The ASG 110 uses proxies for web, FTP, SMTP and POP3 and each need to be activated first and applied to network objects. The HTTP proxy only takes a few seconds to set up and we simply pulled up the list of definitions we created earlier, dragged our internal network definition across and dropped them into the proxy’s allowed networks box. You’ll need to point your client’s browsers to the appliance’s proxy address and port 8080 as well. The HTTP proxy does offer a transparent mode, which avoids the need for this but, as we found out all too quickly, only supports HTTP and not FTP or HTTPS requests.
The SMTP and POP3 proxies are also easy enough to set up with the former requiring details of your email domains and internal mail servers. From the web proxy page you can activate anti-virus scanning and the appliance uses a two-pronged attack with the open source ClamAV and less well known Authentium products on the case. The same applies to the SMTP and POP3 proxies and you can also activate anti-spam services for each one. These use a barrage of defences to spot spam and score messages appropriately. You can quarantine them on the internal hard disk to be viewed, released or deleted and creating extra users allows this task to be delegated.
Web content filtering is accessed from the HTTP proxy page where you have eighteen categories to pick and choose from. This doesn’t sound much but each one has as many as seven sub-categories which will cover most requirements. During testing we found the content filters worked well and so they should as the URL black list database used by Astaro is one of the largest currently available.
There’s so much more on offer as the appliance can identify popular IM and P2P applications and block them completely or stop them transferring files, it can identify and route VoIP traffic for both the SIP and H.323 protocols, manage basic SSL-VPN connections for remote workers and use QoS to assign priorities to different services to ensure available bandwidth is used efficiently. Reporting is also good as ASL can generate masses of graphs on a range of traffic data along with comprehensive logs and executive reports.
During testing we found the ASG 110 performed well and we were extremely impressed with the level of features on offer. It is undoubtedly a powerful security solution that looks good value although we felt that small businesses with up to ten users are likely to have limited technical know-how may and may find the appliance difficult to configure.