What Are Some Alternatives to ProComm?
By Jacob Andrew
Unfortunately for you, Symantec stopped producing ProComm, its flagship terminal emulation software, in the late 1990s. Using a discontinued product puts your network at risk, however a number of up-to-date products provide the same terminal emulation for free or at little cost. These products include TinyTerm, PuTTY, HyperTerminal and desktop virtualization.
PuTTY is a free terminal emulator for TTY and SSH-compatible systems. Available for both Unix- and Windows-based systems, the PuTTY terminal download page also offers tools for backend, command-line control, secure file transfers and more. These downloads can help you replace many of the functions originally found in ProComm.
Made by Hilgraeve, HyperTerminal comes installed with every copy of Windows through version XP. Users of Windows Vista or newer can now access the program only for a fee. Hilgraeve also makes an expanded version of HyperTerminal, called HyperACCESS. HyperACCESS adds a number of tools, including support for proprietary terminal standards, such as WYSE 60. WYSE, now a division of Dell Inc., was the leader in thin client computing, a form of computing common with POS (point of sale) and database entry systems. Due to its wide range of features, HyperACCESS more closely mirrors the original functionality of ProComm than do most other products.
TinyTerm offers a range of both free and for-purchase terminal emulation applications. TinyTerm offers a "lite" edition, which supports basic terminal emulation, as well as a "plus" edition that offers a wider range of terminal compatibility including WYSE-based and other proprietary terminal standards.
Rethinking the Terminal
Terminal emulation represents a dated way of deploying applications. Consider upgrading or re-thinking the central service that requires ProComm or something like it. For instance, Windows servers can facilitate remote console access through a remote desktop session in which you can efficiently manage software licenses and provide users a graphical -- instead of text-based -- working environment. See Resources for a link that can help you determine whether a virtual desktop is the better option.
Jacob Andrew previously worked as an A+ and CCNA-certified technology specialist. After receiving his BA in journalism from the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 2012, he turned his focus towards writing about travel, politics and current technology.