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For an SMB firewall, what features should I look at?

Which is the best firewall for an SMB with a number of users limited to 50 to 100? We are planning to purchase the firewall rather than the UTM from Fortinet.

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Let me provide you some tips as to what you should be looking in an SMB firewall appliance:
  • The product should provide a single management view and at least allows some form of integration across different security functions. For example, administrators should be able to view and correlate log data generated by firewalls and intrusion detection systems.
  • The appliance should be easy to set up, configure and maintain. This means that not only initial, but any future changes in the security rules and policies should be easy to configure and deploy.
  • Price is another factor that is driven by your budget.
  • Firewall appliances generally include a VPN gateway. Many offer additional optional security features such as antivirus software and IPS.
As far as my personal recommendations go, I would suggest Fortinet and SonicWALL as two of the well-placed vendors in the market. However, this is purely my opinion. I base my recommendations on three factors:
  1. Market reputation
  2. Technical support
  3. Product maturity
Hope this helps.

This was first published in April 2008

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