ZyWALL USG 300
Strengths: Feature-rich product
Weaknesses: Installation is undocumented and can be a bit challenging
Verdict: A good all-round product with a large feature set. But can be a bit of a challenge for organisations that do not need all of the features included
The ZyWALL USG 300 is an appliance-based offering that runs on a 1U rack-mounted device. It provides seven Ethernet gigabit interfaces that can be separately addressed and configured.
The USG 300 is a stateful inspection firewall that allows for deep packet inspection beyond the traditional packet filtering capability.
The ZyXEL offering is rich in features. These include built-in anti-virus and intrusion detection/prevention features.
Additional features of the USG 300 include web caching, user authentication, content filtering and event alerting.
The product offers many different types of failover and even includes expansion ports for the ability to add a card for cellular backup of the primary WAN interface.
It has several VPN options to configure, which include IPSec VPN, SSL VPN, as well as L2TP VPN.
The installation of the USG 300 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. Once the initial wizard is complete, the configuration is a little confusing.
The firewall rules are set up and configured through the same web browser interface, but it takes a few tries to get the hang of the configuration of the firewall rules.
Logging of event information is also available through the same web browser interface. It does have some nice features, including a device overview that shows current hardware usage statistics such as memory, flash and CPU use.
Documentation is not included with the USG 300, other than a FAQ document that answers some common questions for the configuration of the device. We would like to have seen a USG 300 getting-started guide that would have made the initial configuration easier.
Support is available via phone and web. The web support is free and in the form of a large and easy-to-use knowledgebase. Contact information for support is listed on the website.
The pricing for the USG 300 is £542, which places it at the low end of devices reviewed in this group test.