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Check Point's Firewall/VPN Now Has Wireless 'Edge'

Check Point Software Technologies this week is poised to ship the first edition of a firewall/VPN appliance that integrates high-speed wireless access.

VPN-1 Edge W will be available in four configurations based on the number of users supported. The line integrates Check Point's flagship VPN-1/FireWall-1 technology with a core wireless feature set that includes support for 802.11b/g and Super G, which theoretically doubles available wireless bandwidth up to 108 Mbps. The product offers full port-based and tag-based VLAN support.

Moreover, VPN-1 Edge W includes extended-range wireless cards that can offer triple the coverage area of other wireless access points, said Bill Jensen, product marketing manager at Check Point. "The value-add in this product is the wireless," he said.

Pricing for VPN-1 Edge W starts at $799 for an edition that supports eight users and one remote-access user.

When it comes to security, the appliance can separate wired from wireless users and can distinguish and manage guest users on the wireless network, automatically giving them different rights than permanent users, Jensen said.

The appliance can be controlled using Check Point management technology such as SmartCenter or the Smart Management Portal, which provides managed security services. "Everyone wants the same level of security that they're getting at the core," he said.

Nathan Browne, director of technical services at AccessIT Group, a security solution provider based in King of Prussia, Pa., said the new product will address a need among enterprises outfitting branch offices with wireless technology to quickly set up networks in conference rooms or at off-site meetings. It also will be attractive for small offices that don't want to invest in wiring or that don't employ on-site IT staff, he said.

"Within the Check Point line, this is something they've been lacking. We've been integrating two different products up until now, which has made things more difficult to manage. Plus, the footprint wasn't the same," Browne said.

Also this week, Check Point, Redwood City, Calif., is adding gateway antivirus technology to its Express line of software products, Jensen said.

Check Point Express CI includes the complete VPN-1 and FireWall-1 suite, intrusion-prevention features and the SmartCenter management console, as do earlier editions of the line. The new addition is network-based antivirus protection that will scan inbound and outbound e-mail, Web and FTP traffic.

Product pricing starts at $4,000. Related contracts for SmartDefense, Check Point's realtime antivirus and intrusion-prevention service, start at $600 per year for antivirus updates or $1,100 per year for complete software updates.

Jensen said Check Point will provide an upgrade path to the new product for current users of the Check Point Express line. "We're giving 100 percent credit for earlier purchases," he said.

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