Check Point offers VPN appliances for remote sites

Check Point Software Technologies Inc. on Tuesday announced it will offer a turnkey appliance that works as a virtual private network (VPN) and gateway, designed specifically for remote uses.

The VPN-1 Edge appliance is centrally managed and is the first hardware device to join Check Point’s portfolio of security products, said Sweta Duseja, product marketing manager at Check Point in Redwood City, Calif.

The device is designed for home offices, remote office locations, franchise locations or branch sites, and business partner extranets. It can be connected to a company’s headquarters or other lines.

To set up the VPN-1 Edge appliances, network managers have them shipped to their company’s remote locations and it plugs directly into the LAN. Because it is centrally managed, network managers can deploy security policy out simultaneously to each location, making it easy to keep security policies up-to-date, Check Point’s Duseja said.

Everbrite LLC – a company that provides identification such as signs to companies – plans to deploy the VPN-1 Edge devices to its remote sites and to its telecommuters as soon as possible. The company has about 25 remote offices and remote users total at any given time.

Cindi Herzog, data communications administrator at the Greenfield, Wis.-based company, said the devices will improve network security at the company’s remote locations. She said they will be easy to install, easy to maintain, and won’t require any management or expertise on the part of the remote user because they don’t require any user interaction at the site. It’s simply plug and play.

Right now Everbrite uses Check Point’s VPN-1 SecurRemote – a product that encrypts and authenticates data to protect against eavesdropping and tampering.

Herzog said the VPN-1 SecurRemote works very well, but with the VPN-1 Edge devices, Everbrite’s network will be even more secure.

VPN-1 Edge comes in four different flavours. The S8 model is a four-port LAN switch with one WAN, 22Mbps firewall, and a 3Mbps VPN. It can handle 2,000 concurrent connections and retails at US$399 per switch.

The X16, X32, and XU are four-port LAN switches with one WAN port, one demilitarized zone (DMZ) port, one serial port, 150Mbps firewalls and 30Mpbs VPN. These devices handle up to 8,000 concurrent connections but differ in scalability. The X16 is ideal for up to 16 users, the X32 up to 32 users and the XU can handle an unlimited amount of users, Check Point said. These retail at US$799, US$1,199, and US$1,999 respectively.

VPN-1 Edge is managed using SmartCenter or SmartCenter Pro, Check Point’s network management and monitoring tool. It is Web-based and must be purchased separately to the VPN-1 Edge devices.

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