NetPilot was created to be a turnkey solution for businesses to solve all their internet connectivity requirements. It provides internet routing and the sharing of a single ISP account; proxy-based firewall and NAT; web server and web caching; servers for DNS, DHCP, FTP and email; access control and URL filtering. In addition it can act as a file and print server for Windows workstations.
The web, FTP and email server functionality reside in what is effectively a demilitarized zone within the NetPilot. The WAN connection can be made via a second RJ-45 Ethernet port, or via an optional interface, which can be either X.21/V.35 (for a leased-line) or ISDN. Internet access can be controlled based on the usual time-of-day and day-of-week restrictions, with URL blocking using the third-party N2H2 list, and on a per-user basis. Email anti-virus protection is provided by Sophos, while anti-spam is from Spam Assassin.
It is particularly easy to configure using the wizard provided. Besides configuring the NetPilot itself, this same wizard may be run on every LAN workstation that requires internet access, to automate the changes needed for each workstation regarding NAT and proxy settings. The wizard makes these changes automatically, including any changes needed for browsers and email clients.
Although NetPilot offers IPsec protocols for the triple-DES-based VPN, it now also includes CIPE (crypto IP encapsulation) as part of what it calls its 'TurboVPN' offering. CIPE is a faster, simpler and more flexible protocol that limits the number of tunnels that need to be established in a network without losing any of the security.
The NetPilot Plus is part of a range of NetPilots designed for everything from the very small business with less than 15 users to the larger business with over 100 users. The low-end models come with a slightly reduced feature set (basically, no AV), while the top-of-the-range NetPilot Enterprise adds disk mirroring.
The NetPilot is easy to set up for businesses wishing to solve all their internet connectivity problems with one small appliance. It enables such organizations to establish a professional-looking internet presence easily, because of the way it can act as an email server as well as a web server. It also provides controlled internet access for browsing as well as basic protection from the dangers of the internet.