Review: Defender

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Review: Defender

The PassGo Defender server software-based product offers a Radius proxy for providing critical device authentication, as well as two-factor authentication.

As most critical firewalls and routers allow for Radius authentication, the offering is strong based on these features alone.

The product sits as a middleware application, which intercepts the Radius authentication and authenticates to the Defender software.

The software then sends a Radius authentication message to the Radius server for access to be granted in the case of a successful logon.

The Radius server can be Active Directory, which is often handy in the SME market.

The product is incredibly feature rich with many options, including a webmail capability, a reporting module, a self registration component, a desktop logon module, an EAP (extensible authentication protocol) module (which can be used to secure wireless environments), a Terminal Services module, and several modules for Citrix and also UNIX authentication.

Some of the modules are available in additional packages, but the breadth of offering was unmatched by other products in this Group Test.

The installation of PassGo was relatively easy, and finding the full context of Active Directory components was the greatest trouble. The Radius configuration was something many admins may have done as part of a secure wired or wireless rollout using 802.1X authentication.

The tools for administration are built into the Active Directory tools, but are more confusing than other offerings in the space. We would prefer to see a console built specifically for this application.

Documentation for this product is provided, and the quick install guide was the only documentation which was needed for our testing. Other documentation is included electronically in the form of PDF files. The documentation is easy to follow and the layout is logical.

Phone and email comprise the support offered by PassGo. We would like to see a knowledge base of common solutions or at least a FAQ component built into the website.

The pricing for the Defender offering was at the very low end of the price spectrum, starting at Us$14 per user. When all the offered features are considered, the product is a very strong offering.

For: Huge numbers of features.
Against: Installation can be a little confusing, but the quick start guide helps. Support could use some beefing up.
Verdict: If you are looking for a two-factor authentication package which can really do it all seriously, consider this product.

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