Strengths: Protection for not only the perimeter via firewall and IPS, but also from many types of malware.
Weaknesses: Most policies have to be configured manually.
Verdict: A strong product with a good feature set, but needing defauly policies set to the accepted security configuration of all not explicitly allowed is denied.
This product features protection on many levels. It can be deployed as a gateway using NAT, or in bridged mode to protect the network transparently. The protection this device can provide includes firewall, IDS/IPS, anti-virus (both at the gateway and email), anti-spam, anti-spyware, web content filtering, and protection from phishing and pharming. It can also be set up as a VPN.
All these features come together in one simple to manage web console. This console is well organized and intuitive to navigate. On the front end of the console is a dashboard packed with many useful monitors and statistics. Although there are several monitors on the dashboard, it is nicely organized so that finding information is easy. Deployment of this product was also simple.
We found this product to be quite flexible and very powerful. The only problem we saw during our test was that, out of the box, the unit appears as if it relies mostly on its firewall as most of the intrusion detection and protection (IDP) policies are set simply to detect only by default. This means we had to go in and reset a lot of the policies to drop. Conventional security wisdom for years has dictated a policy of everything not explicitly allowed is denied. This product does not seem to follow that best practice by default.
Included documentation for this product is a small quick start guide and several other guides in PDF format on a CD. The quick start guide explains deployment options and prompts the user through the set-up wizard. The other guides are split into pieces and functions of the device. This helps with finding information on specific problems or configurations. All documentation is easy to read and contains screenshots.
The vendor website provides a small support area, which includes a knowledge base and demos, as well as many resources such as product guides.
The CR250i pricing starts at $4,139. With a base price of just over $4,100, this appliance provides a lot of functionality at a fairly affordable cost. Available in various sizes for different sized enterprises, this appliance is a good value for almost any size environment.