Customers Winning Networking Wars
SMC and Netgear provide sky-high functionality and rock-bottom prices.SMC and Netgear are duking it out over the market that covers everything from SOHO to extended enterprises (roughly one to 250 users). The networking business in general is a tough, cutthroat business, and its been further hammered by the tech sector decline. SMC and Netgear are in a nice spot, though. Theyre targeting the small to midsize businesses that are somewhat shielded from the roller coaster spending patterns of larger companies. Netgear, once Bay Networks SOHO startup and later the sole bright spot in Nortels network (Netgear is now a separate company), has done an awesome job at bringing business-class security features to the small-office, home-office level. Ive been using a little Netgear router for a couple of years now and love it. Of course, the engineers at vulnerability scanning vendors such as Cenzic say that its more or less a joke to break through 2-year-old network address translation "firewalls." But as long as that Netgear box knocks out the port-scanning, high-school hackers and I set up the security on my systems correctly, its good enoughfor now.
Netgears newest SOHO box, the FVS 318, brings real firewall capabilities to the home, including stateful packet inspection, multiple VPN tunnels and denial-of-service protectionall for $149. I ran Cenzics Hailstorm vulnerability scanner against it, and the 318 didnt even burp (at least out loud). Its not Check Points Check Point FireWall-1 (thankfully), but its better-than-adequate protection for its target market.