Security gateway goes open source for all

Untangle looks to make money supporting its combo antivirus, antiphishing, antispyware offering

Untangle has made its open source security software available free for download to network managers supporting environments of all sizes.

Late last year Untangle, previously named Metavize, offered open source security software code only for customers with 10 or fewer employees. Now the company's Untangle Gateway Platform is available free for download to all potential customers.

The software, which includes a dozen network-security applications, is best when installed on a dedicated server and the company sells appliances if customers are interested. But Untangle CEO Bob Walters says his company, founded in 2003, will make its money off of support packages instead of software sales.

"Open source is paving the way of the future. Customers will pay for support and services, but software will be free," he says. With hundreds of SMB customers under its belt, Untangle plans to expand its business to serve a larger audience by making its software free for an unlimited time and offering users the chance to upgrade to an enterprise version of the platform. "The free version is ideal for customers with 50 users or less, and requires some basic network-administration skills," Walters says.

Included in the free open source platform are spam, virus, spyware, phishing and attack-blocker applications, as well as Web filter, intrusion-prevention, firewall, router, VPN and protocol-control technologies. The download includes reporting capabilities. Untangle tapped 30 open source projects to build its platform, Walters says, including SpamAssasin, ClamAV, and Snort.

Walters is confident the open source software will send appliance-making such competitors as SonicWall, Barracuda and WatchGuard running, because the Untangle Gateway Platform consolidates multiple functions in one download.

"To my knowledge, the only other open source options available are point products. We included the critical features in one download," he says.

The Untangle Gateway Platform is available as a free download on SourceForge under the GNU General Public License Version 2 (GPLv2) license. Live support and premium extensions are available from the vendor starting at US$25 per month. Customers can purchase appliances from Untangle on which to run the open source software starting at about US$1,000.

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