Networking specialist 3Com is targeting small business customers with new products in its OfficeConnect range, as well as additional free coursework on its Learning Centre site.
New to the OfficeConnect line-up is the Dual 56K LAN modem, which retails at £283 (ex VAT). It gives a transmission speed approaching that of ISDN (128Kbps) by synching two V.90 analogue modems.
3Com already markets an ISDN modem, which costs £315 (ex VAT).
The OfficeConnect range is designed for ease of use by non-technical customers, and to bring the cost-saving benefits of shared access and network connectivity to small businesses.
3Com business group manager, Alessandra Cimatti, said: "Our customers in Europe can choose how they want to connect to the internet depending on the connection technology available in their area. They can opt for our ISDN version, or the new dual-analogue 56K LAN modem, which offers similar performance using two standard analogue lines."
"Overall, our customers now have more easy-to-use and reliable options to securely access the internet, she added."
The company has also released new firewall products. Firewalls are necessary where users have 'always-on' dail-up connections, as they prevent hackers from accessing the data on the PC that connects to the internet.
The OfficeConnect Internet Firewall 25 uses packet inspection technology, which looks at every block of information received by a modem to check for unauthorised access. It can also be used in the reverse direction to prevent users on your LAN from accessing inappropriate websites from work. The product supports up to 25 users.
Also on release is the Internet Firewall DMZ, which supports 100 users and has an extra facility to plug in and protect a public server that can be accessed over the internet - for instance, where SMEs are hosting their website in-house.
The latest free coursework available at 3Com's Learning Centre for Small Business are security oriented. 'The Basics of Securing Business Networks' and 'Protecting Your Network with Firewalls' are both available now.
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