Cyberguard's Webwasher device provides a range of features in a 1U chassis. Offering anti-virus and anti-spam services as well as URL filtering, it sets out to deal with the problems that arise from the unguarded use of the internet.
However, given that it provides such a comprehensive feature set, it seems a shame that it lacks a redundant power supply.
Installation is straightforward and, although it seems odd to have to generate a configuration file on floppy disk before booting the system, this does mean it can start up with the addresses and settings you want, rather than those provided by the supplier.
It also means that you can go straight into managing and configuring the system's features.
You still need to configure the various settings for proxy servers and mail server addresses, as well as setting up user authentication for the more advanced features.
The documentation covers all these aspects in great detail, although it can sometimes be overwhelming.
The email filtering system not only provides almost every feature imaginable, it also offers some unusual uses for them. For example, the blacklists can not only block senders, but also recipients. Its handling of spam is interesting.
Not only can it route all spam to a separate queue, it can also email a list of them to the intended recipients for them to decide what to do about them.
It can also send all the lists to one account, so that the recipients never see the mail at all unless the administrator releases it to them.
The system's URL filtering system uses a database of web addresses that have been placed into predefined categories. User-defined URL lists can complement the database.
The system can also monitor web access by looking at the contents of meta tags as well as checking URLs.
Of course, the content of meta tags may bear no relationship to the information on the website, but it is still a useful capability.
The system supports user authentication with NTLM and LDAP, allowing it to integrate easily into mixed networks.