ZyWall USG 300
Strengths: Feature-rich product
Weaknesses: Installation is undocumented and can be a bit challenging
Verdict: A good allrounder with a large feature set. The unit can be a bit of a challenge for organisations that do not need all of the included features
Like the other entries in this group test, the offering from Taiwan-based ZyXel is an appliance running on a 1U rack-mounted device.
The ZyWall USG 300, which has been on the market since September, provides seven ethernet gigabit interfaces, which again can be addressed and configured separately.
The appliance is a stateful inspection firewall that allows for deep-packet inspection beyond the traditional packet filtering capability.
The product is feature-rich, with built-in anti-virus and intrusion detection/intrusion prevention capabilities. The device offers many different types of failover and even includes expansion ports for the ability to add a card for mobile backup of the primary WAN interface.
The ZyWall USG 300 can connect multiple ISP links to ensure internet availability in case a single ISP link becomes unreliable. Furthermore, a multiple-WAN load-balancing feature allows the device to optimise the bandwidth usage over each ISP link.
The installation was quite simple, and the entire setup is run through a web browser session. The quick-start wizard allows for assignment of IP addresses for the interfaces, but little more.
However, once the initial wizard is complete, the configuration becomes a little confusing.
The firewall rules are set up and configured through the same web browser interface, but it takes a few attempts to get the hang of the configuration of the firewall rules. Logging of information is also available through the same web browser interface.
The only documentation included with the ZyWall USG 300 is a frequently-asked-questions document that offers some common answers for the configuration of the device.
We would have liked a getting-started guide as this would have made the initial configuration easier.
Support is available via phone and web. The web support is free and comes in the form of a large and easy-to-use knowledge base. Contact information for support is listed on the website.
This product is aimed at small to medium enterprises rather than larger organisations and, at a price of £1,100, the ZyWall USG 300 comes in at the midpoint for devices tested.