Astaro Security Gateway: Rich in features, poor in performance

Astaro's Linux-based firewall appliance stands out with a laundry list of capabilities, but runs several steps behind top competitors

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It's worth noting that the Astaro Security Gateway is the only UTM in our shoot-out that can also be purchased in a software version. After our testing was complete, Astaro announced that it had been certified on the Intel Modular Server Platform, which makes this an interesting option for SMB and branch office applications. Whether for virtualization environments, server-room optimization, or the need to run on higher-performance hardware, the software option should resonate with many buyers.

All in all, the Astaro Security Gateway is a very flexible platform that maintains a reasonable level of security even when pushed to the limits of its packet-passing performance. Considering just how popular virtualization has become, the software version of the Astaro platform is a welcome feature that may be the deciding factor for a growing number of customers.

Astaro Security Gateway ASG425

ProsEnormous set of features provides great flexibility. Separate port for management. Available in a software-only version for x86 hardware.
ConsThroughput lagged all competitors tested, including systems costing thousands less. Some aspects of GUI not especially intuitive. Some configuration (such as VPNs) requires traversing many screens.
CostBase price: $9,750. Price as tested: $18,565 including Secure Web, Secure Mail, maintenance updates, and support
PlatformsLinux-based 1U appliance with 6 Gigabit Ethernet port, 2 SFP GBIC, firewall, VPN, IPS/IDS, anti-malware, content filtering, and anti-spam
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