Strengths: Solid protection against several types of web-based threats, on top of URL filtering
Weaknesses: Management console takes some time to get accustomed to
Verdict: A very flexible product with a lot of built-in features
The Aladdin eSafe is an all-in-one web security gateway. This appliance not only provides URL filtering but also goes beyond that to protect the enterprise from today's massive amount of web threats. This appliance focuses on capturing possible threats such as malicious scripts, HTML and HTTP exploits, and viruses, as well as stripping ActiveX, Java applets and cookies before they can become trouble on the network.
We found this product to be fairly easy to use. The appliance comes with all software pre-installed, so setup consists of following a quick setup wizard via a web GUI to complete the initial configuration.
Once the initial configuration is complete, the rest of the setup is done through a separate Java-based client application. This application can be a little bit awkward to use at first, as there are many configuration options and it is not very intuitive to browse through.
Although not easy to use, this product does offer some high flexibility and policy granularity. We found that once we got the feel of using the client we had many ways of configuring policy and creating policy groups. This - combined with the robust NitroInspection engine that provides real-time content security and filtering of incoming and outgoing application layer traffic in over 500 categories, including IM, P2P, remote controllers and Skype - offers massive granularity for any environment.
Documentation for the eSafe is provided on a CD in the form of several PDF guides that include the console admin guide as well as installation manuals. There is also a short quick-start card with a few simple steps on getting the appliance up and running with the setup wizard. All the guides included are well organised and include screenshots and step-by-step instructions.
Aladdin offers solid phone- and email-based technical support, as well as a web-based customer support portal with a knowledgebase, forum, and access to updates and downloads.
At a price starting at about £1,235, the eSafe is good value for the money. We find that despite a slight learning curve with the management console, this product does offer very solid capability and flexibility.