by Bob Wright
I want you to know that I have been using Wingate for
three years now. Recently I upgraded to the latest version, v3.0, of this proxy server.
The new features only make the setup even easier and once again reassuring of the quality
of the proxy.
Wingate is a complete firewall/proxy server. So, what does that
really mean? In simple terms it allows multiple computers connected together on a network
to access the Internet using a single, or multiple, Internet connections. One computer on
a network can connect using a dialup modem, cable modem, ADSL or even a dedicated T1 line,
then this system using Wingate can provide all the other computers on the network access
to the Internet.
Wingate also provides a firewall, a control over who or what
computers may access from the network to the Internet and to control/stop Internet users
from accessing the network through the connection. This can be done on many levels with
Wingate, using name assuming or aliasing, IP address controls based on the IP address of
the networks computers or by passwords. This is important to keep unwanted Internet users
from accessing through the proxy into your network and computers on the network.
The important part about Wingate is the ease with which it is setup.
During the setup phase it requested some simple information concerning my Pop mail server
address, my news server address and my IRC server address. It was just that simple. Oh,
you do need to be sure you have setup an IP address for your network card =>TCP/IP
driver, but I read the instructions carefully and this process is simple and well
Now, after rebooting the server, it was time to add the clients to
the network. This is done by running the same setup application on the client machines,
the other computers on the network without Internet access. You simple choose the install
client option during setup. This new version 3.0 adds a great feature not seen in Wingate
before, a simulated dialup program for the clients. This produces a clean connectivity and
the appearance of connecting with the clients that seems as though you have a modem. The
client setup is very simple, just run the application and handles the entire
Once Wingate has been installed on the Network, any computer
accesses the Internet as though it has a direct connection. I should mention that
installing Wingate, either server or client under Windows95 will require you update the
system to Winsock2, but the upgrade file is available for download on the Wingate web
The only draw back to using a proxy server on a network will be the
speed of data transfer across the network and the understanding that all the computers
will share the single bandwidth of the connection. Using a 56k modem, 10Mb Network cards
is not an issue, though sharing bandwidth can be bothersome, (my sons 5 & 7 have a
tendency to run Real Player watching cartoon movies and it can eat up my bandwidth).
Faster connections rarely feel the bandwidth issue, though they can be restricted by the
speed of the network. If you are using a cable modem or ADSL connection, I highly
recommend 100Mb network cards and hubs.
Once Wingate has been installed, there is an application on the
server called ‘Gatekeeper.’ Gatekeeper allows the server to monitor who is using
the network, set access controls for each user, restrict who can access the network from
outside of the network and restrict what features client machines may use, such as IRC,
Telnet or the Web. We even have configured our network to allow my sons access to AOL via
TCP/IP through the network, Wingate and direct to AOL. Once Wingate has been installed, it
becomes nearly invisible, except for the icon that appears in the tray of the server.
Wingate starts when the server boots and runs quietly with little resource usage in the
This is a very versatile proxy server and I highly recommend it,
especially for the price they ask. One Internet connection and all your network client
machines have Internet access for the cost of the proxy server. Once again, I give Wingate
my highest approval, I use it myself.