PDA

View Full Version : Review: AmigaKit EasyNet



SkydivinGirl
16th July 2013, 01:11
Hi everyone!

This is a review of the AmigaKit EasyNet software version 0.175. I purchased this package for use with my X-Surf 3cc Ethernet Adapter. I've been using the card for the IDE interface for quite some time, but networking has been a bit bothersome on the Amiga so I never got around to it, until now.

First, the packaging. EasyNet comes in your standard DVD style case containing a disc inside. The disc itself looks like a professionally printed disc, but it has the green colored bottom side with obvious signs that it was a blank disk that was burned at AmigaKit. This makes complete sense because they most likely always want to ship you the latest version of the software whenever it's ordered. In addition, it appears that the serial number is contained in the data on the disc. There's no paper documentation included so you need to read the installation information from the disc. All-in-all, a pretty professional job for the packaging and media.

http://s23.postimg.org/4s1eu9m0n/Easy_Net_001.jpg (http://postimg.org/image/4s1eu9m0n/)

Second the installation. When you run the installer, you have the standard installation types that are available in almost every Amiga program: Novice User, Intermediate User, and Expert User. I always use Expert so I know a bit more about what's happening during the installation. After a couple more screens, you are presented with a message telling you that you must install your network card drivers before installing EasyNet. I had not done this yet, so I was glad for the reminder.

http://s23.postimg.org/9j1acaeuv/Easy_Net_002.jpg (http://postimg.org/image/9j1acaeuv/)

Since I have a X-Surf, I downloaded the latest drivers, version 1.4, then copied the appropriate x-surf.device for my processor to my DEVS:networks folder. The x-surf.device comes in three flavors: x-surf.device000 for 68000 processors, x-surf.device020 for 68020 and 68030 processors, and x-surf.device040 for 68040 and 68060 processors. No matter which one you copy, it needs to be renamed to x-surf.device in lowercase letters. After that, you simply copy the x-surf.config to the ENVARC:sana2 folder.

Having installed the drivers, I was able to continue with the EasyNet installation. After the driver warning, you select the folder where you would like EasyNet installed. A sub-folder named AmiTCP will be created automatically in the folder you select. After clicking proceed, the files will be copied to the computer.

The next step is to choose the type of icons for EasyNet. There are three options: Standard Icon, Glow Icon (OS3.5/3.9), and Power Icon (32-bit Icon). I chose Glow Icons because I'm running ClassicWB 3.9. After that, an assign statement is added to s:user-startup then the SMB handler is installed in SYS:L.

At the end of the installation, you proceed to EasyNet's configuration. The first step is to select your network device. I selected the x-surf.device from the list, then clicked Settings. I changed Unit0: to 20MB/S Full Duplex then saved the settings. Saving again takes me to the IP configuration.

Most of the IP setup is standard TCP/IP v4 static IP address affair, but there are some pre-defined settings for different routers that you can select from the Router Default Presets option. All that this option does is configure a static IP address within the default subnet for a few different routers. If you already know what your subnet is, then it's easier to just assign one yourself. You can configure EasyNet for dynamic IP address assignment, but it requires some additional utilities from AmiNet. It seems more of a hassle than it's worth. The documentation can give you details on the programs you need to perform DHCP IP assignment.

http://s23.postimg.org/qia8rjq2f/Easy_Net_003.jpg (http://postimg.org/image/qia8rjq2f/)

The part that really messed me up was the Network Domain Name. The documentation is quite vague about what this option is and why it's required. I've submitted questions to AmigaKit to try to get more information on why this setting is required. This option is directly related to the DNS settings. If you open the Configure DNS options, you can assign up to three DNS servers. There are also DNS presets for different ISP providers that you can cycle through, just like the Router Default Presets earlier. Selecting one of these presets fills in the Network Domain Name for you.

http://s23.postimg.org/jhm8yroaf/Easy_Net_004.jpg (http://postimg.org/image/jhm8yroaf/)

