Netgear ProSecure STM300

Netgear moves firmly into the web and message content security market with a family of three appliances. The STM300 looks good value and in this exclusive review we see how well it performs.

The GlobalView URL filtering provides 64 categories to pick and choose from whilst mail scanning covers SMTP, POP3 and IMAP protocols. An unusual feature at this price point is the ability to scan HTTPS as well as HTTP and FTP web traffic.

Along with the CommTouch RPD, Netgear's anti-spam arsenal also includes black and white lists, RBLs and heuristics where the later allows suspect messages to be tagged. Mail content filters are relatively basic as you can filter by keywords in the subject line or attachment filename or extension but not by actual message content.

The appliance can now remove and quarantine suspect attachments from inbound and outbound mail before passing the message on. The quarantine area is implemented on the internal hard disk and can also be used for dumping dodgy downloads over HTTPS, HTTP and FTP.

Note that the STM300 has a maximum quarantine size of 512MB for malware and 1GB for spam so the 160GB hard disk is largely wasted. The reason for these relatively small storage limits is Netgear had originally intended using flash memory for its quarantine area.

With authentication now in action different security policies can be assigned to users and groups. You can now use AD servers or external RADIUS authentication and these are defined by creating LDAP and RADIUS domains on the appliance that are selected from the user login portal.

Dave Mitchell

Dave is an IT consultant and freelance journalist specialising in hands-on reviews of computer networking products covering all market sectors from small businesses to enterprises. Founder of Binary Testing Ltd – the UK’s premier independent network testing laboratory - Dave has over 45 years of experience in the IT industry.

Dave has produced many thousands of in-depth business networking product reviews from his lab which have been reproduced globally. Writing for ITPro and its sister title, PC Pro, he covers all areas of business IT infrastructure, including servers, storage, network security, data protection, cloud, infrastructure and services.