Review: Actividentity 4tress AAA v6.5

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Review: Actividentity 4tress AAA v6.5

The 4tress AAA Server offers scalable authentication, authorisation and accounting services. It is supported by LDAP and SQL databases, allowing centralised administration with fully distributed user authentication.

The product can manage and secure wireless LANs as well as remote network locations using strong two-factor authentication policies and practices. We don’t think there is a token type that this product does not support.

The 4tress AAA invokes the use of a one-time-password generated from a patented algorithm based on three variables. The product is built around security-rich features and can be deployed in just about any architecture.

The security features include secure web access and dial-up, VPN and terminal services such as Citrix. This solution is configurable with a large array of tokens and smart cards to enhance security and lower equipment costs.

From the user’s perspective, this is a very easy-to-use product. Deployment can be a bit trickier but is by no means difficult. Where you may run into challenges is when connecting to some of the dozens of supported products. We found that, in our environment, 4tress performed quite well. We believe that this product will integrate nicely into almost any environment in which it might be needed.

Documentation is good, with numerous manuals to assist in the deployment. An advanced planning sheet helps the customer prior to actual deployment. The manuals are well organised and are hot-linked to help find answers quickly. Documentation makes good use of setup and configuration screenshots to assist in product configuration.

A maintenance package purchased on an annual basis provides robust support areas. These include updates and assistance with network deployments, system integration, directory migration, client upgrades, and best practice advice.

There is also an online knowledge database. For premium customers, 24/7 support is available, with office-hour support for standard customers.

Pricing starts at £52.66 (A$115) and volume discounts apply. This is at the high end of the per-user pricing spectrum.

For: Powerful feature set - supports just about any environment you can imagine
Against: A bit pricey
Verdict: This product supports more environments than any we've seen, but for very large implementations it could become expensive

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