Product Review: CrossTec firewall better suited for SMBs

NetOp Desktop Firewall 3.0 has management, documentation functions ideal for Windows desktops. But other lacking features keep it from moving up to enterprise-caliber.

CrossTec's NetOp Desktop Firewall 3.0
CrossTec
Price: $59 per seat, plus $1,950 for optional Policy Server

CrossTec's NetOp Desktop Firewall 3.0 stakes a claim as a robust SMB product with intuitive management, strong documentation and scalable centralized policy-setting for Windows desktops. Weak reporting and lack of centralized logging support keep it from moving up to enterprise-caliber.

The intuitive interface and step-by-step documentation made both Policy Server and local configurations a breeze. Our XP Professional client installations (Windows 2000 Professional is also supported) took about five minutes each.

Policies can be set by user groups and are made simpler through integration with Active Directory. Security managers can set firewall rule sets for different environments; the Policy Server profiles prevented any changes from being made from the workstations.

While Desktop Firewall offers some very nice graphs and charts showing traffic patterns and actions taken, there's no way to generate management-caliber reports from the Policy Server. We could locally log packets with all header information and TCP flags included, but the lack of syslog support will deter adoption by larger organizations.

This review originally appeared in the June issue of Information Security magazine.

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