Kerio Control Overview

Kerio Control is the #2 ranked solution in our list of top Intrusion Detection and Prevention Software. It is most often compared to pfSense: Kerio Control vs pfSense

What is Kerio Control?

Kerio Control brings together next-generation firewall capabilities -- including a network firewall and router, intrusion detection and prevention (IPS), gateway anti-virus, VPN, and web content and application filtering. These comprehensive capabilities and unmatched deployment flexibility make Kerio Control the ideal choice for small and mid-sized businesses.

Kerio Control Buyer's Guide

Download the Kerio Control Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: June 2021

Kerio Control Customers

Triton Technical, McDonald's

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Pricing Advice

What users are saying about Kerio Control pricing:
  • "It is priced low enough for entry-level, but it has the power to grow with a company without them having to replace it."
  • "The biggest advice that I could probably give people is when you buy the solution be prepared to either buy the unlimited license or buy more licenses than you think. Each user license gives you one employee and each a user gives you five devices. In the world nowadays where everybody has a cellphone, tablet, desktop, and laptop, that's four devices. You still get one more device per person. That covers your servers and back-ends."
  • "It is a good fit for SMBs because of its maintainability. When you want to keep your costs low, then Kerio Control is a very good solution. It's not an expensive product that is well integrated. It has a complete set of features within it that make it a very strong product."
  • "GFI has made a stupid decision regarding small office licensing. For offices where there are only three to five employees and had five years towards a five user product, they now force these customers to a 10-year user license. I really don't understand it. It's a stupid decision for the small offices who want a good solution for security because they'll probably decide to go to another product. Why should they buy something that they don't use?"
  • "I think it is a bit on the pricey side, but it's okay. I've got 50 licenses which I think is $250 a year or something like that."
  • "On the low-end device that I use, it has unlimited IP addresses. So, they have a subscription model where, on the higher models, you pay X dollars for 10 IP addresses. Then, if you want any more, you have to pay more on the model. On the low-end model, it has unlimited IP addresses, because if you have too many users, the thing will just slow you down and stop working. At some point, you need to say, "Okay, I've grown to a point where performance is impacted. I need to get some bigger hardware." If I get to that stage, I will possibly look at using one of the virtual appliances and putting it on some bigger hardware."
  • "It gets expensive pretty quickly if you need to purchase license packs."

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BrianCook
Senior Technology Specialist - VP at Unified Technology Solutions
Reseller
Top 5Leaderboard
Through the ease of how quickly we could roll out the VPN to everybody, we had whole companies remotely working overnight

What is our primary use case?

We use it ourselves and deploy it to our customers, which are small and medium-sized businesses. Our use cases are for both ourselves and our clients, mainly as a frontline protection for their internal networks to filter viruses and threats as well as for web filtering to ensure employees and guest networks don't access material that wouldn't be appropriate to be viewed. It's also used for remote access VPNs so remote users can access internal servers and resources, as well as site-to-site VPNs for multi-site offices to access resources located either at the main HQ headquarters or at an… more »

Pros and Cons

  • "It is very comprehensive and simple. It has all the active protections. It's updated. We love that you can set how often it is updated so you can work what is right for you. A large company with a lot of bandwidth can update the virus definitions and security definitions hourly, if they want. A smaller site that's remote, where maybe updating the definitions will eat into the bandwidth, we can schedule those more to go later at night. It's very flexible and works for us in all types of situations. This is great because then we don't have to learn seven different products to be able to work with seven different scenarios."
  • "I would like to see a little improvement in their technical support when you have a problem. I may be a little jaded because I came from Kerio when we could call and get a person on the phone who worked on the product. Every tech had their own demo setup. They had instant messaging capability with the developers. If we found a problem, then we could get a result for it quickly. Now, the product seems to be 24 hours. They have also gone to the model that if you need quicker support, then they now charge you additional for the exact same level of support that they used to give. I am assuming it's the exact same level of support that they say it is. I'm not paying extra for it. That's the biggest flaw with the product."

