Review: CheckPoint UTM-1 3070

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Review: CheckPoint UTM-1 3070

This product is feature-rich, but it is also difficult to use and requires some getting accustomed to.

The CheckPoint UTM-1 3070 is a solid UTM with many great features. This appliance includes protection from a firewall and IPS system known as SmartDefense, as well as gateway anti-virus, anti-spyware and web content filtering. This tool also provides blocking of IM and P2P applications and keeps business protocols, such as FTP and VoIP, safe from attack.

We found this product to be a fairly straightforward install. The initial configuration is done using a simple to follow setup wizard that takes just a few minutes to complete. From there things get a little bit tricky.

This product is managed through Check Point management applications and there are several of them. There is one for management and several others for reporting, monitoring and other functions. These applications must be installed in order to manage the appliance, and they are not very intuitive to use at all. Once we figured out how to navigate the console, we realised that the firewall itself came as a complete blank slate and we had to configure a few rules to get connectivity to the internet and the rest of the test bed.

Documentation is in the form of a short quick-start guide, which illustrates initial setup requirements and how to access the configuration wizard. All other documentation is included as PDFs on a CD. We found most of the documentation to be easy to follow and well-organised, but there is a lot to sort through to find information.

Check Point support options range from the standard support plan that provides telephone assistance during normal business hours with next-day shipment of replacement appliances, to the premium support plan providing 24/7 assistance with same-day replacement shipment, up to the premium+4H plan that provides a qualified engineer on-site within four hours to resolve any appliance-related issues. There is also a free support area on the website that includes documentation, downloads and a user forum.

With a price starting at around US$3,500, this product is a fairly average value for the money. It is feature-rich, but it is also difficult to use and requires some getting accustomed to.

For: A solid IPS with many pre-defined policies turned on by default.

Against: Difficult to use and manage.

Verdict: If you have the patience to manage this one, it has the pedigree of Check Point behind it and is worth a look.


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