Although ZBServer Pro hasn’t garnered a large following according to the latest Netcraft surveys, it does include a few features you won’t find in other Web servers. Most notably, ZBServer Pro offers more than just Web services; gopher, FTP, and Chat (Coffee Talk) services are also supported by this multidimensional server. The server also benefits from an efficient design that enables it to occupy a very small footprint and utilize a minimum of system resources. ZBServer Pro is small enough to run in the background of Windows 95/NT and can provide users with full or restricted access to files, graphics, sounds or movies while doing so.
ZBServer offers support for server-side macros which allow you to dynamically insert information into HTML files sent by the server. Examples of server-side macros that can be used are embedded hit counters, information about the visitor’s Web browser and its version number, the current date, the remote host name and address, and more. Another use of the macro feature is for setting up and defining custom message boards. In addition to its support for server-side macros, the server also offers support for a small sub-set of NCSA-style server-side includes. These allow you to embed the output of CGI, DOS or Perl commands within Web pages.
Although ZBServer Pro hasn’t garnered a large following according to the latest Netcraft surveys, it does include a few features you won’t find in other Web servers.
Additional ZBServer features include built-in support for simple page counters, image map support, quick reporting of server statistics, an intuitive interface that is extremely easy to use, shared folder capabilities, and more. Look for a 2.0 release in the near future that will add an integrated multi-room Web chat facility, built-in SMTP mail services, remote management software, and more. Despite the ‘Pro’ in ZBServer Pro’s name, this server is recommended more for personal and light entry-level business use. All of the high-end Web servers and many of the entry-level servers offer more advanced features than ZBServer and in some cases are just as easy to setup and use. Still, ZBServer is one of the easiest servers to get up and running with, it performs relatively well, and it offers more than just Web services. If you’re looking for an inexpensive low-end server with Web support and more, ZBServer Pro makes for a great choice at only $69.95.
A less expensive ($35) Personal Edition of ZBServer is also available. The Personal Edition retains the Pro version’s speedy performance and ease of use, but it only offers Web and gopher server capabilities (lacks the chat and FTP services). One advantage this edition offers is that it supports Windows 3.x platforms as well as Windows 95 platforms. Unlike the Pro release, though, the personal edition doesn’t offer support for Windows NT. This edition is recommended for novice users of Web servers or for professionals needing to test and publish their Web sites on a local computer before sending them out over the Internet.
Pros: 7 Supports HTTP (web), Gopher, FTP, and Chat (Coffee Talk) services; 7 Relatively inexpensive price tag ($69.95), 7 $35 Personal Edition also available, 7 Easy to setup and use, 7 Intuitive interface, 7 Reasonable (but not stellar) performance, 7 Support for server-side includes and macros
Cons: 7 No UNIX version, 7 Lacks support for HTTP 1.1 protocol, 7 Somewhat outdated, 7 Lacks support for SSL or similar security technology, 7 Limited technical support, 7 Lacks some of the more advanced features of high-end servers, 7 Support for server-side includes is minimal
Version Reviewed: Pro – 1.5.17. Personal – 1.5d
Additional Information available
Review of ZBServer
Operating Systems Supported: Windows NT – Intel. Windows 95