Strengths: Many out of the box configurations ready to go
Weaknesses: A setup wizard could add to ease of use
Verdict: Another one that could slow you up a bit during deployment
SmoothWall UTM-1000 provides a solid feature set, including both a perimeter firewall and an internal firewall, web security in the form of both web content filtering and anti-virus, and anti-malware protection, email security, anti-spam and a VPN. It also provides user-based policy configuration and IM monitoring and protection features.
We found this product to be fairly easy to deploy and configure. The initial deployment consists of connecting the appliance to the network and accessing the web-based administration GUI. At first login the GUI prompts for some information such as licence and administrator information. There is no setup wizard so initial configuration is done manually, but the steps are simple and only take a few minutes.
After configuration was complete we found it was quite intuitive to move around the management interface and configure various policies. This product comes with many useful policies already in place out of the box so it was easy to build off the already configured templates for a custom policy.
Documentation provided included a short quick-start guide that illustrated the steps to get the appliance up and running, updated and tested to ensure proper connectivity. There were also a few PDF guides, including an administrator guide that provided in-depth configuration steps, many screenshots and examples.
SmoothWall provides 30 days of no cost phone and email technical support with the purchase of the product. Customers can purchase additional support as part of a contract in the form of bronze or silver packages. These include different levels of support services such as phone and email help and differing response times. There is also a no cost support area on the website that includes a knowledgebase and a FAQ section.
At a price of £3,000, plus £500 for an annual renewal, we find this product to be good value for the money. Beyond its solid feature set it was simple to configure and quite configurable with many policy options, or it can be run pretty much out of the box and still provide a fair amount of protection.