Product Information

SonicWALL TZ 170

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June 05, 2004
Vendor:

SonicWALL

Product:

SonicWALL TZ 170 (Firewalls group test)

Website:

http://www.sonicwall.com

Price

from $495

RATING BREAKDOWN

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

QUICK READ

  • Strengths:

    This device is easy to set up and administer.

  • Weaknesses:

    Content filtering is only an optional extra.

  • Verdict:

    A very useful device with good performance.

SonicWALL's TZ 170 provides seven 10/100 Base-T Ethernet ports in a small but stylish case. Five of the ports are dedicated to LAN connections, while another is assigned to the internet WAN link. The seventh port can be used for failover and load balancing, or as a second WAN connection.

Setup is simple and straightforward. The device has a default IP address, which is convenient and avoids the need for a serial connection, but might conflict with another device on the network.

As the configuration process involves changing the IP address and subnet mask of the PC used to manage the setup, it is better to set up a separate temporary network to avoid address conflicts. (The vendor said there is a setup tool on the CD which avoids this problem without changing the IP address on the PC).

The device will detect the connectivity mode during setup, but it is advisable to determine how the ISP distributes IP addresses before connecting to the internet. The firewall software is installed in the appliance, and the only software needed on the management PC is a web browser with Java support.

SonicWALL has provided suitable browser software for Mac, Windows and Linux operating systems on the accompanying CD, which also contains the VPN client software, recovery utilities and comprehensive administration documentation. Online help is available through the browser.

The default firewall settings allow access from any machine on the LAN to any address on the internet, while blocking all access from the internet to the LAN. Adding new rules is easy by using either the rule wizard provided or the standard rule-editing routines.

The simple browser interface is deceptive, because there are many advanced options that can be accessed, but the standard facilities are adequate for most purposes. The browser interface gives access to the system's administration and monitoring functions, and allows reporting and alerting processes to be configured. Logs can be sent at predetermined times by email or to a syslog server. Alerts can also be sent to a specified email address.

Content filtering, anti-virus and email filtering services are optional extras. Our port scanning did not reveal any open ports.

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