• United States
Executive Editor

Watchguard latest device safeguards SOHO sites

Jun 19, 20032 mins

* Watchguard combines features of a VPN switch and a wireless access point

Watchguard is making its wireless VPN bid with the introduction of a small-office box that combines features of a VPN switch and a wireless access point.

The new device enables users to create IPSec tunnels with other sites or with remote users, just they could with previous devices in Watchguard’s SOHO line. Now users can also create VPN tunnels between local wireless devices and the SOHO appliance via an integrated wireless access point.

This configuration protects the wireless transmission from being picked off by nearby eavesdroppers. They can still grab the transmissions, but the traffic is encrypted.

The device can also transfer traffic from the wireless tunnel to a tunnel created over the Internet that connects to another site, making a secure path all the way from the wireless device to a VPN gateway at a distant site. In addition to the wireless access point, the device contains a four-port Ethernet switch that can connect to a broadband DSL or cable modem Internet line.

The new box supports dynamic DNS, which lets customers get by without buying a static IP address from their service provider. Instead they can get a service under which the provider assigns IP addresses session by session and the SOHO boxes resolves the address with DNS servers.

This device may sound very similar to the Sonic Wall TZW because it is designed to compete against it.

The new Watchguard gear comes in three models. SOHO6 Wireless supports 10 remote users but no site-to-site VPNs for $649. SOHO6tc Wireless supports site-to-site connections and up to 10 concurrent users for $799. SOHO6tc Wireless 50 is the same as the SOHO6tc but supports 50 concurrent users for $1,079.

All models are available this month.