Review: SonicWALL PRO 330

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SonicWALL is another well-known name in the firewall arena, offering a range of products suitable for anything from the home user to the high-end of the market.

SonicWALL is another well-known name in the firewall arena, offering a range of products suitable for anything from the home user to the high-end of the market.

The PRO 330 is aimed towards the medium-sized business. It is a very stylish blue and silver rack-mounted appliance with an uncluttered fascia, three RJ45 ports for internal and external networks and your DMZ, and a COM port for attaching it to a management PC.

After a smooth and trouble-free installation, you are presented with a stateful inspection firewall that can be managed centrally through the Management Station. This is a browser-based application available from any machine attached to the same network, and there is also the option of using the centrally-based Global Management System. Both applications are delightfully easy to use, and should present no problems to even the most inexperienced administrator. System logs can be viewed from here and a wide range of reports generated.

The actual firewall application, Firmware 6.4, is automatically updated over the internet when upgrades are made, ensuring that you always have the highest level of protection available.

The PRO 330 is provided with a built-in VPN with ASIC-based VPN acceleration. Unfortunately, the configuration of the VPN isn't particularly intuitive, and really needs to be improved. However, after a bit of trial and error, you are provided with an easy-to-manage secure tunnel - a perfect solution for companies that want secure communication between branch offices or remote workers, especially since it smoothly integrates with the other firewalls in the SonicWALL range.

The VPN offers a number of advanced features which perfectly complement the firewall, such as bandwidth management and advanced encryption support (AES). Additional security is easily integrated into the PRO 330. Anti-virus, content-filtering and user level authentication work seamlessly with the device.

Documentation is in the form of a quick start guide in paper format and a more comprehensiveset of information is also available on the CD. Traditionally, SonicWALL's documentation has been a little on the pedestrian side, so it would have been nice to see whether it had improved.

Overall, the SonicWALL PRO 330 offers good value for money, and is perfectly suited to the higher end of the SME market as well as the medium business.

For:

A very simple firewall installation and easy-to-use management.


Against:

A cluttered and non-intuitive VPN installation.


Verdict:

Despite shortcomings in the VPN installation, this is an ideal product for medium-sized businesses, especially those with distributed networks.

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