We've looked at software solutions available for remote access, ideal for both corporate and employee use with many features, as well as being easy to install, configure and use. But what of the hardware alternatives to the problem? Do they also offer ease of use when accessing systems from geographically diverse sites?
Our next solution is a sleek and visually pleasing hardware alternative, which has been developed for the permanent off-site situation. This unit delivers a secure and robust communication between both sites without the remote user requiring new software or special training.
The EverLink SRAC Gateway is a true plug-and-play appliance that requires no alterations to be made to your existing infrastructure, and can therefore be installed within an hour. This provides a secure method of authentication to be in place rapidly, with users able to access pre-designated areas of the network as defined by their administrator and needs of the company.
The EverLink SRAC Gateway is not a virtual private network (VPN) as such, but a full authenticating gateway solution that can provide anything from public key infrastructures (PKIs) to dynamic passwords. The unit supplied came with iKey software and a token for secure authentication.
Installation is extremely simple and the documentation is thorough. You'll require the usual information such as IP address, netmask, SSL port, domain name, etc., and then you simply add your administrator details, including password. The company details follow before offering the license key as provided with the hardware, and then you are ready to configure the unit. The configuration sequence is well explained and it takes very little time to achieve a means of secure authentication for your remote workforce.
From the user perspective it couldn't be simpler; they go to the designated URL where logon details will be requested. Using IE 5.0 or later is preferable, as is delivering 128-bit encryption for secure communication. Once in, the page will show designated areas for the user, who can then navigate to where they are permitted to go.
The connection is protected by strong encryption and the user details and permissions are collected from the chosen repository at set-up, enabling a granular set of access rights to be bestowed on employees. This allows them to collect files or whatever they are allowed to retrieve, through their remote sessions.
Easy to use, easy to deploy and from an end-user viewpoint simple to both log in and access designated areas.
There was nothing to dislike, very simple.
The entire experience was a positive one, from both user to admin, and the plug-and-play install made it a quick and versatile unit to put in place.