Nortel VPNs support Mac and handhelds

Remote users with Apple Macs can now connect with Nortel VPN gear over dial-up Internet connections.

Nortel Networks Corp. has added a software client for Mac OS to its Contivity VPN equipment, which previously supported only Microsoft Corp. operating systems.

Nortel says it will have a VPN client for UNIX by the end of the year, and has set out longer-term goals of developing clients for Linux, Solaris, IBM-AIX and HP-UX. These software clients require no upgrades to the Contivity VPN gear that the clients connect to.

The telecom equipment giant also says that next month it will upgrade the software on its Contivity equipment to support the VPN client that Certicom Corp. makes for handheld devices. Called movianVPN, the software uses an encryption method that requires less processing power than the method typically used with VPN clients for more powerful PCs.