Kerio's stateful inspection WinRoute Firewall 6 operates on Windows 2000/XP/2003. After a painless and quick installation and reboot, it is ready to run.
Administration is through the dedicated management console. Kerio ships the product with a web interface, but this only displays information and has no configuration options, so you're stuck with using the management console supplied.
A quick setup wizard helps you to easily identify how your network interfaces should be connected (internal and external) and then asks you which services you want to run. All other traffic is blocked.
It is a quick way to get up and running, although its relative simplicity is likely to appeal more to small businesses, rather than large enterprises who will want to enforce a very specific policy.
Once you get into the main software, a tree structure lets you get to the part of the firewall you want to manage, such as choosing failover options.
Rules are simple to define by selecting first the source and then the destination – this can be by interface, IP or user – and the service you want, before choosing to allow or deny. It is simple to use, while the last default rule blocks all traffic, so anything not specifically allowed is denied.
The firewall's small business credentials shine through with the inclusion of McAfee's Anti-Virus and ISS's OrangeWeb filter. With web caching enabled, too, WinRoute will speed up your internet connection as well as making it safer.
We particularly favored the HTTP filtering options, which give you options to allow or deny Windows updates and block banner adverts.
WinRoute is supplied with its own VPN server, although as it runs off a regular PC, it limits the throughput, as the overhead is all on the processor.
The main thing that's missing from this software is intrusion prevention, which we'd expect to be included in a small-business product like this. We also found that the reporting tools are not very comprehensive.
While not up to protecting large networks, WinRoute is well suited to the small business. Its low operating and system requirements mean it is cheap to buy and easy to install.