eSoft InstaGate 604
Strengths: Easy to configure with many features available through ThreatPaks.
Weaknesses: A little pricey upfront.
Verdict: Total cost of ownership can raise the buy-in price. Still, a good value over time.
SummaryThe InstaGate 604 from eSoft provides full UTM protection to the small to midsize business environment. This product features a full stateful firewall with deep packet inspection out of the box and then can be customized with specific eSoft ThreatPaks, such as the Web ThreatPak that includes gateway anti-virus, web content filtering, intrusion prevention, bot detection, and IM and P2P application blocking.
When it comes to setting it up, not much has changed since we last saw this product, which is a good thing. This tool is about as close to plug-and-play as it gets. The initial deployment is guided by a web-based setup wizard and takes just a few minutes to actually run through. But at the end of the wizard, the InstaGate downloads all available updates so that after setup is complete, it is updated and ready to go.
As for the GUI, with a very organized layout, it is still quite easy and intuitive to navigate. While the appliance is pretty much ready to go after the setup wizard, tweaking and customizing policies and rules is easy to do within the interface. Also featured on the interface is a dashboard that eSoft has named ThreatMonitor. This provides near real-time statistics that are easy to read and provide a solid bird's-eye view of the latest threats and policy violations.
Documentation included a short quick-start guide that illustrates the steps to connecting the InstaGate to the network and completing the setup wizard, and also a full user guide that details advanced configuration and management of the appliance and its features. Both are clear and well-organized.
Support provided by eSoft includes 90 days of free phone aid as part of the purchase price of the appliance, and ongoing support purchased as part of a plan.
At just under $3,000 for the unit, plus about $1,500 annually for the ThreatPak and just over $500 annually for technical support, this product can be a little expensive upfront. However, we find it to be a good value for the money based on its solid feature set and easy configurability.