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ISPs provide sense of security

Netcom and Pilot Network Services announced virtual private network services.

Hoping to appeal to businesses with heightened security concerns, two Internet service providers, Netcom Online Communications Services and Pilot Network Services, today announced Web hosting and virtual private network services.

Pilot introduced Commerce Web, a service that allows businesses to lease space for a Web site on one of Pilot's round-the-clock monitored servers. In addition to standard Web site hosting, the Commerce Web service also protects Web sites from tampering by hackers through a firewall and provides businesses with a private dial-up link so that they can securely update sites.

Commerce Web starts at $3,000 per month, plus a one-time start-up fee. Businesses do not have to use Pilot as their ISP to use the service.

Meanwhile, Netcom today announced it will resell software and hardware products from Milkyway Networks and Livingstone Enterprises that allow businesses to set up virtual private networks. VPNs provide businesses with private network-quality security over the Internet by encrypting all communications between company firewalls, preventing hackers from snooping on sensitive data.

Netcom will offer MilkyWay's Black Hole firewall, which also protects company networks from intrusion by hackers, as part of its business Net access services for between $2,900 and $20,500. For companies with lower security requirements, Netcom will offer Livingstons IRX Firewall Router for $2,300.

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