Essential Win9x / 2000 / 32 Networking Utils / Servers

Various readers have supplied some links to products that can act as a proxy server and some DHCP server products. Lately I am limited for time to review these products, but from what I have seen they are still worth a mention -

Remote Access util behind a router or firewall-
Logmein Software Makers website

TftpD Website All the features of an ftp server, With a Built in DHCP server, under 200kb, recommended by HP and Cisco(!!?).
SlimFtpD Website Full ftp server, under 50kb(!!)

Proxy Servers -
deleGate Website Multi Protocol Proxy Server (don't think it caches)
FreeProxy Website An interesting CACHING proxy server, with local binding security.
SquidNT Website native win32/winNT build of squid.

DHCP Servers -
Static DHCP Server Website A simple DHCP server.
TftpD above also has a built in DHCP server.

Webserver -
OmniHttpD Website A regularly updated (freeware?? secure?) webserver

Domain Name Servers (DNS) -
I have been emailed a few of these, but I have miss-placed the links,
One interesting sounding one is called "TreeWalker DNS"(Thanks to "Benke" for finding the download page) which has a number of interesting sounding features.

I am still looking for a decent mailing list server that is either shareware, with no time bomb, or freeware and run on anything from win9x and up. If you know of any, email me at the link on the bottom of the page.

I am also looking for a decent FREE internet gateway program. Which allows both IP sharing, - eg with a modem, or Internet Transport, - which allows users with an alotted IP block, and a high speed connection on a LAN connect to the internet right to the wire. (I suspect this is a dream however.)

I have found a few products that do these tasks quite nicely, but they are all unfortunately not freeware, and are time bombed- but are still well worth a mention, they are listed in the General software section.

I am forever looking for good freeware and shareware software for my server. 
My philosophy is, why waste a fortune on an NT server, when with a little searching any Windows 95 or 98 machine can be just as flexible, at a fraction of the cost.

I am often thwarted time and again by time bombs, moved or removed sites, version updates or system requirements etc. when I am looking for a particular server application. Often I find myself wishing all this was available in the one page. So I created this page. Some programs here are not available anywhere else without looking very hard and very specifically.  Basically most of the stuff here lets you run anything you could ever want.

How ratings work.
When putting software on this page, i  use the following criteria to rate it:
1 Ease of use
2 Runs in Windows 95
3 Fully functional
4 Is just plain Awesome

As long as a product matches at least two of these criteria it gets put below.

Ok on to the files! Below I have listed my favorite apps utils, servers etc., and rated them. 
At a glance color code chart.
Client Application
 S Server Daemon Application
 M Misc Admin Utility

The software.
File/link Code Description Type / Requirements My Rating
o2 award.. you need this like you need oxygen
VNC 3.3.7-x86
Source Code

Makers Homepage
S VNC (Virtual Network Computing) The BEST free remote desktop server/client solution you can get for free that i know of.
The makers RealVNC's website describes it best:

"VNC (Virtual Network Computing) software makes it possible to view and fully-interact with one computer from any other computer or mobile device anywhere on the Internet. VNC software is cross-platform, allowing remote control between different types of computer. For ultimate simplicity, there is even a Java viewer, so that any desktop can be controlled remotely from within a browser without having to install software."

Basically this is a Remote anywhere/PC Anywhere Style program, that allows remote operating of a computer, but unlike other commercial programs, you can do it from almost any other operating system, and it is FREE to use!

The version available for download here, has been tested on Windows 2000 (Win32), Windows 95 (Win9x) and Windows NT4, and it ran perfectly on all of them.

Remote Desktop Client/Server

Win 9x / Win32 / Linux

Less than 600k download!

99.5% (Oxygen!)
I once commented that the company that made "remote anywhere" should sell a seperate remote desktop only program. Well RealVNC here has nicely pulled the rug out from under them; and done it for free, and with source code!

