McAfee Secure Firewall
Strengths: The largest number of features of devices tested.
Weaknesses: Difficult to configure and administer.
Verdict: A complete enterprise firewall loaded with more features than most organizations will ever need.
SummaryThis appliance-based offering runs on a 1U rack-mounted device. The Secure Firewall provides eight Ethernet interfaces, which can be separately addressed and configured. The tool is primarily a proxy-based firewall with options to perform stateful inspection of protocols as a secondary configuration. The Secure Firewall provides many types of protection by using both major firewall types. The firewall provides a logging and reporting mechanism, which allows the administrator to see the results of traffic passing through.
The installation is a complex process befitting most enterprise-class firewalls. The initial configuration takes place through a serial connection and a hyperterm session, followed by a proprietary configuration utility. Once the initial install is complete, additional configuration takes place using a network interface and a proprietary application.
The installation and configuration were quite complex and took more than an hour, while other devices in this category took just a matter of minutes. The installation of the management client alone took more than 20 minutes to complete. Once the initial configuration is performed with HyperTerminal, it is difficult to find the default password to log into the device.
The Secure Firewall ships with a hard copy getting started guide, which walks the user through the initial configuration and administration of the device. Additional documentation is available on the printed administration guide, which is an 800-page book covering the entire breadth of the device. The documentation also installs in an e-copy with the configuration and management client.
Support is available for an additional charge. For 24/7 support, the annual fee is 22 percent of the purchase price of the device. The Secure Computing website has a password-protected knowledge base, which is available to current users. Three years of hardware support is included with the purchase price.
The pricing begins at $1,900 and ranges up to $69,900, which means the Secure Firewall can be priced anywhere in the price spectrum for products tested in this Group Test.