ZyXel ZyWall: The little firewall that could

ZyXel's ZyWall USG1000 delivers a solid set of features, acceptable performance, and a surprising level of attack protection at a bargain price

Bottom Line

The ZyXel ZyWall USG1000 wraps a lot of features in an unassuming box, but those features don’t make themselves available without some real work on the part of the security administrator. You’ll need to know what you’re doing to get the most out of an appliance that carries a surprising amount of capability for the price.

Of the four UTMs we tested, ZyXel's ZyWall USG1000 is by far the most affordable. At a fraction of the cost, the ZyWall outperformed the Astaro ASG425 in throughput, and it trounced both the Astaro and the WatchGuard in attack protection, blocking 69 percent of our attacks. Given its remarkably low price, the ZyWall is a terrific value. Nevertheless, we would gladly pay more for if it were a bit easier to set up and manage.

ZyXel's management interface is straightforward and distinctive. A tree of command families runs down the left side of the screen, while details are filled in through a tabbed interface on the larger right-hand side. Network settings, from interfaces to routing information and DDNS configurations, are available in the primary screen. Status information and configuration are available through the same interface; you see status in the main view, then click an icon to enter the editing process.

[ When is a UTM not a UTM? Read the overall results of the InfoWorld Test Center's great UTM challenge. Read the other reviews: Astaro Security Gateway 425 | SonicWall NSA E7500 | WatchGuard Firebox Peak X5500e. Compare the UTMs feature by feature. ]

Remote access options are plentiful and flexible with IPSec, SSL, and L2TP VPNs available. With ZyXel's policy-based control, remote access becomes easier even if you've inherited a huge wash list of legacy remote offices. One of ZyXel's cooler options is the ZyWall P1, a portable USB-powered personal firewall and IPSec gateway. Instead of shoehorning troublesome IPSec clients onto already overloaded laptops, you can give this tiny box to your mobile users.

Test Center Scorecard
ZyXel ZyWall USG10007787779



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