Panda gatedefender 8100
Strengths: Useful functionality with a multitude of different security protection options.
Weaknesses: Only documentation provided was a slim startup guide. We could not get our support request dealt with outside normal working hours.
Verdict: An impressive appliance with a wide range of trusted third-party tools.
What’s more, the device did not ship with a power cable, there was very little documentation, and no additional PDF guide on the single rescue CD. And we could not find any documentation on the web console after we had accessed it.
However, the unit is equipped with very useful features, such as the ability to stack multiple devices in a high-availability failover configuration. We were also impressed with the quality of the system log reporting, which can be filtered and exported to a text file, but we could not see any option to send logs to a syslog server.
We started by changing the IP address of our management PC and adding it to the same subnet as the device and logged into the console by a secure web-based interface.
The management toolkit was concise and clear. We were impressed by the warnings that came up on the status page about what remained to be done before the unit was properly set up, such as activating software licenses.
After entering the default user name and password, we were able to check for updates, although in our case we were informed that all services including malware definition file, spam filtering definition file and web filtering categories file were all up to date.
We were not given a username and password, so couldn’t set up the licenses for anti-spam, anti-malware and web filtering.
To get them, we thought we’d simply call up the company, but we were told our call had been routed through to its offices in Spain as the U.K. office is only open during business hours. We were then advised to call the U.K. offices during business hours to get our user name and password.
Many businesses deploy devices outside business hours to minimize disruption to normal operations, so this lack of support is difficult to understand, particularly with the scant documentation supplied boasting: “Our expert technical staff are on hand anytime of the day, all year round.”