Neoteris claims it can eliminate the need for IPSec remote access VPNs with new software that delivers all the same functionality. The Network Connect software for Neoteris's Instant Virtual Extranet hardware downloads an Active X control to Web browsers that nets the same result as an IPSec client - full network-layer access to corporate LANs.Remote users get the same access as they would if they were actually wired directly into the LAN.This follows other SSL remote access vendors Aventail and uRoam which are doing similar things for the same reason: businesses want to avoid the hassle of distributing, maintaining and upgrading permanent software on remote machines in large deployments. With the SSL option, all the remote PC needs is a Web browser.These vendors can also offer customers two other levels of access: just to Web based applications and to most client-server applications. Both these options make application-layer connections and so can be more restrictive than the third in terms of what resources the remote user is allowed to access.In this way, the SSL vendors offer more options than the IPSec-only vendors. Some of the IPSec vendors - Check Point, Nokia, Nortel - are adding SSL to their product lines to keep pace. The common goal seems to be to offer as many options as possible.As for the new Neoteris software, it is being released at the same time as software it calls Host Checker. Host Checker polls the remote machine that is trying to make a connection to see whether it has a firewall installed that is properly configured plus antivirus software that is updated and turned on. These options are in conjunction with other vendors including Zone Labs, McAfee and Sygate.Network Connect is sold as an add-on to Neoteris's Instant Virtual Extranet hardware and is sold based on the number of simultaneous users sold in various packages. A license for 2,500, for instance, costs $20,000 and a license for 1,000 costs $16,000.