Artisoft Adds Web Caching to IP-Sharing App

Artisoft is highlighting server-side caching of Web sites in i.Share 3.5, an updated version of the company's software package that lets as many as 32 PCs share a single IP connection.

Scheduled for release next week, i.Share 3.5 features a server-side proxy-caching function similar in concept to Novell's Internet Caching System technology, in that URLs and Web pages of frequently accessed Web sites can be maintained on a central server, officials said.

One i.Share user planning to upgrade to the latest version said she looks forward to this feature.

"It will allow us to use our fastest PC with the largest memory as a server [for Web access]," said Susan Steadman, an attorney with the Eugene Love Fair law firm in Hattiesburg, Miss. "We go to a lot of the same Web sites, and we're supposed to be able to cache those and pull them up without actually having to go back on the Web."

The i.Share product itself enables the law office to reduce the number of Internet connections it needs, resulting in substantial cost savings, Steadman said.

"We used to have four ISP accounts and tie up four phone lines. Now we have one account and tie up one phone line," Steadman said.

Artisoft's i.Share is connection-independent and can work with Internet access methods such as Digital Subscriber Line, cable or analog dial-up modems, satellite connections, network routers, and ISDN connections.

Utilities included in this version are Resource Manager for regulating use of TCP/IP resources and Application Manager for preventing responses from applications that make WinSock calls, such as some print drivers or anti-virus programs.

The product is now easier to install and runs as a Windows NT service on NT machines, officials said. It is also Windows 2000-compatible.

Suggested pricing starts at $129 for a three-user version and ranges from $11 per user to $43 per user.

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