SonicWall has announced a multi-function security appliance for small businesses that gives five times more throughput than its low-end devices for an extra $200.

The TZ 210 boasts 50Mbits/s throughput with all its security features turned on versus the TZ 190, which has 10Mbits/s throughput for $695 (approx £477).

The box is part of a SonicWall upgrade of its unified threat management (UTM) hardware that has been ongoing over the past year. SonicWall competes against Check Point, Cisco, Juniper and Watchguard, among others.

The TZ 210 device includes an 802.11n wireless access point, an Ethernet switch with two Gigabit Ethernet ports and two fast-Ethernet ports. It supports IPSec and SSL VPNs. The SSL VPN is new, and will be available on SonicWall's UTM gear later this quarter, the company says.

The devices can now be paired in active-passive mode so if one fails, the other takes over, but sessions on the failed box will be dropped. Security functions on the device include firewall, antivirus, anti-spyware and content filtering. It also supports VoIP.

The company is also introducing two hardware platforms for its SSL VPN dedicated appliances. The SRA EX6000 and SRA EX7000. These boxes differ from earlier versions in that they have hot-swappable fans and power supplies as well as load-balancing capabilities when paired. Pricing for the SRA EX 6000 starts at $8,495, and pricing for the SRA EX7000 starts at $22,245.

Along with the new hardware, SonicWall is upgrading the software running on the machines to persistently test endpoints for compliance with security rules. So if a device meets access rules and is admitted to a VPN, it can be retested at regular intervals during the VPN session to insure that its configuration has not changed.

SonicWall has added software to its platform OPSWAT that can check for the presence and status of most vendors' security software, making for a more comprehensive test of endpoints. Cisco and Juniper also partner with OPSWAT.

The SSL agent can tie Windows Mobile devices to particular users' identities as stored in Lightweight Directory Active Protocol or Active Directory, making it more difficult for an unauthorised person to use a mobile device to access the network, SonicWall says.

The software also gives a richer view of active user sessions. It previously showed the user name and when that user logged in. Now it shows a list of connections made over a period of days; how the sessions were authenticated; what endpoint control classification was determined; data moved during sessions; the number of authorisation attempts and the like.

The software is available now as an upgrade to current customers with support contracts.