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Chris Bristow
Account Manager (Technical) at Redfortress Ltd
Real User
Top 10
Provides good content filtering and failover, but licensing is becoming too expensive

Pros and Cons

  • "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."

    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.

    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.
    JP
    President at a tech services company with 1-10 employees
    Real User
    Top 10
    Allows me to use a VPN and access my data directly from a laptop when I'm out in the field

    Pros and Cons

    • "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 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."

    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.
    Learn what your peers think about Kerio Control. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: October 2021.
    543,936 professionals have used our research since 2012.
    MS
    Freelance IT Specialist at a computer software company with 501-1,000 employees
    Real User
    Top 20
    Good open source availability with great policy routing but needs to be more user friendly

    Pros and Cons

    • "The user interface and the ease of use are pretty good. Everything fits together so nicely."
    • "The one thing that did put me off of the solution was that, after they were taken over by GFI, the licensing and a few other items have gotten very complicated."

    What is our primary use case?

    We do quite a special deployment. I work on superyachts. My clients, basically have various ways to forward their internet connection, either by satellite, or, if they're within the range of the shore, they use 4G and a multitude of other connections. Kerio provides for an easy way to manage the various connections. Also, because of the limited bandwidth of the vessels using VSAT, they have control of internet traffic.

    What is most valuable?

    With Kerio Control, one very useful feature is the policy routing. This enables us to, if we have the yacht's network split up into VLANs, give the option of basically pushing different VLANs through different internet connections. This is very flexible. Then the PFM and the Netgate firewalls are also very flexible. 

    The user interface and the ease of use are pretty good. Everything fits together so nicely.

    What needs improvement?

    The one thing that did put me off of the solution was that, after they were taken over by GFI, the licensing and a few other items have gotten very complicated. 

    I am just a little bit wary as to the future of the Kerio Control. I do like open source. I think open source is the future. I don't think there is any place for proprietaries and if I can use something as open source, I would prefer to use open source.

    I never found I missed anything in terms of features. From a user point of view, because I install these things and put them on a yacht, then the people on board, they're the ones that have to manage it once the installation is done. That means I have to train them, and, as long as they understand what they need to do and how to use I'm they'll be fine. That said, it can be a bit complicated for a novice user. A simpler user interface is necessary.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've been using the solution for years.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    I've never tried to scale the solution. In my case, it doesn't make sense to try. My installations are very finite. The yacht doesn't grow, so it's very self-contained.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    I haven't contacted technical support in the past, to be honest. I'm the kind of person that I would rather look things up online. The beauty of working in IT is that a lot of problems you come across have already been witnessed. Someone else has come across them and has already posted solutions online for you to find. I'm not one of these people that tends to call help desks. I used to work on help desks quite a lot myself, so I am well versed in troubleshooting.

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

    We have experience with pfSense. 

    With Kerio, everything is just a bit more cohesive. Everything fits together. With pfSense, you need to install add-ons to get the features you need. You can have the same features as Kerio, but it may require installing an add-on. With Kerio, of course, everything is already there.

    Another very nice feature I like with the pfSense firewall is the ability to actually run a packet capture on the router, on the gateway itself. Thatis something very useful that I miss having access to, as it's not available on Kerio.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial installation's level of difficulty all depends on the requirements of the customer. Some customers just want it there so that they can actually monitor and see the traffic usage, and, if necessary, they can go and speak to people and ask them to stop using up so much data. Some clients use it more as a deterrent and just as a way of monitoring what's going on. Other clients like even more control, which can make it a bit more complicated. They want to put in quotas for users and block certain sites, which is possible, and just a bit more work. It will all depend on clients.

    Deployment typically can be done within one day. However, a lot of time users may be upgrading the whole network with wifi switches. Everything gets built together. For us, we're trading our gateway and our networks on board. It shouldn't take more than a few days for a full network installation.

    What about the implementation team?

    I am self-employed, so I work with other companies that usually do the installation of the hardware and I come in at the end to just make sure everything's all configured correctly and set up properly for Kerio configuration.

    What other advice do I have?

    I'd recommend the solution. 

    It is a good solution. I would like to use it more as an open source software these days. The way everything is going in the world, I feel that there's definitely a place for open source. In terms of the proprietary side of it, I'm not too keen on it, and I'm a bit dubious about this takeover by GFI. I don't know if it's a product that will carry on as it is or if things will just keep getting a bit more complicated with it.

