Product Information

PGP Universal/Desktop

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April 07, 2004
SC Magazine Recommended
Website:

http://www.pgp.com

Price

Subscription pricing for 500-seat Gateway licenses is approximately $30,000

RATING BREAKDOWN

  • Features:
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  • Ease of Use:
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  • Performance:
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  • Documentation:
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  • Support:
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  • Value for Money:
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  • Overall Rating:
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QUICK READ

  • Strengths:

    Straightforward concept, functionality.

  • Weaknesses:

    Printed documentation would be nice.

  • Verdict:

    A proven and capable product set.

The PGP desktop products (version 8.0.3) and the PGP Universal Server and Satellite client code use proven techniques to get the job done. The desktop products are Personal, Workgroup and Corporate Desktop, and Workgroup and Corporate include enhancements and support for Lotus Notes.

The functionality is as expected – generate and manage keys, sign and encrypt email messages (nicely integrated with popular mail clients) and create secure volumes on your hard drive (where you can place files which are encrypted and decrypted on the fly). All this works well and the interfaces are intuitive enough for novices to understand. Comprehensive documentation is supplied in PDF format on the installation disk and it is clearly organized and written. There is even a very good "Introduction to Cryptography" for those who are new to the concept of PKI and encryption.

The desktop products are well conceived and will provide private and small business users with what they need to secure their communications and stored data. The Universal Server is a more interesting product aimed at the enterprise wanting to secure their email in a robust way with minimum fuss.

PGP describes it as creating and maintaining a "self-managing security architecture" (SMSA) by monitoring authenticated users and email traffic. The Universal Server sits between the users and the email server, encrypting messages as they arrive. If the satellite code (or equivalent functionality) is configured on the client machines, then this encryption can take place from point to point for more security.

There can be multiple Universal Servers, easily configured via a web-based administrative interface, which might work in internal (between internal users and the mail server) or external (between the mail server and the internet) modes. PGP provides several example configurations within the supplied PDF documentation.

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