Product Information

SSH Tectia Server and Client

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April 07, 2004
Vendor:

SSH Communications Security Corp.

Product:

SSH Tectia Server and Client (Data Encryption group test)

Website:

http://www.tectia.com

Price

Client $133; Server $650 - $750

RATING BREAKDOWN

  • Features:
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  • Ease of Use:
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  • Performance:
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  • Documentation:
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  • Support:
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  • Value for Money:
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  • Overall Rating:
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QUICK READ

  • Strengths:

    Documentation, minimalist approach.

  • Weaknesses:

    Nothing significant.

  • Verdict:

    Capable tools for secure communications over untrusted networks.

Many products in this test focus on securing locally stored (or local network) data via encryption techniques. But another broad requirement for encryption is to secure communication between two points, especially when it makes use of external or untrusted networks, such as the internet.

This requirement exists when we access a remote server to download files, control another computer from a remote position, and so on. We have been able to do this since the early days of computing, but with what security? As the company notes in its comprehensive documentation, security was not everybody's number one priority during the early internet years.

Now, with millions of computers connected to the internet and techniques for breaking into communications and computers, things are different. The Tectia tools provide a secure communications channel over untrusted networks.

The Tectia client could be a replacement for less secure telnet and ftp clients and uses the Secure Shell protocol version 2 (but can also connect to Secure Shell version 1 servers). This provides encryption via ciphers like AES, Blowfish and triple-DES and can support smartcard and SecureID authentication methods. A separate utility named SSH Accession provides access to keys and certificates stored on tokens via an intuitive interface.

The SSH Tectia client appears minimalist with a basic set of menu items and toolbar buttons. Using these quickly reveals that all the functionality you want is there in an uncluttered, intuitive presentation. Experienced users will welcome this and it works as expected.

The client is available for Windows platforms as well as Solaris, HP-UX, AIX and Red Hat Linux. Supported platforms for the server include Solaris, HP-UX, AIX, Red Hat Linux and Tru64 5.1. A Windows version of the server is also listed on the SSH website.

The documentation (in Windows help file format and PDF for the server) is clear and enables you to find the information you need. A tremendous amount of useful information is contained in these carefully written documents. This is a serious product for serious users.

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