Product Watch: A Router, Firewall, Content Filter & More, All In One Package!

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Internet Gateway 6.8.2 From Vicomsoft
As high speed internet connections become more common, many Mac users are looking for ways to share their connection among the computers in their house or office. One option is to buy a router which allows you to create a private network and present only one IP address to the web. The process of translating the private IP addresses to a public one is called, appropriately enough network address translation, or NAT for short.

Vicomsoft's Internet Gateway is a suite of connectivity utilities that provide the NAT services of a router and a host of other services to boot. The Internet Gateway suite takes a modular approach, allowing you to add on services you want and exclude others you don't need. In its most basic form, Internet Gateway provides the following services:

  • NAT - As mentioned above, NAT allows multiple users to share one internet account/connection. Depending on which version of Internet Gateway you buy, 5, 10 or an unlimited number of simultaneous users are supported.
  • Firewall security - Protects data residing on your local network against intrusion by examining incoming data before passing it along to your local network. If the data is suspect it is not allowed through.
  • DNS caching - DNS servers translate hard to remember IP addresses like 205.214.169.86 into more familiar domain names like macspeedzone.com. Depending on net congestion, pulling information from a remote DNS server can take a few seconds for every page you access.
  • >User defined filters - Access to specific sites, or services (FTP, e-mail, web) can be blocked.

Additional services and features vary depending on the version of Internet Gateway you buy. Some of the highlights include:

  • Connection teaming - Allows you to use two modems, DSL, ISDN connections to speed up web transfers.
  • Content filtering - Block access to "objectionable material" via a CyberNOT subscription.
  • RapidCache Server - Stores web pages locally to speed up subsequent load times.
  • WebHeader - Load a custom frame on all web pages accessed from your local network. Allows organizations to create custom navigation bars, broadcast announcements etc.

Most DSL connections in the US use an Ethernet connection. According to Vicomsoft, "DSL modems" in Europe use USB to connect to the Mac. With version 6.8.2, Internet Gateway now supports USB as well as Ethernet DSL connections.

Depending on the options you select, Internet Gateway costs anywhere from $99 to $599. A time limited demo can be downloaded from the Vicomsoft site.