What other advice do I have?

It's definitely well suited for and marketed for SMBs but could some enterprises use it? I believe that they could. I believe that there are some spots in the enterprise market that should be looking at this product. I think that some companies would be pleasantly surprised if they considered it for enterprise market use. It's inexpensive and secure enough that you could have multiple instances running across a campus, if you needed to do routing. It supports a ton of VLANs, especially if you put it on your own hardware. You can easily have this thing run thousands of users just by scaling up…
Andy Dibble
IT Manager at Flare Technologies
Real User
Top 5
With VPN, any of our guys can log in to the system and effectively be on board; helps with our customers all over the world

What is our primary use case?

Our main customer base is superyachts, and they have the Kerio for traffic rules and bandwidth management of the various networks on board. They can optimize traffic for crew versus owners and guests, the VIPs that might be on board. They also use it for bandwidth sharing. They usually have a mixture of the VSAT satellite internet and 4G internet access. Sometimes they have WiFi, for example if they connect to a WiFi hotspot in a marina, as well as shoreline or fixed DSL. They use it to manipulate the internet traffic, so they can say the crew uses the slower VSAT and the guest gets the fast… more »

Pros and Cons

  • "One thing we use quite a lot, as well, is the DHCP Server, because we do a lot of work where all our devices need to have static IP addresses. Rather than going around and configuring every box, we do it all through DHCP reservations. It's easier. We've got a record of it. We can manipulate it if we need to change something or change some hardware. It's all easy. Even guys who are not used to using it can pick it up quite quickly."
  • "There's also room for improvement in the Traffic Rules. We define networks to use a specific outgoing interface, say VSAT, shore, or marine WiFi, which is okay. But then all we have is a checkbox that says "Use other internet interfaces if this one is unavailable." What we would prefer would be to have a priority list. So if VSAT is unavailable, try to use 4G, etc. We haven't really found a reliable way of doing that in the current release."

What other advice do I have?

Regardless of whether you get a box or virtual, the interface is nearly always the same. There are very few changes between versions. Research what you think you're going to need. Don't just buy the biggest box or the most expensive box because you think it's going to be better. The biggest lesson I have learned from using this solution is that you don't always have to be onsite to fix something. The malware and antivirus features are pretty good. We generally have other malware and antivirus protection as well. A lot of the time, things come in via email so we do have services from Symantec…
Learn what your peers think about Kerio Control. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: June 2021.
511,307 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Frank Raasveld
Owner at Fr@nkonnections
Real User
Top 5
Very easy to view how things are working and protects you from hackers

What is our primary use case?

I use it as a service for my customers. My primary target is to help my customers in the best way to protect them from the dangerous things from the Internet. As a solution, it's easy to maintain. The product is a good solver that also depends on good support and its availability of engineers. I am using the latest version of Kerio Control. It is an old type of configuration with VPN connections. I still like the product very much. It is mostly installed on the Linux software appliance. That's what I mostly use for my customers.

Pros and Cons

  • "When one of the employees of my customers is using the VPN Client, I have created for them that they will always get a message. When the VPN Client connects to Kerio Control from the outside, they will get an email so they know when they are connected and when they are disconnected what is happening to their network."
  • "After the takeover by GFI, one of the things that Kerio built was MyKerio environment. This has not been very reliable because I get many messages that MyKerio is not functioning. For some reason, there are things that they changed and it is not very reliable at this moment, instead I have to connect to the firewall to see what is happening."

What other advice do I have?

Kerio Control is very good. The way that you can maintain it, it's very easy. I had an employee who built a copy of the product, which was a very basic interface for the open source community. You can find it on the Internet. He was impressed by the way Kerio built this firewall solver, because most firewalls are very difficult to maintain due to their complexity. If you are working in complex environments, it is not easy to maintain firewalls, because things are always changing. This is the part of Kerio that is very good. Every IT guy that I show the interface of Kerio Control is impressed…
Liam Bartlett
IT & Installations Manager at Odyssey Gaming
Real User
Top 5
Good value and I haven't had to reboot one of the devices in the field

What is our primary use case?

