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Internet Related/Filtering/Firewall Thread, Smoothwall Vs Sonicwall in Technical; Hi, we are considering a new firewall, web filter and email filter and these two vendors have so far come ...
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    SSFC's Avatar
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    Smoothwall Vs Sonicwall

    Hi, we are considering a new firewall, web filter and email filter and these two vendors have so far come out on top. I was hoping to get some users of these systems to give me their views on them and if anyone has experience of both let me know which one you prefer and why.

    At the moment I see the main differences been SonicWall can throttle bandwidth based on application e.g. video streaming while SmoothWall can only do this on individual URLs. For the email side of things the mail is scanned on the SmoothWall hardware internally while the SonicWall system send the mail to be cleaned in the cloud.

    Any comments would be appreciated. Thanks

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    *thread moved to the Internet / Filtering / Firewall forum as its more appropriate here*

    I cannot comment on the Sonicwall, but for Smoothwall I can say that for us its a winner, support is excellent, product range and developments are also great and have been great over the last 3 years as a customer at 2 schools. You mention about bandwidth limiting, I am sure Tom or Rob from Smoothwall can comment but if its not possible to do it by type it is probably something they are looking at for a future development / can look at implementing in the future.

    The filtering is excellent, never had any issues with it, they always seem quick to pickup new proxies and inappropriate sites, the flash filter is still a great tool as is the HTTPS interception it does, they are as far as I know the only firm out there that can do that (apologies if I am incorrect on that) and with SSL certificates being so cheap now some proxies are using real ones to get around filtering systems as most cannot filter the HTTPS traffic.

    Well worth the money and your time to use it

  3. 3 Thanks to john:

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    Second what John said, Smoothwall is brilliant.

    You have a couple of options with a Smoothwall solution as well, you can seperate out the filter and the firewall (get a UTM-300 and an SWG-1200 as we have) or get a UTM-1000 which is both in one.

    The only thing i'd say about having 1x UTM-1000 is your putting everything through 1 piece of hardware and IF it went pop (not saying it would, but if...) then your doubley buggered (as well as the potential volume of traffic all going through one piece of hardware, so its doing a lot of work). Of course you could get 2x UTM-1000 and replicate between the 2 (which i believe I was told is supported at a training day we went to in Leeds) but I could be wrong, it's down to what your happiest with and budget I suppose....

    Smoothwall support is second to none, they are knowledgable and willing to help whatever the issue (not something you can say about all companies support teams!!).

    It's also used by an awful lot of edugeekers, which I always find to be a good reference point!


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    Hello,

    Here, we have both. We use the Smoothwall as a proxy/filtering server and then we we use the SonicWall has a firewall that sits between the SmoothWall and the Internet. Never had any problems with either and for us both offer all the functionality that we needed of each product.

    Thanks,

    Rob

  7. 3 Thanks to robknowles:

    seanlaz (4th March 2011), SSFC (14th March 2011), tom_newton (3rd March 2011)

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    I agree with most of the comments aboeve however I will say I went with another vendor for my E-mail filter. I had a few issues with the smoothwall and found another product to be more user-friendly. Or at least less work for me

  9. 3 Thanks to Stuart_C:

    seanlaz (4th March 2011), SSFC (14th March 2011), tom_newton (3rd March 2011)

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    We too are currently looking at the SmoothWall UTM-1000 Appliance, but 2 of them.

    I better not mention the promotion that has been offered to us, but speak to Sean Lazenby @ Smoothwall.

    Hint: BOGOF

  11. 3 Thanks to MYK-IT:

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    Quote Originally Posted by MYK-IT View Post
    We too are currently looking at the SmoothWall UTM-1000 Appliance, but 2 of them.

    I better not mention the promotion that has been offered to us, but speak to Sean Lazenby @ Smoothwall.

    Hint: BOGOF
    Watch it... the Sean lurks here

  13. Thanks to tom_newton from:

    seanlaz (4th March 2011)

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    The only experience I've had of the two vendors is with a Sonicwall VPN, however we have had some issues with their support when we've run up against issues. From what I've seen however the Smoothwall people always seem to have a strong presence on here for support.

  15. 2 Thanks to michaelf:

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    We used to use SonicWall and the filtering was rubbish! All the URLS i found that went through SonicWall all where blocked by Smoothwall.

  17. 3 Thanks to FN-GM:

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    We are trialing smoothwall, and currently waiting for the new version shown at betts (lots of improvements) to it.

    I am very impressed, but im not going to say how much as I'll nail sean down on price, but we run it in a vmware and the license allows you to create as many vm's running smooth wall as you like for redundancy.

    It rocks, i used to use sonic wall a long time ago but i can't much for it recently.

  19. 3 Thanks to SwedishChef:

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    *lurks*

  21. Thanks to seanlaz from:

    john (4th March 2011)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart_C View Post
    I will say I went with another vendor for my E-mail filter.
    im looking to set up Googles Postini service to filter all my emails sent to the exchange server..

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    We are currently trialling Sonicwall but are having trouble with LDAP authentication with laptops. The situation is this:
    A user gets a laptop out of the charging cabinet, switches it on and immediately logs on to browse to the internet.
    The sonicwall uses LDAP to communicate with active directory and log them into sonicwall. However the laptops also
    have Sophos antivirus on and it uses an account such as 'Sophos-SAU{laptopname}' to update it's virus definitions as
    soon as the laptop is booted. The problem is Sonicwall takes the sophos update account and tries to log that in instead
    of the user account. This fails, the user is not logged in and cannot use the internet! Does this problem occur with Smoothwall
    as well?

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    @walker01642: Generally not a problem, no. What we'd usually advise people to do is not authenticate for the sophos update site.
    There's 101 ways to solve it though - including using connection-based auth methods like NTLM (where each actual connection is auth'd rather than session auth).

    I am sure one of my colleagues would be happy to set you up an evaluation if you are considering a move.

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    How many machines do you have? It's not uncommon to run Sophos EM on site and update from that instead. Otherwise is there an exception you can setup in sonicwall or something?

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