The CyberGuard KS1500 packs a comprehensive firewall, redundant power supply and link aggregation options into its 2U height chassis. The second power supply is standard on the unit, but was supplied as an option.

As with other CyberGuard firewalls, it has an unusual configuration process that involves locating an HTML file on the installation CD, loading it into a web browser and entering configuration details into it. The results then have to be saved as a text file to a floppy disk.

After generating the configuration file and connecting keyboard, mouse and monitor to the unit, the KS1500 can be booted up and configured. This automatic process reads the generated configuration details from the floppy, and after a few minutes, the system loads an X-Windows management interface. The system can also be managed remotely using a web browser.

CyberGuard's documentation, on CD-Rom, is comprehensive, and accessed through a user-friendly graphical front-end that enables you to select the appropriate documents for the system.

The software includes a range of complementary products, including Windows VPN clients and anti-virus software. The VPN client software, "SoftRemote" from SafeNet, is supplied with an optional software firewall, but is only available for Windows XP systems. However, CyberGuard's VPN software will work with several third-party offerings, which could be useful when accessing different companies' VPN facilities from one system without installing multiple clients.

Setting up VPN connections on a firewall can be a complicated task, especially with such a highly configurable system, with a good chance of inadvertently misconfiguring a rule. To help prevent this there is a specific configuration subsystem devoted to setting up a VPN which takes care of the more complicated details.

The management interface also provides detailed online help on most configuration screens. The Cyberguard system applies a number of validation checks whenever a rule is added or altered.