Intel Corp has released a free software upgrade for its Express Routers that adds encryption and tunneling technologies to enable virtual private networks VPNs to be established over the internet. The software will ship with Intel’s Express Routers v2.3 and will enable users to connect remote sites over long distances to save on the cost of using traditional WAN solutions based on dedicated leased lines, frame relay or ISDN connections. Intel admits that the security is not as high as with a private WAN but that it provides small- to medium-size companies with a viable internetworking solution with a 144-bit encryption key, which nears the security of a private WAN connection. Intel Express Routers will begin shipping with the new software from September 30 at $1,300 for models 9100, 9200 and 9300 and $6,000 for model 9400. The v2.3 upgrade, including support for Internet VPN and Intel Device View for Routers v1.1, is available now at no extra cost to existing customers.