The multi-function security appliance is fast becoming the most popular method for home users and small businesses to secure their Internet connection against all manner of inbound nasties and SonicWALL has traditionally offered a wide range of cost-effective products. We were impressed with the TZ 150 Wireless when we looked at it a few months ago and now we move up the ladder to the TZ 170 SP Wireless which aims to offer larger offices and businesses an equally strong range of features and a few new ones into the bargain.
The TZ 170 family comprises four members allowing you to pick from a choice selection of features that best suit your requirements. The TZ 170 SP Wireless on review sits at the top of the pile and brings together the complete gamut of security measures including anti-virus, anti-spyware, true content filtering and email filtering and ties them together with 802.11b/g wireless operations. The SP designated models also add WAN failover features to the mix as they offer an integrated V.92 modem that can be used to automatically create a dial-up connection should the main WAN link go down. Connection options are in abundance as you get five switched Fast Ethernet ports for general LAN connections plus a separate Ethernet port for WAN links. We opted for an intelligent Actiontec modem which worked fine with the appliance.
The first LAN port is PoE (Power over Ethernet) enabled which means the appliance can be powered from a PoE compliant switch rather than its external power supply. A separate option Ethernet port is also provided and its use will depend entirely on which version of the SonicOS software is installed. If you have the Standard version then the option port can function as a DMZ allowing servers to be connected and presented to the Internet. However, for £350 you can upgrade to the Enhanced version which brings a number of extra features into play. The option port can now become a second WAN port allowing you to create load-balanced or failover Internet connections.