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Kerio WinRoute Firewall 6 Review

There can be a very fine line between consumer software and business software. Business software is often touted as premium in comparison to software for the average home user. The most noticeable difference is typcially the price, as Kerio WinRoute Firewall 6 demonstrates. The package comes in at a bulky $300 - and Kerio claims that this is a steal for what they are offering. But is it really? Let's explore a little deeper ...

What Can $300 Get Me That $40 Can’t?
Enterprise and corporate security solutions rely on dependability. This extra level of dependability and security that most home users don’t need will come at a high price. Free solutions such as Comodo or ZoneAlarm have gotten quite a lot of recognition as well. What can Kerio WinRoute Firewall 6 offer you that you that you can’t get at a cheaper price, or even free?

A Collaboration of Security
Kerio WinRoute Firewall 6 has the services of McAfee built-in. McAfee has very capable antivirus software that performs highly on security tests. This automatic protection may work as a double shield, since WinRoute allows users to use antivirus plug-ins of their favorite vendors. This is just like running two firewalls at once, for an outstanding level of continually updated security.

ISS Orange Web Filter is also built directly into WinRoute. This lets network administrators choose which internet sites are suitable for employee use, and which are profane or deter working efficiency. It’s no surprise that most corporate employees would be perfectly happy with surfing the web all day. The excellent content filtering of ISS Orange Web Filter ensures that efficiency is kept at its peak. A monitoring tool is even included, so keeping employees on track has never been easier.

High-End Configuration Options
When Kerio WinRoute Firewall 6 is installed, it follows the deny-all pattern by default. This will let absolutely no connections in or out of the network it is installed on. This is a highly secure solution, as compared to the allow-all strategy. With deny-all, the system administrator must manually create different rules for how users can interact with the internet, and vice versa. This ensures that holes and open ports aren’t exploited by hackers who would just love to cause a network security hazard.

Hackers will also have a find a tough time hacking a WinRoute network because of network address translation, or NAT. This translation method ensures that every single computer on the network has its IP address hidden. Instead of seeing a specific IP address, a hacker will see the network address. And to bypass that, they have to get around the firewall completely. This is very unlikely to happen, which is why we appreciate NAT technology.

Content filtering with the ISS Orange Web Filter does indeed maintain work efficiency, but also ensures that potentially dangerous websites aren’t visited. As an added bonus, Kerio WinRoute Firewall 6 will actually ban all TCP ports that are known for peer to peer networks, or P2P. These peer to peer networks are a common means of downloading music or software illegally, and also pose as a haven for viruses and malware.

If you happen to use voice-over IP in our business, or VoIP, Kerio WinRoute Firewall 6 comes with built-in support for compatibility. Many firewalls conflict with VoIP communications and generally cause a lot of headaches. Full plug and play support is included for Windows, and WinRoute supports most hardware companies such as Cisco or IBM.

The antivirus is a brick-wall between users and malware. It filters and scans email, FTP, and HTTP ports for malware. It is nice to see that FTP is supported as a possible means of malware entry, as many antivirus programs do not offer support in this way. Email and HTTP protection is more common, and of course is completely necessary to defend a network from attack.

Lastly we have the virtual private network, or VPN. This type of connection is used by employees who would rather work from home, and still need to connect to the corporate network. This is generally a wide security hole, but Kerio WinRoute Firewall 6 ensures only corporate employees are allowed onto the private network.

Big Enterprise, Wait a Second
If you run a large network that extends beyond the scope of a small business or corporate network, you may wish to pass along. Kerio WinRoute Firewall 6 does have a lot of great features, but other enterprise solutions are probably more suitable for larger networks.
The lack of detailed reporting will really put system administrators in a loop in order to find the source of an attack. We would have liked to see a more detailed report, although there are reporting features included in WinRoute.

We also would have liked to see more support for enterprise-level functionality. Kerio only recently joined the server security market, so we are sure they will be on the right track in no time. For now, big enterprises will likely need a more costly solution.

Closing Comments
Kerio WinRoute Firewall 6 is a good buy, but some small business owners will probably be scared away from the $300 price tag. The extra security provided for large networks is usually a must-have, however. There are solutions around buying Kerio WinRoute Firewall 6 for those who are strapped for cash, if the time and resources are available to create them.

If nothing else, the firewall may be write off for a business expense when tax season rolls around. That way you can have your cake and eat it, too. Just don’t forget to upgrade to a more powerful solution when the time comes, because it’s unlikely you’ll want to use Kerio WinRoute Firewall 6 to administer enterprise solutions.

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