Strengths: Scalable and full-featured.
Weaknesses: Not many: configuration can be a bit complex; price.
Verdict: Features and performance make this a strong consideration for an enterprise solution.
SummaryThe SmoothWall UTM-1000 appliance combines SmoothWall Guardian Web Security with the network security functions of firewall, intrusion prevention and detection system (IDS/IPS), internet access control, virtual private network (VPN), instant messaging control, load balancing, wide area network (WAN) aggregation, GFI VIPRE anti-malware, Mailshell email anti‐spam/phishing and bandwidth management. The product was delivered to us as a hardware appliance and we saw in the documentation that there is an option for a software version if one is desired. The UTM-1000 model we tested was rated for a 500 to 700 user environment. There are options for smaller models supporting 50 and 100 user environments.
Setup begins with browsing to the default IP and port and using the web-based interface to do initial network setup and subsequent configuration and management. Setting up the appliance on a network requires a simple addressing of the internal interface and then setting up the proper internet service provider (ISP)/internet properties. Once on the internet, we verified our licensing and ran an update. The user interface (UI) was somewhat clunky at first, but after using it for a few minutes and realizing that the intent of the design is really geared to keeping one just a few clicks away from any options, it became a bit more intuitive to use.
SmoothWall-UTM provides web security by providing a web security policy. A web security policy, containing filters and, optionally, time settings and authentication requirements, determines how SmoothWall handles web content. The firewall did deliver stateful inspection, including layer 7 content analysis. However, the firewall programming was not as user friendly as we would have liked. In fact, it is more like mapping port forwarding rules. There is pop-up help available on various screens for some configuration assistance, and there are a lot of templates available in the various sections for use. There is also a default web security policy in place that one could use to get the product up and running quickly.
The product features are very complete, with full virtual private network (VPN) support for both secure socket layer (SSL) and internet protocol security (IPsec). Web filtering and control features include dynamic filtering of page content, context and construction and URLs, "who, what, when, where" granular policy tools, mobile device filtering for iOS, OSX, Windows, Android and bring-your-own-device (BYOD)/guest filtering.
There was a good selection of base reports available with export capabilities to .csv, Excel or PDF formats. There is alerting built in as well. However, from what we are able to see, it appears that these alerting capabilities are pre-programmed and we do not see an ability to add to those. Basic support only includes phone and email assistance for 30 days.
The SmoothWall UTM-1000 is feature rich and has all the necessary enterprise features to handle the needs of any medium to large organization. However, the pricing is a bit on the high side at approximately $15,000 for 500 computers/devices. - ML