Strengths: Proprietary proactive IPS engine.
Weaknesses: Management interface could be a little simpler to use.
Verdict: A solid product at a reasonable price.
The U120 from NETASQ includes a firewall; HTTP proxy with URL filtering, which allows its deep packet Inspection to block spyware and malware; and an anti-spam engine, which combines the heuristic analysis engine with a reputation blacklist to score potential spam so it can be filtered or quarantined. This device also uses the proprietary NETASQ ASQ engine as its IPS, which provides heuristic and behavioral analysis along with contextual signatures to provide solid intrusion prevention.
We found this appliance to be fairly simple to deploy and configure. The initial deployment is done by connecting the appliance to the network and installing the administration suite on a management computer. Once the suite is installed, the application is launched and connected to the appliance. The management interface itself is a little awkward to navigate at first, but we found that after clicking around a bit we got the hang of how to configure the appliance.
This tool features a lot of policy flexibility. Policies can be customized and assigned to various slots, which can be set up to enforce against specific groups and specific times. This means that the appliance can be configured very differently depending on the needed protection for a specific time or day.
Documentation included a short quick-start guide that illustrated the steps necessary to get the appliance up and running and the administration client installed. Other documentation was comprised of a few PDF guides, including a user guide and an installation guide. All these included many screen shots and step-by-step instructions in a clear and organized format.
NETASQ offers various levels of assistance as part of a support subscription. Options include phone and email technical support, as well as hardware replacement and warranty. There is also a support area available on the website, which includes a knowledge base.
At a price of $3,151, we find this product to be a good value for the money. The NETASQ U120 provides a lot of proactive configurable protection at a reasonable price.