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Sunbelt rescues Kerio Firewall from oblivion

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Sunbelt Software announced plans on Thursday to acquire Kerio's personal firewall business, bolstering its core anti-spyware offering with personal firewall technology. The acquisition is expected to be finalized by the end of the month. Terms of the deal are undisclosed.

Kerio Personal Firewall will be re-branded on an interim basis as the Sunbelt Kerio Personal Firewall. Upon the close of the deal, Sunbelt plans to run reduced price promos for a full fat version of the personal firewall. Sunbelt has pledged to continue Kerio's tradition of providing a basic free version of the personal firewall to home users.

Kerio previously announced plans to discontinue its personal firewall at the end of December to pursue an enterprise strategy focusing on marketing its Kerio MailServer and Kerio WinRoute Firewall to small business. Sunbelt has thus effectively stepped in to save a well-regarded product from cyber-oblivion.

Kerio Personal Firewall provides firewall alongside host-based intrusion prevention and content filtering. The product has been downloaded 2m times since its launch in 2002, Sunbelt reports.

Personal firewall shake up

It's all change in the personal firewall market. Symantec retired the Sygate line of personal firewalls the week (including the free version and Sygate Pro) a month after closing a deal to acquire compliance specialists Sygate Technologies. Symantec is cutting Sygate Personal Firewall products from its portfolio because of overlap with its existing Norton Personal Firewall.

Symantec rival Check Point is hoping to capitalise in changes in the market with an aggressive sales push. Zone Labs, the end-point security division of Check Point Software, is offering Sygate and Kerio users ZoneAlarm Pro for $29.95, a 40 per cent discount off the normal retail price of $49.95 the desktop security package. ZoneAlarm Pro features the recently released vanguard OSFirewall, technology designed to thwart spyware and rootkit infestation as well as more traditional hacking attacks. ®

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