SonicWall PRO 5060

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SonicWall PRO 5060

Pros

  • Excellent antivirus scanner, advanced security features

Cons

  • Restrictions in the core architecture such as the inability to scan outbound HTTP traffic

Bottom Line

SonicWall, like some other vendors in this space, is teetering between the SMB market and a desire to spread into the high-end enterprise firewall business. After testing the SonicWall PRO 5060, it is clear that some businesses will find this a good fit for a UTM firewall. With its powerful UTM features -- except for the IPS -- SonicWALL's PRO 5060 really goes beyond the check-box UTM definition and tries to provide a higher level of security and unified-threat protection and management.

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The SonicWall PRO 5060 is a 1U-high system with six 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports. At the top of the line for SonicWall's PRO-series product offering, it shares the same software with other firewalls from SonicWall that are offered at 1/10th its price.

SonicWall has done one of the best jobs in the firewall business of scaling its offering from the small office/home office (SOHO) level up to the enterprise. As a focused competitor in the firewall business, SonicWall has spent as much time as anyone tuning and refining its product, and the smoothness shows through.

There are some annoyances in the SonicWall PRO 5060 that are clearly vestiges of a SOHO ancestry.

For example, while the SonicWall PRO 5060 is a zone-based firewall, some ports are stubbornly bound to a particular precreated zone, and there are aspects of the UTM configuration that make sense only if you stick with these precreated zones.

We spent several hours trying to make our test configuration, which called for many zones with different security profiles, fit properly into some of the terminology of the SonicWall PRO 5060.

On the other hand, SonicWall PRO 5060 takes the antivirus part of UTM as seriously as anyone in the business. It was the highest-scoring in our antivirus catch tests, because we were able to filter all traffic through the antivirus scanner without having to know ahead of time what port and application to look for -- something you can't easily do in most of the other products we tested.

Still, there are restrictions in the core architecture of the SonicWall PRO 5060, such as an inability to scan outbound HTTP traffic (ie, look for viruses that you might be serving to the world) and very, very coarse IPS-management capabilities, that may leave some businesses disappointed.

Because the SonicWall PRO 5060 has such a mature software base, SonicWall has been able to include a wide variety of fairly advanced security features, such as an application-layer firewall and tight controls on SSL connections, that -- in some ways -- leap beyond what other business products offer.

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