Strengths: Many out-of-the-box configurations ready to go.
Weaknesses: A setup wizard could add to ease of use.
Verdict: Another one that could slow you up a bit during deployment.
The SmoothWall UTM 1000 provides a solid feature set, including both a perimeter firewall as well as an internal firewall; web security in the form of web content filtering, anti-virus and anti-malware protection; email security and anti-spam; and a VPN. This product also includes user-based policy configuration and IM monitoring and protection features.
We found this solution to be fairly easy to deploy and configure. The initial deployment consists of connecting the appliance to the network and accessing the web-based administration GUI. At first login, the GUI prompts for some information, such as license and administrator information. There is no setup wizard for this product, so initial configuration is done manually, but the steps are simple and only take a few minutes.
After initial configuration was complete, we found it quite intuitive to move around the management interface to configure various policies. This product comes with many useful policies already in place out of the box, so we found that it was easy to build off of the already configured templates for a custom policy.
Documentation included a short quick-start guide, which illustrated steps to get the appliance up and running, updated and tested to ensure proper connectivity. Other documentation included a few PDF guides, including an administrator guide that provided in-depth configuration steps, as well as many screen shots and configuration examples.
SmoothWall provides 30 days of no-cost phone and email technical support with the purchase of the product. Customers can purchase additional support as part of a support contract in the form of bronze or silver packages. These include different levels of support services, including phone, email and response times. There is also a no-cost support area on the website, which includes a knowledge base and FAQ section.
At a price of $5,500, we find this product to be a good value for the money. Beyond its solid feature set, we found it to be simple to configure, as well as quite configurable with many policy options, or it can be run pretty much out of the box and still provide a fair amount of protection.