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Charles 3.7 (32-bit)

A powerful HTTP proxy/ monitor for developers

by Mike Williams

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License: Trial Software
Operating Systems: Linux, Mac OS X, Windows 7 (32 bit), Windows 8, Windows Server, Windows Vista (32 bit), Windows XP
Requirements:
Languages: English
Software Cost: $50 (Windows) $50 (Mac) $50 (Linux)
Date Updated: 27 April 2013
Watchlist: Add download to my watchlist
Downloads To Date: 3759
Developer: XK72
RSS News Feed: http://blog.xk72.com/rss
Buy Kaspersky Internet Security 2015 for only $24.95, with a 1-PC licence, saving 58% from the RRP, only from store.downloadcrew.com
Charles 3.7
A powerful HTTP proxy/ monitor for developers

Charles is a powerful and versatile Java-based HTTP/ HTTPS proxy which can display a great deal of information about your web traffic. And that includes JSON, JSON-RPC and SOAP, Flash Remoting (AMF0 and AMF3) and more, as well as the regular HTTP/ HTTPS requests and responses.

The program includes a Firefox addon, which means there are no real configuration hassles. Just launch it, approve the addon, and Charles will immediately begin tracking your Firefox activities. Browse a URL of interest and you'll be able to watch the traffic details as it's analysed in real time.

This starts with a Structure tab, where your browsing is organised by URL. Clicking any of these provides a list showing every element downloaded, with assorted details (response codes, MIME types, header and body sizes, download times and more). A Chart tab gives you a more visual check on download times, while an Overview provides plenty of extra timing information (connection times, latency, DNS delays and more).

Alternatively, clicking the Sequence tab displays all your traffic at once. This is probably way too much information, but fortunately you can filter it to display traffic related to a domain, a file type, a response code or whatever else you like. Again, any particular request can be analysed in multiple ways, this time even including a Response tab which can display the response in its raw form, as text, hex, an image (if appropriate) and more.

There are also plenty of useful tools. A bandwidth throttling option helps you see how your site feels on slow internet connections; a "repeat" option lets the program re-run a request at a click (no need to reset and reconfigure the same web page each time); "repeat advanced" allows you to make repeated and concurrent requests, for load testing; and of course you can intercept and edit particular requests as you like.

But perhaps best of all, while this sounds like it's going to be complex, it really isn't. The author says "Charles is intended to be a dive-in piece of software", and we think he's right. There's plenty to learn, but no frustrating setup or configuration issues - we were using the program productively right away.

Verdict:

If you need more than browser addons like Live HTTP Headers can provide, take a look at Charles. It's not cheap, but it's well designed, easy to use, and you get plenty of power for your money.

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Spotlight: Free Full Software

Ashampoo Burning Studio 2013 (v11.0.6)

Free Full Commercial Software

Ashampoo Burning Studio 2013 is a compact, simple, but surprisingly feature-packed disc burning suite.

The program makes it easy to create simple data discs and audio CDs, for instance: just drag and drop your files onto the list area and you'll be burning the finished disc in a couple of clicks.

That's just the start, though. Burning Studio 2013 can also create data discs with customised, interactive multi-page menus, perfect if you'd like a more professional way to share and present the disc contents.

A built-in backup tool allows you to create backups which may be encrypted, compressed, and span several CDs, DVDs and Blu-rays.

And there are modules to create VCD or SVCD video projects; burn video DVDs or Blu-ray discs from prepared folders; create, browse or burn disc images (ISO, CUE/ BIN and Ashdisc formats are supported); copy discs, erase them, design and print disc covers, labels and booklets, and more.

The focus throughout is on ease of use, though, and so Ashampoo Burning Studio 2013 remains very straightforward, whatever you're doing. Most disc projects are created via the same simple interface, and for the most part all you have to do is drag and drop the necessary files. But experts will find more advanced options are only a click away, and if you need to then you can set ISO and UDF version, enable Joliet, make a disc bootable and more.

Note the download here will take you to the Downloadcrew Software Store where you can download Burning Studio 2013.

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