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Tech Talk

Computing with confidence
Scripps Howard News Service


June 01, 2005

Let's play a game of word association. I'll go first:

"Internet cafe." Your turn.


How about "unprotected network."


And "hotel Internet connection?"


Do you see pattern here, other than paranoia? The unfortunate truth is that, because of the proliferation of those nasty computer germs, we have become paranoid and fear venturing out into uncharted territory with our computers.

The folks at ZyXEL are doing their bit to ease that fear with the introduction of the ZyWall P1 ($225), which is a portable firewall that is no larger than a Palm Computer.

You can pop this baby into your suitcase or laptop bag and trot off to the nearest Internet cafe, or take that business trip with confidence that you're protected against viruses, worms and other scourges of the Internet.

It's actually a pretty simple device. One end connects to the network via a standard Ethernet cable, the other attaches to the USB port of your computer. And, since it does not depend on a specific operating system to do its thing, it can be used on Windows, Apple and Linux PCs.

In addition:

- Since it's hardware based, it's a lot faster than a software firewall.

- It's easy to install and configure.

- It uses the computer's USB port as its power source.

- Corporate security policies can't be disabled or modified.

- It's easy to install using its setup wizard.

- You can elect to block Java, ActiveX and cookies.

More information on the P1 and other ZyXEL products can be found at



E-mail Mike Berman at mberman(at) or visit

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