Dell SonicWALL NSA 4600
Strengths: High performance with many highly configurable functions.
Weaknesses: Registering for the MySonicWALL account can be a bit annoying.
Verdict: Excellent feature set and solid performance. Recommended.
The NSA 4600 from Dell SonicWALL incorporates next-generation firewall technology combined with a multi-core hardware platform to provide robust protection at the perimeter of even some of the most demanding networks. This appliance features a fully configurable deep packet inspection firewall, intrusion prevention system, application control, gateway-based malware protection, and URL and web filtering, which can all be managed centrally from a single high-performance platform.
We found overall deployment of this product to be simple and straightforward. Before setting up the appliance, we had to register for a MySonicWALL account and decide on our deployment scenario. Once we were ready to begin the deployment, we simply had to plug in the appliance and connect it to the network. After connecting it to the network, we were able to access the web-based setup wizard via the appliance's default IP address. The setup wizard included all the steps to get the NSA 4600 up and running with an initial configuration, including deployment mode settings.
After initial configuration was complete, we were able to see the true power of this appliance through the web-based management interface. The NSA 4600 includes many highly configurable options and features, along with a multitude of visualisation and analysis functions. One function we particularly liked was the application visualisation feature. Using this, administrators can get deep insight into real-time network application traffic and create policies to ensure complete security and control over network use.
SonicWALL provides a straightforward getting-started guide which provides graphics and user tips to assist the admin with a better understanding of the product, as well as setup. The SonicWALL website has done a strong job of putting all the admin guides into a well-laid-out and easy-to-find catalogue. There are also video tutorials, technical notes, FAQ list, and knowledge base that is continuously updated to better able the user to become more acquainted with the device. The admin guide is user-friendly and contains many helpful charts and graphs for a successful deployment.
The company offers numerous support options and levels to fit the needs of the customer - beginning with basic no-cost support that includes a 90-day limited software warranty and one-year hardware warranty. Also included in the basic support are video tutorials, documentation, user forums and a knowledge base. Fee-based support options are in both eight-hours-a-day/five-days-a-week and 24/7, as well as one- to six-year durations. Fee-based support options include chat, email, web and telephone support, as well as software/firmware updates.
At a price just under £5,000 for the hardware fully loaded with one year of intrusion prevention service, gateway anti-virus, spyware protection, content filtering service, application intelligence, control and visualisation and 24/7support, we find this product to be excellent value for the money. The Dell SonicWALL NSA 4600 provides an exceptional amount of hardware capability with a robust feature set at a reasonable cost.