Panda's GateDefender Performa 8100
Strengths: Easy to navigate web interface and simple policy configuration.
Weaknesses: We would have liked to see stronger documentation and a few more features for the price.
Verdict: This gateway has some good features but its price is a bit high.
The GateDefender Performa 8100 features complete protection on all widely used protocols, such as HTTP, FTP, SMTP, IMAP4, POP3 and NNTP. This appliance detects viruses, trojans, phishing and spyware, blocking them at the gateway.
Web protection features include a customizable, non-obtrusive approach to securing URLs to limit access to URLs containing non-business, non-productive or inappropriate sites. The appliance comes with an extensive URL listing divided up into 59 categories. Administration is just a click of the button to block or disable category types. These URL lists are updated every 90 minutes and include thousands of new sites daily. The Performa is also customizable through black/ white lists using an intuitive web console running IE 5.0 or greater. The GateDefender Performa has the ability to generate real-time customized reports with ease.
We found this product to be of average ease of use. The deployment is done completely manually and there are no setup wizards to aid in configuration. However, initial setup takes only a few steps. In just minutes the appliance is up and running. The web-based GUI is easy to navigate and configuration and policy information is easy to find. There is also a very nice dashboard view that provides a quick look at threat statistics and traffic information.
Technical support is offered 24/365 days for U.K. customers between 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m. (GMT) for the business week. If technical support is needed outside these hours, the corporate support number defaults to Panda Security International support. Panda also has a website that contains an enterprise Interactive Troubleshooter portal and uses ID and passwords to enter.
We found this an average value for the money. Even though the initial cost is low for the appliance, node licensing raises the cost, in some cases significantly. Also, the addition of optional modules needed to reach full capability raises cost still more.