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eSoft InstaGate 806 review

The InstaGate 806 uses eSoft’s own security services and doesn’t rely on third party vendors. In this review we find out if it can it hold its own against the established names.

We could easily block access to social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter and eSoft offers a handy web site classification tool. Web access can be customised by using policies and time schedules which are applied to user groups allowing you to decide precisely what they can access and when.

The appliance's web proxy can transparently scan HTTP and HTTPS traffic or you can use it to enforce user authentication via a local database or Active Directory. A web cache of up to 4GB in size can also be configured from the web proxy advanced settings.

HTTP and FTP traffic can be scanned for viruses as well as inbound and outbound mail but note that eSoft doesn't support HTTPS scanning. We asked about this feature and were advised it may be some time before it's implemented.

For the IPS feature you enter address ranges and networks that you want it to protect and also block IM and P2P traffic if required. This also offers options to protect your web and mail servers and will automatically create protection policies for each one.

During testing we found the InstaGate 806 easy enough to deploy and capable of offering a complete gateway security solution. eSoft's own security services perform extremely well and, unlike a lot of the competition, it doesn't hit you in the pocket with expensive user based licensing schemes.

NB: Price: Appliance 3,356, Web and Email ThreatPaks 1,946 per year each (all ex VAT)

Verdict

As a mid-range to enterprise security appliance the InstaGate 806 looks comparatively good value and eSoft’s own security services performed very well during testing. The web interface could do with a redesign but it is easy to use and eSoft’s affordable ThreatPaks allow the appliance to be easily customised to suit.

Chassis: 2U rack CPU: 1.8GHz Dual Core Pentium Memory: 4GB 533MHz DDR2 Storage: 2 x 500GB SATA hard disks RAID: RAID-1 mirror Network: 6 x Gigabit Management: Web browser

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