Kerio Control is the primary firewall for our corporate network to the outside world. We use an IP transit that connects to an IP transit, so all the internet traffic in and out of the corporate network goes through the Kerio Control firewall. We use Kerio Control VPN Clients for our remote workers to dial into that corporate network with two-factor authentication. We service all areas of Queensland in Australia and we've got clients from Thursday Island down to the border. We have regional sales guys, agents, and technicians throughout the state that require access to the corporate network… more »

Pros and Cons

  • "It has saved a lot of time and it was a secure way of doing it too. We had a whole contact center that worked from home for a period of time and that's a 21 hour a day contact center that we moved, that was spread out across the greater Brisbane region and working on home internet connections. Surprisingly, we didn't have a lot of stability issues anyway on those connections, but Kerio didn't blink, so that was good."
  • "If I would suggest anything, it would be to expand on its multifactor authentication to be a little bit more user-friendly. They should do multifactor authentications for the client itself perhaps, rather than served on a webpage, in a page hijack, that might be more user-friendly, but I don't have a lot of complaints about it. It's doing its job. You have to have a certain amount of skills to configure these things anyway, the ones that we use on-site doing point-to-point, and we've been tricked up a few times with their interfaces."

What other advice do I have?

The biggest lesson I've learned from using Kerio is that you can quite easily and securely diversify your network security and access without compromising on cost and central control. Since this all comes down to is that it's all centrally controlled, I have confidence that the users were accessing our systems remotely and securely. We have used the Kerio Control appliances to do point to point VPNs at the customer sites quite a few times now, and that's the one we recommend. Customers have been using Ubiquiti and have issues so we replaced them with Kerio appliances and they seem to work…
Freddie Lewis
Solutions Architect at Clockwork Solutions
Real User
Top 5
Geo-blocking enables us to know where our traffic needs to come from but the antivirus is a bit laggy

What is our primary use case?

It's the Edge firewall for my business. I'm a small business IT consultancy and I'm subcontracted out to a larger organization. It's really just me working from home, which is a bit more permanent now, but we do have a couple of other side projects I work on with a couple of other partners. One of them is a financial trading solution, so we want Kerio to beef up the edge security to make sure that the solution itself was secured nicely because it meant building out a rack of a couple of rack-mounted servers and beefing up the solution. Being an SMB, we do find that Kerio fits our needs. It… more »

Pros and Cons

  • "The top features are ones that we're not using yet but we soon will be because we've just had broadband upgraded in Australia. We've got something called the National Broadband Network, which is forced onto you, so you have to take it when it arrives. We'll be trying the high availability out soon. We tried that with some load balancing, it didn't quite work as we expected, but I think that was more of a configuration thing rather than a product thing."
  • "The antivirus seemed to be a bit laggy on the connection so I disconnected that. It's definitely good. The only issue we've had with any sort of cyber attack seemed to be coming from a couple of distinct locations, people trying to get into known ports on remote desktops and stuff like that. The fact that we can block all that traffic is just great. It simplifies it."

What other advice do I have?

I'm experienced in networking, but I'm not a network engineer per se, I'm more software development. The fact that I was able to get it set up and going with minimal fuss was definitely a plus for the product. I've seen products before where you can get them running, you make the slightest configuration change, and the whole thing comes crashing down. It's quite a stable product in that respect and it does look after itself quite well. For example, risk proxying solution and buying a GoDaddy certificate to secure a couple of APIs was a piece of cake. It really didn't hurt us at all. I think…
Matt Gerken
VP Engineering & Admin at E3 Systems
Real User
Top 10
Has saved time for the members of our team who manage security but it's not optimized or set up for satellite communication

What is our primary use case?

