Astaro Security Gateway
Strengths: Very affordable, fully loaded UTM appliance
Weaknesses: Working with the web GUI is slightly awkward at first
Verdict: A solid product with a lot of experience behind it and good value for most sized organisations
Astaro's Security Gateway splits its protection into three categories. These are network protection, web filtering and email security. Network protection includes a firewall, IPS and VPN capabilities. The web-filtering element features a web content filter, web anti-virus and anti-spyware and IM and P2P control. The final part is email security, which includes protection from spam, phishing, and viruses, as well as email encryption.
All these features come together in a fairly easy-to-use web console. At first glance, the web GUI appears to be quite difficult to navigate, but it becomes simple to find your way around once you've tinkered with it a bit. The actual deployment of this appliance is guided by a simple wizard that also assists in setting up an initial filtering policy.
This appliance contains a lot of functionality. We found policy management to be simple and straightforward with most policies configured by checking a box. Much of its functionality, according to the vendor, comes from best-of-breed open-source software.
The company claims to have invented the UTM category in 2000. Regardless of whether or not that is accurate, the result of seven years' experience in the field is reflected in the product's performance.
In a world of big PDF manuals for documentation, this product goes against the grain with three very simple paper manuals. These include a getting-started guide, operating instructions and an administration guide. All these manuals are clear and easy to read. The administration guide is especially in-depth with excellent detail, step-by-step procedures, screenshots and diagrams.
Customers have access to the Astaro support web portal. This includes a knowledge base, manuals, training videos and a URL-filtering database check. Other support programs are offered at additional cost including platinum support featuring 24/7 phone and email ticketing. An additional service provides regular updates to various functions that require continuous pattern files such as anti-virus.
The product is priced starting at £6,897 and offers a lot of value for money. The Security Gateway comes in different sizes for different size environments. This appliance would be a good buy for almost any size environment.