    I'd rate the solution seven out of ten. It's done everything I've ever needed it to do. That said, if I can find a solution that does the same, I'll switch. I find that there are actually more options. If you know what you're doing and you find the add-on that you need, then I think it's more flexible.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    RB
    Owner at a consultancy with 51-200 employees
    Real User
    Top 10
    VPN enables us to do remote work and we can better manage security

    Pros and Cons

    • "We also like the security. We can control what sites users can go to and we can make sure that where they're going is appropriate and that it's work-related."
    • "The denial of service could also be improved. There recently was a big issue with denial of service attacks and it was a bit laborious."

    What is our primary use case?

    Our primary use cases are for internet connectivity, security, and VPNs.

    How has it helped my organization?

    The VPN connections have improved my organization. It also means that I can manage security more easily.

    What is most valuable?

    The most valuable feature is the VPN. It enables us to do remote work. 

    I use the geo IP filtering a lot. 

    We also like the security. We can control what sites users can go to and we can make sure that where they're going is appropriate and that it's work-related.

    What needs improvement?

    Quality of service and bandwidth management need improvement. It just doesn't seem granular in that.

    The denial of service could also be improved. There recently was a big issue with denial of service attacks and it was a bit laborious.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been using Kerio Control since 2016. 

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It's stable and we rarely have any reliability issues.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    It is scalable up to a point that then you might have to use a user faster, bigger one, but on the whole, it is scalable. It's because based most installations I have are over 300. Whereas if they start to get really big, you'll need to increase the model to the next model up.

    In my company, it's me that manages and installs them all. We install, manage, and offer basic management and support.

    The environments we've installed for can go from three to 50 users.

    We've never had any problems with it not being able to manage the traffic.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    The GFI technical support is average. The speed of response sometimes is not very fast. Sometimes they take a while to resolve an issue. For example, I've got an issue that's not been resolved for three months now, meaning that the box, the unit isn't performing as it should do.

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

    My clients generally replace solutions like SonicWall and Fortinet with Kerio but sometimes they don't have a firewall at all, so we set them up with their first firewall.

    It's easier when all our customers are using the same firewall. It makes it easier for us to manage them across the board. We use Kerio across the board.

    We used to use a lot of Fortinet but now we've replaced that with Kerio because of the support and price, although now the support is not so good. The price is fair and the features are all pretty much the same.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup is straightforward. It's a bit tricky because I do it a lot, but it's pretty straightforward. It has a Wizard if you need it, but I don't need it anymore. I know what I'm doing. I find it quite easy to set up.

    A basic deployment takes an hour. Just the box standards are set out for everybody, and then if they need something specific, we'll add it in afterward. But a straightforward, standard, basic setup takes about an hour.

    We have a unified implementation strategy that we start with and then we tweak it if need be. We don't use MyKerio to put a standard implementation across all of them.

    Our standard implementation strategy is to implement dual internet connections, standards, and standard traffic rules with VPN access.

    What was our ROI?

    At the end of the day, our customers are being managed, looked after, and they're secure, so they're happy.

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

    The licensing is a bit of an issue. People don't like to have to buy user licenses. They think they should be able to buy the box and be able to use it. Licensing is a bit old fashioned in terms of the fact that if they don't renew the license that box becomes useless. People really don't like that. Then they can't use it anymore.

    What other advice do I have?

    My advice would be to make sure you've got an internet connection. The first thing you have to do is register the user on the internet and then if you get to a new installation where you're setting them up from scratch, you're going to struggle because with the new Kerio unit, the first thing it needs to do is connect to the internet and it can't do that if you haven't set it up. It's best to get it set up before you install it on site.

    The biggest lesson I have learned from using the solution is not to assume everything is running okay because it might not be. The main reason is because of the denial of service not being up to scratch. You have to make sure that their connections aren't being kept of denial of service effects. That's the problem right now. I would say denial of service is probably one of the weakest areas.

    I would rate it an eight 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.
    QS
    Senior Sales Technician at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
    Reseller
    Top 20
    You can see what all your users are doing

    Pros and Cons

    • "The solution’s firewall and intrusion detection features are quite good because you can see exactly who is attacking you and who is getting blocked."
    • "I would like the customer statistics to be more user-friendly. It should explain more what users have been doing throughout the day. Sometimes, it'll just say they downloaded a big file. Meanwhile, they were connected through a VPN."

    What is our primary use case?

    It is mainly for user control, e.g., who is downloading the most.

    We are using the latest version.

    How has it helped my organization?

    It helped a lot with the bandwidth because a lot of our clients complained that the Internet was really slow, then we found it's a Windows update or some guy inside the company using YouTube. With Kerio Control, we found out what was going on, blocked it, or pushed it down.

