BorderWare's SteelGate SG-200 runs the company's own firewall, Firewall Server 7.1, running on the S-Core secure operating system. Rather than building an appliance from the ground up, the SG-200 is simply a PC (2GHz Intel Celeron Processor, 512MB RAM and a 40GB hard disk) in a rack-mountable chassis.
While most appliances can be configured via a web interface or console port, the SG-200 has to be connected to a monitor and keyboard for the initial network configuration.
You only get three network interfaces (one Gigabit Ethernet, two Fast Ethernet), one of which will be used if you choose to use high availability, but this is a low end model and there are other models available with more network interfaces.
The BorderWare Configuration Utility, which is used to configure your existing FireWall, is also used to configure the SG-200.
This means the SG-200 can be dropped into an existing network and integrated in a short space of time. The software is powerful, letting you group multiple firewalls, saving time on administering each one individually.
As we only had the one firewall we concentrated on that. A tree structure lets you drill down to the component you want. As a proxy-firewall, you can simply choose to allow or deny the services you want to run by ticking a check box. A full stateful inspection engine also exists (called Direct Packet Filtering), so that you can create rules for services that do not have a proxy. You can also create user-defined proxy engines for securing applications.
As well as a VPN, the SG-200 can also provide URL filtering, through SurfControl software, and anti-virus through Kaspersky – both services cost an additional licence fee. The relatively low number of ports and cost of the SG-200 means that on paper it does not compare favorably to other products in this test.
But some of the customization features are attractive, and for those with large BorderWare Firewall Server installations already, this will integrate seamlessly into the mix.