Check Point Releases Security Appliance for Consumers

Check Point Software Technologies’ critics long have lamented the absence of security appliances in the company’s product portfolio. Today Check Point announced a security appliance, though it’s focused on the consumer market rather than on the enterprise space, where the company’s detractors — customers as well as investors — believe it should be placing its bets.

Check Point’s ZoneAlarm Secure Wireless Router Z100G includes a stateful inspection firewall, intrusion prevention, antivirus, parental controls, VPN remote access, wireless encryption, and secure remote desktop access.

It will be sold as a standalone appliance, or bundled with five copies of ZoneAlarm Internet Security Suite software. Availability is expected in late November at http://www.zonelabs.com. List price for the standalone appliance will be $199.95, though a promotional offer priced at $149.95 will be available through December 31, 2006.

It’s a curious move, putting Check Point up against Netgear and Cisco’s Linksys unit for the patronage of consumers seeking Internet security appliances. The move is even more puzzling when one considers that, whereas Netgear and Cisco and others go through distribution and retail with their products, Check Point seems to be selling its product, at least for now, exclusively through the ZoneAlarm website.

This might be a good product, but I’m not sure the idea or the execution will silence the growing chorus of criticism directed at Gil Shwed and Check Point’s executive team.

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