    It helps the IT manager monitor their staff. As for the servers, it gives protection from the outside. Their intrusion protection works extremely well, so you can see if there are issues from outside in the log files. The whole system is just easy to read.

    Right before the lockdown, we got requests for home connections like crazy from customers. We put all of them onto Kerio VPN, which is much easier for them. They log onto Kerio VPN and can see their local drives and servers, then they can work.

    What is most valuable?

    The VPN is a useful feature.

    When you go under status to, "active host", you see what all your users are doing. We found that this is the most useful feature.

    The security features are quite easy to use. It gives us everything we need in one product.

    The solution’s firewall and intrusion detection features are quite good because you can see exactly who is attacking you and who is getting blocked.

    The antivirus is good. Since they changed over to a new provider (GFI), we haven't had issues with it.

    What needs improvement?

    A little bit more info when we search on the client under active hosts. We would like to see a column to say what is going on: Is it encrypted? Is it HTTP or HTTPS? Is it connected to a gaming services?

    I would like the customer statistics to be more user-friendly. It should explain more what users have been doing throughout the day. Sometimes, it'll just say they downloaded a big file. Meanwhile, they were connected through a VPN.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    Since 2006.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The stability is good.

    The VPN features are awesome. The only issue that we had is when they changed versions. They removed a security feature and blocked out all the old VPN connections. As a service provider, we had to do an update for a lot of clients' VPNs after their update came out, which created more work for us.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    The scalability is awesome.

    For our big corporate clients, the solution gets used a lot. We have one client with about 200 users and about 10 to 12 servers.

    We have five to six support technicians who work with Kerio Control.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    I have never used their technical support.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup is straightforward. It is easy to install. You just put in a memory stick and boot it up. Or, you just start up the device and follow the on-screen prompts. The deployment takes five minutes.

    What about the implementation team?

    We do use the online services Kerio provides for our implementation strategy.

    What was our ROI?

    Our clients see ROI with Kerio Control, as they are saving bandwidth costs.

    Kerio Control has saved time for the members of our team who manage security. It can save us two hours to a day, because if we use Mikrotik or something else, we have to sniff through the logs. With Kerio Control, we just log on and can see immediately what is wrong.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We tried FortiGate and Mikrotik, but they don't do what we want. Licensing is easier with Kerio Control. Also, troubleshooting and implementation on a network is much easier. You don't need to call support all the time. With FortiGate, we realized the licensing is really hectic, because if you skip one year, you have to back pay that year. If you skip two years, you have to back pay two years. With Kerio Control, if a license expires, one year later you can just reactivate and go on.

    It tells you what your users are doing or what is happening on your network. It goes into detail and you don't find that on FortiGate.

    What other advice do I have?

    The way that we sell Kerio is we show our customers what they can do with it. They don't really care much about licensing after they see that you can view each person one by one to see what they're doing. 

    I would give the product a 10 out of 10. I have been using this solution for an extremely long time. It is very helpful. With clients that don't have Kerio and have issues with their network, then we'll install a demo version of Kerio, fix the errors and problems, showing them what Kerio does. After, we'll take it out and put them back onto their normal router. It will take about a week or two weeks later, then they will phone us and say, "Please send us a quote for Kerio."

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    On-premises
    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: Reseller.
    KC
    General Manager at Gays Hops-n-Schnapps
    Real User
    Top 10
    Using the VPN it's like I'm sitting in our store; provides seamless connectivity

    Pros and Cons

    • "I love the VPN that we set up. A few of us have it on our computers so that if we leave, we can still access the stores. And we can work from home if needed. When I sign into that Kerio VPN, it links me like I'm sitting in the store. It puts me in our secure network so that I can sign on to each individual store and I can run numbers... If I have to work from home, it's so much faster than the way we used to do it."
    • "When we did our last update, we had some trouble with the initial syncing process to get our messaging to go through. But we were also moving a store and a lot was changing during that process. I don't think it was on Kerio's end. It just coincided with the update. Once we got our third-party IT guy involved it was resolved very quickly."

    What is our primary use case?

    We mainly use Kerio Control for the phone systems. We use it like a VPN network so that I and a couple other guys can take our computers home and work from home. That's a great feature. We love that because you can sign in at home and be like you're in the store.

    What is most valuable?

    We have five locations and, for the person who controls it we have it set up in our main office. The ease of access, of being able to change a voice message, it links to that. The person who controls it can approve it and then she just plays it. That's great for when we have to do a holiday message or special events are happening. We love that feature. 

