LapLink Professional, also known as LapLink Pro, doesn't hold first place in market share now, and the latest version isn't likely to win it the blue ribbon based on features either. However, if you're looking for a clean, lean, high-performance remote access and control tool for your telecommuters I recommend LapLink Professional 2.0.
You won't find a solution that's easier to implement and use than LapLink 2.0, which is now faster and boasts an even cleaner interface than previous versions.
The speed boost comes primarily from support for the Universal Serial Bus (USB) port. Traveling Software's proprietary USB cable costs an extra $US35 but, judging from my tests using beta USB drivers, it's worth it. I was able to transfer my 5MB of files in less than 15 seconds using the USB connection, compared to nearly 2 minutes using the parallel port connection.
USB isn't the only new connection method supported by LapLink 2.0. The program now supports the Windows Fast Infrared standard.
While Traveling Software is mainly touting the addition of USB and infrared support in this version, I was just as impressed by some other enhancements I found. For instance, LapLink 2.0 integrates well with Windows 98. Also, LapLink 2.0 will automatically disable such performance-degrading features as Active Desktop and font smoothing during remote control sessions by default.
LapLink 2.0 also supports Windows 98 Scheduler Agent for scheduling unattended file transfers. You can use LapLink 2.0's own scheduler utility to do the job under Windows NT.
Another great feature that will be especially appreciated by shops using LapLink 2.0 as a help desk or troubleshooting tool is the software's capability for use with Windows 98's multiple monitor support.
Once it is set up properly you can switch easily from working in LapLink 2.0 to working on some other application by simply moving from one monitor to another.
I also found LapLink's new printer redirection capabilities especially useful. You can set up the program to print local files on a printer attached to a remote system, or to print files from a remote system on a printer attached to the local system.
As with the previous version, LapLink 2.0's primary strength is ease of use, which shone through immediately as I began to install the program. Not only was the process easy to follow, LapLink 2.0 automatically detected and configured all available connections methods, including cable connections, modem, USB port, infrared port, and network connections.
LapLink 2.0's streamlined interface is the cleanest I've seen for this type of software. You don't have to load the program in either host or guest mode to establish a remote-control connection, which is what pcAnywhere requires. And both remote control and file transfer sessions are speedy and reliable.
It's true that LapLink 2.0 doesn't offer the grab bag of features that you'll find in pcAnywhere, such as automatic virus checking and the ability to connect to multiple hosts simultaneously.
But if you're looking for a speedy easy-to-use package for travelling professionals and remote staff, you can't do better than LapLink Professional 2.0.
The Bottom Line
LapLink Professional 2.0
LapLink Professional 2.0 is the fastest, easiest to use remote access program for travelling professionals and telecommuters.
Pros: Universal Serial Bus (USB) support; Fast Infrared support; Windows 98 support; easy to use.
Cons: Can't use parallel connection with Windows NT 4.0; no USB drivers for Windows NT.
Platforms: Windows 3.1, Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows NT, Windows CE 2.0.
Price: $199 when released in Australia at the end of November.
Tel (02) 9922 5199