Strengths: Solid protection against several types of web-based threats on top of URL filtering.
Weaknesses: Management console takes some time to get accustomed to.
Verdict: A flexible product with a lot of built-in features.
SummaryThe Aladdin eSafe is an all-in-one web security gateway. This appliance not only provides URL filtering, but also goes beyond that to protect the enterprise from today's massive amount of web threats. This appliance focuses on capturing possible threats - such as malicious scripts, HTML and HTTP exploits, and viruses - as well as stripping out ActiveX, Java Applets and cookies before they can become trouble on the internal network.
We found this product to be fairly easy to use. The appliance comes with all software preinstalled, so setup consists of just following a quick setup wizard via a web GUI to complete the initial configuration. Once the initial configuration is complete, the rest of the setup is done through a separate Java-based client application. This application can be a little bit awkward to use at first as there are many configuration options and it is not very intuitive to browse through.
Although not intuitive to use, this product does offer some high flexibility and policy granularity. We found that once we got the feel of using the client, we had many ways of configuring policy and creating policy groups. This, combined with the robust NitroInspection engine, which provides real-time content security and filtering of incoming and outgoing application layer traffic in over 500 categories - including IM, peer-to-peer, remote controllers and Skype - offers massive granularity for any environment.
Documentation for eSafe is on a CD in the form of several PDF guides, which include the console admin guide, as well as installation manuals. There is also a short, paper quick-start card with a few simple steps on getting the appliance up and running with the setup wizard. All the guides included are well organized and include several screen shots and step-by-step instructions.
Aladdin offers solid phone and email-based technical support, as well as a web-based customer support portal with a knowledge base, forum and access to updates and downloads.
At a price starting at about $1,800, Aladdin's eSafe is a good value for the money. We find that despite a slight learning curve with the management console, this product does offer some very solid capability and flexibility.