to the web site
Requires: DSL, cable, satellite or wireless modem Internet
Gibson, Internet security maven, technology columnist and
president of Gibson Research Corp. says There are good
reasons for a personal computer, which is not actively using
the Internet, to be disconnected. PathLocks [e100 NETimer]
hardware-based device is the only solution that cannot possibly
be defeated by malicious hackers. High praise indeed,
so we set out to test PathLock's product and Steve's assertion.
e100 NETimer is simple enough in appearance. It's a small
plastic box with rounded corners, two front panel LEDs, top
mounted Connect and Disconnect buttons, and a rear panel with
one 10/100 Ethernet RJ45 input jack, one 10/100 Ethernet RJ45
output jack and an AC adapter jack. The whole thing measures
about 3.5" wide, 3" deep and 1" high. Your
incoming network cable or cable modem line plugs into the
input jack on the e100 and the line going to your computer
plugs into the output jack of the e100. Connect the AC adapter
and you're done. There is no software or software setup of
any kind. The device can be used with cable, DSL, satellite
and wireless modems.
of the e100 NETimer is simple beyond description. Hit the
Connect button (the "Connected" LED will light up),
launch your browser or e-mail client. That's it. After about
an hour the "Time Out" LED will begin to flash,
giving you a couple of minutes to either allow the e100 to
disconnect you or let you hit the Connect button to continue
the online session. Because the device has no relationship
to your IP address or TCP/IP settings, connecting and disconnecting
is instantaneous and does not affect your modem, TCP/IP settings
or current URL. If you accidentally allow disconnection while
visiting a site, simply hit the Connect button and continue
No muss, no fuss. No frills, no settings, no configuration.
It just works exactly as advertised. So what is it good for?
How about an automatic and unhackable disconnect when you're
away from your computer; automatic disconnection of the computer
in your kids' room (so they can't surf at 2:00 AM); complete
non-interference with antivirus and firewall software; automated
time limit on Internet sessions. There's more, but you get
the idea. In fact, you can use the e100 as a personally controllable
connection manager because - as long as you remember there
are TWO buttons - simply getting up from your computer and
hitting "Disconnect" provides total protection from
unwanted remote access via direct hacking, trojan horse attacks
and so on. Return to the computer, hit "Connect"
and you're back in the online world.
No selectable timers - you get approximately one hour of connection
before having to push the connect button to continue the session.
It would be nice to have at least a surface switch for .25,
.5, 1, 2, & 3 hour timers, if not a full digital timer.
No adhesive/velcro or a wall mount kit is included, something
which would be handy for hiding the device from recalcitrant
children, teenagers and irredeemably addicted online gamers.
A great little online connection controller for your kids
(now THAT'S protection), especially if they don't know the
device is installed (which is possible because of its compact
size). Schools can mount a row of these at a teacher's desk
or network demarcation point in a computer lab. Works just
as well disconnecting single computers from a network as it
does disconnecting a computer or home network from a satellite,
DSL or cable modem. Connect/ disconnect response is instantaneous.
Cannot mess up IP addresses or connection settings. Recommended.
to the Editor are welcome and occasionally abused in public.
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