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Sonicwall Firewalls

Posted on 2006-05-12
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We would like to get some comments about Sonicwall firewall products.  We sell and support Sonicwall and have been pleased with their products.  We've had a few problems, such as OS bugs but overall, we think they offer a good firewall solution, which is secure, provides a broad range of protection options, and is fairly easy to manage.  We understand that a few years ago they had various issues which caused a lot of technicians downplay their use because "they are no good", "they aren't reliable", etc.  We need some current feedback from users and resellers who are happy or not happy with their current product line.  Specific examples would be appreciated.  Thanks!
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Question by:sfjcpu
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zephyr_hex (Megan) earned 1000 total points
ID: 16671754
i work at a company that uses several sonicwalls (we have a total of 6).
most of them are tz 170.
the only complaint i have about them is that this model is underpowered to run gateway antivirus and antispyware scans.  there is a HUGE speed difference when these are enabled, and i have researched and called sonicwall...and have been told that although the tz 170 says it can run antivirus/antispyware, it can't handle the load efficiently.

otherwise, i have no complaints.  they are reliable.  we run site to site VPN.  haven't had any issues.

one other note:  they are a little confusing to configure, but once you get used to how they are structured, it's not too bad.
also, tech support at sonicwall.com is pretty good.  the forum at mysonicwall.com isn't as good... i'd say it's decent, but not great.
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by:calvinetter
calvinetter earned 1000 total points
ID: 16674421
 My company has deployed quite a few SonicWalls & for the most part we & our clients have been please with them.  Agree w/ zephyr_hex that the TZ-170 is underpowered for filtering such as Gateway Antivirus, anti-spyware, etc.  The 170 is fine for basic connectivity & VPN connecitivity.  But then, it *is* their 2nd-lowest-end model.  ;)  
  By far the biggest complaint we have w/ the 170 is a platform-specific bug regarding # of allowed IPs; for example, on a model that's licensed for 10 or 25 hosts, from time to time the 170 has to be power-cycled in order to restore outbound connectivity for all inside hosts.  So far SonicWall hasn't released a patch for this, & they've admitted it's a known issue. Other than that, the 170 is a good unit, & is stable.  Site-to-site VPNs or client VPNs are stable.

  Also agree w/ zephyr_hex that they take some getting used to for configuration (particularly for complex networks), but then, what platform doesn't?
  I've found their tech support to be very good, though I've dealt mostly w/ their level 2 engineers since the issues I've had were regarding a fairly complex network & weren't able to be handled by their level 1 techs.
  I've dealt with several models, incl TZ-170, Pro 2040, Pro 4060 & they've all been very stable & reliable, though it's true we've come across some OS bugs that required upgrading to the latest in the series, but the bugs have mostly been minor.  Once again, this is common across many vendor's products, but SonicWall has been far better than any SOHO-class products.
  Their Gateway Antivirus & anti-spyware filtering is very good - clients that have these licensed features have been very impressed.  A large client's in-house techs mentioned that they've seen a _significant_ drop in the amount of spyware found on user PCs, which has translated into fewer malware problems & saved many hours of work for the IT staff.  Also, the Premium Content Filtering is quite effective - it can filter over 30 categories of sites, including gambling sites, porn, etc.  Even more impressive was the fact that having Gateway Antivirus, anti-spyware & Content Filtering enabled on a Pro 4060 model didn't seem to affect performance in any measurable way.  Note that the 4060 is one of their highest end models though.

cheers
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Author Comment

by:sfjcpu
ID: 16681973
These are excellent responses.  I want to award points to both responders but would like feedback from more users so I'm doubling the point value.  Thanks for the input!
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