Strengths: Proprietary proactive IPS engine
Weaknesses: Management interface could be a little simpler to use
Verdict: A solid product at a reasonable price
The U120 from NETASQ includes a firewall, HTTP proxy with URL filtering that allows its deep packet inspection to block spyware and malware and an anti-spam engine that combines the heuristic analysis engine with a reputation blacklist to score potential spam so it can be filtered or quarantined.
This device also uses the proprietary NETASQ ASQ engine as its IPS, which provides heuristic and behavioural analysis, along with contextual signatures to provide solid intrusion prevention.
We found it to be fairly simple to deploy and configure. The initial deployment is done by connecting the appliance to the network and installing the administration suite on a management computer. Once the suite is installed the application is launched and connected to the appliance. The management interface itself is a little awkward to navigate at first, but we found that after clicking around a bit we got the hang of how to configure it.
The U120 appliance features a lot of policy flexibility. Policies can be customised and assigned to various slots that can be set up to enforce against specific groups and times. This means that the appliance can be configured very differently depending on the protection needed for a specific time or day.
Documentation provided with this product included a short quick-start guide that illustrated the steps necessary to get it up and running and the administration client installed. There were a few other PDF guides available, including a user guide and an installation guide. All of these guides included many screenshots and step-by-step instructions in a clear and organised format.
NETASQ offers various levels of support as part of a subscription. Options include phone and email technical support, as well as hardware replacement and warranty. There is also a support area available on the website that includes a knowledgebase.
At just over £2,100 we find NETASQ U120 to be good value for the money. It provides a lot of proactive configurable protection at a reasonable price.