Panda GateDefender 8100
Strengths: Easy-to-navigate web interface and simple policy configuration
Weaknesses: We would have liked stronger documentation and a few more features
Verdict: This gateway has some good features, but its price is a bit high
Panda's GateDefender Performa 8100 v3.0 features complete protection on all widely used protocols such as HTTP, FTP, SMTP, IMAP4, POP3 and NNTP. This appliance detects viruses, Trojans, phishing and spyware, blocking them at the gateway. Web protection features include a customisable, non-obtrusive approach to securing URLs to limit access to sites containing non-business, non-productive or inappropriate content.
The appliance comes with an extensive URL listing divided into 59 categories, and you just click a button to block or disable category types. These URL lists are updated every 90 minutes and include thousands of new sites daily. The GateDefender Performa is also customisable through black/whitelists using an intuitive web console running IE 5.0 or greater. The GateDefender Performa can generate real-time customised reports with ease.
We found this product to be of average ease of use. The deployment is done completely manually and there are no setup wizards to aid configuration. However, initial setup takes only a few steps and the appliance is up and running in minutes. The web-based GUI isn't hard to navigate and configuration and policy information is easy to find. A very nice dashboard view provides a quick look at threat statistics and traffic information.
This product integrates with LDAP to provide customised policy based on existing groups and users. Policy configuration is also quite simple and most can be configured by checking a box on the appropriate menu.
The documentation is good enough so that any proficient administrator should have few problems with deployment. We would have liked to see more visual documentation and screenshots. The table of contents is not hotinked, but overall the information was laid out well.
Technical support is offered during office hours in the UK and defaults to Panda Security International support at other times. The website contains a password-protected interactive troubleshooter portal.
We found this average value for the money. Even though the initial price for the appliance is low, node licensing raises the cost, in some cases significantly, as does the addition of optional modules needed to reach full capability.