Low-cost VPN eases remote Lan access


Low-cost VPN eases remote Lan access

Linux firewall supplier Smoothwall has introduced a new version of its Smoothtunnel virtual private network module to support secure remote user access to company networks.

Smoothwall is a modular firewall derived from an open source project developed in Southampton. A commercial version, called Smoothwall Commercial Server, based on a cut-down version of the Linux operating system, has been available since 2001 for £180.

Smoothtunnel is a £200 add-on VPN that provides remote workers with a secure VPN tunnel through the internet to their office network, giving them access to file, print, web, FTP and e-mail servers.

Smoothwall managing director George Lungley said the product supports VPN standard L2TP (Layer 2 Tunnelling Protocol). Since L2TP is built into Windows 2000 and Windows XP, Lungley said users would not need to buy client software to access the VPN.

The L2TP connection can be used in "remote gateway" mode, where all internet traffic is routed through Smoothtunnel. According to Lungley, this ensures users adhere to the same IT security policies that they have to use in the office, such as web content filtering, internet access control and anti-virus measures.

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This was first published in March 2004


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