Network Extender Lives Up to Name

By Andrew Garcia  |  Posted 2004-09-27 Print this article Print

Check Point's SSL Network Extender assigns a virtual IP address to the client.

With the SSL Network Extender, Check Point rounds out its remote access arsenal, adding full network connectivity via SSL to its existing IPSec and SSL reverse-proxy solutions.

Although many SSL VPN vendors provide similar options, Check Point Software Technologies SSL Network Extender, which is available now, is especially attractive because it is available as an upgrade module for VPN-1 implementations.

Click here to read eWEEK Labs reviews of four SSL-based VPNs.
Similar to IPSec tunnels, SSL Network Extender delivers full network access, which allows users to access Web-based applications from their browsers and non-Web applications using native client applications.

The SSL Network Extender plug-in costs $2,300 for 25 concurrent client nodes or $40,000 for 1,000 nodes. SSL Network Extender is available free to companies using Check Points Connectra SSL VPN appliances.

Since SSL Network Extender is integrated with the firewall, it was a snap to apply policies to the SSL tunnels that allowed only specified traffic to approved hosts or networks.

As with IPSec tunnel configuration, administrators can leverage a multitude of authentication options. When remote clients connect via SHTTP to an SSL Network Extender-enabled gateway, an ActiveX control automatically downloads and installs on the client machine .

Check Point requires using Internet Explorer on a Windows 2000- or XP-based host, and the user must have administrative permissions on the machine to load the control.

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Andrew cut his teeth as a systems administrator at the University of California, learning the ins and outs of server migration, Windows desktop management, Unix and Novell administration. After a tour of duty as a team leader for PC Magazine's Labs, Andrew turned to system integration - providing network, server, and desktop consulting services for small businesses throughout the Bay Area. With eWEEK Labs since 2003, Andrew concentrates on wireless networking technologies while moonlighting with Microsoft Windows, mobile devices and management, and unified communications. He produces product reviews, technology analysis and opinion pieces for, eWEEK magazine, and the Labs' Release Notes blog. Follow Andrew on Twitter at andrewrgarcia, or reach him by email at

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