It is not always a software solution that saves the day when you want to work remotely. From a small branch office or home office a VPN tunnel may fit the bill and SonicWALL has several hardware solutions that may provide the security that you are in need of. We took a look at the SonicWALL TELE3 SP as an alternative solution for secure remote access communications.

From a user perspective it is easy enough to install, and anyone who has purchased a PC and set it up at home for themselves will be able to get to grips with this small but secure solution. The TELE3 SP takes up very little room and is ideal for those using an always-on broadband connection. Alternatively, it comes with a fail-over modem connection, which can be set as default for non-broadband users.

The solution, as we've said, is small and comes with a variety of cables, a good quality user's installation guide, an administrator's manual and getting started guide.

User authentication is by means of RADIUS, SecurID or via a local database, while encryption VPN tunnels use ARC4, DES and triple-DES.

Installing the TELE3 SP at the user end may seem daunting to the non-computer buff, but your users should have little trouble hooking up to this solution and preparing to work securely. You get a myriad of cables to connect to and from the PC/Network and TELE3 SP, but each has a separate task to fulfill and are amply explained for installation purposes. The 'box' itself is very small and light, with separate modem, WAN and LAN connection points, a CLI port, a reset ­ button and the power connection.

Configuration is not a problem; it is well documented and installation only requires information on IP addresses and ISP information, etc. There is a list provided in the installation guide and spaces to enter the required information. Then you set up a management station, basically any PC you choose to utilize on your LAN. Once you have done that, through a web browser-based interface, you can configure the TELE3 SP. It is so well documented it is hard to see where you could go wrong, but initialization can be accomplished by your administrator if necessary, although we felt it was pretty foolproof stuff.

Product title
Product info
Name: SonicWALL TELE3 SP (Remote Access group test) Description: Price: on application
Provides VPN tunneling for home workers and branch offices, but is also ideal for point-of-sale business models with a need for this type of technology.
Did not provide a plug for the transformer in the box so required further purchase of a U.K. power lead.
Great little VPN for home workers, point-of-sale business and branch office needs. Provides secure access and authentication across the internet. SOHO 3 and larger units are also available.

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