Installation was not painless for us. Diamond intended the HomeFree installation software for complete newbies. It performed all network configuration routines without asking for any user input. This would have been fine if the software also had the ability to troubleshoot and resolve problems during installation, but it was a bit lacking in that department.
It's our policy that lack of user control is only good if everything functions properly. However, it's likely that the HomeFree isn't the only networking solution in an average system (everyone's got either a modem or LAN card right?), and the problems that arise from conflicts in these devices can bring automated installation settings to their knees.
External Network Woes
On my first system, the HomeFree software installed the NIC, setup all the networking protocols, adjusted all the settings, and promptly crashed my computer. Apparently, the HomeFree network card had an IRQ conflict with the NIC already in the system. After several failed attempts to change IRQ settings, I had to remove my old NIC to get HomeFree to successfully install.
Uh oh, I needed that old NIC for my DSL! I intended to share the DSL on this system with the other computers on the network. With some card shuffling and more IRQ reassigning, I was finally able to install HomeFree without removing the DSL NIC. Installation on the other computers was pretty simple, but I cheated by disabling the network cards in each computer before installing HomeFree.
I can see how the HomeFree software could make installation easy for computers with fewer components, but I was disappointed with how the software folded under a more strenuous installation.