Review: BeadWindow! 100

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This appliance has a very defined procedure for installation that must be carefully followed.

This appliance has a very defined procedure for installation that must be carefully followed. We recommend keeping the manual close because the sequence of events is not particularly intuitive.

Once the product was running we discovered some unexpected "memory lapses." First, we found that switching IP addresses required us to re-register with the vendor. Second, if the system was shut off abnormally or even gracefully restarted, it seemed to forget the IP addresses that were assigned to it. Only certain ports are available as browser-based console connections and using default TCP/IP ports will not necessarily work.

The user interface is not a full GUI, but graphically arranged text. It is kind of pleasing, but an all out GUI would be better. We found the user interface to be less than intuitive to use. Menu or command-line interfaces are provided. BeadWindow! is menu driven with the option to open a terminal and run OS prompt-level commands.

The administration console is run via a remote browser and cannot be relocated or duplicated. Only one instance of the console can run at a time. Wording on the menus was somewhat cryptic and there was very little online help available in general. The hard copy manuals were a key reference.

In terms of performance, BeadWindow! responded immediately to attacks and each attack is given a numeric ID. However, it was unclear what the ID codes meant. Since we could not easily find a translation table, we lacked details on the nature of each event.

If you prefer to automate as much as possible, BeadWindow! provides scripting. Most of the rule sets are predefined. The server is designed to configure itself automatically and the only manual correction that we had to perform was to reset the IP addresses.

Due to the dependencies of the installation and the complex user interface, we spoke with BeadWindow!'s telephone support staff the most. They have a toll-free number, could answer our questions, were friendly, helpful and the best we worked with.

This product is in the middle of the price range for this test, making it a strong value for your money.

For:

Excellent telephone support and a wide variety of functions and reports.


Against:

Poor console functionality, lack of online help, and missing mapping of event data codes.


Verdict:

The functionality of the product is let down by the poor user interface and online help.

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