Kerio Control Review

Provides good content filtering and failover, but licensing is becoming too expensive

What is our primary use case?

We use the Kerio Control as the firewall, and we manage all the load balancing for it, as well as DHCP, bandwidth control, failover, and basic reports.

How has it helped my organization?

It has saved time for the members of our team who manage security, because everything can be done from the Kerio. If a problem arises or something needs changing, we can just put it into the same rule that we already have or make a new rule, a duplicated rule, which is quite easy  to do.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features are the 

  • firewall
  • load balancing 
  • bandwidth control
  • routing.

We need these functions. We need to do what we do and then the Kerio is quite intuitive in terms of getting everything set up and managing it after. It has quite a nice UI which is fairly straightforward.

The firewall and intrusion detection features are good. It has blocked certain things. We have a lot of blocked sites that the staff or anyone using it, the public, etc., can't go on. It works for that. I get quite a few messages every now and again, saying that a virus has been detected and I can go in and block the user who's causing the problem.

In addition, content filtering is good. We use that a lot. In terms of the content filtering we use all the basic ones that it already comes with, like phishing sites and peer-to-peer. We only use the VPN a little bit, for admin purposes, to go in and administer the other equipment onsite, like the switches.

The comprehensiveness of the security features Kerio Control provides seems good. And it seems to just work. I don't really get down into the detail of it too much, but I'm happy with what it picks up. We haven't really had any problems.

It is easy to use. We've never really used the wizards that are provided. We had a guy come in and set it all up for us in the first instance and then we built upon it by just using what he already did as a template, to do other things. But it's pretty straightforward.

We also use the failover. We have two internet lines going into it, and it works. We have a loss of connection at the minute because of a problem with BT, our ISP, so it has gone over to another line. It keeps our security going, which is good.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been implementing solutions with Kerio Control for our clients since about 2016.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is very good. I don't think it's ever failed. 

We had one time where there was an update, a couple of years ago, and it changed a setting for the failover and load balancing. As a result, we almost needed to roll back to a different version. We ended up finding the right setting. But that was the only thing that's happened really. Apart from that, they update fine.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

For the sorts of things we do, we'd only ever really need one Kerio in any one location. Scalability is beyond the Kerio, for what we do.

We have about 150 users of the solution.

We don't have plans to increase usage. It's been the same for about four years now and I think it will stay the same for at least another one or two. In the place where it's installed it's being used very extensively. It's the endpoint for the whole network so everything in the company ends up going through it.

How are customer service and technical support?

I've never used their technical support.

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

We did not have a previous solution.

How was the initial setup?

We hired a guy to do the initial set up for us. I think he was a Kerio reseller and we used him for consultancy before it started and then he actually did the work on the Kerio as well, and the network in general.

Our experience with him was excellent. We've used him a couple of times since. He's brilliant. His knowledge of everything is incredible. We tried to do it all ourselves at first, but he came in and knew exactly what the problems were. Something that had taken us about four days, he did in five minutes. He's just incredibly knowledgeable about everything to do with networks: Cisco, Kerio, everything.

I've set up another one since, for the same company. I just copied the configuration file of the one and put it straight onto the other. They're in separate buildings, but they wanted them exactly the same so it was really easy.

That deployment took an hour, but it was because we already had one set up.

As for deployment and maintenance of these solutions we generally need just one person: me.

What was our ROI?

The return on investment is the fact that the network keeps going. In that respect the ROI is good. But the licensing fee seems to be getting too expensive. I wouldn't say it's a waste of money, because it's required, but it would make us look at the possibility of using another solution in the future, if it keeps going up at the rate it is.

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

It's too expensive. The license, in the last year or so, has gone up by over £100. We're almost being out-priced by the annual license at the minute. If we do need to change, it will be because of the annual license fee, and we will have to get a different solution.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Ubiquiti is cloud-hosted. We use a lot of those as well. If that was around at the time, in the same way it is now, we probably would have used that to start with.

What other advice do I have?

A solution like Kerio Control is a nice-to-have for a medium size business. It just works. It does what it is meant to do. The hardware itself isn't too expensive, it's just the licensing fee that has gone up and up every year.

I would recommend it. My advice would be to get a professional for the implementation.

Overall, I would rate the solution at seven out of 10, because of the licensing, and there are other things on the market now that are probably as good.

Which version of this solution are you currently using?

**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.
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