Our client base is private yachts and on private yachts, we have different LAN connections, as well as different VLANs. Kerio Control allows us to maximize and control the different LAN connections, both from a performance and a financial standpoint.

Pros and Cons

  • "The interface control manager where we can allocate LAN connections to certain VLANs is the most valuable feature. The other feature that's important for us is because obviously everything is remote with MyKerio, as long as the boat has an internet connection, we can log onto the Kerio and get statistics, as well as provide support."
  • "It has a VPN back to our data center but I don't think it has increased the number of VPN clients extended to those outside our environment"

What other advice do I have?

We don't necessarily use failover protection. If you have a failover seamlessly set, the boat or the customer won't know that there's been a failure. We don't use the failover because we want the boat to understand if there's an issue with one of their LAN connections. For example, if you have a cellular and a satellite connection, and you have both of them set to failover to one or the other, if the satellite connection fails over to the cellular connection, nobody on the boat is going to know that it's failed over. Without the failover, they can identify that there's a problem and then that…
GR
ICT Consultant at D-R Consulting Pty Ltd
Consultant
Top 10
Users on the network are confident that they are in a safe and secure network. You can't assign WiFi channels to the VLAN on the low-end device.

What is our primary use case?

For a small office, I'm using it for a firewall. This is the most obvious primary use, along with: * The Web Filter subscription for content that gives a bit of protection to users on the network when going to sites with known malware and so on. * The Antivirus module, which is good at scanning anything coming through, giving us a first line of defense. * Some other features in there, like VLAN. I have quite a few VLANs setup for keeping things separate for a build network and so on. I have the hardware appliance on-premise. However, I do use some of the features, like MyKerio cloud, for… more »

Pros and Cons

  • "One very good thing about the Kerio device is its authentication. I don't have a Windows domain for authentication. Instead, I use the Kerio product because it can separate users by Mac addresses and give them IP addresses based on their usernames, automatically logging them in. This makes for a very simple authentication system."
  • "One area that confused me a bit when I was building my current network. I use VLANs to have separate functionality on the network, and the appliance I got was the WiFi model, but I discovered that you can't assign WiFi channels to the VLAN. So, you can have WiFi, but its own subnet. You can't run that over the VLAN. Effectively, I can't use the WiFi facility in the appliance and had to purchase a separate web that supports VLANs. In the end, I had to go to GFI support. They confirmed this is just a limited functionality of that device, as it is a low-end device. I don't know if any of their high-end models have a better facility or not."

What other advice do I have?

The overall ease of use depends on your skill set. I have a networking background, so I find it okay. As you get into more advanced features, it's probably a bit technical, but I managed to find my way around it through the documentation to get things working. It has some good features in there, like you can create a firewall rule and the console lets you test that rule, which is helpful when you're trying to build a firewall rule. One of the features that I haven't used yet is Kerio Control's high-availability/failover protection. However, it is something I would be interested in setting up…
BC
CEO at a computer software company with 1-10 employees
Real User
Top 5
The security has been very good and the VPN connections are reliable in that they stay up

What is our primary use case?

We have our server in our head office, so we have offices that log into it from various other cities and run their accounting software on it.

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable feature is the reliability of VPN capabilities. The VPN has been very reliable and secure. The security has been very good and the VPN connections are reliable in that they stay up. We don't have a lot of problems with downtime and that type of thing."
  • "One of the problems we do have causes problems with the VPN. The software slows the throughput down too much. You could have a one-gigabit connection from the internet, and it slows it down to the area of upload and download is extremely slow. There's too much content filtering at that point."

What other advice do I have?

The machine is a good value for the price and the software is extremely good value for the price. It's proven out to be good, but we're just disappointed in the company that now owns it and took over from it. They're improving, but it took too long to improve and it cost us a lot of money in that way. But I can't blame it on Kerio, I have to blame it on GFS. I would rate Kerio Control a nine out of ten.
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