NetMaster Gateway Guardian

NetMaster Gateway Guardian

What Does Activation Key Mean?

An activation key is a code to register or activate a software application. It usually consists of letters and numbers with a dotted fundamental movement between sections. Newer models of software products eliminate the activation key as an authorization mechanism. With the development of cloud computing services, many types of software have been purchased online and used online on a subscription basis. It eliminates the need to use activation keys to authenticate users. An activation key is a by-product of the system where the user purchases the code and execution software for the application and downloads all of the code to their computer or device. New methods are rapidly replacing the traditional form of licensing.
NetMaster Gateway Guardian

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Create your own dedicated enterprise level security appliance by easily installing our GG-OS software onto your own hardware to provide network firewalling, unlimited VPN tunnels, and centralized remote management. Core features include: Centralized remote management console to manage any number of security devices; dynamic packet filtering firewalling; IPSec VPN supporting 3DES, AES, Serpent and Twofish encryption; QoS and bandwidth shaping; Network Address Translation and Virtual Server support via IP Aliases. Auto-sensing configuration protocols set up a new device within minutes.

The Centralized Security Management System (CSM) software is written in Java and allows for cross platform administrative access from all popular operating systems (Linux, Windows, Solaris, OS X). Automatic updates with 128-bit RSA encrypted SSL streams via NetMaster’s SafetyNet keeps you up to date with the very latest software, firmware patches and security updates.

Want to put a VPN or firewall on your network card? A new class of product handles all the processing, keeping your server free to do the hard work.

Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) have seen boom times since the focus has been turned up on the lack of security in transmitting data on the Internet. With a host of readily available packet sniffing applications on the market, virtually no transmissions can be classified as secure unless they are encrypted prior to being sent. Even then, in some cases, even transmissions can be captured and with some expertise decrypted–if the cracker has enough incentive to do so. To achieve the best possible security currently available, one of the most popular technologies currently implemented is VPNs.

A VPN is either a software or hardware solution that creates an encrypted data tunnel across an unsecured network such as the Internet or a wireless network. Once created, this tunnel is essentially a point-to-point connection, despite running through many routers and different telecommunications equipment and links Technically, the only equipment that can access the encrypted data on that link is the equipment on each end.

VPNs can be run either as software on a server or PC, or offloaded to a dedicated hardware device. Most security-minded IS Managers would generally opt for a hardware VPN solution over a software VPN solution due to the potential resource performance hit associated with encrypting and decrypting the data that is transmitted and received.

The majority of VPN/firewall hardware solutions are generally standalone appliances that look very similar to switches or routers. However, in recent months, a new class of product has emerged–firewall/VPN network cards. These are PCI or PCMCIA network cards that you would install in a single server or PC that handle the encryption and processing for running a firewall and VPN, and can be configured remotely.

For example, think about the link between the file server and the database server. If this link was running a VPN, effectively that would stop any external or even internal compromises via your corporate LAN infrastructure on the all-important database server, while still allowing the file server access to your data store. This is just one of many different uses for a VPN on an internal network.


Most people are now familiar with the concept of firewalls and the levels of security that they provide, whether they are personal desktop software firewalls such as ZoneAlarm or larger enterprise level firewalls like the Watchguard Fireboxes. A firewall is designed to block traffic both outbound and more importantly inbound on a range of IP addresses and/or computer ports. This gives the administrator extreme levels of control over the data that is potentially publicly available from any given system behind the firewall. There is also an area within a LAN or firewall that is classified as a demilitarized zone (DMZ). The DMZ is an unsecured area used for the company’s publicly accessible services such as Web and e-mail servers.

To test the firewalling capabilities of these cards, we used NMAP, which is a port scanning tool that checks IP addresses for open ports and therefore potential access points for hackers to exploit and gain access to the system. All cards that supported the firewalling options provided excellent control for allowing and denying access to ports. Some even allowed the administrator to set the firewall configuration to open and close access to ports during set time periods, for instance, to open a specific port between the hours of 8am and 6pm Monday to Friday to allow telecommuters access to their data during operating hours only.

The vendors that submitted products for this review are 3Com, Netmaster and 14 South Networks (previously known as OmniCluster). Other vendors that make similar products include Intel and Brisbane-based SnapGear, who were unable to submit products for the review.

Amongst the products 3Com submitted a PCMCIA VPN card for a notebook. This may provide a valuable addition to your mobile resources if you needed to have portable security to transfer encrypted data to and from a remote site. Establishing a VPN this way would remove some of the resource overheads associated with software VPN solutions, particularly as most notebooks are relatively low-powered compared to desktops and servers. It would also reduce costs, as any Internet connection could be used instead of dialling in to establish a point-to-point connection, and would prevent having to suffer the slow speeds of a 56Kbps or worse modem connection. And finally if a VPN over the internet was the only solution to get the data through securely from a remote site via a notebook, the PCMCIA card fits neatly in your notebook and saves having to carry a separate VPN router around just to connect securely.

In one of those bizarre rebranding incidents, the company formerly known as OmniCluster recently renamed itself 14 South Networks. Its product names were also re-jigged, and the SlotShield SSS 10 DL is know known as the IntraLock 10-1/DL. If you’re wondering what happened to Omnicluster, now you know. We hope it makes sense to someone in 14 South Networks’ marketing department, at least.

The IntraLock 10-1/DL is the big kahuna when it comes to VPN/firewalls on a card. It has 512MB of RAM, a Pentium III processor, and three 10/100 NICs all on board. It is a full length card, so before committing to this unit you will need to ensure that the server has enough space, particularly if it is rack mounted. It is designed primarily to secure an individual server, and depending on the model of IntraLock card that you purchase it will support between 10 and 30 concurrent VPN tunnels.

Once the card was physically inserted into the system and the server booted, the software installation went surprisingly well and the online guides and wizards were very detailed. The setup procedure creates a virtual disk image, which the Interlock actually boots itself from. The IntraLock then opens its own virtual console window on the desktop and boots its disk image from your PC’s hard disk. The IntraLock runs a hardened version of Red Hat Linux. Once Linux has booted on the IntraLock you are then presented with the Network Configuration tool.


This tool steps you through the basic configuration of the card, including the reconfiguration of the root and fwssh passwords, the addition of another user, and the configuration of the three onboard NICs. The configuration then passes to another window where you can set up further administrators and specific IP addresses that are allowed to run administration for the firewall. You can then load the Check Point SMART clients feature pack on your server, should you choose. This client software can also be loaded on any of the systems that you configured to act as administration consoles earlier.

All in all the IntraLock device is the only unit in this review with all the bells and whistles that you could wish for in a Firewall/VPN device that fits inside a system. Keep in mind that all that research, development, and production also cause it to carry the highest price tag. The decision to go for this unit or an external unit would be borderline.

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