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What is WinGate for ?

Providing Internet access to LAN computers

WinGate is primarily used as an Internet connection sharing application for users on the LAN. It provides connectivity for users in three different forms depending on your client setup:

  1. NAT

    NAT (Network Address Translation) is a lightweight and effective way of allowing WinGate users to access the Internet. NAT is provided by the ENS (Extended Networking Services) driver installed by WinGate. It requires very little user configuration and is extremely fast. Clients are simply required to have their gateway set to the LAN IP address of the WinGate server, and have access on the LAN to a suitable DNS server for DNS lookups if they are required.

    A NAT client can be any computer that uses TCP/IP networking, regardless of operating system. This makes it ideal for LANs that have a mix of operating systems that require Internet access. WinGate NAT will handle connections from Windows, MAC, and UNIX machines that communicate using TCP/IP.

  2. Application Proxy

    WinGate has wide range of network proxy services that can carry out Internet communications on behalf of client Internet applications. Each proxy service has been designed to handle a particular type of application protocol. Clients can simply configure each application to use the LAN IP address of WinGate as their proxy server, and WinGate will handle the communication on their behalf.

  3. Circuit proxies - WGIC and SOCKS

    WinGate clients also have the choice to use the two circuit proxies to connect through WinGate to the Internet.

    1. SOCKS

      WinGate offers an installable SOCKS service to handle clients who have their applications set to use a SOCKS server, or who use an AutoSOCKs program to control their Internet applications.

      The SOCKS service can provide support for both SOCKS 4 and SOCKS 5 compatible clients.

    2. WinGate Internet Client

      The WinGate Internet Client (WGIC) is a small layered service provider application which can be installed on client computers to control their access to the Internet through WinGate. The WGIC catches all connections made by Winsock applications on the client machine and sends them to the Winsock Redirector Service on the WinGate server for handling. This allows you firm control over what Internet applications a WGIC client is allowed to use to access the Internet.

Access control

WinGate can control user access and the requests they make to the Internet in several ways:

  1. Application protocols

    WinGate provides support for a number of application protocols through its network proxy services. Each appropriate service will listen for and handle client proxy requests that use a particular protocol.

    WinGate provides the following application protocol specific services:

    • Web

      WWW Proxy, FTP Proxy

    • Mail

      SMTP Server, POP3 Server, IMAP4 Server, POP3 Proxy

    • Streaming media

      RTSP Proxy

  2. Policies

    WinGate has an event responsive policy system to provide greater control over events as they take place in WinGate. The WinGate Policy system allows you to build policies that will be processed when a selected event in WinGate takes place. For user control, each of the application protocol specific proxy services (mentioned above) will register what events can take place during their operation with WinGate. This gives administrators a wide range of points for policy control whenever a user connects to a particular WinGate proxy service.

    Most policy systems usually offer a fixed, static list of actions and rules that should be implemented by a policy. WinGate policies let you construct a flow chart of steps that will be processed when a selected event takes place. These steps could be the evaluation of data related to the event in order to determine what path the policy processing should take, or it could simply be a path that leads to an action being performed or user control be implemented (e.g. limiting their bandwidth, or rejecting their connection). The WinGate Policy system provides a powerful range of tools that allow you to make the structure of a policy as simple or complex as you require.

Network Security

  • Firewall

    WinGate provides a secure firewall to protect the LAN from unwanted and malicious connections from the Internet. Using the installed network layer ENS driver, WinGate can stop unwanted connections before they can reach the network behind it.

  • Port Security

    WinGate allows you to define how traffic received on a particular network connection should be handled. With dynamic detection of network connections as they become available on the WinGate server, WinGate can be made to accept, deny, or redirect any traffic it encounters on any discovered network interface. This makes it ideal for rejecting unwanted connections from the Internet, or redirecting traffic to another location if required. With a comprehensive range of options, security filters can be created to handle TCP/UDP traffic WinGate may receive on a particular interface and port.

Managing Internet resources

To ensure that network resources are not be consumed by over active user connections, WinGate provides bandwidth control through its ENS driver. You can create bandwidth rules that will restrict or prioritize certain types of network traffic according to a number of criteria. Bandwidth controls include throttling particular network traffic to a certain percentage of all available bandwidth, or prioritizing traffic queues depending on the types of rules that have been set.

