Check Point gets into appliance business

Check Point gets into appliance business

Check Point Software Technologies, formerly a software-only company, now offers a line of low-end VPN-firewall appliances for branch offices and home offices.

The Safe@Office boxes take the place of the appliances previously made by Check Point subsidiary Sofaware, which will now develop Check Point software specifically for small, low-end VPN firewalls.

The SOHO line consists of four boxes in the Safe@Office family that cost between $US300 and $600, while the branch-office devices include three Edge X Series boxes and one Edge S8 model ranging from $400 to $2000. The Safe@Office devices are manageable via a Web GUI, making them better suited to smaller operations such as home offices or small businesses where less sophisticated staff might have to care for them.

The branch-office line consists of VPN-1 Edge family S and X boxes, which are manageable via Check Point’s enterprise SmartCentre software, its service provider Provider-1 Software and Simple Management Protocol (SMP) compliant platforms, making them suitable for enterprises with small offices.

The S8 costs $400, has a four-port LAN switch and a single WAN port, a 22Mbps firewall and 3Mbps VPN encryption. The X32 costs $1200 and has a 150Mbps firewall and greater than 20Mbps VPN encryption. The XU costs $2000, has a 150Mbps firewall and 30Mbps VPN encryption. All the X-Series boxes have a four-port LAN switch, a WAN port and a second port that can be configured either to connect to another X-Series box for high availability or to a second WAN link, for back-up Internet connectivity.

Check Point compares the VPN-1 Edge gear to NetScreen Technologies’ 5GT Plus and Cisco Systems’ PIX 501. They can also be compared to appliances made by Check Point partner Nokia, such as its IP 130 and 330.

Check Point said the Safe@Office’s family is also comparable to Cisco’s PIX 501, SonicWall’s SOHO3, Watchguard Technologies’ SOHO6TC and Nokia’s IP 130 and 330.

The new Check Point appliances make things simpler for customers, said Mark Bouchard, an analyst with Meta Group. Rather than have Check Point software on an appliance made by another vendor, customers can buy it on an appliance made by Check Point. “It’s one appliance and one vendor, not two vendors they have to deal with. No finger-pointing allowed,” he said.

The products will be distributed in Australia by Express Data and LAN Systems. Alstom IT has opted not to distribute the products to avoid any possibility of a conflict of interest with existing product lines.

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