Safeguarding Branch Offices

By Cameron Sturdevant  |  Posted 2001-10-15

Symantecs Firewall/VPN 200R appliance, although a latecomer, is an able contestant in the secure branch-office connectivity playing field.

During tests of the device, which is priced at $1,199 and shipped earlier this month, I was pleased to see enterprise extras—including dual broadband ports, unlimited VPN client licensing and dial-up access to manage the device.

However, competitors including NetScreen Technologies, which set the standard for performance and interoperability, still have several advantages over the Symantec Firewall/VPN 200R.

Their first edge is support for a much wider set of standards, including authentication protocols such as LDAP and RADIUS. The second advantage is that NetScreen develops its own technologies, whereas Symantec has taken the "Frankenstein" approach and relies heavily on Nexland for internal components.

Even so, my tests showed the product is simple to set up and maintain. The Firewall/VPN 200R also performed well in bandwidth capacity tests, and its price is easy on the budget.

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