Holiday gift ideas: home and office gear

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ZoneAlarm Z100g Secure Wireless Router, by Check Point

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Check Point is well-known for their industrial-quality security products, and the Z100G brings all of that capability to residential settings. This product is an 802.11g router that includes all of the usual router functionality, plus firewall, antivirus, intrusion prevention, Web content filtering, desktop sharing, secure remote access, and a USB print server. There's a nice printed manual included, helpful on relatively complex products like this one.

Setup and configuration are very much like those on other wireless routers, with a broad range of options, and the setup utility is easy to use. Note, though, that updates to the security features will cost you $69.95 (November 2009 price) after a trial period. Note also that you'll likely want firewalls, virus checking, and the like on each PC, and Check Point will be happy to provide you with their own ZoneAlarm product for an additional fee.

So what looks like an astonishingly low price for a very powerful wireless router is actually higher and will involve recurring fees. Thus this may not be a good product for many residential users, but it could be of value to small or even home-based businesses. Of course, in that case, we'd really want 802.11n. So what we have here is a product in need of an update and perhaps a little more marketing focus on small business. Regardless, we've always found Check Point products to be reliable and -- for the technically inclined -- easy to use.

Cool Yule Rating: 3 stars

Price: $149.95 (direct)

Product Web site.

Reviewed by Craig Mathias

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