ReefEdge addresses security for wireless LANs

ReefEdge Inc. this week unveiled the latest release of its server for wireless LAN authentication and security.

The company designed the features introduced in the ReefEdge Connect System Version 2.5 to make the product more reliable and flexible. An optional Windows PC application has been modified to take over many more tasks that end users previously had to do manually.

A ReefEdge Connect System typically consists of two hardware servers, each running the company’s software. One, the Edge Controller (formerly called “Connect Bridge”), attaches to several wireless LAN access points and handles wireless LAN traffic management and encryption. The other, ReefEdge Connect Server, oversees the controllers and enforces network authentication and access policies. The software is a group of applications for wireless LAN authentication, access control, encryption, bandwidth management and the like.

A separate product, ReefEdge Connect Manager, is a group of network management and monitoring tools.

The company this week also unveiled two new hardware products. One, the EC100X, is an Edge Controller that has a hardware component to speed up data encryption. The other, the CS50, dubbed the “combo box,” is a single box that blends some of the features of both the Edge Controller and the Connect Server. With up to six access points, the CS50 is intended for small offices or departments.

For the 2.5 release, ReefEdge engineers added code to keep the hardware running despite network problems. The servers and controllers now can be set up to switch traffic and operations to a companion device in case of a network outage or hardware failure.

Another addition now lets net managers adapt the way different groups of users can interact with the ReefEdge software. Managers can create specialized log-on screens, for example.

The ReefEdge Mobile Domain Utility, a Windows client application, was substantially reworked. Among the changes is a single sign-on feature. When users log into their Windows PC, the ReefEdge software now automatically logs them into the ReefEdge controllers and servers. The utility automatically sets up and handles tasks such as detecting wireless nets, and configuring IPSec tunnels.

ReefEdge Connect System 2.5 is available now. The CS50 starts at US$6,000. Edge Controllers are priced from US$4,000 to US$5,000; the Connect Servers start at US$7,500.