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Johanne Torres[September 13, 2004]

Net6 Secures Voice


In an effort to make their mark in the VoIP space, Net6, Inc., has made a considerable risky claim�to deliver secure voice and video over the nets.  The provider of network gateways added voice and video enhancements to its Hybrid-VPN Gateway. This move, the company claims, will make the provider the first to offer and ensure secure, high-quality voice communications over any network, from anywhere.


San Jose, CA-based Net6�s product, Hybrid-VPN (H-VPN) encrypts signaling and media paths for all Voice over IP (VoIP) (define - news - alert - tutorial) protocols including SIP and H.323 as well as proprietary protocols from IP PBX vendors like Avaya, Cisco and Nortel Networks. Hybrid-VPN is said to ease the integration of SSL VPNs and VoIP systems for IT clients.


Companies wanting to provide access to employees on the road, or remote workers, had limited choices between IPSec VPNs and SSL VPNs to solve voice-based remote access challenges. They had to choose between traditional IPSec or select SSL-VPN remote access for data applications maintaining a separate IPSec VPN deployment for remote IP telephony users, not too great when trying to get around company firewalls! Net6 lets clients choose one solution to manage both data and voice remote access simultaneously, with the knowledge that both also work from behind any firewall.


H-VPN's newly enhanced features include:


  • Voice-over-SSL: SSL VPNs rely on TCP (Transmission Control Protocol), which works well for data applications. TCP uses packet retransmission, which causes delays in real-time traffic such as VoIP. Net6's Voice-over-SSL would make voice traffic arrive in real-time, eliminating the potential delays from re-ordering and re-transmission.


  • Direct P2P (news - alert) Media Routing: Traditional IPSec VPNs force voice traffic to trombone through the IPSec VPN gateway, which introduces additional cost and delays in the voice traffic. With H-VPN, call control is established through the Gateway, but the voice traffic flows securely and directly peer-to-peer between the two endpoints instead of through the Gateway, reducing transmission cost and network delays.


  • Variable Bit Rate Encryption for voice and video: 128-bit or 196-bit encryption levels provide iron-clad privacy, but often at the cost of quality of service. Net6 technology allows encryption levels for the voice path to be adjusted on a call-by-call basis to deliver the best voice quality. All signaling and data traffic is maintained at higher encryption levels as appropriate.


"Virtually every Fortune 500 company has already deployed, or is considering deploying, Voice over IP," said Gordon Payne, Chief Marketing Officer at Net6, Inc. "Deploying an SSL VPN that does not secure remote voice access just doesn't make sense."


Net6 conducted tests of the Hybrid-VPN�s Voice over SSL capability with soft phones and hard IP telephones from IP PBX vendors including Avaya, Cisco and Nortel Networks. Pricing for the H-VPN Gateway ranges from $1,500 to $40,000 for 10 to 2,000 concurrent tunnels. Direct Peer-to-Peer Media Routing and Variable Bit Rate Encryption for voice and video are included as standard features and will be available with Release 5 towards the end of this year.




Johanne Torres is the contributing editor for TMCnet.com and Internet Telephony magazine. Previously, she was the assistant editor for EContent magazine in Connecticut. She can be reached by e-mail at jtorres@tmcnet.com.


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