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Review: AmigaKit EasyNet

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  • Review: AmigaKit EasyNet

    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.



    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.



    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.



    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.



    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!



    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
    Last edited by SkydivinGirl; 16 July 2013, 14:39. Reason: Fixed a bunch of spelling errors.
    Promoted to Level II Solder Tech and Hackery Padawan

  • #2
    great stuff, thanks Heather

    i like EasyNet as well
    Official Amiga Walker





    Comment


    • #3
      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?

      Comment


      • #4
        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
        Promoted to Level II Solder Tech and Hackery Padawan

        Comment


        • #5
          Thanks...

          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!

          Comment


          • #6
            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
            Promoted to Level II Solder Tech and Hackery Padawan

            Comment


            • #7
              Slow

              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...

              Comment


              • #8
                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
                The one that Ribbits Frist Ribbits Loudest
                If it dos`t work Hit it with a Hammer, If that dost work get a bigger Hammer, If that dos`t work get the gas axe out
                Up Front and Central Takeing flack as usual so the rest of you can do that pincer movement

                Comment


                • #9
                  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.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    What are you using for your speed tests?

                    Heather

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

                    Originally posted by cosmicfrog View Post
                    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
                    Promoted to Level II Solder Tech and Hackery Padawan

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      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...

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Wow! That's really interesting, if not a bit odd. Yes, please keep us updated.

                        Heather
                        Promoted to Level II Solder Tech and Hackery Padawan

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          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
                          The one that Ribbits Frist Ribbits Loudest
                          If it dos`t work Hit it with a Hammer, If that dost work get a bigger Hammer, If that dos`t work get the gas axe out
                          Up Front and Central Takeing flack as usual so the rest of you can do that pincer movement

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            @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.

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                            • #15
                              Thanks

                              @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

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