SonicWall Launches Simpler, More Affordable Remote Access

The Secure Remote Access 1200 offers users and IT administrators manageable connections between the office and remote desktops, laptops and mobile devices.

Daniel Dern, Contributor

August 3, 2010

4 Min Read

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Just as individuals want to make secure connections to email, bank accounts, e-commerce and other sites to transact, companies want remote users to access specific applications, file, and other network resources securely. Unfortunately, outside the corporate firewall "rogue hot spots," wireless eavesdroppers and a host of other threats pose ongoing security challenges.

The go-to solution for remote network access, virtual private networking (VPN) technology, can secure a connection from end-to-end, -- extending the company firewall -- has often been too expensive or IT-intensive for small-to-midsize businesses to deploy. And, when affordable, it often lacks features and flexibility.

To address this, SonicWall, Inc. has announced the SRA 1200, as part of its Secure Remote Access (SRA) line of appliances, fitting between the SRA 200 and SRA 4200 models.

"Traditional remote solutions require a thick client managed by IT," says Patrick Sweeney, VP of product management, SonicWall.

SonicWall Secure Remote Access appliances Virtual Private Network (VPN) connections over existing Internet access "intended to provide small to medium-size organizations with easy-to-use, secure and affordable remote access, remote support and remote PC access solutions," according to the company.

The SRA 1200 is intended for use in SMBs supporting between five and fifty concurrent remote users and up to 10 SonicWall Virtual Assist Concurrent Technician Connections.

This includes:

-- Providing SSL VPN connections for remote access to SRA web portal, allowing employees secure access while working remotely, and also to provide controlled secure access by contractors, customers, supplies and other third parties. From any standard web browser, remote users launch a personalized Web portal for access to email, files, applications, and internal website. IT can configure access permissions with group policies through a new unified policy management interface. The SSL VPN can be established from any web browser that supports HTTPS -- that is, pretty much web browser on any device that's less than two years old, including WIndows MacOS and Linux desktop and laptop computers, PDAs, smartphones, and the iPad.

-- SonicWall Virtual Assist (an optional add-on), selected by the user from the web portal, provides "remote desktop" access to the user's computer by IT (who can be either in the company site, or elsewhere), to perform system diagnosis and support to the remote user's computer. This avoids the user having to bring their computer in, IT travelling to the user, or phone -- and also avoids the need for IT to provide a fat client or other user-side solution to install.

-- SonicWall Virtual Access, an extension of Virtual Assist, which lets users access their own computers remotely through a web browser, if they've already installed the Virtual Assist module on their computer (and the is powered on, and online). According to SonicWall, "Through the new Virtual Access feature, employees can access unattended workstations at home or remote offices."

-- NetExtender, a small light-weight on-demand (that can be left on the remote system), for customers who want full Layer 3 connections, to access resources that aren't browser-based.

-- Web Application Firewall, for customers who have public-facing web servers, like for processing credit cards, to secure these applications including scanning for cross-site scripting and other malicious attacks that target web applications.

The SRA 1200 also supports some degree of secure access from "untrusted" machines, by being able to provide one-time PADs (single-use passwords, basically) SMSd or texted to a user's cell phone. "This is good for SMBs who do not want to implement two-factor authentication, such as with tokens," says Sweeney.

Potential users, according to Sweeney, are across any and all industries, although, Sweeney notes, "You seen SSL VPNs very dominant in healthcare, where many doctors are contractors, so they have to be given very specific access to applications."

The SonicWall SRA 1200 can be deployed alongside any third-party firewall, according to the company.

The SonicWall SRA 1200 is available now, with MSRP $1,095 for the base configuration.

For enterprises, SonicWall also announced version 10.5 of Aventail, its E-class SRA series of clientless SSL VPN solutions, which can support thousands of concurrent VPN users and sessions through a single appliance.

About the Author(s)

Daniel Dern


Daniel P. Dern is an independent technology and business writer. He can be reached via email at [email protected]; his website,; or his technology blog,

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