|BeadleNet has released a new product called SOHO2000 that offers networking and firewall protection. SOHO2000 promises to make networking far easier to set up with features that include automatic OS detection that offers the right setup mode based on that detection. According to BeadleNet:
With an easy, interactive, browser-based installation, the SOHO2000 automatically detects operating system and web browser for each computer, then provides the user with a tailor-made installation guide. Utilizing customer feedback, the SOHO2000 installation guides and help pages are continuously updated on the BeadleSoft software support web site. Users are automatically taken directly to any updated areas on the site during the installation. The product also automatically detects any outdated software housed internally and proposes free maintenance upgrades via the BeadleSoft software user interface.
Utilizing Internet Protocol (IP) routing for Internet sharing, the SOHO2000 supports Network Address Translation (NAT) and Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) technologies. NAT allows a single IP address to be shared by multiple computers, while DHCP enables IP addresses to be assigned to computers on the network when needed, automatically configuring the communication between them and the Internet Service Provider (ISP).
BeadleNet's SOHO2000 offers four Ethernet RJ-45 ports for direct connection of up to four computers to the unit. However, by using cross over cables, each port can be uplinked to additional hubs or switches to support more users on the network. The product supports Windows 95/98/NT/2000, Macintosh and Unix-based systems, and web browsers Internet Explorer or Netscape Navigator. The SOHO2000 is available in eight versions with varying features including:
- Expanded User Licenses - SOHO2000 offers software support for up to 175 computers.
- Configurable or Non-Configurable Firewall - Configurable firewall allows for Web/FTP server hosting or remote access to individual computers on the network.
- Hacker Attack Denial of Service - SOHO2000 protects against Ping of Death, LAND Attack and IP Spoofing.
- Web Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) - Ensures added security for hosting a Web/FTP server with its own assigned IP address.
- Bandwidth Management - (Option Available June '99) Allows bandwidth to be adapted to each computer's needs.
- Usage Accounting - (Option Available June '99) Allows usage tracking for individuals or the whole network.
- Hacker Attack Control Software - (Option Available June '99) A tracking system which generates activity report logs.
- Virtual Private Network (VPN) - (Option Available July '99) Provides a secure private network between offices over the Internet.
The product is available now through resellers.
Pricing is based on the number of users and selection of optional BeadleSoft software features, and ranges from a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $399.00 to $1,250.00 per unit.
The Mac Observer Spin: This product sounds very interesting and could represent a big step towards consumer level networking. In particular, we like the fact that the OS is automagically detected without the user having to know what they are on.
While geeks and nerds like us may enjoy the feeling of knowing how to set up a network from scratch, the vast majority of people do not have that knowledge.
The Mac Observer will be offering a review of the product soon.