Swivel Secure Swivel Appliance
Strengths: Easy to implement, strong authentication in just about any environment.
Weaknesses: No PDF documentation.
Verdict: Versatile product with strong authentication, but a bit pricey and skimpy with documentation.
The Swivel Appliance from Swivel Secure provides strong authentication in a variety of ways: One-time, password-based solution, PINs via OATH tokens and Swivel Secure's patented OTC extraction protocol, PINsafe. Each of these methods can be used with or without a PIN and, if required, can also be combined with a static password. This versatile tool can be put into place with an existing authentication infrastructure, making it extremely easy to deploy in any environment.
We tested the physical appliance of the product, but it is also available as VMware or as a software-only offering. The initial setup was completed in 10 minutes. Using the console management interface to configure the network was extremely simple. Following the network configuration, we opened up the appliance's management console, PINsafe Webmin. The web-based user interface was clean and simple with straightforward access to many useful features.
This versatile appliance is compatible with all of today's leading SSL VPN technologies, including Juniper, Cisco, Sonic Wall and F5. It also supports multiple remote access and web platforms, including SharePoint, Exchange, Outlook Web Access and Microsoft Terminal Services. The Swivel Server supports many cloud services, like Office 365, Google Apps, Huddle and Salesforce. This wide variety of support, as we said earlier, makes this appliance easy to implement in just about any environment.
Documentation included a quick-start guide to get it up and running. The appliance also came with documentation for the console management interface, as well as a user guide. Overall, the wording was very clear and easy to understand and there were also multiple screen shots included. A few downfalls, however, was that there was no PDF form and there was no separate documentation for administrators or users alone. When logged into the Webmin user interface, we did find some form of a help guide, but still no full online downloadable PDF.
As far as support goes, Swivel Secure makes out pretty well in this category. It comes with access to an online knowledge base with unlimited access, as well as a FAQ. For fee-based options, for eight-hours-a-day/five-days-a-week support, the fee is 18 percent of the license cost. For 24/7/365, the fee is 40 percent of the license cost. These support packages include both phone and email assistance.
The basic price for the Swivel appliance is $3,527, which is the hardware product we tested. The VM appliance price is $1,163. The license cost ranges from $94 to $1.28 per user. Also in the cost for this appliance is an annual maintenance charge of 18 percent.
Overall, we believe this product is priced a bit high. Although it is expensive, the fact that it is extremely easy to implement and also easy for users to engage in gives it a good bang for the buck. This appliance is not only easy for the user, but it also offers many options that are implemented in a few mouse clicks. The Swivel Appliance does not require a lot of overhead from management, making it even more cost-effective. This product has a lot to offer and comes packaged with many advantages.
Shelby Descoteaux contributed to this review.