New SonicWall Appliance Supports VPN Encryption for WLANs

The SOHO TZW Internet security appliance from SonicWall enforces the use of VPN encryption on wireless LANs, thus offering a more secure alternative than the Wireless Equivalent Privacy (WEP) standard security protocol for 802.11b LANs.

The SOHO TZW is targeted to wireless users on small and medium networks in businesses of all sizes. The product integrates firewall, VPN and wireless access technologies into a single solution. It support stateful packet inspection and IPSec VPN encryption, which can help to resolve the conflict between security concerns of network administrators, and demands of users for wireless connectivity.

“With this product, we extend the trusted zone to wireless,” says Douglas Brockett, vice president of worldwide marketing for SonicWall. While work is ongoing to improve 802.11 security standards, “There is a rocky migration path to the future standards at best,” says Brockett.

The SonicOS 1.0 operating system offers a Web interface administrators can use for setup. Network administrators can create multiple zone of access for different types of users. The product supports standards 802.11bWi-Fi certified network cards.

The SOHO TZW requires the Global VPN Client to be installed on each wireless computer to give it full access. The client automatically downloads the user policy configuration from the SonicWall VPN gateway. A Global Management System administers the VPN Client connections.

The product sells for $995. SOHO TZW ships with support for up to 25 nodes and can be upgraded to 50 nodes for an additional $350, and unlimited nodes for an additional. $500.

The use of the Global VPN Client on the wide local area network is not restricted, but to support telecommuters who wan to connect to the SOHO TZW from the Internet, Global VPN Client licenses are required, for prices ranging from $50 for a single user to $795 for a 100-user license. Network anti-virus and content filtering support packages are available as well.

The company is planning a higher-bandwidth version of the product for a future release.

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