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LANtastic[1] is a peer-to-peer local area network (LAN) operating system[2] for DOS and Microsoft Windows (and formerly OS/2).[3] The New York Times described the network, which permits machines to function both as servers and as workstations,[2] as allowing computers, "to share printers and other devices."[1]

InformationWeek pointed out that "these peer-to-peer networking solutions, such as Webcorp's Web and Artisoft's LANtastic, definitely aren't powerful, but they can act as 'starter' local area networks" yet added that even Fortune-sized companies find them useful.[4]

LANtastic supports Ethernet, ARCNET and Token Ring adapters as well as its original twisted-pair adapter at 2 Mbit/s.


Lantastic networks use NetBIOS.[2]

Its multi-platform support allows a LANtastic client station to access any combination of Windows or DOS operating systems, and its interconnectivity allows sharing of files, printers, CD-ROMs and applications throughout an enterprise. LANtastic was especially popular before Windows 95 arrived with built-in networking and was nearly as popular as the market leader Novell at the time.[3]

The New York Times described the network, which permits machines to function both as servers and as workstations,[2] as allowing computers "to share printers and other devices.[1]


LANtastic was originally developed by Artisoft, Inc. in Tucson, Arizona,[1] the first company to offer peer-to-peer networking.[5]

Several foreign-language versions[6] were released in 1992.[7]

By mid 1994, Microsoft's Windows for Workgroups was "eating into" LANtastic's lead (as was Novell).[8]

Artisoft bought TeleVantage, and renamed the latter Artisoft TeleVantage. Artisoft subsequently bought Vertical Communications (September, 2004), and renamed itself (January, 2005) to be Vertical Communications.[9]

Following the release of TeleVantage, Lantastic and Artisoft's other legacy products were acquired by SpartaCom Technologies in 2000. SpartaCom was later acquired by PC Micro.

LANtastic 8.01 was released in 2006. It can connect PCs running MS-DOS (also PC DOS) 5.0 or later and Windows 3.x up to 7 (in case of Windows XP and 7, some limitations apply).


In 1989, BYTE magazine listed LANtastic as among the "Distinction" winners of the BYTE Awards, stating that the $399 starter kit with two cards was "a lot of LAN for the buck" and noting that columnist Jerry Pournelle used it "despite the silly name".[10]

Artisoft products were described in 1994 as "popular with small businesses."[1] By 1996 they were able to buy the 1991-founded Stylus Innovation for $12.8 million.[11]

Line extensions[edit]

In 1993 the company introduced a pair of line extensions named:


A package named Lantastic-95 was designed to give more security than the Windows 95 "signon" screen (for which pressing ESCape is the way to bypass it) and also support "long name" files.[16][17]

Artisoft also announced plans for a dedicated-server version of the flagship LANtastic product.[12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Artisoft". The New York Times. June 28, 1994.
  2. ^ a b c d "Artisoft - Fundamentals of NetBIOS and LANtastic Networks". Archived from the original on 2009-01-05.
  3. ^ a b "Artisoft LANtastic .. gain share from Novell". Computerworld. March 15, 1993. .. users .. bridge to OS/2 High Performance File System
  4. ^ John P. McPartlin (February 25, 1991). "Just for Starters". InformationWeek. p. 37.
  5. ^ "February Answers" (PDF). March 2004. p. 6.
  6. ^ French, German, Italian and Spanish
  7. ^ "Computers - High Tech". The Arizona Republic. May 24, 1992.
  8. ^ "LANtastic fighting two-front war". Computerworld. June 13, 1994. p. 86.
  9. ^ SEC.gov "Archives, Edgar data, SEC.gov". December 1, 2006.
  10. ^ "The BYTE Awards". BYTE. Vol. 14, no. 1. January 1989. p. 327.
  11. ^ "USC Stevens Institute Names MIT's Krisztina Holly Executive Director". USC. 8 March 2006. Retrieved 3 August 2013.
  12. ^ a b "Artisoft Launches Entry-Level SIMPLY LANTASTIC for Beginners". Computer Business Review. November 2, 1993.
  13. ^ "Artisoft Simply LANtastic". PC Magazine. February 8, 1994. p. 42.
  14. ^ "LANtastic 7.0 Product Guide".
  15. ^ "Artisoft Suite combines LANtastic with Lotus, Cheyenne software". Computer Business Review. May 1, 1995.
  16. ^ Alan Zisman. "Lantastic 95-- a good choice for small networks". (c) 1996. First published in Computer Player, June 1996
  17. ^ "tracker.ix".

External links[edit]