SonicWALL NSA 240
Strengths: Product with a big feature set and an easy-to-use interface
Weaknesses: There might be a learning curve for SonicWALL newbies
Verdict: A superior product that offers a huge number of features for the price, gaining it our Recommended award
If you have looked at SonicWALL before and didn't take the plunge - now is the time. Its NSA 240 firewall is an appliance-based offering, which runs on a 1U rack height device, smaller than the standard rack width. Don't be fooled by size, as SonicWALL crams a staggering number of features into a small space.
The NSA 240 provides ten Ethernet gigabit interfaces, which can be separately addressed and configured. Like most other SonicWALL products, the NSA 240 is a stateful inspection firewall with additional security components that inspect into the data portion of the packet for deep packet inspection. The traditional firewall controls are supplemented with an application-level firewall that delivers deep packet inspection.
The SonicWALL device incorporates a logging feature that can be utilised from the same configuration web browser-based session. Several reports can be generated from the same interface, including bandwidth usage by protocol, bandwidth usage by IP address and which websites are generating the most traffic. Settings for usage of VoIP services including Session Initiation Protocol and H.323 are also provided.
The installation of the NSA 240 is straightforward and about as simple as installs can be. The unit ships with a getting-started guide that walks the administrator through the installation and configuration process. The initial configuration takes place inside of a web browser-based session. It uses a wizard that sets the internal and external IP addresses and the DHCP range for the internal interface.
Additional documentation is available on the accompanying CD, which also includes software utilities that make the initial configuration of the system's IP address easier.
Support is available at an additional charge. Support for eight hours a day, five days a week is included for the first 90 days. After 90 days, a fee applies. Phone, email and web support is available with a knowledgebase on the website.
Pricing for the NSA 240 is £796, which places it at the low end of devices tested.