTP server. This is another one of those things where you can go in and manually change any of the specified settings with a few clicks and a bit of typing (provided you can remember the correct information). It is admittedly easier to just select a profile and have it all happen automatically and without errors.

The Scripts section allows you to run specific scripts when a certain profile is activated. This is typically for the more advanced users, but there are often certain scripts run to set up a network or tie into a specific piece of hardware.

Mobile Net Switch contains several other miscellaneous options such as ability to export settings and tie into various security options. Once the program is installed it sits in your system tray and launches the default profile. Switching profiles is done with a simple right click on the tray item and then, within moments, the computer is reconfigured.

The only thing I have not been able to do thus far is connect to shared drives on my laptop from my home network, though the reverse, connecting to the home machines from my laptop, works just fine. This issue aside, I have found Mobile Net Switch to be an indispensable utility. The biggest pro is that for a small cost you can make moving between networks painless. If you are a network hopper and have even the slightest complaints about moving between networks I think you’ll be well served by trying out Mobile Net Switch.




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