I had no real problems with this program, and installed in on 3 different machines and connected in between them, and even connected to one, then from there back to another!

But if i must be critical, the only thing I thought odd, was even over a switched 100 lan, the screen update speed seemed a touch sluggish. But otherwise no faults at all.

I didn't include the linux version, as this is more a windows website. But this is also available, and allows linux user to administer windows machine, and vice versa. The program is fully cross platform compatable.

o2 award.. you need this like you need oxygen
 Serge V Storozhevykh
Freesco 027
Makers Homepage
Other Homepage
S The BEST free Router/NAT/Bridge/Firewall/Dial on demand/Remote access solution I have seen in a long time.

You simply insert a floppy disk, run a batchfile, boot from the disk, and change a few menu options, and you have converted any machine with more than one network interface into either a firewall, a print server, a dns, an internet sharing gateway, a NAT, a router, a network bridge, a webserver, or a dial up internet server, or a remote access server - or several combinations therein.

Alternately you can run a command from the disk, and have it install to the hard disk, where all you need to do is exit to a command line, and run router.bat.  Your windows 9x installation is completely left intact, and your are now running linux.

Finally a non invasive, and lean & simple distribution of linux. !

I have included the 3 main downloads needed for a working install in the one zip file download, including the often forgotten online manual.

(Wait you say - this isn't a windows app! - however - the hard drive install option has a batchfile you can run from the windows 9x command prompt!)

NAT/Router/Firewall/Dial up server / DNS /Operating system

Dos * / Win 9x / floppy drive / 8 meg of ram

99% (Oxygen!)
What can I say, it does almost everything I have tried to do in the past with Linux or windows, and can co-exist with windows.

It fits on 1 floppy, its linux, its not complicated, you wont get lost in 500 meg of programs you "might" use one day, but cant remember the filename for.

The only problems I found, was:
a: it didn't seem to like the Digital Venturis PC i tried it on first, it couldn't mount the floppy drive.
b: it has no (stock) mail server option
c: in bridging mode, there is no provision for using a 3rd (or 4th) card purely for remote administration

There is no reason why any person at all shouldn't have a copy of this, it fits unobtrusively on a single floppy disk,  has a very easy to use menu system, and simple uncluttered instructions in the documentation.

Personallly, given the efficient size, and user interface, this was a whole lot better than the linux router project.  This would make an ideal first Linux for home and business network managers alike.

Tiny Software 

Tiny Personal Firewall V.2.Beta (as reviewed)

IMPROVED V2.0.14 Release

Sunbelt edition

FINAL FREEWARE V2.0.15a Release

Makers Homepage

S THE BEST Freeware Firewall I have found. If you have tried BlackICE Firewall, but your 30 days expired, and you can't afford their massive reg cost, or you can't afford something like winroute, get this instead, it even blocks the windows ports your machine always has open - which means your computer is as bullet proof as a commercial server like UNIX. Free for private use, but not commercial use. For commercial users the asking price is surprisingly reasonable at $39(US) per copy (they also offer volume discounts).

Note: This will not stop:

  • email virus's/worm's (it may stop some ones that require network connections, generally you need anti  virus software however) 
  • webserver exploits (you need software updates for that).
  • Update: Tiny Appears to be developing this product again. Check their Homepage link for more info.

    Kerio Technologies Inc. have another free version of this firewall product, and still work to improve it. These product(s) still remain the best firewalls available, but it now has two release companies.
    Tiny Software now offer a commercial product (but a free v5.x upgrade)download of their version. Tiny Software or download the latest free for personal use Kerio Personal Firewall variation.

    Total Application and Network level Firewall

    Winsock update/ Win9x/ NT /2000
    Beta May have issues with 95a and 2000

    95% (a "Must have")
    98% (newer version)
    If you have cable, or any form of broadband; with the number of computer break-ins, virus's and worms lately, there is no excuse not to have this installed, GET IT NOW.

