SonicWALL NSA 4500
Strengths: Highly configurable policies to meet the needs of any environment.
Weaknesses: Advanced configuration can be slightly confusing.
Verdict: SonicWALL always has been one of our favorites. Bring your security engineer to the demo, though. It may need their support.
SummaryThe SonicWALL NSA 4500 is another in the line of heavy, enterprise-grade hardware. This appliance features highly configurable policy controls and a ton of features. If fully loaded, the NSA can not only be a powerful content filter but a full security gateway as well. On the content filter side, this appliance features the SonicWALL content filtering service, which leverages the SonicWALL dynamic database of millions of URLs, IP addresses and domains to block problematic content from being viewed within the enterprise.
We found this solution to be a straightforward install. The appliance must be registered via the SonicWALL website before installation begins, but that only takes a few minutes. After registration is complete, the appliance can be plugged into the network and initial configuration can begin. The initial configuration takes only a few minutes as well.
At the completion of the setup wizard, the real configuration takes place. This is all done through the web-based interface, and getting some of the configuration completed is slightly confusing. It is here where zones must be created and policies configured. The good news is that this product offers high flexibility and can be configured to meet the requirements of almost any environment.
This appliance comes with a very nice getting-started guide, as well as an in-depth administrator guide. The getting-started guide offers more than just a few steps to get the appliance turned on. This guide features clear, step-by-step instructions to also get a basic configuration in place, as well as how to activate all the various services on the appliance.
At a price just shy of $8,000 for both the hardware and a year of the content filtering service, this product is a good value for the money. The SonicWALL NSA can provide a great amount of flexible functionality for a decent price.