Strengths: Inexpensive, efficient, easy-to-use full-service protection
Weaknesses: Single point of failure if the SoftPaks are taken to extremes
Verdict: Extremely powerful and flexible product for the money
This product is feature-rich and especially easy to use and administrate. Setting it up is as simple as taking it out of the box and plugging it in. It is then configured using the simple web interface-based setup wizard.
Once the wizard is complete, the appliance installs all licenced components, reboots, and is up and running. Its ease of use and flexibility make it our Best Buy.
With its many features, InstaGate PRO is a very powerful appliance. It relies upon software packages called SoftPaks, which include anti-virus, anti-spyware, anti-spam, intrusion prevention, a web filter, a firewall, and many others. They allow for complete customisation to fit your network requirements.
All features come together in a simple-to-navigate web interface that accesses the threat monitor page. This displays an overview of the system's state, firewall, inbound and outbound traffic and intrusion detection.
The box is well integrated both with itself and the network on which it is placed. It is designed to work with existing firewalls and VPNs, as well as by itself. The device produces many different reports, all with colour graphs and charts, plus full event information.
Documentation comprises an easy-to-follow quickstart card and a user guide that details in-depth configurations for managing the device's many components.
ESoft offers plenty of support options, including 24/7 technical phone support, online training, customer service for non-technical problems and an automated service to renew your SoftPak subscriptions.
InstaGate PRO has a base price that covers the appliance itself and the firewall, VPN (PPTP and IPsec), DMZ, policy management, user management and WAN failover features. Other features can be added, such as an internet and mail server, webmail, desktop ant-virus, gateway anti-virus and anti-spyware, intrusion prevention, site filter, spam filter and global VPN manager. These can either be purchased for a one-time fee or on a subscription basis.
Although this appliance does require these extra fees, the base price is relatively low, which makes it good value.