One year subscriptions: content filtering for 10 users, £30; anti-spam (unlimited users) £105 (inc. 17.5% VAT)
Security appliances are a great idea for smaller businesses as they offer a simple drop-in solution that can protect your entire local network. These UTM (unified threat management) boxes provide a full range of security services, but although initial costs can look very reasonable many incur high yearly subscription charges, which reduce their value in the long term. Draytek aims to buck the trend as its latest VigorPro 5510 offers the full gamut of security measures but only asks modest yearly subscription fees.
The starting price includes an SPI firewall, support for 200 IPsec VPN tunnels, gateway anti-virus scanning plus intrusion detection and prevention. Two virus scanning choices are available as you get Draytek's scanner as standard and three year's worth of signature updates are included in the price. You also get a one year subscription to Kaspersky's SafeStream engine, which provides on the fly file scanning. This can be used instead of Draytek's scanner although it will incur subsequent yearly subscription fees of around £130 inc.VAT.
For web access controls the base price includes simple URL filtering but this can be augmented with full web category filtering, which comes courtesy of the mighty SurfControl. Costing around £30 inc. VAT per year for ten users this looks top value as SurfControl is one of the best services on the market. Next up is anti-spam, which is provided by CommTouch and adds a further £105 inc. VAT to the yearly bill but this has no user limitations.
The 5510 offers a quintet of Gigabit LAN ports teamed up with a pair of Fast Ethernet WAN ports. Four options are provided for your Internet connection as the two WAN ports can be joined together for failover or policy based load balancing. Alternatively, the second WAN port can be used as a standby connection in case the primary link fails or you can activate it only when traffic levels peak. The USB port at the front offers more options as you can network a printer from the appliance or use a USB 3G modem as the secondary WAN connection.
We found installation easy enough and used the appliance to front the lab's Internet connection and protect all our client systems on the test LAN. Draytek's web interface is well designed and intuitive and kicks off with a quick start wizard that takes you though defining your Internet connection. We opted for a static IP address on the primary WAN port but both of them can also support PPPoE along with cable or DSL modems. If you add a USB 3G modem you select this option for the WAN port and add your account details. You can then set the connection to be activated if the primary WAN link fails.