RealTime IT News

Check Point Router Has Home Users in Mind

Can a company known more for its security software make it in the rough-and-tumble world of consumer-grade wireless routers owned largely by Linksys and Netgear?

Check Point Software Technologies  unveiled its first consumer hardware product, the ZoneAlarm Secure Wireless Router Z100G.

But Check Point officials say they're not targeting the same routers Cisco's Linksys unit and Netgear make.

"We're not looking to compete with the $39 Linksys routers out there," Laura Yecies, general manager of Check Point's consumer and small business division, told internetnews.com.

Most wireless routers give consumers a false sense of invincibility, Yecies said.

While those vendors sell routers to shuttle data, Check Point claims its wireless router is a unified threat device for the consumer market. Unified means it features network defense on a number of levels.

Security features of the ZoneAlarm wireless router include a firewall, intrusion detection, antivirus, remote VPN and secure remote desktop from the ZoneAlarm Internet Security Suite.

Yecies said such features "ensure that hackers are thwarted regardless of the type of attack, such as spyware, rootkits, viruses and more."

Hackers exploit the weaknesses to steal personal information or use a home Internet connection to spread spam, pornography or commit other Internet crimes, according to Check Point.

Not if the ZoneAlarm does its job.

Scheduled to be available in late November, the $199 ($149 through Dec. 31) router was developed by Check Point's SofaWare Technologies subsidiary.

For that fee, users also get a year of support and software updates. After that, users will need to pay for the premium service, according to Check Point.

However, whether this message reaches the consumer is another matter: Check Point currently has no plans to offer its wireless router on retail shelves, opting for direct sales via their Web site.

This limited approach could make the product less visible to shoppers of big box electronics stores, said Elmer Choy, analyst with the Dell'Oro Group.