AEP Systems is upgrading the software for its Secure Sockets Layer remote access appliances to make it possible for remote users to access more applications.The release of SureWare for the A-Gate appliances introduces a Java-based client that enables Web browsers on remote machines to make connections with a wider range of non-Web applications based behind firewalls in corporate networks.The Java applet is sent down to the remote PC after the user authenticates to the A-Gate appliance. The alternative would be installing full application client software on the remote PC, which would defeat one main attraction of using SSL for remote access - it requires no client installation.The software upgrade also adds single sign-on capabilities to the platform. With single sign-on, a remote user authenticates to the A-Gate box and if the logon is the same for the application server the user is trying to access, then the box passes it along. The user doesn't have to authenticate twice, saving time.With the upgrade, the gear now has certification with RSA for its ClearTrust access management software. Among other features, the platform supports single sign-on across multiple sites, policy management for authentication and auditing and reporting on authentication activity.Some other SSL remote access vendors offer these features, so AEP isn't breaking new ground, but it is beefing up its feature set while maintaining its main distinguishing characteristic: its gear is significantly less expensive than most of its competitors. While AEP charges $7,000 for a gateway for 50 users, Aventail charges $10,000 for its EX 750 appliance with a 50-user license, for example.The new software should make this equipment that much more attractive to businesses looking to save money as they implement SSL remote access.CORRECTION: In last week's newsletter about the Fortinet 5140, the correct firewall performance is 56G bit\/sec.