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Netopia Enhances R-Series Router Offering

Netopia Inc. Monday introduced major enhancements to the company's leased line, dial-up and Digital Subscriber Line routers.

Three new leased-line routers have been added to the Netopia R-series line-up. Standard features of the new Serial, DDS, and T1 routers included secure Virtual Private Networking and an integrated 8-port hub. The new leased-line routers can be upgraded to xDSL technology.

Netopia has also upgraded the cost control features of their dial-up routers. The ISDN and Dual Analog routers now incorporate a Web-based tool that provides end users with the means to meter activity on a per-connection basis. The budgeting feature lets administrators define and enforce metered Internet connections.

All of Netopia's new DSL routers include integrated Virtual Private Networking with encryption as a standard feature. The VPN capabilities are designed to help businesses set up basic extranets, securely connect branch offices, and provide cost effective LAN access to remote and mobile workers.

"DSL connections offer small and mid-sized businesses a very cost-effective alternative to traditional leased-lines, but until now DSL routers haven't offered the VPN features that businesses need," said Barbara Tien, director of product marketing, Netopia's Internet equipment division.

Because Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol is included as a standard part of Microsoft's NT servers, Netopia router integration utilizes the PPTP as a standard for VPN tunneling configurations in their routers.

Tien said "ISPs are very interested in offering an always-on, broadband connection to their business clients and our VPN solution now provides them with the security and flexibility that business office networks demand."

Additional enhancements of the Netopia DSL routers include integrated Multi-Network Address Translation and packet filtering capabilities. MultiNAT capabilities increase both the security and flexibility of a business network.

According to Tien ISPs prefer MultiNAT capabilities because the NAT protocol naturally hides IP addresses from public access. "There is a natural security advantage of NAT because an intruder can't tell what IP you're using." Tien added "MultiNAT capabilities simply make the routers easier to configure while using fewer IP addresses."

IP address conservation with the MultiNAT feature integrated into Netopia's DSL routers means that a business can connect 50 workstations to their ISP with just five IP addresses.

Netopia's enhanced packet filtering capabilities on all R-series routers will support up to 255 filter rules in any combination of input or output, for up to eight filter sets. This means that businesses can customize who has access to what information on their network for both an internal and remote access routing.

The new Netopia integrated VPN, MultiNAT and packet filtering capabilities of the R-series routers are currently scheduled to be available in May. A demonstration of the Netopia PPTP router function is currently on display at ISPCON in Baltimore.