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The 10 most-read tests and reviews of 2005

Jan 03, 20063 mins

* The top Network World tests and reviews from 2005

1. McAfee, Omniquad top anti-spyware test

To find which anti-spyware product is best for your corporate network, we invited about 30 vendors to submit products to our lab for testing. We received 18 products from 16 vendors (see box), and we also looked at the beta version of Microsoft’s Windows AntiSpyware tool.

2. Cracking the wireless security code

Is it possible to deploy a secure wireless LAN with technology available today? That question preys on the minds of IT executives who are tempted to deploy enterprise WLANs, but are hesitant because of security concerns. So we assembled 23 wireless products from 17 vendors and ran them through a battery of tests aimed at getting the answer.

3. 10 ways to stop spyware

I’ve tested dozens of new utilities and dutifully download the latest version of each. The bottom line is they’re all good; they all help. But they’re all incomplete. Running anti-spyware utilities is just part of the solution. There are a slew of other things you can do, and have your users do, to curb the problem. Follow our handy 10-step guide to get started.

4. VoIP analysis tools

In this Clear Choice Test, we evaluated a burgeoning class of new products, collectively called VoIP analysis tools. These wares help the VoIP network manager proactively monitor and troubleshoot the IP telephony environment to ensure call continuity.

5. SSL VPNs dissected

If you don’t like IPSec VPNs, then you’ll love SSL VPNs. That’s the pitch from vendors pushing SSL VPNs as the alternative for secure remote access, as a platform for extranet deployment and even as an internal security tool for corporate LANs.

6. Double your broadband, double your fun

With more than 27.4 million broadband subscribers in the U.S., chances are you have access to multiple WAN connections (DSL, cable, satellite or all three). For small businesses and others who want Internet access redundancy and improved speed, companies are producing dual-WAN routers for combining two broadband connections on your network. We recently tested five dual-WAN routers.

7. Assessing Skype’s network impact

If you’re worried about Skype creating a security problem for your network, don’t, because the free VoIP service poses little danger to an enterprise network. That’s a good thing, because it’s just about impossible to keep Skype out of your network if end users are determined to run it.

8. Buffalo TeraStation NAS box

In 25 years, desktop storage has jumped from the IBM PC with a 360K-byte floppy drive to Buffalo Technology’s TeraStation, which offers 1T byte of capacity.

9. Windows patch management tools

We tested four stand-alone Windows patch management products – BigFix’s Enterprise Suite, Gravity Storm Software’s Service Pack Manager 2000, PatchLink’s Update and Shavlik Technologies’ HfNetChk Pro to find out if they improve patch deployment.

10. Voice over Wireless LAN

Over the course of three months we tested WLAN switches and access points from Aruba Wireless Networks, Chantry Networks (now Siemens), Cisco and Colubris Networks in terms of audio quality, QoS enforcement, roaming capabilities, and system features. Other vendors, including Airespace, Meru Networks and Trapeze Networks, declined to participate.