Review: WEBWASHER 6.0

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Review: WEBWASHER 6.0

Secure Computing's Webwasher is a strong product in almost every regard. We especially liked its ability to perform individual analysis on words and phrases, as well as scanned images. This goes well beyond typical blacklists for URL blocking and keyword lists for filtering.

We found ease-of-use excellent, and the product contains many features, some of which are not usually present in this type of application. Webwasher is delivered as an appliance.

Set up and initial configuration are made easy by Secure Computing's "setup assistant". This creates a configuration file you load into the device. The user interfaces tab-style menus make navigation simple and intuitive. While the policy engine has predefined policies, the administrator can easily customise or create new policies using drop-down menus.

Webwasher goes well beyond the usual URL blocking and keyword filtering by using pattern matching to adapt filters and perform analysis on words and phrases. The appliance sits at the network gateway and monitors all inbound and outbound connections. In addition to the URL and word analysis filters, the appliance contains anti-malware antivirus, antispam, content protection, SSL scanning, and instant message filtering capability.

Documentation is above average, provided as several PDF documents. These are split into separate files for the configuration of different components such as the installation of the appliance, setting up content reporter and system configuration. There are also several user guides that detail the various functions of individual system components.

Support for Webwasher is first rate. The support area of the website includes product activation, patches, upgrades and documentation. Also included is online assistance for technical issues, a knowledge base and 24/7 telephone support. Help via email was also available.

The pricing structure for Webwasher is a bit complex and can work out somewhat expensive for larger organisations. The appliance has a base price and, in addition, each module is priced as a subscription Intended for larger companies, the product comes in three platforms. The smallest of these supports up to 4,000 users while the largest platform supports up to 16,000. Pricing increases with the size of the platform, but volume discounts are available.

For: Highly customisable, feature-rich, very flexible appliance
Against: Requires proxy connections that could impact performance, deployment for large environments can become pricey
Verdict: Strong product for larger organisations, very flexible.

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