Netfetch 5.50 lands safely and securely

I could’ve made a joke about safety nets, couldn’t I? Oh well.

Now available from R-Comp is the latest version of the NetFetch internet suite, which contains a bundle of software including, amongst other things, Hermes for transporting emails and a version of Messenger so you can read and write those emails.

The update to version 5.50 includes two headline features – support for the very latest SSL/TLS standards, and an easy ‘quick-fetch’ function for individual mailboxes.

The improved security is down to the use of the new AcornSSL module, which is based on the ‘mbed TLS‘ code from ARM. The module, designed to provide secure internet connections, saw significant updates last year thanks to funding via the RISC OS Open Bounty programme, and (I believe) should now be easier to update when the upstream source changes – for example when vulnerabilities are found and fixed.

In order to benefit from the up-to-date security offered by the module, Hermes’ fetching and SSL handling code needed significant work, and this has also brought other benefits. The fetching process is now more streamlined, and its multi-tasking has been improved – the overall consequence of these being a much smoother operation, with less of an impact of other processes happening concurrently. The example provided by R-Comp is that their testers were no longer reporting pauses in music playback while performing transfers.

The ‘quick-fetch’ facility is something R-Comp’s Andrew Rawnsley added for his own benefit – but is something that many people will appreciate. With some mailboxes that respond slowly, Andrew felt it would be handy to be able to just check specific accounts from time to time, rather than fetch from all and thus be delayed by those slower mailboxes.

The menu for this new feature can be configured in one of three ways – to show just active boxes, all boxes with inactive ones faded, or all boxes, with the latter allowing those boxes marked as inactive to be checked. This means a rarely used mailbox can be marked as inactive, so it isn’t checked as part of the normal process, and checked manually on those rare occasions you wish to do so, without first having to activate it within the software.

NetFetch 5.50 is available directly from R-Comp (either by giving the company a call, or by popping along to see them in person at the Wakefield Show in a week and a half’s time) or by ordering it from !Store. Upgrades from a previous 5.xx version are £15.00, with a new copy (or upgrade from an older version) costing £30.00