Panda GateDefender Performa 9100 review

Panda latest appliance delivers web content security at the network perimeter. The anti-spam measures are near perfect but are its other features as good?

Infected email attachments can be stripped out and inbound messages that are suspected of being generated by viral activity will be deleted completely. The protocols you selected for virus scanning will also be scanned for spyware, whereas phishing messages can be redirected, deleted or have a warning inserted in them.

Panda's content filters can be applied to HTTP and FTP traffic and we needed to add Windows Update to the appliance's trusted web site list as it initially blocked all automatic updates. Filters can also be created that check for text keywords in email message content and carry out predefined actions.

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Protection profiles enable multiple security policies to be used for different groups of users and systems.

The new IM and P2P module provides a list of common apps and is designed purely to block or allow them. Using Windows Live Messenger on our client systems we found that with IM blocking activated those already logged in could no longer communicate with each other and newcomers weren't allowed to log in.

During the review we found the browser interface well designed and providing easy access to all features, It opens with a status screen showing the status of warnings, active modules and update times. Graphs show all activity for the anti-spam, malware and web content filtering modules along with inbound and outbound traffic on the two network interfaces.

All signature and database updates are handled automatically every fifteen minutes but you can run them manually as well. Plenty of reports are provided for each module and you can access and view the contents of the quarantine areas, print out the details, export them to text files and clear them down.

The Performa 9100 scores highly for its easy installation and anti-spam capabilities and it looks good value as well, although the number of sites that slipped through the web site filter database in our tests was some cause for concern.

Verdict

We were impressed with the Performa’s easy deployment and excellent anti-spam performance in our live tests. It offers plenty of other security features and the web interface is very intuitive but the Cobion URL web filtering category database could do better.

Chassis: 1U Sun Fire X2100 rack mount

CPU: 2.8GHz AMD Opteron 1220

Memory: 4GB 667MHz DDR2

Storage: 250GB Seagate Barracuda SATA hard disk

Network: Dual port Gigabit card with hardware bypass

Management: Web browser

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