Access the Internet Without a Wire

By Dan Muse | Posted October 23, 2006

While many small businesses take broadband Internet connections for granted, for some either their location or the mobile nature of their business has been a deterrent to high-speed access.

If your business falls into one of those categories, you may be interested in learning more about the SonicWall TZ 190. Announced today, the SonicWall TZ 190 is a network security appliance that's designed to offer a secure 3G wireless broadband network without the need for a fixed Internet connection such as DSL.

While broadband connections abound in the majority of small businesses, 35 percent of small companies still have no high-speed Internet access, according to John Gordineer, SonicWall’s product line manager for the TZ series. The TZ 190 series is designed either for those businesses with no high-speed access or for companies that are reliant on Internet connectivity and are looking for an option for failover broadband should a DSL or other connection go down.

To provide wireless Internet access and a secure network environment, the TZ 190 functions as both a 3G router for high speed 3G Internet WAN connectivity and a security appliance that offers integrated virus and spyware protection, intrusion prevention, remote management and VPN capabilities. Speeds will range from 400 Kbps to 1 Mbps. Even at their slowest speed you can expect about three times the performance of dialup.


SonicWall TZ 190
The SonicWall TZ 190 is designed to combine firewall, antivirus and other security features with 3G wireless Internet access.

"The TZ 190 is appropriate when DSL is not a good option," Gordineer said. In many instances an Internet connection is required in areas where DSL and other options are not available, too expensive, or too time-consuming to install.

While the TZ 190 is an option for any small business that needs to migrate from dialup to broadband, it's particularly well-suited for industries in which fixed broadband is not feasible.

Gordineer uses the example of a hot dog vendor who may want to be able to process credit card transactions. Any business that is either temporary or mobile in nature is a prime candidate, according to Gordineer. For example, construction and retail operations seasonal kiosks, mobile point-of-sale stations, portable ATM machines and disaster recovery networks are potential markets for the TZ 190, according to SonicWall.

The SonicWALL TZ 190 has eight Ethernet ports, a WAN port and accepts wireless Type II PC Cards. Currently, it supports the following PC Cards, according to SonicWall: GSM Carriers, Option Globetrotter GT Max, Option Globetrotter HSDPA, Sierra Wireless 860, CDMA Carriers, Novatel S620, Novatel S720 and Novatel V620.

The appliance is expected to ship by the end of next month and will have a suggested retail of $995. You will also need a PC Card and 3G data service plan from Sprint, Verizon, Cingular or other 3G service providers. Data service plans range will cost about $60. A PC card from your 3G provider will cost about $90.

Dan Muse is executive editor of internet.com's Small Business Channel, EarthWeb's Networking Channel and ServerWatch.

Do you have a comment or question about this article or other small business topics in general? Speak out in the SmallBusinessComputing.com Forums. Join the discussion today!


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