configFree is one of many programs that make people hate everyone who works in or is connected to Information Technology. configFree is supposed to help you connect your Toshiba computer to networks but evry time i try to use it, configFree is one big painful roadblock.
configFree is on one of the Toshiba laptops I occasionally use. The laptop is infected with Windows XP. Not anything useful like the 64 bit version of XP, it is just the plain old Windows 98 dressed up with pretty icons and a dash of Microsoft NT. OK, it is the Pro version of XP which means it has NTFS from NT and that gives you the chance to add some sort of security to XP but it also has Internet Explorer built in which means it can never be safe or reliable.
The laptop randomly fails to connect to working wireless networks. When connnected, it works reliably but it will not detect perfectly good working networks about one out of three times. When it does fail to detect a network, it continues to fail consistently until you do something dramatic. It fails to detect networks from different brands of routers.
There are two local Netgear wireless routers near my main office and the Toshiba/Intel/XP combination always detects at least on of the routers but not always both. (The wireless chip is Intel.) There are some other routers in the area that pop in and out of the network detector. The closest wireless router is a D-Link and that fails to appear in the Toshiba detection list almost all the time.
Over at my second office there is a different brand of wireless router and the same problems occur there.
What does configFree contribute? Nothing. If you cannot connect, configFree tells you it can help you with a connection problem but there is no way of selecting anything to help with fixing the problem. There are only some tabs to display exactly the same information that is displayed by the wireless network icon. There is no way to select your problem from a list of problems. There is no way to search for the problem.
configFree seems to do something only if you have a working connection and the connection fails. If you had a working connection then you have a working configuration which makes configFree useless. If a working connection drops out then the range of possible problems is reduced to a tiny percentage of what can stop you making a connection in the first place.
configFree is about as useless as the Microsoft Office paperclip. If anyone remembers that monstrosity, you will know that the paperclip animation often popped up when there is no problem. If you did have a problem, the paperclip suggested really basic information that was useless. A search from within the paperclip directed you to truly useless information. Occasionally the paperclip might accidentally suggest things you have already tried. I do not know of a single occasion where the paperclip told you anything you did not already know. configFree appears to be as useless as the Microsoft paperclip.
Is there a better way to diagnose problems? The simplest way is to use a good brand of wireless router with their matching USB network adaptor. Get everything working using the support provided by the router supplier. When they use terminology you do not understand, search the Web for an explanation.
Does your computer have a built in wireless network device? After you get the USB network adaptor working, you can display all the settings then remove the adaptor and set up the built in adaptor using the same settings. If the built in device has less capability, for instance your router is 802.11n and your built in adaptor is 802.11g, you can usually pick the closest setting. The router should have an automatic setting to work across several type of connection.
if your computer does not have a built in adaptor and you want something more permanent, you can buy internal and plug in cards from the same supplier as recommended to match on their Web site. It would be silly to spend an extra $100 to get a top quality router then try to save $10 by buying a cheaper brand of network adaptor.