With its ISDN connection and three Ethernet connections in a compact 1U height rack-mountable case, this device makes a good first impression.
Although a little confusing, the initial setup process was fairly straightforward. But we did have to delve into the CD-Rom's documentation files to find the information we needed, where we did encounter a few problems.
The documentation is extensive, but is organized more by subject than by process. The Quick Installation Guide, for example, gives a detailed, step-by-step setup procedure, but fails to mention what the administration account name and password might be, which stopped us in our tracks (the vendor has told us that this problem should be rectified in the next version).
We eventually located the relevant details in the Access and Configuration document, but hit further problems when trying to setup the VPN clients. Once we found them, the VPN client setup instructions were clear and concise, but were for Windows NT 4, which was a little upsetting.
The system surprisingly lacks support for the Layer 2 Tunnelling Protocol (L2TP) and concentrates instead on the Point-to-Point Tunnelling Protocol (PPTP), which could cause concern (the vendor told us a new release supporting L2TP will be available by the time this magazine is published).
The system uses a browser-based management interface that provides access to configuration and monitoring facilities, although it is also possible to access the same management facilities through a serial connection if required. The browser interface does not provide any online help, which is unusual.
However, despite all these disadvantages, the system performed well in testing, aided by the hardware encryption feature. It provides a variety of access controls and monitoring features, including support for Radius servers, with facilities to control access to and from specific IP addresses and ports, and an SNMP capability. System event logging is detailed and there are facilities for collecting session accounting information.