The mGuard security appliance from Innominate claims to be the smallest in the world - measuring in at 20 by 56 by 95mm. It is a firewall and IPSec VPN device that attaches on the back of a desktop computer or server and provides for secure transmission of data from the computer to the internet.
We tested the device by placing it between our server and the rest of the test network. We had some problems accessing the web-based configuration page on the first test unit we received. Although it must be said the first device did not seem to impair the workings of the link to the network, we just could not access the management console.
A call with support failed to find the problem with this device so we were sent a second unit which did work. Installing the device is as quick as the device is small. It has two leads; one plugs into the USB port of the computer for power and the other is an Ethernet cable which plugs into the Ethernet port in place the network cable which plugs into the back of the device. Once powered up there are a few lights that flash away reassuringly.
All of the configuration is done via a web-based console. It is reasonably well laid-out and logical to follow. As the device supports a multitude of different configuration options the user will have to fall back on the manual, which is provided as a pdf document on an accompanying CD-Rom. The documentation goes through loads of scenarios so one will probably fit in with the problem to be solved by the device.
The main features of the device are the firewall and the IPSec VPN. The firewall uses stateful inspection to scan incoming and outgoing packets and it also offers protection against IP spoofing and Syn flood attacks.
The IPSec VPN uses DES, 3DES and AES (up to 256-bit) encryption to secure data transmission. VPN tunnels are set up via the console and are relatively quick to set up and are covered in some depth in the online manual.
Overall, it is worthy of consideration and is a big device in a little body.
: Highly configurable device.
: The (paper) quick installation guide could be beefed up a bit. We found the online manual much more useful.
: Packs an enterprise punch despite its small stature