NIKSUN NetDetector Alpine
Strengths: Interface is easy to work with.
Weaknesses: Nothing that is immediately apparent.
Verdict: Again this year, we designate NetDetector as SC Lab Approved for its versatility, comprehensive testing capabilities and value.
SummaryNetDetector Alpine v4.2 is the most up-to-date version of NIKSUN's network traffic-monitoring hardware that audits and informs users of network security threats. NetDetector features include an analysis tool, event viewer and an application reconstruction tool. These are used to analyze how a breach occurred, what data was compromised and by whom, and what can be done to fix the breach. The solution also keeps track of how many times the attack has occurred. The analysis tool allows users to investigate at packet level and analyze network security protocols that are in use. To help prevent malicious attacks, NetDetector allows one to set user-generated rules and choose from NIKSUN edicts regarding IDS signatures.
The event viewer allows users to see logged information, such as the time at which a breach occurred and how serious it was. The application reconstruction tool allows one to rebuild or recover applications, users, images and file transfers. This tool also provides a summary of the applications that were used.
The NetDetector application uses a Flash-based web interface. The user can access information about network traffic and security breaches. This product can then monitor traffic and allow quick access to data found and collected on the network. Data - ranging from immediate records to those several years old - can then be viewed. The more information a user wishes to view, the more time the program needs to load, but the records are still accessible in a timely manner.
Documentation includes step-by-step instructions, complete with screen shots, which definitely contribute to simplifying the setup. Also included are instructions in bold text for the commands, which makes the process easy to follow. And there are several troubleshooting tips, pictures of the icons being discussed and chapters for each of the special features. There is a user guide accessible through the software, which has a help button for the tools. Each button brings the user to a small description of the apparatus and how it works.
The NIKSUN NetDetector v4.2 Alpine comes standard with a basic, no-cost support plan. NIKSUN also offers standard and premium levels of assistance. Standard includes free upgrades, customer help by telephone, email and return merchandise authorization (RMA). Premium includes free upgrades, customer assistance by telephone, email, onsite, next-day RMA and hot spares. The NIKSUN websites also provides a FAQ, knowledge base (which has security notes, learning tools and frequently updated documentation). The support section provides a ticketing system that allows users to view the state of any particular service request. Customer support representatives are comprised of technical service managers who are knowledgeable about the product. This helps users to complete troubleshooting in a timely fashion.
The basic price for the NetDetector Alpine v4.2 is $24,705. This price includes the cost of hardware, software and the recurring cost for software upgrades and support services. The fees are dependent on the product offering and enterprise license (standard or platinum), as well as the type of support (standard or premium). All in all, NetDetector is a great product for this value, and the more one spends, the more options are made available.