Mike Klein, CEO of network security firm Interlink Networks, knows a good marketing tactic when he sees one. When Zone Labs started giving away no-nonsense firewall protection as a free download, he was paying attention.
“They did it well!” Klein told TechNewsWorld. “We based our free WiFi protection on that same model.”
Interlink began offering fully functional free downloads of its wireless client and wireless network security software on April 18.
Good Samaritan, Good Business
Klein is worried about the little guy being defenseless in the wireless networking home and small business environments. He also wants these small-time wireless users to buy his products when their wireless networks expand.
“We are providing the software free of charge to demonstrate how easy wireless connectivity should be,” Klein said.
The two free software packages are fully licensed permanently. They contain no restrictions in functionality.
The software recognizes three computer connections. Users also get free e-mail support.
“Unsecured wireless networks is the biggest threat on the Internet today,” Klein said. “Hackers can tap into a wireless network from one mile away.”
Simple and Reliable
The free LucidLink Wireless Client and security software simplifies wireless connectivity for home office and small business users. The setup is designed for the technically challenged.
“It’s a no brainer for small businesses who don’t have an IT guru,” Klein said.
He likened the usability to that of a garage door opener. Homeowners do not know how it works, but when they press the open button, the door rises. When they press the close button, the door goes down.
The setup process eliminates technical terminology, detects setup problems and allows the same client to be used on office networks and public hot spots as well as any business network utilizing the LucidLink Wireless Security program.
The new LucidLink WiFi client can be downloaded to any Windows XP or Windows 2000 PC from www.LucidLink.com.
Klein said the free wireless client and security software is based on the same package his company introduced last June to high-end businesses.
The free versions and paid versions were both designed from the ground up for small business environments. That design is based on the concepts used in expensive high-end network security services.
“We wrapped simplicity around the programs. We made it portable for the home and small business users. They get the same technology as the Fortune 500 companies for a lot less cost,” he said.
The LucidLink client software offers home and small business users essential benefits.
The intelligent detection of security settings eliminates the need for users to make technical decisions during the connection process. The software also alerts users to incompatible settings or network problems and provides instructions for resolving them.
LucidLink also provides protection against “Evil Twin” attacks by hackers who use rogue access points to lure unsuspecting users into compromising network security. It does this by detecting changes in security settings and alerting users before the connection process begins.
Like a cell phone with automatic network recognition for roamers, the software does not require switching of clients for different networks. This eliminates the extra steps and time required to find and configure the appropriate client on a user’s PC.
Practical Wireless Expansion
In addition to being offered as a free stand-alone utility, the LucidLink Wireless Client is available as part of the new version 2.2 of LucidLink Wireless Security.
It is priced at $449 for a 10-user license, with volume pricing for 25, 50, 100 and 250 users.
This release is a plug-and-play wireless security solution that enables businesses with up to 250 wireless users to protect themselves against hackers simply and affordably without the need for technical expertise.
LucidLink Wireless Security delivers the same 802.1X, WPA-enterprise, and 802.11i standards-based security used by Fortune 2000 companies. All operations require only one or two clicks.
The application intelligently configures the correct setup options for the leading 802.1X-compatible access points and wireless cards without the need for manual intervention.
It enrolls both permanent and guest users with two clicks. It also automatically recognizes, connects and secures authorized users every time they boot up their PCs without extra steps like password entry.
Klein said the software survived 10 weeks of rigorous security testing by ICSA Labs, which fully certified the product after failing to crack it.
Matter of Awareness, Solution
Klein said wireless network security has become very challenging for the non-technical business and home user.
Keeping wireless networking secure and trouble free is a matter of the consumer being aware of the security threats and encouraged to adopt a cost-effective solution. With the three computer connections, the free software downloads and less than $100 for the cost of the wireless router from a computer parts store, anyone can be ready to go wireless.
“Wireless computing continues to be a challenge to consumers, despite the convenience of being able to get online anywhere without having to plug in,” Klein said. “Our LucidLink Wireless Client is specifically designed to simplify the process of signing on, moving from your home network to your local coffee shop or your office, and troubleshooting when you can’t get a connection.