ZyXEL Communications USG1900
Strengths: Compact, fast, great compatibility and feature set.
Weaknesses: None found.
Verdict: Good security, easy setup.
The ZyXEL Communications USG1900 is a comprehensive UTM firewall that is brilliantly simple to set up. Its small form factor and attractive price point means that organizations of all sizes can set up advanced security quickly and easily. Don't let its small size fool you though, the USG1900 is teeming with advanced features normally reserved for the largest and most expensive devices on the market.
We started off by removing the device from the box and installing it into our rack with the provided rack ears. After that, following the included diagram, we connected the LAN and WAN network interfaces into our test network. We then connected the power cable and turned it on. We headed over to our SC Lab machine to complete setup using the USG1900's web browser interface. Once we navigated to the device's IP address, we logged in and were redirected to the status page. After this, we opened up the quick setup wizard to configure the WAN interface. Once initial setup was complete, we created an account, registered our device and installed our license into the device. After finishing that, we updated the tool to the latest software version and configured some of its many gateway UTM services.
We were very impressed with the USG1900's feature set. It is capable of web filtering, gateway anti-virus, application control, SSL inspection and WLAN controller functionality. Even though it is small, we were pleased to see that it is capable of using all eight of the GbE Ethernet ports that adorn its faceplate for a combined aggregate backbone capacity of 7GbEs per second. We were also very happy to see that the USG1900 can perform single sign-on for all of its UTM services. By installing an agent to interface with Active Directory, the USG1900 can see users logging into their computers, then authenticate them and give them the appropriate network access automatically. The ZyXEL tool also comes with built-in templates for many popular business applications.
ZyXEL sent us a ton of documentation. In addition to the quick-start guide we also received a few printed sections of the user manual targeted at UTM feature setup, as well as the full documentation on a CD.
For support, ZyXEL offers several options. Every appliance comes with a free 60-day support contract, which is automatically upgraded to 90 days when the product is registered. The device itself carries a one-year hardware warranty, which can be extended by one year for $500, or three years for $1,000. The tech support contract can also be extended.
We were very impressed with the ZyXEL Communications USG1900. While we would have liked to see more out of the web interface, we still believe that the capabilities of the device are more than enough to outweigh its downfalls. - SP