Strengths: Feature-rich for the price
Weaknesses: Complex setup means that configuration takes a bit longer than other devices in the category
Verdict: A solid firewall offering, priced for all businesses
The StoneGate FW-310 is an appliance-based offering that runs on a 1U height small form device. It provides four Ethernet interfaces that can be separately addressed and configured.
The StoneGate is primarily a stateful inspection-based firewall that has additional inspection options that allow for the device to perform deep packet inspection by looking into the data portion of packets for specific application configuration.
The offering from Helsinki-based Stonesoft provides standard logging and advanced reporting through the use of a separate management station.
The firewall is built on distributed architecture where the management is provided from a central management station and the firewalling component is installed on the inspection agent, which is the FW-310 itself.
The installation of the FW-310 device is a more complex process than that of some other SME-class firewalls.
The rack mount device uses the vga port and a PS/2 keyboard port to perform the initial configuration, which takes place through a Linux-based menu system. This is used to configure the primary interfaces, as well as pointing the inspection engine to the primary management server.
The initial configuration of the StoneGate FW-310 also sets the administration password for future logins to the device.
If you are managing more than one device, there is ability for the configuration to be imported from a USB drive.
The StoneGate FW-310 ships with a brief getting-started guide that provides information on the initial configuration and installation.
For the first 90 days of using the StoneGate FW-310, support is offered via email and phone. The Stonesoft website also provides support information.
Aditional support is available in two offerings from Stonesoft. Basic support offers nine-hours-a-day, five-days-a-week coverage for £298. Premium support, which offers 24/7 coverage, hardware warranty, software updates and technical support, comes in at £440.
Priced at £1,055, the StoneGate FW-310 firewall is at the low end of the price spectrum, making it a good buy for enterprises of any size.