    Only things stopping the beta from perfection is the fact it's a Beta, and the lack of an obvious systray menu item to the "firewall status" window. 

    This firewall, unlike most free firewalls, works at application level, so it will pick up things like trojans and backdoors if they attempt a connection!

    (Note: I guess the makers looked at this page, version 2.0.6 onwards has the systray option.. these ppl rock my world.. go to makers homepage to download the latest version)

    Update:Kerio now regularly updates the freeware version.

    Argo Soft Mail Server

    Makers Homepage

    S THE BEST Freeware mail server I have EVER found. Supports everything you could want or need, and the maker still sells an even better advanced version! Freeware Email Server

    Win9x / NT / 2000

    90% (a "Must have")
    Only thing stopping this from a 100% is that the initial server config is a little confusing, it has minor DNS lookup issues and you need to setup a domain for internet use. (works fine on a LAN)
    KV Tek Post Pro v1.3.0.4

    Makers Homepage

    C An excellent automatic IP poster / updater for people with dynamic IPs inflicted on them by their ISP, and want to have a simple single domain name people can use to find them.

    The only thing I found wrong with this, is it has less than perfect error messages. 
    (for example when i used an invalid IP, it simply said update failed)

    Otherwise a great program.

    Note: You need to have installed the Microsoft winsock 2 upgrade if your using windows 95

    Note: This product is no longer being supported by KVtek. If you use this, please dont use remote server option for detecting IP. It wont work; and puts unnecessary load on KVtek's servers. Otherwise, it still works with many free/cheap dynamic IP companies. (I use it myself for

    Freeware Dynamic IP domain name manager

    Win9x  / NT / 32

    90% (a "Must have" for dynamic IPs)
    I could say this is the best dynamic IP posting program i have seen quite safely, but its also the only one I have tested so far. This is the only reason I haven't rated it higher, as i need to allow some leeway for similar apps i may find.

    It has a fairly logical  user interface, which initially seems confusing, but a hit of caffine, and a closer look later, and it does seem to be a quite well designed layout.

    It has all major dynamic IP providers listed in a convenient menu, and has the option to run as a service, and several ways to detect the local IP.

    Technically i would call this an "Admin Util"; but as it is a front end for dynamic ip providers, i have classed it as a client.

    Simon Tatham
    PuTTY v0.50

    Makers Homepage

    C A FREE ssh compatible telnet client. 
    Best one I know of.

    Supports 3des, blowfish, DES, SSH v1 and v2, it can even emulate the "mac bug" if you have commercial version 2.3.* of SSHd inflicted on you.

    It also supports several variations of telnet emulation, and can run in "raw" connection mode.  Yummy.

    It can even save several "Config/Server" sets so you don't need to keep fiddling everytime you connect.
    Download it now! :P

    Freeware SSH client

    Win9x / NT / W32

    89% (Must Have)
    Other than the lack of any automatic encryption detection, and the slightly unusual menu layouts.. This is a great program.. All it needs is a "line editor" or "chat" input so you can type commands without worrying about network latency, and it would be near perfect as far as freeware goes. It's only 200k. So there is no reason you don't already have a copy of this.. especially as the nearest retail equivalent of this program costs over $80US!
    Vsocks Lite

    Makers Homepage

    S A good socks 4 based gateway and LAN Domain Name Server. 
    Technically its a firewall/proxy but it neither caches files or increases security.
    It also has dial on demand!
    It can be run as a NT/9x Service, and is fairly reliable provided your DNS config is correct. It also has simple but effective interface based security restriction.
    Freeware Socks 4 firewall and DNS

    Win9x / NT / 2000

    81% (Worth a look)
    This would be 88% if the DNS was more reliable.
    Port Mapper

    Makers Homepage

    S This program is brilliant. Its a fairly handy port mapper, which lets you redirect ports on your computer to other places. For a LAN manager, a freeware product like this when you need a quick hack to open a port is a godsend!

