Basic Firewall questions

I would like to upgrade our firewall to one that would have the following abilities:
1. function as a VPN endpoint, so that incoming client connections (from non static IP addresses) can be accepted.  I would like to find a VPN appliance that can handle all of the encryption so that I don't have to use one of my windows 2000 servers for this task.  I need only about 5-10 VPN tunnels with only a few concurrent connections
2. Have an access control feature that I can block internet access by username or group.
3. Easy to configure and maintain.
4. Be somewhat affordable (we are a small business).
5. Support no more than 50 users.

Someone recommended the Cisco PIX 501.  Any thoughts?

Thanks for the input.

pdbernierAsked:
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NetoMeter ScreencastsConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Hi!
Cisco 501 seems really to be the best choice for you.
It covers all the requirements that you have, gives you the ability to connect remotely to that office by using the cisco VPN client besides in the future if you want to connect this office to other offices you can create a Site-to-Site VPN.

As for the configuration - I can post you a sample configuration which covers all your needs and which works fine for many of my clients. You do not have to be a genius in order to replace the sample IP addresses with the real one's and to put the correct subnet masks.


NetoMeter
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jdeclueConnect With a Mentor Commented:
The PIX might be a bit difficult with regards to configuration. I would reccomend you take a look at the Netscreen products. They offer VPN, nice web interface and good pricing. Many small and medium companies use these products.

http://www.nscreensales.com/products/ns5xp.html
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pdbernierAuthor Commented:
From the mfg. web sites, it looks like one distict difference is the Netscreen unit has a web interface, where the Cisco does not.  Is that correct and if so, how do you configure the Cisco 501?
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jdeclueCommented:
I configure all types, and for corporate environments I mostly deal with Cisco, Symantec and CheckPoint. But, my own experience is that any Cisco product that must be maintained in-house requires Cisco IOS experience. You must be familiar with or learn the Cisco command line. If you do not, then you will be required to hire contractors to help in the event of problems or changes. If you go down the Cisco route, you should be prepared to learn alot. Know, that is not a bad thing, if you have the ability and time to do it, as Cisco IOS is a very valuable skill.

J
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pdbernierAuthor Commented:
So how do you talk to the cisco 501?  Telnet? RS232?
Sorry for the dumb questions, but I'm relatively new to this (as you probably already figured out).
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jdeclueCommented:
telnet, rs232, either or. There web components as well.

J
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