Strengths: Huge number of features
Weaknesses: Installation can be a little confusing, but the quick-start guide helps. Support could be beefed up
Verdict: If you are looking for a two-factor authentication package that can really do it all, you should seriously consider this product
PassGo's Defender server is a software-based product that offers a Radius proxy for providing critical-device authentication, as well as two-factor authentication.
Because most critical firewalls and routers allow for Radius authentication, the offering is strong based on these features alone. The product sits as a middleware application that intercepts the Radius authentication and authenticates to the Defender software.
The software then sends a Radius authentication message to the Radius server for access to be granted in the case of a successful logon. The Radius server can be Active Directory, which is often handy in the SME market.
The product is incredibly feature rich with many options that include a webmail capability, a reporting module, a self-registration component, a desktop logon module, an EAP (extensible authentication protocol) module that can be used to secure wireless environments, a terminal services module, and several modules for Citrix, plus Unix authentication.
Some of the modules are available in additional packages, but the breadth of the offering was unmatched by other products in this review.
The installation of PassGo was relatively easy and finding the full context of active directory components was the greatest trouble. The Radius configuration was something many admins may have done as part of a secure wired or wireless roll-out using 802.1X authentication. The tools for administration are built into the Active Directory tools, but are slightly more confusing than other offerings. We would have preferred to see a console built specifically for this application.
The quick-install guide was the only part of the documentation we needed for our testing. Other documentation is included in the form of PDF files and is logical and easy to follow.
PassGo offers phone and email by way of technical support. We would like to have seen a knowledge base of common solutions or at least a FAQ component built into the website.
The pricing for the Defender offering was at the very low end of the price spectrum, starting at £9 per user. Considering all the features it includes, the product is very strong.