Colubris RF Manager
Strengths: It should install in a matter of minutes and scales well
Weaknesses: We were unable to locate a report-generating function through the web interface
Verdict: For small, medium and large organisations, this product would be a fit. The user authentication is well done
The Colubris Networks RF Manager is another appliance-based offering that uses a web-enabled interface to manage the device. The product has a large feature set and can perform most tasks associated with wireless security management.
RF Manager had no problem detecting our rogue access point. The hardware AP-like devices perform a number of different functions including access point, an RF sensor, a monitoring sensor, and a wireless bridge function. Colubris Networks RF Manager manages only Colubris brands of access points. However, it can detect a rogue access point regardless of the manufacturer.
A feature of the Colubris Networks RF Manager is the ability to perform user authentication inside of the management station using a local database to maintain a list of valid users. Once a user attempts to access the internet, the RF Manager intercepts the communication and forces the user to authenticate.
RF Manager was mostly easy to set up from a hardware perspective. We did however run into a problem on one interface where the 10/100/100 Mbps had difficulties with the auto-negotiation. We fixed this simply by changing the switch from auto detect over to a static 100 Mbps full duplex. Short of this problem, the installation was a breeze.
The documentation for the product was quite good. We found the quick-start guide to be more than sufficient to perform a typical install. The quick-start guide also covers some of the common configuration options inside of the management software.
Colubris RF Manager products ship with two CDs. One has the complete set of product documentation, which is indexed and searchable, with an HTML front end that facilitates finding the correct documentation.
Colubris has several different pay support options (basic, software maintenance and gold), which include email and phone support options. The Colubris website does not appear to have an online knowledge base or FAQ.
This product is at the upper end of the price spectrum for this review. The features and configuration make sense for small, medium, and large enterprises. The user authentication for internet access lends itself to internet cafes and organisations that wish to have a guest network.