First Look: 3Com's OfficeConnect Cable/DSL Secure Gateway

Tuesday Mar 26th 2002 by SmallBusinessComputing Staff
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This new gateway promises a secure and affordable way to scale single broadband connections over small business networks.

Wayne N. Kawamoto
Managing Editor, www.smallbusinesscomputing.com

3Com Corporation (Nasdaq:COMS) announced its OfficeConnect Cable/DSL Secure Gateway that promises to provide small businesses with security for their broadband Internet connection. According to the company, its OfficeConnect Cable/DSL Secure Gateway offers a range of security features that include an industry-standard firewall and an ability to initiate and terminate Virtual Private Network (VPN) connections. In addition, the OfficeConnect Cable/DSL Secure Gateway enables multiple users to share a single connection, whether over cable or Digital Subscriber Line (DSL), which may reduce broadband access costs. This capability is also available with basic security features in the OfficeConnect Cable/DSL Gateway announced in February 2002.

For a high level of security, the product includes an industry-standard, stateful packet inspection firewall, which tracks transactions to ensure that inbound packets were requested by the user. For secure data encryption, small businesses can enable users to send or receive VPN packets, using either the PPTP or IPSec protocol conventions. The OfficeConnect Cable/DSL Secure Gateway also provides basic security capabilities typically found in other gateway products including Network Address Translation, Port Address Translation, traffic filtering, and hacker pattern detection.

The OfficeConnect Cable/DSL Secure Gateway connects to an existing cable or DSL modem via an Ethernet cable, and contains an integrated switch with four Ethernet/Fast Ethernet local area network (LAN) ports. For easy setup, the gateway detects the Ethernet cable type being used and automatically adapts to make the proper connection. Users can connect directly through these ports, or any port may be used to connect to the existing office Ethernet LAN. When extended by a LAN, over 250 users should be able to use the OfficeConnect Cable/DSL Secure Gateway to access a single broadband Internet.

Pricing and Availability
The OfficeConnect Cable/DSL Secure Gateway is priced at $350 (U.S. list) and is expected to be available worldwide in April 2002.

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