AmigaKit told me that the Network Domain Name should be your ISP's domain name. For example, my ISP's domain name is rr.com (RoadRunner). Unfortunately, choosing my ISP from the DNS presets did not work properly and I was unable to resolve addresses. Luckily, I prefer to use OpenDNS at the router level instead of my ISP's DNS servers. With that, I was able to set my DNS server IP address to be my router's IP address, which automatically uses the OpenDNS servers. However, my DNS was still not resolving properly. Finally, I changed the Network Domain Name to opendns.com and everything started working!

http://s23.postimg.org/tnuuhr8on/Easy_Net_005.jpg (http://postimg.org/image/tnuuhr8on/) http://s23.postimg.org/3r1655513/Easy_Net_006.jpg (http://postimg.org/image/3r1655513/)

So, from what I can discern, the Network Domain Name should be your DNS provider's domain, not necessarily your ISP's domain. Hopefully I'll hear back from AmigaKit to clear this up.

Other than the confusion with that one settings, I could not have asked for a simpler installation program. It was well worth the cost and the software is still being developed so there will be additional features coming soon. :)

Now all I need is a good web browser!

Heather

Justin
16th July 2013, 07:12
great stuff, thanks Heather:thumbsup:

i like EasyNet as well:)

www_amigakit_com
17th July 2013, 12:14
Thanks for the review and feedback - very useful from a users point of view.

We are implementing new features into build 176 which will be available in the next two weeks (free to existing customers).

Perhaps we should add OpenDNS as a preset ? What are you thoughts on this?

SkydivinGirl
17th July 2013, 17:58
I think adding OpenDNS would be a wonderful option! Since it's not ISP dependent, it should work no matter the ISP. If so, it would be a great way for people to verify the network is working if they are having trouble with their ISP's DNS.

I'm looking forward to the next version. Are there any thoughts on DHCP integration?

Thanks,

Heather

matt3k
18th October 2013, 17:18
I just bought an X-Surf 100 and have been to lazy to configure EasyNet.

Thanks to your wonderful review I no longer have an excuse...

Have you ever tried Miami with the MNI for a speed comparison?

My Ariandne using Miami and MNI give 155000 cps at about 25% cpu.
My X-Surf 100 using Miami and SANA2 gives 170,000 cps (cpu was 15% first test, now is around 95%)

Hoping to get very close to 300,000 cps with easy net.

Again thank you!

SkydivinGirl
18th October 2013, 20:46
I'm glad the review helped! I never bothered with Miami so I really don't have any way to compare the speeds. I'd be really interested to see what your tests show!

AmigaKit has also come out with the new version of EasyNet since I wrote this review but I haven't asked them for my upgrade yet. Once I do, I'll update this review.

Heather

matt3k
19th October 2013, 12:39
Weird, just plain weird.

EasyNet is slow only getting 30,000 cps. Tried increasing the buffers to 4096 with no change.

The only thing I can even think of, is that I had to switch to opendns for dns to even make EasyNet work. Just like your experience Road Runner DNS will not work in EasyNet but works fine in Miami.

For a while my cpu was spiking to 90%, but now it's back down to 15% with either Miami or EasyNet.

Miami SANA2 peeked at 200,000 cps this morning and 15% cpu.

Funny Miami Sana2 is suppose to be very slow and EasyNet much faster...

cosmicfrog
22nd October 2013, 00:01
Network Domain Name and DNS are 2 diffrent things

your network privider will all most probably be your Domain Name Sever or u can use some 1 else like the open u have found or google which i think is 8.8.8.8

your Network Domain Name is what u call the machine/own network - MyOwnPC.com

matt3k
22nd October 2013, 05:08
Thanks for clarifying Cosmic Frog.

Tried Roadshow and it is giving 350,000 cps. Going to give up on Easynet for now and go with what is working.

Roadshow is really fast, a bit more testing and I purchase it.

Interested in others who have an x-surf 100 and easynet for speed tests.

SkydivinGirl
22nd October 2013, 13:34
What are you using for your speed tests?

