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Software Review of:
TweakMaster
ver 1.61

 

Bill Klutz does consulting work, primarily in the areas of Management and Computer Applications/Hardware/Software.

From the July, 2002 issue of PC Alamode Magazine

TweakMaster, touted to be the Supreme Internet Optimizer, is actually four utilities in one! It represents the culmination of five years experience by one of the foremost innovators in the field of Internet Optimization, in collaboration with Rose City Software. The result is the best technical and design efforts of the two companies, working together to bring you a technically superior, yet easy-to-use software.

For $20, TweakMaster gives you an opportunity to optimize the performance of your Internet connection. It is designed with the non-techie user in mind. In fact, when the program's Optimization Wizard asks if you have a dial-up or broadband connection, you can bring up a help window explaining how to tell the difference. After asking two or three questions, this wizard offers multiple unexplained "Optimization Strategies." You don't need to know what they do, simply try them and stick to the one you like best. (More technically minded users may want to visit the Advanced Optimization page.)

If you get in trouble, there is always the help file. But since the program help isn't context sensitive, you'll have to do some searching. You can save your settings for later restoration as you experiment to find the ones that are best for your system.

This maintenance release includes several important stability and compatibility fixes which should improve the general functionality for all users. This is a free upgrade for registered users. It will correctly optimize all versions of Windows, including the new Windows XP. Full Support for AOL 5, 6 and 7 is also included, which is a TweakMaster exclusive!

Let's take a brief look at each of the four utilities and their function:

  1. Internet Connection Optimization: 
    No matter what speed you connect at or what other utilities you may have tried, nothing will provide a FASTER Internet connection for you than TweakMaster, guaranteed! The program can substantially improve your download speeds for all types of connections from dial-up to DSL, Cable, and Wireless. Even AOL users will be amazed at how much more responsive their system will be! The wizard will walk you through some recommended settings the first time the program starts. After that you may wish to experiment with some other settings on the Optimization screen to obtain the fastest possible connection.

  2. Domain Name System (DNS) Accelerator: 
    TweakMaster includes the first truly intelligently designed DNS Accelerator or DNS caching utility which actually helps you to connect faster to the sites you visit most often. Simply click on the DNS Accelerator button and check "Enable DNS Accelerator." The DNS Accelerator is fully automatic once enabled and will speed up your web experience with no further attention on your part, while avoiding the risks of so many other outdated DNS caching utilities.

  3. Clock Synchronization: 
    TweakMaster allows you to perform regularly scheduled updates to your PC's clock from super accurate Internet Time Servers. You can schedule these updates daily or weekly if you like or perform them manually at any time to keep your PC synched.

  4. America On Line (AOL) Keep Connected: 
    AOL disconnects users who appear not to be using their network connection to AOL. However, AOL software does not take into account user activity outside of AOL's proprietary software, and therefore can disconnect you while you are in the middle of long download using Internet Explorer. This can be most frustrating. The program is able to automatically press the "Yes" button when AOL dialog asks whether you want to remain online pops up.


If you have enabled one of the last three features, the little red "Close" door will close the TweakMaster window, but will allow it to keep running in the background. The program does not need to run to optimize your Internet connection. Once you find settings that seem to work well for you, you need not run it to enjoy the benefits. However the DNS Accelerator, Clock Synchronization, and Keep Connected features all require TweakMaster to remain running in the background. Although the program is carefully designed to use minimal system resources, you can also shut it down completely sometimes if needed by using "Exit" from the main File menu.

No software can overcome occasional Internet congestion, slow servers, bogged down Internet routers or overloaded ISPs. But your own computer will no longer be the weakest link in the chain. You can optimize your own system to permit the fastest connectivity the Internet can provide. And you don't need to be a computer expert to do it!

Some users have reported download speeds of up to 305 Kbps (better than a lot of T1 connections). Some of the other speed improvements reported have been:  4.1 Kbps to 12.6 Kbps and 86 Kbps to 168 Kbps.

After you download and install TweakMaster, you have 30 days to try the product with no obligation. If you want to use it beyond the 30-day trial period, you must register. Registering TweakMaster permits unlimited use of the product. You will be reminded about the need to register during the last several days of your evaluation. If you do not desire to continue using TweakMaster as a registered product, the program must be uninstalled after its evaluation period has ended. Registration entitles you to receive future upgrades free of charge.

Upon receipt of payment you will receive a unique serial number keyed to your name. This information, when entered in the registration wizard of TweakMaster, will register your copy. The registration number will be sent to you via e-mail. Note, no disk will be sent. All updates to the software will be made available through the Web site.


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