Sophos Web Appliance
Strengths: Easy to set up, deploy and manage with many features.
Weaknesses: None that we found.
Verdict: Solid performance and definitely worth a good look if you need this type of appliance.
We found this appliance to be very simple to install and configure. Once the appliance is connected to the network, configuration is done via a setup wizard in the web GUI. This setup wizard is the first thing that comes up at the first login with the default administrator credentials. Once completed, the appliance is pretty much ready to go. After the completion of the setup wizard, all administration is done from the web interface as well. The interface itself is clean and organized with an intuitive layout.
This tool can be configured as a proxy or as an inline appliance at the gateway depending on the model. We tested the proxy version and found deployment and setup to be quite simple and straightforward. The appliance also has a strong focus on policies and flexible configuration options on the web filter and control side, which provides for solid protection all the way around.
Documentation included a short setup guide, a configuration guide and an in-depth help PDF. The setup guide details the steps necessary to get the appliance connected to the network, while the remaining guides focus on advanced configuration and deployment options. All the guides included many screen shots, diagrams and step-by-step instructions.
Sophos offers standard 24/7 phone and email technical support as part of the license fee. However, additional support upgrades are available and includes such features as priority incident handling, remote system support, named technical support account manager, and emergency on-site support, among many others. There is also a support area available at no cost on the website that includes documentation downloads, a knowledge base and user forum.
At a price just under $2,500, we find the Sophos Web Appliance to be a solid value for the money with a strong feature set and easy to administer controls.