inKline Global Modem Booster|
By Rajan Minhas - August 22, 2001
Hey guys, today at OnePC.NET we are bringing you a different review. It's a review of inKline Global's "Modem Booster" software. Now straight off let me tell you that I don't really believe in these types of programs. I have yet to find a program that gives me a substantial speed increase! As I'm doing this review in "real time," you will be able to go through every step needed to use the program as if you were using it yourself--of course, you will also hear all my thoughts and feelings as we go along.
Before we start, I wanted to let you guys know that OnePC.NET can get a deal for you on the price of Modem Booster if you decide to use it yourself. Details in the conclusion!
First I would just like to let you know I have a US Robotics 56K Fax/Modem installed. When you first download Modem Booster, you will download the trial in a zip format. If you don't have a program to unzip, such as WinZip, you better get one fast, because nowadays everything on the net is compressed!
Anyways, the next step is to install the program. Like most programs, Modem Booster has a setup file, making it very easy to install without unzipping it to a folder. The installation was very quick and easy and I especially liked the fact that you didn't need to restart.
The next thing to do was to open the program. After the splash screen, the first window you see is a "Configuration Wizard" with the Modem Booster main screen in the background. With the program ready, ahead I go through the wizard, and the first thing it asks is the type of tune up you would like: Exhaustive, Moderate, and Express. Of course we're going to take the exhaustive tune up! After that, Modem Booster basically asks a few questions about your internet connection--very straight forward. Having questions are a disadvantage, in my mind, but there were only a couple, and something that I would like to see in future releases of Modem Booster would be an Auto Detect-type feature, where you do not have to input any info at all. What surprised me the most was that, during the wizard, they wanted my dialup internet user name and password! Just to go on, I gave the info to Modem Booster (from here on known as MB), even though I didn't want to.
After the wizard, we have the first clear look at the main screen. As you can see, if you click on the image to zoom in, it tells you what it does and how each feature works. That is great, as many programs do not even bother to tell you what they're doing, why they're doing it or how they're doing it!
Since OnePC.NET has a registered copy, the next thing I did was to register the program. You can also see that there are many tune up options here as well. You can go Auto (what we will do) and as well as Manual, for the advanced user. I can't wait to start, so let's go right ahead and click on Auto Tune-Up.
The first thing I notice is that the Tune-Up will take approximately 1-2 hours to complete! That is way to long for a tune up program and is the first difference from other "speed up" programs; also a major disadvantage. For the time that it takes, MB better work!
So I go ahead and click start... and nothing happened! That's right, absolutely nothing happened. I tried connecting to my ISP, and then tried starting it again... nothing! I closed, and started up the program again... still nothing!!! I talked to one of the inKline Global reps, they told me that I had somehow downloaded an older version and that the older version had a bug that they have since fixed and posted on their site.
So I went ahead and installed the new version, and I didn't have to reconfigure it, it kept the settings of the older MB, even though I had uninstalled it. I went ahead and clicked "Start Auto Tune Up," and it worked! The first thing MB does is connect to your ISP, so that's why it wanted my user name and password! It then starts its many tests, and once it's finished one, it disconnects. Then it reconnects and goes on to the next test over and over again. I think that there were 36 tests! Whew! Anyways, I left it on all night, and when I got back, I got a screen like this:
Wow! Major speed increase! Ill just let you know what the above numbers mean first. Extreme performance means how much faster the fastest of your modem went after the tune up. Average is the average increase, and Best of the Best is the total amount or "the least" amount your modem sped up! I was amazed! 19%!! I couldn't believe my eyes!
Well, numbers don't mean much right? Seeing is believing? I went to OnePC.NET's main page and I finished loading the whole page in about 15 seconds, compared to about 25-30 before! The only bad thing is that in order to utilize the speed increase, you have to use their dialer to connect to the internet. But otherwise, this is great!
I must say, MB is the first "modem booster" type product that actually works! It's not a great increase, however, and at $20 it will have to be a personal gamble. If your settings are already tweaked to the max, I suggest that you should not buy MB, as it would be a waste. BUT, if you have continually slow speeds and laggy performance from your modem, or you don't tune up your modem at all, MB is just what you're looking for. I personally love this product, and use it every time to connect to the Internet. To sum up, Modem Booster is a great product, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone with a slower connection!
Special EXCLUSIVE Offer for OnePC.NET Readers!
Early in the review, I said that OnePC.NET can get you a deal on the price of Modem Booster-and we can. If you follow the instructions below, you can get a 15% off the price of $19.95. All you need to do is, when purchasing Modem Booster online at http://www.inklineglobal.com/register/, quote "IG-MB-OnePC.net" in the "COMMENTS" field. If you plan on buying Modem Booster, do it soon, because this offer only lasts until September 31st, 2001!
- Good performance boost; actually works
- Not too many questions asked to configure it
- Tune Up is totally automated
- Long optimization time (-0.25)
- Must use special dialer (-0.25)