WiTopia joins several other companies in offering affordable WPA Enterprise service, personal VPN: The company announced two products to help small-to-medium sized businesses (SMBs) and mobile workers. SecureMyWiFi, is an outsourced 802.1X offering using WPA Enterprise offering that provides the RADIUS and keying back-end needed to have unique keys for each user on a network based on their credentials (username and password). The rates start at $29 per year for a single access point and up to five users; additional APs are $10 per year each, while additional blocks of five users are $5 per year each. The system uses standard 802.1X clients.
SecureMyWiFi competes against similar offerings from Wireless Security Corporation (WSC Guard) and BoxedWireless. In a comparison chart I put together as part of an article for Mobile Pipeline, I noted that a 10-user setup from WSC cost $449.99 for the first year while BoxedWireless would run $288 for those parameters. In contract, 10 users from SecureMyWiFi on a single AP would cost $34 for the first year, while even assuming three access points would only cost $54 per year. Move up to 25 users and WSC Guard $1,124.75, BoxedWireless $1,212, and SecureMyFi (assuming four APs for coverage) would be $74 per year.
Their personalVPN offering provides an SSL-based VPN service for $79 per year which works out to $6.58 per month. This competes primarily, in my knowledge, against HotSpotVPN.com, which costs $8.88 per month for a PPTP VPN. WiTopia's explanation that PPTP "is susceptible to hacking" is a bad summary of the issue. PPTP encryption can be cracked through poor password choice. HotSpotVPN, like all PPTP VPN service providers, enforces good password choice which fully defeats the cracking hole. personalVPN is available only for Windows XP, but WiTopia promises a Mac OS X version.
Normally, in seeing price discrepancies this huge, my reaction would be, "Who are these crazy people and what are they trying to pull here?" But then I look at the management biographies, find the parent company Full Mesh Networks has been around for two years, and realize these guys aren't smoking pot, they're dealing it as a gateway drug.
Psychopharmacopia references aside, Full Mesh is a full-service network IT and mobile worker support outsourcing firm that manages enterprise-scale resources. WiTopia lets them work with the very large, very undersupported SMB market--and provides those smaller customers with a taste of the larger picture. The pricing is part business model, part marketing, and may produce some large quakes in the SMB network service market for Wi-Fi offerings.