The TZ 150 also offers a Wireless Guest Service (WGS), which protects the wireless to WAN connection by allowing mobile users to have authenticated Internet access. If the appliance spots a wireless client loading a web browser it prompts them for a username and password before creating a secure HTTP session.
Rather than hand it to a third party SonicWALL hosts its own web content filtering and the upgrade price we were quoted provides the Standard service. This includes fourteen common categories that can be blocked wholesale or selectively but if you cough up for the Premium service you get a remarkable sixty four categories to apply.
Another area where SonicWALL goes a lot further than most is that the TZ 150 can help enforce Internet AUPs (acceptable use policies) in the workplace. You’ll need to set up your own web server and add pages outlining your AUP and user consent forms. These are entered in the management interface and the appliance will direct users to them whenever they try to access the Internet. You can enforce filtering or, if you wish, give users the choice of opting out of the filtering service or request that it be applied. During testing we found SonicWALL was easily up with Watchguard’s SurfControl based service with very little slipping through its net.
The gateway anti-virus option can be enabled on any three of the appliance’s interfaces where it will scan web, FTP and email traffic for Internet borne nasties. Outgoing email can also be included as the appliance scans SMTP traffic in both directions. The appliance maintains a signature file internally which can be updated from SonicWALL’s web site regularly but note that you’ll need to purchase the network anti-virus option to protect systems behind the appliance from internally introduced viruses.
The TZ 150 showcases SonicWALL’s experience in security matters to a tee. It may be no bigger than a video cassette but it’s packed full of features that few, if any, vendors can match, let alone beat at this price. Wireless security options are better than most and the Security Gateway Suite upgrade is well worth having for the price. The web content filtering options in particular are far better than those offered by Watchguard and are also geared up to enforce AUPs in the workplace. The price may be more than a standard router but for small businesses of up to ten users or a home worker concerned about security, SonicWALL’s TZ 150 Wireless comes highly recommended.