Strengths: Excellent features, easy to use, low cost
Weaknesses: Nothing that we found during this group test
Verdict: This is a solid product with lots of the features required in this application
The iPrism appliance is a feature-packed web-content management device that incorporates St Bernard's hybrid technology. In addition to management of web URLs, this brings together control of peer-to-peer, IM and anti-virus, allowing for protection against threats such as inappropriate surfing, spyware, malware and phishing.
From initial setup to configuration to management, this product is very easy to use. The initial setup is done by simply plugging the device into the network segment and installing the management software on a machine on the subnet. The software then discovers the appliance by its broadcast and allows the administrator to assign the permanent IP address rather than having to set the machine to the device's default subnet. Once the IP is set, a wizard gets the initial configuration in place with a default rule set. The box can then be placed inline and management is done through the management application, which is easy to navigate and intuitively designed.
Policy configuration is also straightforward with this product. The iPrism can simply pull existing users and groups from Active Directory or LDAP and policies can be customised from there. Policy configuration is based on access-control lists that can be created and customised based on a specific user or group. These lists provide excellent granularity and control and can be tied to IM and P2P management as well.
The iPrism comes with a small quick-start guide that walks the user through the initial setup and configuration wizard. From there, the rest of the documentation is available for download on the website. This material includes various PDF files such as an administrator guide, report guide and an evaluation guide. All these manuals are well organised, easy to understand and loaded with screenshots and examples.
St Bernard offers phone and email support, as well as live chat support through its LivePrism site. The website also features a knowledge base and various helpful notes and guides.
At less than £3,600 for all the features of this appliance, we find this product to be great value for money. Not only is it easy to manage, but it also includes a very comprehensive feature set that provides many different web content controls.