We found this product fairly easy to use. The appliance is placed into the network and can either function as a router or transparently monitor traffic. Once the device is connected, configuration is done almost completely manually.
There is no setup wizard for this device, so we had to completely configure it on our own. We found the web-based GUI simple and intuitive to navigate, but configuring the device was still a little tricky at first.
Once configured, the Panda GateDefender 300 worked quite well throughout our tests. We found policies were simple to configure and most could be set by just simply clicking a button or checking a box. However, there is no integration with Active Directory, so groups for filtering policies must be created by IP.
Documentation for this product consists of a small installation guide and a user manual. The installation guide clearly lays out the deployment options and gives clear step-by-step instructions on initial configuration. It also includes a few small diagrams and illustrations. The user manual is well organised and includes a fair amount of detail, although there are few illustrations and we would have liked to see more.
Panda offers 24/7 phone support, as well as a support centre on the website, which includes a knowledge base, How To instructions and FAQs.
The Gate Defender 300 is targeted at enterprises with up to 250 users, the 100 model is suitable for smaller businesses.
At a price of just over £2,000 for the fully loaded unit and about £19 per node for anything between 101 and 1000 nodes, this product can become quite pricey in a hurry, depending on the environment. We therefore find this product to be of average value for money for its feature set and difficult manageability.
For: Good product with some nice features on offer
Against: High cost and documentation is weak in certain areas
Verdict: A useful UTM with a potentially hefty price tag