March 01, 2008
- Ease of Use:
- Value for Money:
- Overall Rating:
- Strengths: Easy-to-manage, highly customisable full-scale UTM
- Weaknesses: Nothing we found
- Verdict: This continues to be a solid product and we rate it our Best Buy
The eSoft InstaGate 604 is back again this year, and we found not much has changed. However, that may be a good thing because we love this product. The InstaGate provides a full load of customisable features tailored to the environment. One thing that has finally come full circle is that eSoft has done away with the singular modules it called SoftPaks and has integrated features into much larger ThreatPaks.
This appliance comes as a firewall and VPN and then can be further customised with mix-and-match web, email or complete mail server ThreatPaks. The list of capabilities is quite long, with features including spam protection, email filtering, web URL filtering, IPS, malware and anti-virus scanning across all protocols, IPS and bot detection.
With all these features, one would expect this device to be complicated to use. However, quite the opposite is true. This product comes out of the box, plugs into the network and is up and running in minutes. Setup is done through a wizard and, at the end of the configuration, the InstaGate retrieves ThreatPaks and updates itself. From there it takes just a few clicks to customise policy and setup is complete. The web GUI itself is also simple to navigate and use.
On the level of performance, this product covers all bases, from solid protection to easy management and integration. The main dashboard, called ThreatMonitor, gives an excellent real-time overview of all activity, threats and attacks. We also liked the Active Directory integration ability of this product for creating group- and user-based policy.
Documentation is made up of a quick-start guide and a user manual. The former illustrates the initial setup process, while the user manual gets into more in-depth configuration and customisation. Both guides are easy to understand, with many screenshots and examples.
ESoft offers 24/7 email and phone support as well as documentation downloads. The company also has a support website complete with an extensive knowledge base.
The InstaGate is great value for money. Even though the ThreatPaks are subscription-based, at a base price just shy of £2,000, it is within reach for all types of environments.
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