The StoneGate is primarily a stateful inspection-based firewall with additional inspection options that allow for the StoneGate to perform deep packet inspection by looking into the data portion of packets for specific application configuration. The StoneGate provides standard logging and advanced reporting through the use of a separate management station.
The StoneGate is built on distributed architecture where the management is provided from a central management station and the firewalling component is installed on the inspection agent, which is the StoneGate itself. The StoneGate is unique among the products in this Group Test in that it can block traffic from the management interface in real time.
The installation of the StoneGate is a simpler process than that of other enterprise class firewalls. The rack mount device uses the VGA port and a PS/2 keyboard port to perform the initial configuration. The configuration at the initial step takes place through a Linux-based menu system that is used to configure the primary interfaces, as well as point the inspection engine to the primary management server.
The initial configuration also sets the admin password for future logins to the device. If you are managing more than one StoneGate, the configuration can be imported from a USB stick or from a floppy drive.
The StoneGate ships with a brief getting started guide, which provides information on the initial configuration and mounting the physical device in a rack mount configuration.
Support is available in two offerings from Stonesoft. Basic support offers 8/5 call logging via web and phone, next business day response time, software updates and hardware replacement service. Premium support offers 24/7 call logging via web and phone, two-hour response time, software updates and hardware replacement service
The pricing for the Stonesoft StoneGate is $45,435, which means the StoneGate device is at the upper end.
For: Scales well for the largest environments
Against: Complex setup makes configuration take a bit longer
Verdict: A firewall for large enterprises with a high price and a feature set that keeps the unit out of SMEs' reach