Restricting changes that people make, and preventing files from being saved are a bonus in terms of reduced administration, but such a level of control would be inappropriate in certain circumstances. Imagine trying to tell the Regional Sales Manager he can't change the Windows wallpaper or install Real Player, because his system is frozen. Under other circumstances, where the issue of control is paramount, a product like Deep Freeze really has its place. Such an environment is the educational sector where a single PC endures a variety of users on a daily basis and where the users are, how should we put it, less than kind towards the systems.
Deep Freeze comes in two varieties. The Standard version provides the basic freezing functionality and is reasonably priced at $125 for a 10-license pack for educational users. The Professional version includes additional features such as centralized management and the ability to specify a certain directory to be left unfrozen. The Professional product is more expensive than the Standard but still comes in at under $200 for a 10-license pack for educational users. Bulk licensing agreements bring down the price considerably, with a Professional license costing less than $5 at the 1000 license mark.
Although Faronics is focusing its attention on the education and corporate markets rather than the retail sector, a single license package, designed for home users, is available for $60. The current versions of Deep Freeze supports Windows 98, 95 and Me. A version for Windows 2000 is expected soon, with a version for Windows XP to follow shortly after.
Perhaps understandably, Faronics are tight-lipped about what exactly makes the Deep Freeze magic possible. All they will say is that the system makes you think you are installing software, making configuration changes and deleting files, but in reality the changes are not actually being made. Confused? Well, the great thing is that Deep Freeze works so well you'll find yourself simply accepting that it does it's thing, without worrying too much about how it does it.
Detailed product information and a 60 day trial copy of deep freeze is available from www.deepfreezeusa.com.
This article was first published on CrossNodes, an internet.com site.