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F5 Debuts Remote Access Platform For SMBs

F5 Networks last week announced a new version of its Secure Sockets Layer Virtual Private Network (SSL VPN) product FirePass Controller, scaled down and simplified for small to medium businesses (SMBs). The new FirePass 600 platform, which provides secure remote access to company networks via a Web browser, supports up to 25 concurrent user sessions and hundreds of users.

The company touts the simple installation and management of FirePass 600 Series devices, saying that they can be deployed in just 30 minutes. A series of wizards designed for non-technical users guides the administrator through the setup process. "We did extensive usability testing on this," said F5 security manager Hari Krishnan, "and people were able to go through the process easily and successfully."

Client software is not installed on individual PCs; the client component is automatically downloaded through a Web browser on the user's machine.

Other features include compression of network traffic for improved access speeds as well as end-to-end security, including integrity checking of user devices, authentication, data encryption, and removal of confidential information on the client device at the end of the session. FirePass 600 products support multiple client platforms, including Windows, Linux, Mac, Solaris, and PocketPC devices.

FirePass 600 Series products are available now, with prices set at $3,995 for 10 concurrent users and $5,495 for 25 concurrent users. A 15-concurrent-user upgrade option is available for $1,995. FirePass service contracts start at $645.

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