Colligo Wraps VPN Around Apps

By Michael Caton  |  Posted 2004-01-05

Colligo Networks Workgroup Edition effectively wraps a workgroup VPN around collaborative applications, but it requires at least a little knowledge of wireless network security to run.

Colligo Workgroup Edition creates a virtual private peer-to-peer network over wireless Ethernet that includes applications such as instant messaging, a shared whiteboard, and file and folder sharing. At an affordable $69.99 per user, for most companies, the biggest cost will be associated with managing the application.

Colligo Workgroup Edition provides a good alternative for small companies that want to share information but cant invest in larger enterprise collaboration software. It can also be a useful tool for mobile users who need to connect on an ad hoc basis.

Although I liked the way the package gets people collaborating on documents and ideas, it cant really be called a simple solution to a complex problem.

Colligo encrypts all communications traffic, letting a team collaborate securely over a wireless connection. The connection must be on the same network segment, so the product wont work over a WAN.

The tools themselves, particularly the instant messaging and "sticky note" chat messages, work well and are simple to use. The only caveat is that configuring the network and some of the other features gets tricky, particularly for less tech-savvy users.

Colligo comes preconfigured with basic network settings that should work most of the time, and it allows users to import network settings from a file in XML format. But manually configuring the settings, particularly with WEP enabled, requires some IT intervention.

Colligo Workgroup Edition runs on Windows 98 SE and later versions of Windows. A nice wrinkle is support for the Windows Mobile 2003 and Windows Pocket PC platform versions 2000 and 2002. Users with a Windows-based notebook PC and a handheld running Pocket PC need to buy only one license.

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