Defending the Classroom
In an age where computer viruses are as common as schoolchildren with runny noses, a two layer defense can help keep malicious software out of the classroom. And, that’s exactly what Linkys is doing with the latest version of the WRT 310N and 610N WiFi routers. The equipment is nothing new, but these 802.11n routers now have Trend Micro’s Home Network Defender antivirus software that incorporates a sophisticated barrier to hackers to keep the school free of malevolent programs. Don’t let the name fool you, the software is powerful and flexible enough for the classroom and small businesses.
Anybody with a WRT 310N or 610N can upgrade its firmware to provide the digital equivalent of a chain link fence around the classroom. Whenever a student or teacher types in a Web address, the router automatically goes to Trend Micro’s online database and then provides access (if the site is clean) or blocks it (if it’s a known source of malware, adware, viruses or contains offensive material). The database is arranged by categories, like social networking or those that discuss risqué topics, and is continually updated as the Web changes and new sites come out. According to Linksys and Trend Micro, the software doesn’t slow the Web connection by more than one percent.
Because building a fence around the digital classroom isn’t enough these days, the package comes with four licenses for Trend Micro’s PC-based Antivirus software; licenses for more computers are available at a discount. For those who already have installed either a WRT 310N or 610N router, the software is free to download and use for a month. The routers cost about $90 and $150, respectively, but the site blocking service costs $60 a year, $50 if you order it in the next two months.