Dell SonicWALL NSA 250M Wireless-N review

The SonicWALL NSA 250M Wireless-N appliance offers SMBs and remote offices an extensive range of tough gateway security measures, but the cost can add up quickly.

Price
£995

Taking over from Dell SonicWALL's ageing NSA 240, the 250M offers a boost in performance and a modular approach which allows it to be customised.

We reviewed the Wireless-N model which adds 2.4GHz b/g/n or 5GHz a/n wireless operations to the mix.

The appliance starts with an SPI firewall to which a range of optional extras can be added. You can beef the firewall up with SonicWALL's Reassembly-Free Deep Packet Inspection (RFDPI) technology which identifies and controls applications without any significant hits on performance.

Other options include IPS, gateway anti-virus, anti-spam and URL filtering. Prices start at 995 ex VAT but this only provides a three-month support warranty so you're better off going for the TotalSecure package. This includes AV, IPS, URL filtering plus a full support warranty and one-year subscription which costs a shade under 1,500.

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Anti-spam adds a further 362 ex VAT for a one-year subscription and then you have the Analyzer web traffic reporting tool and SSL inspection modules. Add in the gateway AV client enforcement options for Kasperksy and McAfee and you'll be facing an initial bill of over 2,000.

Dell SonicWALL NSA 250M Wireless-N - Rear

Along with five Gigabit ports, the expansion slot alongside accepts a range of modules including quad-port Gigabit, E1/T1 interfaces and ADSL

Deployment

Installation is helped along nicely by a bunch of wizards which assist in securing Internet access and setting up VPNs, DMZs and the application firewall. A wizard is also provided for the PortShield feature which groups physical ports into logical units, or zones.

Policies are applied to PortShield zones and will affect any system that's physically connected to a member port. You can also apply a security type to a zone where, for example, traffic from an untrusted zone will not be allowed to pass to another zone unless your access rules specifically permit it.

The content filtering service offers 64 URL categories to block or allow. Filtering policies are applied to port zones and you can add custom black and white lists, schedules and redirection to a consent web page for enforcing AUPs. We found this service worked very well during testing with very little slipping past its net.

Dell SonicWALL NSA 250M Wireless-N - 1

Physical ports and wireless VLANs can be grouped into zones where each has their own set of security policies

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