Check Point, Juniper, Stonesoft Shine in Low-End Network Firewall Test

NSS Labs today released test results of performance, management and security capabilities in a dozen low-end network firewalls, with Check Point, Juniper and Stonesoft earning top technical scores.

By Ellen Messmer
Tue, January 29, 2013

Network WorldNSS Labs today released test results of performance, management and security capabilities in a dozen low-end network firewalls, with Check Point, Juniper and Stonesoft earning top technical scores.

The latest round of evaluations, available as several reports from NSS Labs, is based on lower-end equipment provided directly by firewall vendors and tested at up to 10Gbps throughput.

(Cisco did not participate in this round of tests, though NSS labs says it expects Cisco to join in for future evaluations.)

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Testing of each of the 12 lower-end firewalls in terms of management entailed an evaluation of "ease of policy, its creation and deployment," says Bob Walder, president and COO at NSS Labs, who said the tests are designed to be "scientific and objective as we can."

Although some firewalls today are considered "application-aware," NSS Labs did not test that capability. Rather, it stuck to IP-based protections expected from a traditional firewall, Walder says. Products tested were:

  • Barracuda F800
  • Check Point 12600
  • Cyberoam CR2500iNG
  • Dell SonicWALL NSA 4500
  • Fortinet FortiGate-800c
  • Juniper SRX550
  • NETASQ ng1000-A
  • NETGEAR ProSecure UTM9S
  • Palo Alto Networks PA-5020
  • Sophos UTM 425
  • Stonesoft FW-1301
  • WatchGuard XTM 1050

Most of the firewall gear performed well, with the Check Point, Fortinet, Juniper and Stonesoft products earning the highest overall "recommended" ratings relative to combined protection and value. The NETGEAR box brought up the rear, with scores of 40% for "stability and reliability," 28% for "security effectiveness," 15% on "management capabilities" and 4% on "weighted security effectiveness/management."

"We were shocked and surprised at how it ended up," says Walder.

Future security-product tests planned by NSS Labs will involve high-end firewalls, virtualized firewalls and "breach detection" products, such as those from FireEye, Damballa, AhnLab, Trend Micro, McAfee and ValidEdge.

Ellen Messmer is senior editor at Network World, an IDG publication and website, where she covers news and technology trends related to information security. Twitter: @MessmerE. Email: emessmer@nww.com.

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