SonicWall TZ300 Network Security Firewall Appliance Review SonicWall TZ300 Network Security Firewall Appliance Review
Dell’s SonicWall TZ300 is a next-generation firewall that offers a welcome performance boost over its predecessors. SonicWall TZ300 Network Security Firewall Appliance Review

The SonicWall TZ300 is a next-generation firewall that offers a welcome performance boost over its predecessors.

It’s ideal for small offices of around 25 people, and should you take one with a one-year TotalSecure subscription, you’ll also get 24/7/365 support, IPS, gateway antivirus, anti-spyware and a content-filtering service for your cash. Anti-spam capabilities are available as a bolt-on extra if you wish.

Wireless management is enabled as standard, allowing the TZ300 to accommodate up to eight SonicPoint access points.

Installation can take as little as five minutes thanks to a very useful wizard that guides users through a brief setup process that secures the default zone by applying a base security policy and setting up LAN and WAN ports for internet access.

One of the TZ300’s core appeals is that it allows users to easily place specific ports in different security zones, and can apply a single security policy to all members.

Network streams are scanned for malware at the gateway, plus anti-virus scanning can be enabled for specific zones if the administrator wishes to. A global configuration can be used to select the data streams the admin would like to scan.

Determining what web content can and can’t pass through the appliance can be done with either SonicOS’s Content Filtering Services (CFS), or users can opt instead to pay for Websense Enterprise hosted services, although CFS should suffice for most organisations.

Filtering policies can be customised to the business’s requirements using blacklists and whitelists, and these can be scheduled to be active between specific hours or on all the time. Acceptable Use Policies can be created and enforced by directing users to a consent page.

Managing the applications you do and don’t want on your network can be quite a challenge, but it’s completely doable with the TZ300’s application controls. Manage the web browsing, messaging, file transfers and more you’d like to control from a single interface. Use rules directly, or use built-in wizards to set them up by selecting a few pertinent options.

The TZ300 also provides advanced app controls that use signature IDs to provide more granular control of apps, down to blocking certain Facebook activities without blocking the entire domain.

The TZ300 uses predefined profiles to manage access points. Users can modify these profiles and have them automatically applied to any access point that connects to the unit.

By grouping all access points in a dedicated wireless LAN zone, it’s possible to apply web filtering, anti-virus and IPS policies to those devices specifically quickly and efficiently. The TZ300 also helps making guest access so much easier with tools that help to isolate and authenticate guest clients.

Setting up the anti-spam functionality requires giving the TZ300 your mail server’s details. Once it has them, the appliance keeps an eye out for spam, suspicious messages and emails with infected attachments, dealing with each when detected.

Fantastic wireless management options, deep functionality and a setup that’s as complicated or as simple as you want it to be are the hallmarks of this versatile next-generation firewall.

In a perfect world, anti-spam and reporting functionalities would be included in the base package, but even so this appliance offers a lot of bang for your buck.

It's faster than its predecessors, offers a great deal of security functions for the cost, and is highly configurable to the business's needs.
  • A lot of security functionality for the cost
  • Excellent option for smaller companies
  • Strong wireless management options
  • Anti-spam and reporting cost extra

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