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The iPhone starts to turns into a business tool

It’s taken a while, but just as news of the iPhone Mk2 (opens in new tab), a 3G-enabled version of the less-than-sell-out Apple mobile phone, is leaking out, the handset is starting to become a business option.

Okay, not as popular as the ubiquitous BlackBerry, but thanks to Astaro (opens in new tab), the unified threat management specialist, users of the iPhone can now use two flavours of VPN software that are compatible with the Astaro Security Gateway appliance.

The idea behind the client software, the company says (opens in new tab), is that iPhone users will have remote access to their regular desktop resources, but using the Apple mobile phone rather than a notebook PC.

According to Astaro, its security gateway technology supports four different levels of road warrior VPN; SSL, IPSec, L2TP over IPSec, and PPTP.

The Apple iPhone, the firm says, is compatible with two of these, (L2TP over IPSec and PPTP) offering users a choice of which VPN access to use.

Announcing the iPhone VPN support (opens in new tab), Gert Hansen, Astaro’s chief security architect, said that, as an iPhone user himself, the company has made it easy to access networks protected by the firm’s Security Gateway technology.

“It’s a great feeling to provide everyone with an Apple iPhone the ability to connect to their networks for free,” he said, adding that Astaro’s VPN compatibility makes the iPhone more than just a cool new gadget to show off.

“It turns the iPhone into a real business tool, albeit a very stylish one,” he said.

Hmmm - I think I’ll stick to the LG Viewty (opens in new tab) for the time being…