Heather

---------- Post added at 08:34 ---------- Previous post was at 08:29 ----------


your Network Domain Name is what u call the machine/own network - MyOwnPC.com
Unfortunately, putting my network domain name in I couldn't get EasyNet to work at all. I'd really love to hear a better explanation from AmigaKit as to what this field is, what it does, and why it's needed for DNS resolution. I've never seen TCP/IP need this field on any other system. It's not the Computer Name from what I've been able to tell.

Heather

matt3k
23rd October 2013, 03:52
Update.

switched to FTP for testing within my LAN.

EasyNet is now king of the hill at 1,500,000 cps.
Roadshow is 1,200,000
Miami is 900,000

Something is buggered up with Easynet with downloading via the internet browser....

Will keep you posted...

SkydivinGirl
23rd October 2013, 13:35
Wow! That's really interesting, if not a bit odd. Yes, please keep us updated.

Heather

cosmicfrog
23rd October 2013, 14:27
yep it all should work fine without haveing to speify a Network Domain Name, I never do, as long as dns, local gateway and ur machine have valid IP addresses u should be good to go

www_amigakit_com
23rd October 2013, 15:58
@Matt3k

What MBUFs setting do you have in the EasyNet TCP/IP settings

If you have the memory available, set it to 4096kb

This will be necessary for browsing large web pages.

matt3k
27th October 2013, 17:58
@Amiga Kit

Thanks for the suggestion. I gave it a try and didn't make a noticable difference.

Can't figure out why Ibrowse is so slow downloading. I am still conducting tests to diagnose the issues.

Perhaps the new version 4 will correct this? Well, at least I will be able to print again:).

Thanks again for the great work!

Matt

www_amigakit_com
27th October 2013, 20:07
Make sure that the EasyNet GUI is closed after you go online.

Tell me if that makes the difference.

MBUFs should really make a difference with IBrowse, it does with my system.

However, a good test of HTTP download is not with IBrowse as it is very CPU intensive.

You could try WGET or similar to test HTTP speeds.

kronuz
27th October 2013, 21:05
With EasyNet I have always used random host names and random network names without any troubles on my Amiga's, regardless of my actual internal domain name or ISP.


Never ever used DHCP or ISP settings in EasyNet though...

I would use static IP and a random internal domain name over DHCP any day.

cosmicfrog
28th October 2013, 18:29
thats a nice security step kronuz but dose involve the user knowing which IP number each machine on local network is not to mention everything else which would be great oh whatever hehehehe also I`d lke say I havent use easynet or any other networking on the amiga yet well must of in aros at some point but defiantly not lately

stefanharnesk
1st February 2014, 23:31
So I finally got my easynet to work, actually it was incredibly easy I just messed up the first times I tried to configure it.

I used the settings Ipconfig gave me and static router-adress and used my ISP's network domain name.

Once I did that, it was up and running and with decent speed aswell I think.

RichyV
18th November 2014, 22:24
Well, I could not get mine to work at all with a Virgin Media cable connection.

All of the settings seem simple enough, but no combination of DNS and Network Domain Name (whatever that is) will work.

In the Configure DNS... area you can choose "UK- Virgin". this correctly assigns Virgin Media's DNS servers but puts 'Virgin.net' (again, whatever that is!) in the Network Domain Name box. All this ends up doing is appending 'virgin.net' to any addresses I tried to look up in AWeb, i.e. 'amibay.com.virgin.net'. Strangely, I was never able to surf the web like this! :-/ Changing the Network Domain Name to 'virginmedia.com' (their correct server name) was a step closer (I was able to browse to aminet.net) but mostly failed with other sites just giving an unhelpful 'Error' message in AWeb's main browser window.

I thought I'd try changing the DNS to my router address of 192.168.0.1, but still no... :(

On my second evening of trying to set this up I began to get closer (in that I was just getting DNS errors from the virginmedia.com server), so I tried good ol' Google - popped Google.com in the Network Domain Name box along with 8.8.8.8 as the primary DNS and, hey presto, I'm online with my X-Surf 100!

What a palaver though - surely it shouldn't be this difficult, and why did I have to resort to using Google as the DNS? My setup's hardly 'complex'!

Anyone else with VM trying to use EasyNet? I'd be interested to discover your learnings.............