Astaro Web Gateway 3000
Strengths: Many features above and beyond simple web filtering.
Weaknesses: Not easy to set up and administer.
Verdict: Provides a high amount of web-based protection, but not as intuitive to use as we’d like.
SummaryThe Astaro Web Gateway 3000 combines URL filtering, detection of malware, and control over IM and peer-to-peer applications, including Skype and BitTorrent. For malware detection, the Web Gateway uses two separate scanning engines, providing detection of viruses, malware, spyware and active content. This approach provides a broad spectrum of protection and control into the enterprise.
We found this tool to be quite simple to use, but the setup process is quite lengthy. The initial setup and configuration of the device is all done manually without the use of a setup wizard or guide. We had to follow a setup procedure outlined in the administration guide. We found that this could lead to setup errors or the device not being configured properly. After the initial setup is complete, administration is done using the web admin interface. This web GUI is a little bit awkward and not easy to navigate. Most settings require a host or device to be entered into the system and then policy is created by a drag and drop.
URL filtering in Astaro Web Gateway grants web access according to user, time settings and policies, which can be based on 97 categories that contain over 35 million sites. Newly discovered websites are updated automatically using the Up2Date functionality built in.
Documentation for this product is in the form of two PDF manuals. One is a quick-start guide, which provides the initial steps of connecting to the device. The other is an administrator guide, which details initial configuration and detailed advanced configuration of the product features. Both guides are well organized and include many screen shots and step-by-step instructions.
Astaro offers varying levels of tech help as part of a support contract. Support options available include phone and email technical support, hardware replacement, updates and product upgrades.
At a price of just under $3,500, this product is an average value for the money. While it does have some nice features, we found it to be quite difficult to set up and administer, which we find adds to the overall cost of ownership.