Intel Broadband Router Fights Security Woes

Offering protection for the rapidly growing numbers of always-on broadband connections, Intel last week introduced a VPN broadband router for small business and branch office environments.

The Intel Corp. Express 8205 VPN Broadband Router, deployed behind a DSL or cable modem or behind an existing router, is designed to provide small offices with security for broadband connections without bogging down performance, according to Intel officials.

By offloading heavy processing functions required to run VPNs and firewalls on individual PCs, the router helps companies take full advantage of broadband bandwidth, according to Anni Birgitte Moeller, product manager at Intel, in Bedford, Mass.

"If you have a DSL connection, often it is because you want more bandwidth. But If you also want to do encryption, [many] encryption devices cannot encrypt fast enough to take advantage of the extra bandwidth," Moeller said. "By offloading the encryption from those devices that are not designed to handle encryption, the VPN router can help fill up the pipeline that you are paying for."

The 8205 router supports unlimited users and can establish secure VPN tunnels at 1.3Mbps throughput with as many as 50 other locations, Intel said.

According to Lauri Vickers, senior analyst at Cahners In-Stat Group, in Scottsdale, Ariz., Intel's Express 8205 attempts to solve increasingly volatile security issues with broadband connectivity.

"Cable modems have become so affordable that a lot of small and midsize companies operate off cable modems for Internet access. But corporations of all sizes need security to protect intellectual property and sensitive information," Vickers said. "This product takes advantage of a distinct trend of needing security on those and always-on connections."

"It also addresses the specific needs of smaller businesses, with more performance at a lower price. There are other products out there but they are either more expensive or they offer less performance," Vickers said.