Saturday, April 20, 2013

Connectify great app or not?

In search for a way to share my internet connection, I come across an app called connectify.

It promises to turn your WiFi capable notebook/laptop into a WiFi hotspot for internet sharing.

On the download page, it was quite easy get the app. It offers a lite version meaning it is free.

System requirements also is not a problem. It did install on my notebook that is eight years old with 1.5 Ghz Intel Celeron processor and 256mb DDR RAM. It does however need a .net framework.

After installation of the lite version, it immediately asks to upgrade to Pro explaining that with PRO you can share your internet connection. At reading this, I got disappointed because I thought internet sharing should have been basic with this service and not only available to its paid version.

At any rate I continued to proceed using it after declining the upgrade offer with the intention of trying it out to see if it does work.

After connectify has started and is broadcasting, I tried to check if the network is present. In my Nokia phone running on Symbian OS the connectify hotspot is present and it can easily connect to it.

Now to check if my Android tablet can find it, which is the main reason I installed connectify. Going to settings, I turned on WiFi but the connectify network can not be found. Several scans still does not show it. Even trying to manually add the network onmy Android tablet did not yield results.

In retrospect, connectify is similar to adding an ad hoc network (which we already know is easy to set-up refer to Share your laptop's internet connection) using a fancy user interface but is useless to Android devices.

But wait, that is not all. This application is very stubborn. It launches itself automatically at start-up but it don't want to close. Try closing it by right clicking its icon on the task bar and click exit. The connectify icon disappears but then it will reappear if not immediately, just after a brief period. Even using task manager is not able to close it. There are two processes associated with connectify found at the task manager but closing any of them causes itself to get relaunched instantanuously. If I did not know it to be connectify, I would have thought that it was a virus. The only way to permanently close it is by uninstalling the application.

My verdict
Connectify seems to recycle an idea, which in this case is setting up an ad hoc network, that is fairly easy to perform. Well, to connectify's credit, it does make it even easier to set-up an ad hoc network with a nice user interface at that.

However, with the way this application is behaving, I am a bit concerned for my security. Not that it contains malicious codes in it, I believe it to be clean. But still, call me paranoid, I can't help to be concerned if there is a program on my machine that I can not control. Aside from this, it just a waste of memory resources when not in use but is still running as it can not be stopped.

To me connectify failed for my purpose.

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