Once the interfaces are configured for the network in a quick and easy setup process, the SonicWall appliance is administrated via the web interface. This interface starts with the system dashboard, which shows all system information in a user-friendly layout. The web interface organises all tasks on the left side of the screen in several tabs.
Click on tabs to create users or modify the portal as well as to perform many other management options easily.
The SonicWall has loads of features in addition to the SSL VPN. These are atypical in that they address those things that one would expect in a multi-purpose appliance rather than in a VPN. For example, along with access to web servers, ftp servers, and file shares, this appliance lets administrators create a Virtual Office for users. This can run applications such as Outlook, Word and Excel from a server, as well as give remote access to desktop or server machines. This allows administrators to develop very complete portals.
While we evaluated other devices with portal capability built in, this product is flexible enough to support separate portals, giving it a distinct workgroup flavor. One feature we liked is the ability to use the VPN to access an individual worker's desktop computer remotely. This obviates the need for such dangerous applications as GoToMyPC.
In addition to providing Radius, LDAP, NT Domain or Active Directory authentication, this box uses an authentication method called one-time passwords. This works as a two-factor authentication scheme that provides a single-use password in addition to standard logon credentials.
The SonicWall SSL VPN 2000 comes with loads of documentation. Manuals include a user's guide and an administration guide. We found all the documentation to be well organised and easy to read. The documentation provides many screenshots and easy-to-follow step-by-step setup and configuration instructions.
SonicWall offers both telephone and email support, on top of a knowledge base, online forum, training and certification and online technical documentation.
SonicWall boasts a lot of features and security for a low price. This is an excellent investment for small to medium-sized companies.
For: Easy-to-use, affordable full VPN with tons of features
Against: Nothing we could find during out test
Verdict: At £1,500, the Sonicwall VPN is a feature-laden powerhouse that puts small to medium companies firmly on the VPN map