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Ethernet line extenders enhance network security

26 January 2016

Two new additions have been introduced to the Westermo range of Wolverine advanced industrial Ethernet line extenders. 

The rugged devices are used to establish long-distance, high-speed remote connections between simple or complex Ethernet networks using existing copper cables, helping to reduce installation time and cost. The DDW-242 and DDW-242-485 includes a range of features that deliver secure and resilient networking, even in extreme industrial environments, which makes them suitable for mission-critical applications.

The line extenders enable Ethernet networks to be connected over distances of up to 15km, at data rates up to 15.3 Mbit/sec on a single twisted pair cable. Using two pairs bonded, the rate can be doubled to support applications requiring larger bandwidths. An integral switch allows two Ethernet devices to be attached, and a choice of either 232 or 485 serial port enables legacy equipment to be incorporated into the IP network.

To help improve cyber security both devices include full layer 3 functionality and unique IP security. The devices include a built-in port-based firewall securing data between trusted and un-trusted networks; NAT rules – a way to make systems that are configured with private IP addresses appear to have public IP addresses; and VPN tunnels for encrypting data on the ‘last mile’ section of the network, which is particularly susceptible to security risk.

The WeOS operating system also provides advanced switching and routing functionality that enables the management of complex industrial networks. With no software configuration needed for basic installation the devices are easy to set up, says the company. A web interface and command line interface support configuration of large and complex networks. Should maintenance be required, a back-up and restore facility enables configurations to be quickly downloaded from a USB stick.

To enable installation in harsh industrial environments and rail trackside applications the devices have an operating temperature range of between -40 and +70°C, and have been tested to meet EMC, isolation, vibration and shock standards.


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