    Note: It is essentially a multi-mode multi-port fixed destination proxy, not a NAT based port mapper.

    Freeware Port Mapper / Basic Firewall

    Win9x / NT

    80% (a "Must have")
    A great program, only thing holding it back from a 95% is the lack of adequate interface security, and a few minor glitches.
    Netstat Live

    Makers Homepage

    M This is another great program. It monitors and displays in a nice graph format the current CPU / Network load / connection threads and peak speeds of your PC.
    Great for seeing how fast those downloads are really going, or how slow/fast you LAN is running.
    Freeware Network Speed Graph

    Win9x / NT

    80% (Worth a look)
    Pretty good, all i miss is a memory graph (+3%), but then this is for Networks not system monitoring.

    Makers Homepage

    S One of the better feature filled proxies I have found. Allows interface restriction security, supports http / ftp / nntp / smtp/ pop3 / socks4 and some socks5. Also has "Email aliases" but I am not sure how this is used. Freeware Proxy Suite

    Win9x / NT

    80% (Worth a look)
    A great program, the option to configure ports would be handy and give it an extra 6%. If it was combined with a port mapper and DNS it would be close to 100%
    Xitami Webserver

    Makers Homepage

    S A webserver. A good webserver. A damned good webserver. It supports Virtual Hosts, Directory aliases, SSI (server side include), full CGI, FTP, secure directories, bandwidth capping, remote administration, multiple users, directory browsing..

    hell if you have IIS, delete it ask for a refund from Microsoft, and install this instead.

    Theres even source code available, AND you can register for an even better version!

    Freeware / Suedo shareware Webserver

    Win9x /NT /2000

    79% (get it now)
    This is a brilliant piece of work. I actually got rid of my old server software, and installed this instead. The remote admin is handy, as i have a dedicated server. The only thing I found wrong with it was that it sometimes wont restart reliably, requiring intervention and the web admin is so damned confusing, I actually gave up on the ftp server part and used sunftp instead. However the http side was well worth the confusion to get running.
      Aryeh Eiderman 
       Netstrap Ltd

    Makers Homepage

    C A DNS lookup util, similar to the Linux "DIG" and "NSLookup"command, except it has an easy to use graphical front end, and with a few clicks lets you get all sorts of detailed information about a particular network address. 

    It is also amazingly compact, zipped it takes up 26k, uncompressed the full program takes up less than 50k (yes 50!) which is considerably smaller than the above mentioned *nix non-gui equivalents! (which take up around 250k compiled!)

    Looks like efficient programming isn't such a lost art after all!

    Freeware Name Server lookup tool

    Win9x / Win32

    78% (You can't live without it)
    For those who get frustrated by the lack of an in-built NSlookup tool in windows, and know how to use the Linux DNS tools, this is a godsend! 

    Even if you have never used NSlookup before, this is still a very useful tool, and given its small size, no network user with any sence has any excuse not to download a copy! Even on the worst ISP in the world this will download in under 30 seconds!

    Version 052
    Version 060
    Source 010a

    Makers Homepage
    (Might not work)

    S Not a bad little webserver, supports basic CGI, directory browsing, FTP, secure dirs too i think and yes it even has Server Side Include! Download is under 400k. 

    Note: Version 060 for some reason wont work on any machine i tried, if in doubt get version 052.
    Also I may have left a few extra html files in the zip from my testing. If you can get the makers page to load, download a clean copy from there.

    Freeware http webserver and ftp server.

