eSoft InstaGate 806 review

The InstaGate 806 uses eSoft’s own security services and doesn’t rely on third party vendors. In this review we find out if it can it hold its own against the established names.

Price
£3,356

Although not so well known in the UK, network security specialist eSoft stands out from the competition for a number of reasons. Rather than amalgamate different components from other vendors such as anti-virus and web filtering, eSoft's solutions are all home grown.

The InstaGate 806 on review represents the top of the tree of its gateway security appliances and a glance at the price also shows it to be comparatively good value. Standard features are an SPI firewall and support for IPsec VPNs and the price looks even better when you consider than eSoft doesn't hit you with user based licensing.

The only limitation is the physical hardware with the 806 offering top throughputs of 750Mbps and 400Mbps for the respective firewall and IPsec VPN operations. The appliance also benefits from a hardware upgrade this year and now sports a 1.8GHz dual-core processor, 4GB of DDR2 memory and six Gigabit ports whilst internal storage and message quarantining are handled by a mirrored pair of 500GB hard disks.

eSoft offers two ranges of appliances with the InstaGate models designed to be firewall replacements. Its ThreatWall products sit behind an existing firewall where they can function as transparent gateways.

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Either way, all eSoft appliances can be easily customised with ThreatPak upgrades. You have two main options with the Email ThreatPak offering anti-spam, message virus scanning, email content filtering and quarantining.

The Web ThreatPak looks very cost-effective as for less than two grand a year you can have gateway anti-virus scanning, IPS, user authentication, policy based web content filtering, web caching and IM and P2P app controls.

Offered as a more easily managed option to Exchange, eSoft's Mail Server upgrade costs around 670 per year and allows the 806 to function as a full mail server with support for SMTP, POP3, IMAP and web mail. This also includes a mirroring feature which allows the appliance to access external ISP mail servers and download and scan mail from POP3 accounts.

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