XG Firewall

The Sophos brand of products have always been noted for their reliability and performance. We tested the Sophos XG Firewall with the XG135w Firewall model and found it lives up to the brands' reputation. This product is ideally fit for mid-sized businesses with a high UTM throughput of 1.4Gbits/sec. Sophos XG Firewall provides deep visibility into your network, users, and applications directly from the control center. You also get robust reporting and the option to add Sophos iView for centralized reporting across multiple firewalls. There are lots of predefined and customizable reports encompassing the activities of the network and the users in real time.

Logging into the XG Firewall management interface starts on the control panel. It gives you an overview of multiple items including traffic insights, system statistics, or even active firewall rules. Information is presented much like a traffic light with red, yellow, and green indicators. You click on widgets to access various sections of the management interface, allowing you bypass unnecessary steps. One feature we'd like to see implemented in the next release would be the ability to customize the control center, the information dashboard inside the Sophos.

Although the XG Firewall management interface seems to be cluttered, the learning curve for this product is short, because all the main categories and subcategories are located on the left side of the interface, which provides clear/easy direction when trying to navigate. Once a subcategory is selected on the left menu, you can then drill down even further with more selection tabs on the top row creating a logical navigation interface.

Sophos Sandstorm is Sophos next-gen, cloud-sandbox technology that gives organizations an extra layer of security against ransomware and targeted attacks. This technology is integrated with the XG firewall and includes IPS, live protection, signatures, and web security exploit code just to name a few.

All documentation is available online in easy to follow formats. A quick guide is included with the appliance to support simple and quick to set up. Sophos also has a knowledgebase, online forum, and how-to section with instructional videos, which gives you a robust learning base to suit all styles. In the video section, there are a few categories that are coming soon, but as of this current review date, there is no content yet. This section isn't as video rich as some of those offered by other solutions, but it's better than nothing and provides a good starting point.

There are various support options such as a basic no-cost support, which includes a 90-day phone and email support, and 1-year warranty at 24x7. Sophos support chat is also available through an instant messaging service where you can ask questions to the agent without opening a support ticket. We always find this type of service useful if you are lost or stuck in a situation that requires a quick response.

 -  Matt Hreben with Dan Cure;
tested by Matt Hreben and Michael Diehl 

Product title
XG Firewall
Product info
Name: XG Firewall Description: Price: Starts at $249 per year on a 3-year term for TotalProtect Plus and Enhanced Support on an XG 85
Great product for the price; an excellent choice for those running inside the Sophos ecosystem.
No ability to customize the control center, UI could be a bit more focused.
Sophos continues to make improvements in their products and the XG135w is no exception. If you are running other Sophos software, this is a must have.

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