Security company Check Point Software took the wraps off its first name-brand security device on Tuesday.
Aimed at branch offices, franchise locations and telecommuters, the VPN-1 Edge is designed to let companies centrally manage secure connections to off-site employees. The virtual private network (VPN) device plugs into the remote office's network or a telecommuter's computer, separating it from the Internet, and uses Check Point's firewall to secure against attack. The device also encrypts data between the remote location and the main office, creating a VPN that secures corporate communications.

"This brings affordable, proven Internet security to remote locations," said Sweta Duseja, product-marketing manager for Check Point.

Before the release of the VPN-1 Edge, the company had licensed its security software to other device makers and as a standalone package for installation on a variety of server operating systems. The company also sold devices through a subsidiary, Sofaware, including its Safe@Home and Safe@Office products.

Jeff Wilson, executive director of network-market research company Infonetics, didn't think the release would affect Check Point's relationship with its hardware partners.

"I don't expect to see them offer products that compete with their partners," Wilson said. "They take their relationship with their partners very seriously."

Wilson noted that Nokia remains Check Point's largest partner, but since the VPN-1 Edge, priced between $399 and $1,999, is aimed at corporate satellite offices, it isn't likely to affect Nokia's sales. Nokia aims at furnishing large corporations with high-end devices.