Solitary Guard or Army?
D-Link and Linksys sell their products for $120 and $129, respectively.D-Link and Linksys sell their products for $120 and $129, respectively. Those are simply unbeatable prices if all your price-conscious client wants is a basic level of protection from the outside world. Do they ship with a VPN? Nope. Encrypted remote management? No. RADIUS and LDAP authentication? No way. For those featuresand other advanced features such as integration with a global management systemyoull need to acquire one of the products from NetScreen, Watchguard and SonicWall, which quadruples the price right off the bat. With the VPN and other add-ons, the once reasonable low price can skyrocket to $1,000 or more. So how should you choose which product is best for your client? To connect offices securely, there are two options available: private line and a virtual private network (VPN). Private lines are often expensive (less so if it doesnt connect to the Internet), but offer unparalleled security and guaranteed throughput. VPNs drop the price, encrypting data over the Internet, but are more prone to the bandwidth inconsistencies of the Internet as well as security risks in exposing the network to the outside world.
Only the products from NetScreen, Watchguard and SonicWall ship with an IPSec VPN (IETF standard thats more secure than PPTP), which enables office-to-office encryption, but that functionality can double the price of the product. Four of the five products we reviewed support PPTP and IPSec passthrough, which means you can set up a separate VPN server behind the firewall or deploy VPN clients to the computersboth options add to the complexity of the network, the former for you, the latter for your client.