Check Point Power-1 5070
Strengths: Tried and true protection.
Weaknesses: Licensing has always been the bane of Check Point products.
Verdict: Among the network-based firewalls, Check Point is first rate. It is also the yardstick against which to measure other products.
SummaryThe first conference I attended was a Check Point conference in 1996. The company pioneered stateful inspection, and it seemed that a good portion of the conference was devoted to explaining the new technology. Since Check Point was the leader in 1996, the question hovers: what has the company done to handle emerging threats.
The days of simple port filtering are long gone, and the Power-1 encompasses a wide array of features. These include SSL VPNs, web security, anti-virus, anti-spyware and anti-spam. The tool has a few very unique components, particularly application intelligence, which is now a component of Smart Defense. These features were among the first on the market that pushed past traditional stateful inspection, and had the firewall device scan beyond headers and into the data portion. These features protect against known and zero-day attacks.
With these options, there is also the ability to sanitize part of an IP address. It then sends the firewall logs to the data center where the data is compiled and used to show hot beds of attacks and legitimate traffic around the world. These modules also help prevent preamble attacks, which are used by attackers to specify exactly which type of exploit would most likely be successful against a given target.
Check Point's documentation has improved recently. It used to come in a set of books, but now comes on a documentation CD.
Support is offered through phone, email and the website. The hardware is covered by warranty for three years, starting from the date of registration, or for 75 days after the product is purchased. Support options range from the standard support plan - that provides telephone assistance during normal business hours with next-day shipment of replacement appliances - to the premium support plan, providing 24/7 assistance with same-day replacement shipment, up to the Premium+4H plan, which provides a qualified engineer on-site within four hours to resolve any appliance-related issues.
Power-1 is priced at $36,500, which places it in the upper middle class of products in this Group Test.