Gric MobileOffice

By Jason Brooks  |  Posted 2003-06-23 Print this article Print

Gric MobileOffice

Gric MobileOffice
Grics MobileOffice client software worked at a higher level than did Boingos. This will mean more steps for the user and a less streamlined experience, but the Gric software can be configured to tie in to VPN and firewall software installed on a client system. A plan that includes 50 hours of dial-up access and 100 hours of wireless access costs $59.95 per month.
  • PRO: Options for enforcing VPN and firewall use.

  • CON: Client software needs streamlining; limited hot-spot availability.

  • Gric MobileOffice also aggregates separate networks of public access points into a larger service network using a client application, but Grics service supports more connection methods, including dial-up.

    We tested the wireless access point portion of Grics network, which includes some 1,500 access points in the United States. In San Francisco, the Gric client returned 15 wireless access points. (Both Grics and Boingos networks include access points from Wayport Inc., so there is some overlap between the services.)

    As with Boingo, the Gric service requires client software (see screen) that works only with Windows and includes a directory of available access points.

    One complaint we had with the Gric software—and, to a lesser extent, with the Boingo software—was that the access point listings contained more columns and data horizontally than would fit in the space provided. We had to scroll horizontally and adjust column widths to get at information such as full location names.

    The Gric software integrates with security software such as VPN clients and personal firewalls and can launch these applications automatically upon connection. This will make it easier for IT departments to ensure that users are connecting securely.

    The Gric software does not sniff for available networks in the way that Boingos software does. Rather, the Gric client depends on the wireless utilities built into Windows XP or on connection tools that ship with individual wireless cards.

    We tested the Gric software in the lobby of the Omni Hotel in San Francisco, where we connected through an access point from Wayports network. After we selected the appropriate access point using Windows XPs wireless network utility, we hit the log-in button in the Gric client and were presented with a Wayport log-in page in an embedded browser window within the Gric client. There, we had to re-enter our log-in information. Gric would do well to streamline this process, a la Boingo.

    Gric offers a $59.95-per-month plan that includes 50 hours of dial-up access and 100 hours of wireless access, a $49.95-per-month plan with unlimited dial-up access and 50 hours of wireless access, and a $35-a-month plan with 20 hours of wireless access.

    As Editor in Chief of eWEEK Labs, Jason Brooks manages the Labs team and is responsible for eWEEK's print edition. Brooks joined eWEEK in 1999, and has covered wireless networking, office productivity suites, mobile devices, Windows, virtualization, and desktops and notebooks. JasonÔÇÖs coverage is currently focused on Linux and Unix operating systems, open-source software and licensing, cloud computing and Software as a Service. Follow Jason on Twitter at jasonbrooks, or reach him by email at

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