    I love the VPN that we set up. A few of us have it on our computers so that if we leave, we can still access the stores. And we can work from home if needed. When I sign into that Kerio VPN, it links me like I'm sitting in the store. It puts me in our secure network so that I can sign on to each individual store and I can run numbers. We work through ICS Vision for our stores. We have a corporate plus five stores and it lets me link to all that. If I have to work from home, it's so much faster than the way we used to do it. It saves me a couple hours of each time I use it from home. It also saves me from having to drive in.

    It's the overall ease of everything. It seems to have pretty seamless connectivity for linking our stores.

    Also, the firewall and intrusion detection features seem to keep people out of our servers. I know it's a little bit of a process to try to link something new into it because the firewall is very secure, but we haven't had any issues with malware attacks on our end so it must be stopping them.

    What needs improvement?

    We haven't really had any major issues. But when we did our last update, we had some trouble with the initial syncing process to get our messaging to go through. But we were also moving a store and a lot was changing during that process. I don't think it was on Kerio's end. It just coincided with the update. Once we got our third-party IT guy involved it was resolved very quickly.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    We have been using Kerio Control for about six years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The stability has been fine. We have no concerns or complaints.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    In terms of increasing usage, that's going to end up being discussed in a meeting with our IT guy to see what capabilities it has, how we could expand it, how we could grow with it, and how it could help out day-to-day business.

    How was the initial setup?

    I've been with the company a little over three years now, but when I came in as general manager it was already in use. The upgrade is the closest that I've been to a deployment.

    From start to finish, when doing the upgrade, we were back up in an hour, including the issue we had. Our IT guy let us know what was going on and that there was a series of events he had to do and he did them and we were good to go.

    What was our ROI?

    From the old way we used to do things, it's night and day. Before the company brought this on, it was pretty old-school in how it did its phone systems and messaging. The efficiency has doubled, but the company also used to use answering machines way back when.

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

    I've never seen any additional costs incurred or involved, other than the initial.

    What other advice do I have?

    The biggest lesson from using Kerio Control is the untapped potential there is to link to everything and streamline our business. That's really what it's about for us. Obviously, there's more out there for us to do with it.

    As an SMB, Kerio Control is a good fit for our environment. It serves what we need done. I would recommend it for a smaller business because the ease of use and the access it allows us are great.

    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.
    Alex Kimondo
    ICT Manager at MEDS
    Real User
    Top 5
    It is a good firewall appliance, but it lacks local support and scalability

    Pros and Cons

    • "The firewall appliance itself is the most valuable feature."
    • "I find it a bit costly to pay for the products that I am not using. They need to change their model in such a way that you don't have to pay for the products that you are not using. Its local support and scalability are also not good. I am looking forward to a more scalable product that will be able to grow with time and technology."

    What is our primary use case?

    We use Kerio Control as our firewall.

    How has it helped my organization?

    The Kerio Product has come in handy in the area of Firewall management. Having visibility into the entire Organization through a dashboard. 

    What is most valuable?

    The firewall appliance itself is the most valuable feature.

    What needs improvement?

    I find it a bit costly to pay for the products that I am not using. They need to change their model in such a way that you don't have to pay for the products that you are not using. 

    The GFI features that come with Kerio are stated below. When paying for the licenses we pay for license for everything yet we only use 5 products.

    GFI Products

    GFI Endpoint Security

    In use

    GFI Mail Essentials

    Not in use

    Kerio Connect

    In use

    GFI Archiver

    Not in use

    GFI Fax Maker

    Not In use

    Kerio Control

    In Use

    GFI Lan Guard

    In use

    GFI Web Monitor

    In use

    Kerio Operator

    Not in use

    GFI Events Manager

    Not in use

    We only use 5 products out of the 10 we’ve paid for. We should have the option for paying for what we use not a blanket cost for everything

    Internet aggregation and SDWAN Technology: The firewall should  allow growth in terms of allowing connectivity to SDWAN technology available in other firewall appliances.Link aggregation and SD-WAN (Software-defined Wide Area Network) are great features for businesses who need multiple links to the internet. They’re also useful where you are using multiple links and would like to connect to other sites, such as branch offices or cloud services.

    Its local support and scalability is  also not good. I am looking forward to a more scalable product that will be able to grow with time and technology.

    Cloud Support: The Firewall should have cloud support especially hybrid cloud support.

