Product Information

SonicWALL SOHO TZW

starstarstarstarstar

May 05, 2004
SC Magazine Best Buy
Website:

http://www.sonicwall.com

Price

10-user $595; 25-user $895

RATING BREAKDOWN

  • Features:
    starstarstarstar
  • Ease of Use:
    starstarstarstarstar
  • Performance:
    starstarstarstar
  • Documentation:
    starstarstarstarstar
  • Support:
    starstarstarstar
  • Value for Money:
    starstarstarstarstar
  • Overall Rating:
    starstarstarstarstar

QUICK READ

  • Strengths:

    Simple to set up, very good value for money, and has sensible default security settings.

  • Weaknesses:

    For the price and the market it is aimed at, there is very little to criticize, but some might find the lack of a DMZ port a problem.

  • Verdict:

    We cannot recommend this product highly enough. If you are looking to start a small office wireless network, buy it.

Good ideas tend to be simple and logical, and SonicWALL's decision to integrate a fully operational firewall with a wireless AP for the small office market definitely falls into the category of a good idea.

The SOHO TZW combines an 802.11b wireless AP, a stateful packet inspection firewall and VPNs that can be used by clients on the wireless network.

As expected for a product aimed at this market, the set up and installation were a piece of cake. We simply connected the AP to the network and then specified the default IP address through the standard network and dial-up connections configuration tool in Windows.

As soon as you have specified the default IP address, you can access the device through a standard web browser. This is where the bulk of the setup is performed, including passwords, network settings, VPN settings, and guest services. It really was incredibly easy and any reasonably IT-literate person will have no problems.

Once the setup is complete, you can start to explore the impressive set of security features included with the SOHO TZW. IPsec VPNs mean the clients are only able to connect to the wired network over encrypted links. It is also possible to set security rules via MAC addresses, although this function is not the default mode.

The firewall is activated by default to block any sessions originating from the WAN, but these rules can be tailored to suit your needs. However, it is worth pointing out that for the market this product is aimed at, the default settings are more than likely to be effective.

The box itself includes a WAN and LAN link, and a variety of LEDs that offer a quick and easy reference point for the product's status. It has two detachable antennae and is wall-mountable, which means it would fit in any nook or cranny available in even the smallest office.

It is difficult to find much fault with the SOHO TZW. While it is nothing fancy, the customers it is designed for will not want for anything. It offers a simple, effective and easy-to-maintain wireless security solution and is as configurable as you require it to be.

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