August 09, 2006
- Ease of Use:
- Value for Money:
- Overall Rating:
- Strengths: Excellent web access control and filtering.
- Weaknesses: Needs other products for firewall, VPN, and anti-virus, and spyware.
- Verdict: Extremely affordable and fits very well into security architectures that don’t require strong application filtering. It has not been designed to provide fully featured, multi-function security.
The DFL-M510 is extremely easy to use. Take it out of the box, plug it in, log in to the Java-based web interface and follow the setup wizard for a quick, seamless installation into the network. Once the device is set up, the management interface becomes a one-stop shop for system and policy management, as well as for generating monitors, logs, and reports.
While we hate to dock points from this otherwise excellent product, it is missing several useful features usually found in this category.
It is designed to be an information security gateway. This means it has outstanding filtering capabilities such as IM, P2P, file transfer applications, mail filtering, web mail and web applications, as well as several types of streaming media.
However, D-Link’s box does not have its own firewall, VPN or anti-virus, anti-spam or spyware features. It does integrate with other products that do these things, but it cannot do them on its own.
Within the limits of its design, and when used for its intended purpose, we found that this appliance performed very well. The interface is well organised and integrates all features to make policy and system management simple and intuitive.
Logs and reports can also be generated which illustrate in great detail all types of user traffic and policy information.
This product features excellent documentation. Manuals supplied with the unit are in the form of easy-to-follow PDF documents divided into a quickstart and user manual. The first illustrates a few simple steps from putting the unit in place to plugging it into the network. The latter then explains features and policy configuration. All the documentation is clear, organised and easy to understand.
D-Link offers phone and email support and an online knowledge base and FAQ section. Firmware upgrades are also available to download.
Based on its own merits, this product is better than average value for money. It has a wide range of customisable filtering features and capabilities.
However, it is missing several features that many other products have in this category, although the features it does have are designed to be easy to set up and manage.
This device is a good place to start for solid network security, or it can fill gaps in existing security architectures.
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