Symantec is to begin shipping a new line of its Gateway Security appliances designed for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs).

The Symantec Gateway Security 1600 Series products will use the same software as Symantec's enterprise-level 5000 Series appliances, but will not have the performance or hardware robustness of their high-end counterparts, said George Sluz, group product manager with Symantec.

The first two models in the new product line will be the Gateway Security 1620 and 1660. The 1620 will sell for about US$900, with a $500 per year license fee. It will come with three Ethernet ports and will support network throughput of up to 100M bps.

The Gateway Security 1660 will support faster 200 Mbp/s networking and will ship with five Ethernet ports. It will also include an encryption processor, which will give the product five times the VPN (virtual private network) performance of the 1620. The 1660 will be priced just under $2,500, and will cost about $1,500 per year in license fees, Sluz said.

Symantec's appliances are designed to provide an extra level of security for corporate networks by performing network-wide security checks, including firewalling, antivirus protection, intrusion prevention and detection, and content filtering.

Both of the 1600 series machines will also have antispyware and anti-adware features. These capabilities are expected to be added to the 5,000 series appliances in April, Sluz said.