has released a public beta version of IPNetShareX. The software is billed as “a simple Internet connection sharing solution for Mac OS X.” IPNetShareX is based on Ben Lachman’s gNAT. Sustainable Softworks acquired the rights to gNAT in October and has been improving it since then.
Sustainable Softworks said that IPNetShareX is the company’s first product developed for Mac OS X, which will build on the networking features inherent in the operating system. Sustainable Softworks president and chief engineer Peter Sichel explained.
“Mac OS X’s Unix roots provide powerful built-in networking facilities, but many require extensive Unix knowledge to operate. A significant part of our strategy is to develop effective and easy-to-use interfaces to these facilities, and then add important features that provide additional value for Macintosh customers,” said Sichel.
Sustainable Softworks indicated that it is developing all of its products for Mac OS X using Cocoa and BSD networking.
IPNetShareX has been developed as the entry-level Internet connection sharing software counterpart to Sustainable Softworks’ IPNetRouter software. It incorporates a graphical user interface, which provides access to the Mac OS X Network Address Translation (natd) services. Natd enables Mac OS X users to share a single net connection without requiring a hardware router.
Sustainable Softworks pointed out that IPNetShareX lacks the more sophisticated features of IPNetRouter — filtering, DHCP server and port mapping, for example — but it’s still fine for many basic network needs.
Sichel cautioned that IPNetShareX imposes some limitations due to sharing a single IP address, like other NAT-based sharing products. “While basic email, web surfing and file transfer work well with NAT, some games and streaming protocols do not.”
IPNetShareX is currently offered at no charge.
In related news, Sichel also announced that an alpha version of IPNetMonitorX would be available this month.