SonicWall NSa Review

Easy to scale, offers good value for money, and has good policies


What is our primary use case?

We primarily use the solution just for IPsec tunnels. It's two routers between locations with IPsec tunnels, nothing more. We don't use their firewall capabilities.

What is most valuable?

The functionality is the same whether it is on hardware or a virtual appliance. The interface is the same. It's nice that it's standardized.

The solution is a good product with a good value for money.

The security capabilities and policies are good. They can do a lot of tasks with ease. 

The product is very useful for organizations with many locations. If you've got a lot of locations, the product can save you money as you don't need a physical box at each location.  

The scalability is very good as it really can cover multiple locations.

SonicWall offers NG capabilities in virtual appliances.

What needs improvement?

It's not as easy to use, as, for example, Palo Alto.

Some of the configurations could be better.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is stable. We haven't had any issues so far.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is quite good. You can scale well across locations very well for not too much cost. If a company needs to expand, it can do so relatively easily.

Also, cost-wise, it's very affordable to scale up. It's not expensive to add hardware and licenses as needed. They make upgrading very cheap.

We have 200 people on the solution. That said, they are using with IPsec tunnel. They don't use all of the capabilities of the hardware. They are using it just to encrypt tunneling between the sites.

We may not continue to sue the solution as we have found a solution that is better and that can help us get faster than IPsec can. We're looking instead at MACsec.

How are customer service and technical support?

I've never opened up a technical support case with the product. It's worked quite well, and we haven't run into trouble that would require us to reach out. I can't really speak to how helpful or responsive they are due to the fact that I have no experience with them.

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

We've also worked with Palo Alto, Barracuda, and Sophos.

Palo Alto is more expensive to use and to scale. Sophos is very easy to set up. Barracuda also has NG capabilities, like SonicWall, and has the same limitations in terms of security policies. It also can take a bit longer to set up.

How was the initial setup?

I have ten years of IT experience, and therefore, for me, the entire implementation process was not overly difficult. They have good manuals that you can read through at the start. It's not a difficult process, especially if you are already comfortable with the technology.

Of course, it's not quite as straightforward as something like Sophos, which you can just plug in and have the vendor configure for you. However, that said, it's not too difficult.

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

SonicWall still is only a dollar or Euro per gigabit. This means, of the IPsec, it's the cheapest solution. 

Due to the fact that we've got some projects now, we might abandon IPsec, as we had two Blade fibers with separate paths to a secondary location and we will start using MACsec. It's a layer 2 security. Therefore, we don't need IPsec anymore.

Originally, actually, we bought it without any licenses, just boxes with IPsec capabilities.

The pricing, in comparison to some solutions, such as Palo Alto, is much better.

What other advice do I have?

We're just a customer and an end-user.

I'd recommend the solution to other organizations. I tell everybody, if your business is a lot of locations and not so many personal policies, to check the SonicWall portfolio. You can configure it with two boxes and if you need to you can scale it without any trouble into the tens or hundreds.

In general, I would rate the solution at a seven out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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