SmoothWall has updated its VPN gateway add-on for its popular Linux-based firewall software.

Aimed at SMEs, but also suited to enterprise branch offices with road warriors to support, SmoothTunnel 3.1 supports L2TP, which running at layer 2 carries all IP traffic transparently.

Advantages, according to SmoothWall commercial director George Lungley, include the ability to configure clients so that all IP traffic is routed via the tunnel, which means central support services such as spam and virus protection can be applied, and email and browsing policies enforced.

It also provides the client with a LAN-specific IP address so access policies and privileges can be applied, said Lungley. He added that the system's 3DES encryption guarantees privacy and it is cheaper than an SSL VPN or an IPSec Windows client solution. Authentication is provided by X509 certificates.

Included is a wizard-driven utility which, according to Lungley, makes Windows 2000/XP IPSec clients simple to install. A separate client is downloadable for Windows 98/ME users. Lungley said the utility allows the client to be configured by end users, who needed only to call base for a password.

The SmoothWall firewall costs £180 and the SmoothWall 3.1 gateway is priced at £200 for five road warriors, with packs of 5,10, 20 and 50 available.