SonicWALL NSA 3500 is designed to provide multipronged protection at the gateway against malware, spyware and other threats through the Gateway Anti-Virus and Anti-Spyware, Anti-Spam and a real-time Cloud Anti-Virus service. Gateway Anti-Virus and Anti-Spyware are provided by SonicWALL's patented Reassembly-Free Deep Packet Inspection engine and are powered by signatures provided by SonicWALL GRID Network and an in-house research team. The NSA 3500 is also capable of blocking spam and blocking access to sites that are classified as dangerous based on an IP reputation system.

The product comes complete with a firewall, application firewall, secure wireless controller, SSL VPN, VPN, and anti-spam and anti-virus capabilities. It can be deployed in a unified threat management (UTM) capacity or as a complement to other gateway offerings. We tested it as an anti-malware tool and used the malware capabilities along with the application firewall. The offering can be deployed in a route mode or in a Layer 2 Bridge Mode. There are enterprise capabilities supporting port redundancy and load balancing.

We deployed it in bridge mode and as such had it installed and running in minutes. The secure web-based user interface employs a tree-based menu navigation model for managing and configuring the various capabilities. Email scanning is handled through the anti-spyware module and can scan email transmitted through SMTP, IMAP or web-based mail. The application firewall allowed us to configure blocking for various protocols of applications, including access to HTTP proxy sites.

We liked the dashboard's capabilities, although it was not as tunable or intuitive as other tools reviewed this month, but the data was there. While reporting was lacking, according to the documentation you can purchase an upgrade to enhance reporting capabilities.