    Win9x /2000
    Latest version: NT

    72% (Worth a play)
    This isn't too bad a program. http and ssi work great. I even have it running at a school i work in. Only let down is that version 060 has serious compatability issues, and the ftp server although functional still lacks several key features which make it work with various users client software.
    Browsegate 3

    Makers Homepage

    S A fairly feature rich budget NAT/firewall.
    This provides support for a caching proxy, has network address translation (NAT), DHCP(in regged version), SOCKS, and DNS. It also has a few other minor features. Another often overlooked feature is the ability to have a filtered URL list.. for countries like Singapore and Australia with stupid internet censorship laws, this can be used to meet your legal requirements on larger networks with internet access.
    2 computer limit, (more if registered)

    Win9x / NT

    72% (A cheap NAT option)
    This is an OK program, its main downsides being shareware, and the 2 connection shareware limit, (at least 3 would be a more friendly amount). The free version I tested didn't seem to allow DHCP to work, even before my 30 days ran out. (incidentally you have a 50 computer limit before your time runs out, useful for a quick install for a gaming weekend followed by an uninstall) Another irritation is the apparent lack of a full implementation of NAT, it seems to require that a "client" version be installed on each non-server machine, and it seemed to only support network card--> PPP card Address translation, my test system with two network cards appeared not to work right for NAT at all.

    Once again it is a better option than wingate - especially as this provides NAT in a free version. So it means if you have a "kids" machine and "your" machine, your kids can still play their internet games, without touching your computer. This is a common scenario, very Handy.

    Point of warning tho, depending on your needs you may find it better to use the built-in ICS if your using windows 2000/me/XP as your server

    Fortech Ltd

    Makers Homepage

    S A rather extensive server suite which has: HTTP Server, supporting text auth and cgi,
    a caching HTTP proxy, HTTPS proxy, FTP proxy, FTP gateway, Telnet gateway, SOCKS version 4 and 5,  mail server, DNS (forwarder), and port mapper.
    This thing has so many features it gives you a headache.
    Shareware, 2 connection limit, 1 meg cache limit

    Win9x / NT

    71% (a good all round solution)
    This is a great program, its main downsides being shareware, and the shareware limits imposed. Still it is a better option than wingate (which never even made this page) if your willing to buy a pricey commercial solution.
    Simple Server

    Makers Homepage

    S A nice basic no frills Webserver. As far as I know this is still under development, so check the Makers website regularly. It supports CGI, MIME typing, and secure DIRs. Only let down is the inability to change the port it runs on. Which since some ISPs block port 80 would be handy. Freeware WWW/HTTP server


    70% (have a play one day)
    The simple front end is deceptive, there is actually a lot more features in this, but they require a few quick hacks in your registry. Most likely these will be added to the GUI in the next version which will give it a chunky 85% rating
    Matthew Allen
    Scribe Email

    Makers Homepage

    C A nice compact Email Client, (small enough to install on a floppy) with a similar layout to Outlook, only difference is, unlike outlook this program isn't likely to crash your computer.

    Be sure to get the latest version from the makers website.

    Freeware Email Client

    Win9x / 2k

    70%(Lean and mean)
    This would go well with the email server above, its a nice small email client with anything you need, nothing you don't.

    Downside is, it appears not to fully support stmp authentication (in the version I tested), however the latest version apparently fixes most of these problems. *update* The newer version does seem to work a little better, so I have increased this apps rating - Get it now!

    Sun Ftp
    Source code

    Makers Homepage

    S This was one of the better  use FTP servers i found, and it's open source. 

    Unfortunately this version had a bug from passive connects that made it throw up errors.

    You also need to create the directories it uses, or it wont run. It has full multi user account support, but no anonymous support.

    Update: It appears I am one of the only places left hosting this download anymore. Feel free to email me any improvements you have made, and i will post it here. 

    Freeware / Delphi Open source
    Ftp Server / Daemon

    Win9x / NT

    68% (Have a play one day)
    Once you get it running it works well, but it has a few irritations, such as putting your IP in your paste buffer every now and again,  and no "Virtual Directory Tree" support. It is excellent for basic user accounts tho.
    FTP Explorer

    Makers Homepage

    C A really easy to use drag and drop explorer style ftp client. Shareware Ftp Client

    Win9x / 2000/ NT

    68% (convenient)
    This is a nice easy to use, brain optional ftp client. Only downside is on some thrashing downloads it may get confused and crash.

