Back to 10/96 Reviews SW: Norton NT Tools 1.0
Up to Table of Contents
Ahead to 10/96 Reviews SW: Digital Workshop's Illuminatus 3.1

October 1996 Reviews TOC

10/96 Reviews SW: Web.Max

Internet Retrieval to the Max

By James E. Powell

Berkeley Systems, famous for flying toasters, ventures into the World Wide Web with Web.Max, offline browsing tools that find sites, retrieve news and download pages before you spend precious connect-time dollars.

Web.Max does its job well, although its nonstandard Windows interface and skimpy documentation leave something to be desired. The package includes Eudora-Light for e-mail and 120 hours free Internet access via Earth Link Network's Total Access service.

The collection's Net Retriever guides you through Web searches in the Lycos and AltaVista data-bases, and looks for new shareware programs at c|net's site Search for e-mail addresses for people by first or last name, or organization. Get the latest stock trade information by ticker symbol or name, or Usenet newsgroups. The program returns a list, with a content description and a clickable icon that takes you to the page.

Web.Max TV, my favorite feature, offers up-to-date news, business, weather and computer-industry headlines from various news sources, called channels, including CNN, c|net and USA Today. You can choose whether to view headlines and the first few words of each story, or the complete text. It also will download selected sources to your hard disk automatically. Although you can block channels from being viewed, you can't add new ones.

Web.Max Phone is yet another Internet phone solution, using the Web as a long-distance service provider. Its technology works, but quality leaves something to be desired.

Web.Max Security protects your computer from interlopers who might want to access your online service account. It also lets multiple users share the same computer, saving each one's profiles and passwords.

Web.Max Downloader lets you browse offline. Specify the sites you want to visit once, daily or every week, and Downloader runs in the background, copying the Web sites to your hard disk. By setting a menu option, you can cruise these sites from your hard disk, rather than online, to save charges. Unfortunately, the documentation doesn't tell you how. Unless you remember to bookmark them in your browser, you'll have to enter sometimes-complex URLs from memory, despite the fact that Downloader is supposed to be monitoring them. Of all Web.Max utilities, this one is most seriously in need of overhaul.

Worse, Berkeley shipped initial copies of Web.Max with an expired technology component embedded within Downloader. If you get this version, you won't be able to use Downloader at all unless you grab the fix from Berkeley's Web site.

Info File
Pros: Speed; convenience
Cons: Documentation
Platforms: Windows 95
Disk Space: 18MB
Berkeley Systems
800-344-5541 x100, 510-540-5535
WinMag Box Score: 3.5

Back to 10/96 Reviews SW: Norton NT Tools 1.0
Up to Table of Contents
Ahead to 10/96 Reviews SW: Digital Workshop's Illuminatus 3.1