General-purpose telnet/FTP server for Windows 95/98/NT platforms
Fictional Daemon (FTD) is an impressive telnet/FTP server for Windows 95/98 and Windows NT platforms. The server is free for non-commercial use (commercial users can register a single-user license for $30 or a site license for $200) and implements a number of commands for allowing users to remotely administer computers via the telnet protocol. Fictional Daemon can function as either a single-user server or as a multiple-user server with support for up to fifty concurrent users. The server is free for non-commercial use (commercial users can register a single-user license for $30 or a site license for $200) and implements a number of commands for allowing users to remotely administer computers via the telnet protocol.
Features in the current release include custom port listening, system traybar icon support (with status color codes for identifying active, listening, or offline states of operation), audio notifications (sounds played on connect, logon/logoff, sysop-page, and password errors), client logging (all user activity is logged), user chat commands, remote and local GUI user management tools, and easy installation. The server can also be set up to run as a Windows NT system service using the SrvAny utility (you can grab one from Fictional Software here - 23 KB).
Security features include eight groups of user rights, allowing the restricting of various actions and commands to specific users. Users can be given all rights (including the ability to edit global user rights) or can be restricted to executing commands, shutting down/rebooting systems, browsing remote computers, setting time and date, killing programs and/or processes, scheduling commands, changing passwords, and/or accessing remote system information. Additional commands available in Fictional Daemon include Adduser, Deluser, Listuser, Userlogoff, Start program, Close program, Kill program, Help, ChangePWD, Reboot, Shutdown, PList (lists active programs), Dir, CD, CLS, AT, Time, Date, SysInfo, Homedir, Sysoppager, IPMask *.* (set an IP-address filter), and Die (shuts down the server).
The FTP capabilities are basic, but useful when combined with a telnet server. You can designate what directories will support FTP transfers, as well as what users have access to the system and what users are explicitly banned.
Fictional Daemon isn't without its drawbacks however. Although the server is easy to install and configure, FTD includes only basic help documentation, which only covers administering the more powerful features. Also, to run FTD, you'll need to grab a Visual Basic runtime file, vb500a.zip, from the Internet (the Fictional Daemon Web has download links here). The server also lacks a number of advanced features found in competing offerings like ATRLS, including the ability to run full-screen console apps (text editors for example), color support, and automatic command-line completion functionality.
Unlike ATRLS, Fictional Daemon will run on Windows 95/98 as well as Windows NT, and its freeware price tag and ease of use contribute towards its popularity. Overall, if you don't need some of the high-end features found in more expensive commercial servers like ATRLS and are instead looking for an inexpensive, general purpose 32-bit telnet server, Fictional makes for an excellent choice.
Pros: Free for non-commercial use, easy to set up and use, Windows 9x/NT support, adds FTP capabilities
Cons: Lacks some advanced features found in other (typically commercial) telnet servers