    It should allow device identification without just stating that the devices are unrecognized-"unrecognized devices"

    Sandboxing is one of those important firewall features that end users don’t even know is there. It takes a file or executable as you’re downloading it and opens it in a completely isolated and separate “test” environment.This is missing.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    We have been using this solution for around one year. We are working with Kerio Control and other GFI products that come with it.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It has been a stable product. We haven't had any issues apart from yesterday when it somehow froze. It was the first time we experienced such an issue. 

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Scalability is a bit of a challenge because you need to buy a new product if you want to upgrade to new technology. 

    In other firewall products, you have options for scalability, but for this particular product, such an option is not available. For example, FortiGate firewall provides added technology capabilities that allow it to grow a bit. In Kerio Control, if I want to bring new technology like SD WAN, I need to buy a new product, or maybe do away with Kerio Control and use a new technology altogether.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    At the moment, there is no proper local support for Kerio Control here in Kenya. It is hard to get service or assistance for anything. This is the challenge that I faced in using a Kerio product or a GFI product.

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

    I used to work with Cisco products. We switched to Kerio because they promised a lot of products, and the initial cost was less as compared to other products.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup is pretty straightforward. I learned this product on the job, and I never got any hands-on training. I just went to YouTube and oriented myself with it, and then I set it up quickly.

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

    Its initial cost is less as compared to other products. It becomes a bit costly when you pay for the products that you don't use. We paid for almost all the products through subscription, but we are using only a few products. We use EndPointSecurity, Kerio Connect, WebMonitor, and LanGuard. We don't use the rest of the products.

    What other advice do I have?

    I would rate Kerio Control a six out of ten. Its local support, scalability, and pricing model need to be improved.

    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.
    SR
    IT and Operations Manager at a financial services firm with 1-10 employees
    Real User
    Top 20
    Scalable with an easy initial setup but technical support is terrible

    Pros and Cons

    • "The initial setup is a breeze."
    • "When it comes to dealing with updates, there are often bugs on the solution. They should do a lot more testing before they release new versions."

    What is our primary use case?

    We primarily use the solution on the VPN for protection purposes. We utilize its antivirus capabilities as well.

    What is most valuable?

    I really like their general IT.

    I like how it's possible for me to block other countries immediately if I see the need to do so.

    The initial setup is a breeze.

    What needs improvement?

    The support the solution offers needs a lot of improvement. GFI took over the product and since the takeover, the support, the backups, the after-sales support, etc., has basically dropped off quite a bit.

    When it comes to dealing with updates, there are often bugs on the solution. They should do a lot more testing before they release new versions.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've been using the solution for about five years now.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The solution is very stable. Organizations won't have to worry about the solution crashing. I consider it to be very reliable. We have only had one firewall go down in the five years we've been using it, and I can't recall any other problems.

    That said, when it comes to major updates, they need to do a lot more testing before they release things. Last year there had been a lot of bugs in major releases. It may have been because of the takeover. GFI has since taken over the brand.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    The solution is pretty scalable. I updated it about two years ago and I didn't have trouble scaling. A company shouldn't have any problems expanding it.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Technical support is not the best. As an example, this past weekend I had an issue. It took me four days to get a hold of their support team. I'm a premium client. I tried everybody: America, Germany, UK, Africa. Everybody. That's unacceptable. There is no reason that their response should be that slow. In the past, I had managed to resolve issues quickly. That's not the case anymore. We're very dissatisfied with the level of service they are providing their clients.

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

    I've previously come across Barracuda. I've spoken to the team there. In terms of meeting our needs, I've found that, with a lot of other products, it's very modular. Kerio tends to keep everything in-house. Due to that, there are certain functionalities that I prefer to have with Kerio as opposed to other solutions.

    How was the initial setup?

    The fact that the setup is so easy is one of the solution's great selling points. It's straightforward. It's not complex at all.

    It only takes one person to deploy and maintain the solution. The deployment itself only takes about an hour or two. Looking at the branches, it may just be 10-15 minutes of work for them. It's pretty quick. Of course, it depends on how many walls. A super basic setup is 10-15 minutes, however, if you have to put in a lot of rules, it will take longer because that process takes time.

    What about the implementation team?

    I handled the implementation myself.

    What other advice do I have?

    We're using the latest version of the solution.

    I would recommend the solution. It doesn't take too many people to set it up or maintain it, like, for example, Cisco, which is a bit more complex and difficult.

    I would rate the solution seven out of ten, and that's mostly due to the fact that their support is so awful right now. If their support was better and more reliable, I would rate them much higher.

    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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