The Shareware Review People

Stay Connected!

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Type of Program: Connectivity Utility
Supported Platforms: Windows 95/98/NT
Company Name: inKline Global, Inc.
Version: 2.2
Price: free to try/ $19.95
Installed size: 1.5M


Nothing's more irritating than losing your Internet connection in the midst of a download, while writing a long thoughtful email, or chatting with an IRC or ICQ buddy. Whether you're using AOL, Net-Zero, or an ISP, they'll try to disconnect "idle" connections (where active browser or line activity isn't detected) after a certain time period. Even if you've armed yourself with a ping program to send out smoke signals to foil them, service providers have gotten craftier and can detect that too. StayConnected! outsmarts them.

This new version 2.2 adds Net-Zero support, many AOL-oriented features, including a foil for AOL's new disconnect timer (which has no title but has three sound alerts). AOL user should update to Stay Connected! 2.2 (or higher), which handles this timer.

Stay Connected! simulates the line activity of a "real human" whereas your pinger sends out signals in a predictable pattern that AOL, Net-Zero, and ISP servers can sniff out. StayConnected! allows you to access your choice of hosts for background access at random intervals, which looks like web surfing to your ISP. Single-host and fixed-interval settings can be chosen too if you prefer.

StayConnected! is simple to use, with a Startup Wizard for new users to get it set up easily. (Truth is, all the default settings work the best anyway.) And for each host type, there are preloaded entries to save you the typing. But add your own host info and change settings anytime. Just choose a service type, and the hosts are pre-loaded for: HTTP, FTP, echo servers, time servers, discard servers, or user-defined ports (such as POP3, IRC, gopher, and so on). There's a really good, expanded Help file for setup tips, feature operation, and more.

For AOL users, this supports AOL Browser 4.0 as well as its previous versions. You can launch the AOL browser when you activate StayConnected!, and even have it log on for you too. Many more AOL-specific feature additions are detailed at the StayConnected! home page.

StayConnected! runs quietly in the background, easily accessed from its system tray icon. Program activity can be turned on/off by clicking the tray icon, and its shape & color tell you operating status at a glance. A right-click on the icon gives you a context menu for settings and online status report. StayConnected! is a reliable, RAM-efficient insurance policy for your online peace of mind. It's free to try, fully functional, for 30 days. There's a startup splash screen that can be disabled after you've registered. Support is offered to registered users.

User Friendly:
Ease of Installation:
Reviewed by Bobbie Crowell
ICQ # 9407183

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