Network Management

WinGate offers a range of network management services, if they are not already available on the network.

  • DHCP Service

    WinGate can provide the allocation and management of IP addressing for clients on the LAN. This includes creating address pools, and options that will be issued to DHCP clients.

  • DNS

    When there is not a suitable DNS server on the LAN to provide Internet DNS lookups for clients, the WinGate DNS Service can be installed to provide this functionality.

  • Routing

    Using its Extended Networking driver, WinGate can act like a router if required. This means that if it has network connections connected to dissimilar subnets, it can route packets between them with minimal configuration.

Hosting Email

WinGate provides a range of feature rich mail services. WinGate has the ability to host email domains like a full featured mail server if required. With the provision of mailboxes and domain handling rules, WinGate can receive mail for delivery on behalf of mailbox users, both locally and remotely.

WinGate Mail also provides a full featured SMTP Delivery service, that supports secure connections and a range of mail handling features for users and mail clients. When using the WinGate SMTP Server to accept mail for delivery, you can use optional data scanning plugins to scan all mail before it is delivered by WinGate.

Monitoring and Reporting

WinGate has numerous systems designed to monitor and report activity, data, and particular conditions that may arise.

  • Timeline

    The Timeline provides a graphical view of users web activity and system events as they take place over time. All history is recorded to a database, so you can easily view or analyze a users activity (e.g. sites visited, files downloaded etc.) when required.

  • Data monitoring

    WinGate allows you to monitor data generated from a wide range of sources inside WinGate, and make this information to other WinGate components to assist with their operations. This data can be used by WinGate to evaluate the conditions surrounding events, and provide critical information to the WinGate event processing systems when they are responding to a particular incident or event taking place. When using a WinGate script system or event processor, you can configure WinGate to check the data values at each precise moment, to ensure the most effective script processing and event response.

    WinGate can also obtain and monitor the performance counters from the operating system it is installed to, or from another Windows machine on the LAN. This provides powerful monitoring capabilities to any WinGate installation.

  • Logging

    With a comprehensive logging system, WinGate lets you tailor the information contained in each log file. It provides a range of tools to view and access relevant logging information.

Publishing Internal servers on the Internet

WinGate can also make internal application servers (such as Web and FTP servers) available to the Internet through its port security features. Inbound server requests can be redirected to the appropriate server on the LAN with minimal configuration when required.

Optimizing Web performance

WinGate comes with an HTTP Cache to alleviate the need for repetitive fetching of the most commonly requested web sites and files from the Internet. Saving time and bandwidth, sites and HTTP files can be cached according to a range of criteria. The HTTP Cache uses an index database to speed up the location and retrieval of files from a specified volume. By using an index database, numerous different WinGate installations can participate in a network cache farm if required.

WinGate also provides a comprehensive DNS Cache to minimize the need for client Internet DNS lookups.

System Monitoring and alerting

WinGate can monitor performance counters provided by the operating system on the machine where it is installed. You can have WinGate set thresholds on these performance counters so that if operating system conditions deteriorate, WinGate can let someone know, using its new notifications system. The Notifications system allows you to create a plan of notifications that should be executed when a defined incident takes place in WinGate. WinGate can be made to send email notifications to administrators when conditions get to a point where some form of notification is required.

WinGate also provides a built in alert system, that will let you know when there is a configuration or processing error in a WinGate component. When using the WinGate Management console, the Message bar at the top of the console provides quick and easy navigation to the user interface of the component that has the problem. This allows you to resolve any issues quickly and conveniently.

Data scanning for malicious content

To give added security, the optional Kaspersky AntiVirus for WinGate filter can be purchased and installed to perform data scanning on client web traffic and emails. Kaspersky AntiVirus for WinGate protects WinGate clients when they access the web through a WinGate WWW Proxy service, and attempt to access sites that contain embedded viruses and malicious content. When email is received by the WinGate SMTP Server for delivery by WinGate Mail, it can be set to scan it prior to it being delivered to a local mailbox or a remote location.

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