Kerio Control Review

Allows me to use a VPN and access my data directly from a laptop when I'm out in the field

What is our primary use case?

  • Firewall
  • Security
  • VPN

I use it both within my company and with its clients. I work with Windows Servers, small to medium-sized businesses, and under 100 users.

For product versions, we use the 1100 and 1300 series along with NG100, NG300, and NG500.

How has it helped my organization?

Instead of using a cloud-based product for accessing information, and putting my data at risk in the cloud and in someone else's hands, it has allowed me to use a VPN and access my data directly from a laptop when I am out in the field. That has made my life a lot easier, where I'm able to access any information I need to be able access, basically on demand, with an Internet connection. That alone has been great.

The solution has increased the number of VPN clients extended to those outside my environment by 30 percent. 

My clients are pretty lax about the content filter, but it works well. For the most part, they want to keep their employees pretty happy. Therefore, they are not too strict about what they are viewing. Obviously, they don't want them surfing any adult sites or anything like that. But, for the most part, they do allow shopping at work and things like that. They're more relaxed about it, to a certain degree.

What is most valuable?

The VPN and security are the most valuable features. In the current climate, with people working more remotely, it is nice to have a solution that is flexible and provides multiple features, such as, being a firewall and VPN.

The antivirus works pretty well.

What needs improvement?

The comprehensiveness of the security features could be improved upon. However, for the most part, it is pretty good. They could add more logs. I would like to see more detailed reporting, custom reporting from the logs, and more of a streamlined interface for certain aspects.

The malware features could be improved. In the large systems, it could use a better alert system, as far as things happening. I get a lot more information from Kerio Connect, as far as alerts, but not so many through the Control products.

It's pretty easy to use. Although, the interface could be improved upon. Certain settings are thin to a certain degree, whereas they should be put more to the forefront and right in front of your face. I would give it a seven out of a 10 for its ease of use.

For how long have I used the solution?

Almost a decade.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's pretty stable. I don't have too many complaints about the product.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I'm a sole proprietor. I don't have any employees, so it's just me.

I deal mostly with small businesses, so it scales well for that.

How are customer service and technical support?

When GFI first took over, there were issues. There were issues contacting them. Even recently, there have been some issues with the MyKerio site. I was getting false notifications, and that basically took a month to resolve, which I thought was wrong in today's environment. I rely on notifications, and it was giving me false notifications. I had no idea if systems were down or not, so I was a bit disappointed.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I have used a couple of other brands, like SonicWall, but not in a long time. 

Kerio Control has more flexibility, e.g., VPN with the Kerio Control Boxes. Though, some of the other products do have better reporting.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was pretty straightforward and intuitive. I just need to have some of the information of my clients in front of me. The only thing would be to tweak bug filters and content filters a bit, depending upon your client requirements. However, getting it up and running, it's pretty straightforward. 

There are wizards. You can just follow the wizard, pay attention, and be all right.

I haven't used all the features yet, e.g., I still don't integrate Active Directory.

What about the implementation team?

I use the Kerio Control Boxes. So, I receive it, test it, register it, and update it, then take it out to the client, reconfigure it, and tweak it. This takes three hours.

What was our ROI?

The solution has saved time for me. It saves me five or six hours a month, where I would have to go run back and forth between clients. If I'm out in the field, I would have to run back to the office to get something or check something. Therefore, it has saved time for me while being onsite and having to access information that I need quickly. For the most part, the security has been good. I haven't had too many issues. Though, the reporting could be better, so I can see specific data on their systems.

I've used them for VPN tunnels to connect offices. For one of my clients, the return on investment is rather good, because there are software products out there that charge on a yearly basis for subscriptions. Using the Kerio Control VPN, there are no yearly subscriptions. So, it has saved them money.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

It gives us a lot. It does prove to be a very robust product for the cost.

The yearly maintenance fee is a bit high for the Kerio Control Boxes. The end of life for the devices is kind of short. It seems like they're making you upgrade within a short period of time. They should at least allow five years, but it seems like they are changing their end of life to be shorter to generate revenue.

What other advice do I have?

The solution’s firewall and intrusion detection features are average. They're not spectacular, but they do the job. For the price point though, it's very good.

The solution is pretty reliable. It is flexible, e.g., if you have an old workstation, you can turn that into a Kerio Control Box, which is nice. I'll continue using them. However, I believe that their end of life and maintenance fees could be a little more flexible, as far as the cost of the maintenance fee and the length of the lifecycle of these devices. 

I would give the solution an eight out of 10.

**Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor. The reviewer's company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
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