Google Mini

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Google Mini

Pros

  • Sophisticated searching

Cons

  • Quite complex

Bottom Line

The mini is a slim, server-size appliance that brings the speed and relevance of Google's search engine to your company's network.

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Google brings all the searching power of its Web based search engine to your office network with the Google Mini.

We tested the latest version of the Mini on our network at PC World and found its indexing speedy and its searches nearly instantaneous. It was just what you would expect from a Google search tool, it was spot-on in most cases.

Direct help from Google was necessary to get the Mini to index both our Web site and an internal file server. It employs an unusual format for referring to network servers that had even our I.T. experts scratching their heads. Eventually we had to call Google's tech support, which is included in the price for one year.

Once installed, access is through a series of administrative pages using your Web browser. You tell it what parts of your network or Web site you want it to crawl, and you can specify what paths you don't want it to follow. This $4965 version of the Mini will index 50,000 files; a $74,486 version will index 500,000 files and other versions will search different variations between these extremes. You can also include a search box on your Web site for visitors to use when searching your site.

The default layout of the search page looks exactly like a Google search page, which you can customise. While you can narrow your search to a specific file type - the Mini will index 220 different file types - it doesn't tackle even common e-mail formats.

The Google Mini can be a hassle to set up, but if you know a bit about networking, it will let you do much more sophisticated searching.

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