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Netgear ProSecure STM300

Netgear moves firmly into the web and message content security market with a family of three appliances. The STM300 looks good value and in this exclusive review we see how well it performs.

A good selection of IM and P2P apps can now be blocked and we found the former worked well. For testing we used Windows Messenger and Windows Live and once the MSN Messenger app had been blocked all further communication between them stopped.

We found the URL filtering worked extremely well as with the gambling category selected we Googled for online poker sites and gave up after being blocked from the first fifty sites visited. Access was barred from nearly all online games sites and the social networking category keeps your staff away from productivity sapping sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

The lookup function also proved useful as you enter a URL and the appliance tells you which filter category it comes under.

Commtouch didn't let the side down either as it delivered an impressive anti-spam score. Using live email accounts we asked for all spam to be tagged and passed on where we used Outlook rules to place them in separate folders. We then left the appliance scanning live email for a week on its default settings and saw a 96 per cent spam success rate with less than four per cent false positives.

Reporting is fairly good as you can query the appliance's log and create CSV and HTML reports for all main areas including traffic throughput plus activity for viruses, content filtering and spam. HTML reports can also be generated which show tables and graphs of selected activities over a period of time and these can be scheduled and emailed.

For the price, the STM300 is offering a good value content security proposition. It's very easy to install and configure and delivers an impressive performance for web filtering and anti-spam.

Verdict

Netgear’s STM300 is easy to deploy and scores very well for value as HTTPS scanning comes as standard and there are no user limitations. Anti-spam and web filtering performance are both tops and Active Directory support means policies can now be customised for different users and groups.

Chassis: 1U rack CPU: 2GHz Celeron 440 Memory: 1GB 667MHz DDR2 Storage: 160GB SATA hard disk RAID: None Network: 3 x Gigabit (in, out, management) Management: Web browser

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