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-- by Dave Johnson
When you're trying to access the Internet, nothing can be more frustrating than baffling modem problems. Modem Wizard 97, from Kiss Software, seeks to make your Internet expeditions as painless as possible. The program offers diagnostic tests and monitoring tools to ensure the quality and reliability of your modem connection.
If you have a reliable modem setup, you probably won't need this program. But if you're troubled by flaky connections, Modem Wizard applies a battery of local and remote tests that ferret out potential problems. On one of our systems, for instance, a test revealed that the modem didn't support RTS handshaking; on another system, a test discovered that the modem wouldn't support various commands.
Modem Wizard's most outstanding feature is its TrueSpeed tool, which reports the real throughput of your current connection. With TrueSpeed, you can ensure that your connection is solid enough for that 3MB download even before you start.
Some of the other tests and tweaks were less useful. The DNS Wizard, for example, promises to make the Windows 95 Dial-Up Networking setup for your ISP easier. It only works, however, if you use one of the 100 or so ISPs that are listed in the program (none of our four providers was represented)
Initially, our version of Modem Wizard didn't work with computers running Windows 95 OEM Service Release 2 (OSR2). Kiss quickly remedied the problem by providing an update that is also available free on the Internet. You should obtain this update before stepping up to an OSR2 system.
Modem Wizard's modest price tag and helpful TrueSpeed indicator make it worth considering if you need to fix or monitor your modem connection. However, not all of the program's tests are useful, which is why Modem Wizard falls just short of making the WinList.