Strengths: It should install in a matter of minutes for most administrators.
Weaknesses: While the device does have a logging feature, we were unable to locate a report-generating function.
Verdict: The user authentication is well done and does not put needless overhead on the administration staff.
The Colubris Networks RF Manager is another appliance-based offering which uses a web-enabled interface to manage the device. The product has a large feature set and can perform most tasks associated with wireless security management.
RF Manager had no problem detecting our rogue access point. The hardware access point-like devices wear a number of different hats, including access point, a RF sensor, a monitoring sensor and a wireless bridge function. Colubris Networks RF Manager manages only Colubris brands of access points. However, it can detect a rogue access point regardless of the manufacturer. The security functionality of this offering is very good due to the fact that access points can either be managed by the central manager or at the access point itself. The software does not allow for the access point to be configured without going through the manager first.
One feature of the RF Manager is its ability to perform user authentication inside of the management station using a local database to maintain a list of valid users. Once a user attempts to access the internet, the RF Manager intercepts the communication and forces the user to authenticate.
The documentation for the product was quite good. We found the quick start guide to be sufficient for a typical install.
Colubris RF Manager products ship with two CDs. One of the CDs has the complete set of product documentation. The product documentation is indexed and searchable, and there is a HTML front end that makes finding the correct documentation easy.
Colubris has several different pay support options (basic, software maintenance and gold), which include both email and phone support options.
Colubris Networks RF Manager is at the upper end of the price spectrum for this Group Test. The features and configuration make sense for small, medium and large enterprises. The user authentication for internet access lends itself to internet cafés and organization that wish to have a guest network.