ZyXEL Communications USG1000
Strengths: A good amount of features bundled with a flexible policy engine.
Weaknesses: The web console has a slight learning curve.
Verdict: A very competent product typical of the quality we expect from ZyXEL.
The ZyXEL USG 1000 provides basic UTM functions - such as a firewall, intrusion detection and prevention engine, anti-virus, web content filter and anti-spam - as the first level of protection. Then this product goes a bit further with features such as both an IPsec, as well as an SSL VPN, IM and P2P application management and blocking, and a user-aware policy engine that can set bandwidth or network access based on user login.
We found setup and deployment of this product to be quite straightforward. The initial setup can be done through the web GUI once the appliance is connected to the network. At first login, the GUI launches a setup wizard, which guides admins through the steps to get the product running in the network, as well as getting a basic configuration. After the wizard is complete, the web-based management console is opened to the dashboard. We found the console itself to be a little confusing at first, but quickly became comfortable with navigating around.
This appliance allows for some very customizable policies and many can be configured to be quite granular. This flexibility allows for complete control over various groups or users that have different needs. This appliance also features the ability to use endpoint security policies to ensure machines on the network meet the necessary criteria.
Documentation included a quick-start guide and a user guide. The quick-start guide provided a brief outline of how to connect the appliance to the network and access the web GUI. The user guide is a complete, in-depth look at how to configure and use all the product features. This guide also included many screen shots, diagrams, examples and step-by-step instructions.
ZyXEL offers no-cost phone and email technical support Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p. m. PST to all customers. There is also a large support area available on the website that includes product documentation, firmware downloads, product resources and a knowledge base.
At a price just under $3,400, we find this product to be a great value for the money. The USG provides a lot of flexibility and user-based policy options with a solid UTM backbone.