    Makers Homepage

    M Dialler program, reconnects if your disconnected, buffers requests on a static IP so LAN / shell users will only lag not disconnect during a redial, and offers a pile of other features. This is the rare freeware version which was lost in the rush for the shareware version. This freeware version  is almost impossible to find  now. Freeware Modem / ISDN dialler.


    65% (Useful if you have a perm connection)
    This is a pretty nice program, a few glitches hold it back, but at least it lacks the time bomb on the newer shareware version.
    PC Maclan

    Makers Homepage

    S This program is pure genius. It lets Windows connect to Macintoshes and vice versa. Ever wanted to seamlessly integrate an Apple Mac network and a Windows network? This will do it.
    The Windows 3.11 version is freeware. But the Windows 95/98 version costs for full registered functionality.
    Win3.11 Freeware
    Win 95/98 Time bombed

    Win3.11 / 9x/ NT

    65% (Buy if you can afford it)
    I never had a chance to test the Win3.11 side, but reportedly it will refuse to install on Windows 9x. I didn't check for the availability of hacks or cracks, so you could get lucky. This could gain 5% if the time bomb is removed.
    Leech Software
    NetMonitor v0.90

    Makers Homepage

    M Imagine taking windows's "netstat" command, chucking on a User interface,  a few extra features, and the ability to run continuously while logging all connection to your PC. That's what this program does. Freeware Network Monitor

    Win9x / NT

    65% (a must have)
    Only thing holding this back is it wont minimize to system tray, you can't see what data a user is looking at, there is no way to "copy/paste" the IP of the user, and it sometimes crashes when you close it.
    Igor Arsenin
    Task Info 95/98

    Makers Homepage

    M A reasonable Task Manager, lets you alter process priority, terminate tasks, force a shutdown etc. 
    Much better than the ctrl-alt-delete menu.
    This is an older version, NT or win 2000 Users should go to the makers website and get the latest version.

    Update: A greatly improved version is available from the makers homepage.

    Freeware Task Manager

    Win9x only
    (NT / 2000 version on makers website)

    60% (handy, but not vital)
    An improved process killing system would be nice(+10%), but that's probably in the newest version.
    Log Analyser

    Makers Homepage

    M A website log file analyser. Has plenty of features, but is not easy to use if you want a more specialised report output layout than the provided default. Freeware Log Analyser

    Win 32
    (anything that 
    runs perl)

    58% (very handy)
    This is a nice little Util and apparently one of  the most popular ones out there. A GUI would have been nice, even using CGI, but the included web form interface is damn near impossible to figure out, and seems more for user accounts.
    Leech Software
    Open Webscope

    Makers Homepage

    M A web log analyser, has plenty of features and a GUI. The GUI is generally easy to use, with only a few areas of confusion, which are easy to figure out. It also is supposed to have the ability to monitor logs real time, but i never got it to work on my system. Shareware Log Analyser

    Win 9x / 2000

    58% (good report layout)
    This is a resonable web analyser, whos only downside is that its shareware, and can become confused by some logs, and have incomplete output.

    Makers Homepage

    S Basic IRC server, everything you need, nothing you don't need.
    Supports linking to other servers, and the beta can be linked to a conference room server (with some fiddling in dalnet mode). Seems the author got fed up with this app, and stopped shipping the registered version. Shame really it was a nice little program.

    UPDATE: Maker let his website lapse, so it appears this may be the only place left you can download it.

    Shareware 10 user limit.

    Win9x / NT

    55% (first ircd i ever used)
    This was a nice tightly coded IRCd (more so than Conference Room) only problem was it had a limitation on users, and the asking price for the regged version was too high.

    On a dial up, which can only take 10 or 20 users anyway, this is ideal for a mini IRC network.

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