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You’re in a rush. The boss wants you to run out to a customer site, hook up to their network and run a few tests, then return to the office and write up a quick report. On the way, you’re hoping to stop off at home for lunch and play a quick LAN game with your kids. Yes, this is the fast-paced life of a tech geek, and you love it.
The only problem is that sometimes technology doesn’t keep up with us. To accomplish the sort of scenario described above, you may need to edit your network configuration settings several times. Maybe the customer site tests require changing your laptop network adapter to static IP settings. Maybe your home network requires you to have your own unique IP to join the LAN game. Maybe at your office you can just configure your computer to obtain its IP address automatically, and you’re good to go.
Changing your IP settings still requires far more clicks than it should. You need to go into your Internet settings, find your LAN settings, and then work your way through the different windows until you’ve finally set your IP address, subnet, gateway and DNS settings. Does it really have to be so complicated?
Well, not really. You could try using scripting, like I’ve written about in the past. But, if you’re not a programmer, then you can make use of a little utility called Simple IP Config that lets you not only quickly tweak any of the IP settings mentioned above, but it even lets you create IP setting “profiles”, which you can load up and enable on your laptop any time that you want. This makes it extremely easy to use your laptop on whatever network you need to, with just a few clicks to change to the network setup that you need.
Making Network Settings Changes
On a regular computer, at least on Windows 7, simply changing LAN settings requires that you go find your network adapter, right click on it and go to Properties, then click on the TCP/IP selection and click Properties, and finally you’ll see the screen where you can edit your IP settings.
That’s just a few too many clicks in my opinion. Instead, you can place the Simple IP Config executable anywhere that’s convenient for you, run it, and you can immediately change your IP connection settings – no clicks required.
The sweet part is that once you make the changes one time, all you have to do is click on the File menu and select “Save As”, and the software will ask you to give those settings a profile name. This is the name that you’ll click on in the future to call up those network settings again, whenever you want to use them.
That means you open Simple IP Config, click once on the profile that you want to load, click “Apply” and that’s it – your laptop settings have been updated and you’re off and running. You’ve just gone from about 7 or 8 clicks down to 2 or 3.
Moreover, you aren’t limited to just local area connections; you can also save profiles for network bridges, wireless adapters, or any VirtualBox network connections that you previously configured on your machine. Basically, whatever types of network devices you have on your machine, you can save a profile for that device right here in Simple IP Config.
Another nice point is that it’s not just for setting static IP configurations. You may also want to create a profile called “Work” that lets you quickly flip over to obtaining your IP address and your DNS server automatically.
Retrieving and Saving Current Network Settings
The fastest way to save a profile with your current IP settings is to open up Simple IP Config and just click on the “Get” button. This will retrieve your current IP address and your current network settings. All you have to do is click on “Refresh” to update the “Current information” section with those values, and then click on File and Save As to save your current setup as a new profile.
No typing required. It just retrieves your current setup, and then lets you save it as a new profile name for future use. It doesn’t get much easier than that.
If you want to keep Simple IP Config readily available at a moment’s notice, you can go to the “View” menu and select “Send to Tray”. This will place an icon of the logo (a picture of a funny-looking dude with big glasses), in the system tray at the lower right corner of your desktop.
Portable and Configurable
The software is quite mobile. You can save it on a USB stick if you want, by just placing the two application files – the .exe and .ini file – onto your memory stick.
The Profiles.ini file is a text-based configuration file where all of the profiles you’ve set up are stored. It’s plain-text readable, so you can go into it and manually tweak those settings if you want.
This means that you can use Profile.ini files interchangeably. For example, if you are a professor at a University and you want to provide network configuration settings to all of your students, you could share your Profile.ini file with the students. All they have to do is place that file in the same directory where the Simple IP Config executable is stored, and it’ll load up all of those profiles.
At first glance, Simple IP Config seems like a very simple tool, but when put into the hands of someone who has struggled with constantly having to change network settings when hopping from one network to the next, it’s a real lifesaver. Do you think this utility might come in handy for your needs? What other solutions do you have for people that change network settings constantly? Share your own tips and feedback in the comments section below!