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Executive Editor

Who is Net6?

Mar 16, 20042 mins
Network SecurityNetworkingSecurity

* Net6 introduces an appliance and client software for remote PCs

There is a company called Net6 that has been around for a while but never mentioned in this newsletter before because it didn’t have anything to do with VPNs. It does now, and perhaps in a big way.

Since 2000, the company has made software for shrinking applications so they fit on the tiny screens of handhelds and cell phones and remain legible.

Now, though, it is introducing an appliance and client software for remote PCs that support remote access over the Internet. In some ways, the technology resembles Secure Sockets Layer remote access gear because it uses SSL to encrypt traffic to and from the remote machine. And in other ways, it resembles IPSec VPNs because it gives network-layer access to all applications.

The company claims it also avoids some drawbacks of each of the rival technologies. For instance, the company says Net6 Remote, the client software, and Net6 VPN Gateway, avoid the need to create split DNS entries for machines that might want to access network resources over an SSL remote access link some of the time and via a direct network connection at other times. And the company says its gear avoids the need to coordinate network address translation with firewalls as required by IPSec remote access networks.

SSL remote access equipment uses Web browsers as the remote client, eliminating the need to deploy and maintain client software. Net6 tries to get around this by downloading its client to machines via the Web and then automatically updating them every time they are used.

The Net6 is just being announced this week, and it does offer a third alternative in the area of Internet remote access that might be worth checking out by people considering IPSec or SSL remote access options. One Net6 customer at least is phasing out its IPSec VPN gear because it finds the Net6 equipment to be less work to install and maintain.