SonicWall security devices embrace 802.11n

Companyy gives its UTM gear the capabilities of 802.11n wireless

SonicWall's unified threat management gear has embraced 802.11n wireless networks via a software upgrade and a new wireless controller under its Clean Wireless architecture, which scans for malicious traffic as it enters business networks from mobile devices.

With the new software release, the company is giving its UTM gear the capabilities of 802.11n wireless switch controllers that also apply to the wireless traffic whatever policies have been set for that user's traffic. The flows can be subjected to intrusion detection and prevention, malware scanning, content filtering and application control.

The 802.11n support is available for SonicWall NSA E-class, NSA and TZ 210 models of UTMs. They previously supported 802.11a and 802.11b/g.

The company is also introducing a wireless access point, SonicPoint N Dual Band, that supports both 802.11n and 802.11b standards. The device is based on new hardware and high-speed processors that the company says will insure performance that outstrips that of gear from rivals Cisco (Linksys) and Netgear.

Single security policies can be applied to both wired and wireless traffic by the UTMs. In the case of the access points, policies set in the UTMs are forwarded to the access points.

As users log in wirelessly, WPA sessions are set up between their devices and the access points. The access points decrypt the traffic and forward it to the UTM devices through an AES-encrypted tunnel. The UTMs apply the security policy then switch the traffic to its destination on the wired or wireless networks or to the Internet.

The UTMs' application firewall can identify applications and impose application bandwidth management. It can limit bandwidth available for instant messaging and peer-to-peer traffic for students logging in to a school's wireless network, for example.

SonicOS 5.2 firmware is available now for TZ and NSA customers with support contracts. SonicPoint-N Dual-Band access points are available now and cost US$545. They are available with Power over Ethernet (PoE) only, and individual devices come with a PoE injector. Purchases of four or more do not come with the injectors because customers making deployments of that size will likely have PoE switches, SonicWall says.

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Tim Greene

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