A Closer Look at the USG100

By Frank Ohlhorst  |  Print this article Print


Desktop-as-a-Service Designed for Any Cloud ? Nutanix Frame

With the ZyWall USG100 Unified Threat Management appliance, Zyxel dares to go beyond the firewall concept and tread where Symantec, Sonicwall, Fortinet and WatchGuard reign supreme.

Zyxel is positioning the USG100 as a comprehensive security appliance for offices with up to 25 users. That clearly places the unit in the small business realm, a market saddled by many challenges. Small businesses have some unique needs centered on affordability and ease of use. What's more, small businesses need access to the same level of security that is commonly available to enterprises, just without the complexity. Zyxel has recognized those needs and has built the USG100 from the ground up to service the small business market, taking a different approach than many other vendors that "dumb down" their enterprise offerings to serve the small business market.

The USG100 offers a feature set that includes:

- ICSA-certified firewall (rated at 100M bps)
- Anti-virus: ( ICSA-certified Zyxel Anti-Virus and Kaspersky Lab)
- Intrusion detection and prevention
- VPN (ICSA-certified IPSec , SSL, L2TP, up to 50 tunnels); two licenses included.
- Instant messaging and peer-to-peer management
- Anti-spam
- User-aware configuration and policy engine
- Bandwidth management and traffic prioritization
- Multiple ISP link support for high availability and redundancy
- Content filtering
- Support for 3G wireless networks (High-Speed Downlink Packet Access and Evolution Data Optimized)

The physical device sports two USB ports, two 10/100/1000 Ethernet WAN ports, five 10/100/1000 Ethernet LAN ports, a serial port (for dial-up modems), an RS232 console port and a PCCard port for PCMCIA-based communications cards. The unit includes brackets for rack-mounting and a 12-volt external power brick.

Frank Ohlhorst Frank J. Ohlhorst is the Executive Technology Editor for eWeek Channel Insider and brings with him over 20 years of experience in the Information Technology field.He began his career as a network administrator and applications program in the private sector for two years before joining a computer consulting firm as a programmer analyst. In 1988 Frank founded a computer consulting company, which specialized in network design, implementation, and support, along with custom accounting applications developed in a variety of programming languages.In 1991, Frank took a position with the United States Department of Energy as a Network Manager for multiple DOE Area Offices with locations at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPL), Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), FermiLAB and the Ames Area Office (AMESAO). Frank's duties included managing the site networks, associated staff and the inter-network links between the area offices. He also served at the Computer Security Officer (CSO) for multiple DOE sites. Frank joined CMP Technology's Channel group in 1999 as a Technical Editor assigned to the CRN Test Center, within a year, Frank became the Senior Technical Editor, and was responsible for designing product testing methodologies, assigning product reviews, roundups and bakeoffs to the CRN Test Center staff.In 2003, Frank was named Technology Editor of CRN. In that capacity, he ensured that CRN maintained a clearer focus on technology and increased the integration of the Test Center's review content into both CRN's print and web properties. He also contributed to Netseminar's, hosted sessions at CMP's Xchange Channel trade shows and helped to develop new methods of content delivery, Such as CRN-TV.In September of 2004, Frank became the Director of the CRN Test Center and was charged with increasing the Test Center's contributions to CMP's Channel Web online presence and CMP's latest monthly publication, Digital Connect, a magazine geared towards the home integrator. He also continued to contribute to CMP's Netseminar series, Xchange events, industry conferences and CRN-TV.In January of 2007, CMP Launched CRNtech, a monthly publication focused on technology for the channel, with a mailed audience of 70,000 qualified readers. Frank was instrumental in the development and design of CRNTech and was the editorial director of the publication as well as its primary contributor. He also maintained the edit calendar, and hosted quarterly CRNTech Live events.In June 2007, Frank was named Senior Technology Analyst and became responsible for the technical focus and edit calendars of all the Channel Group's publications, including CRN, CRNTech, and VARBusiness, along with the Channel Group's specialized publications Solutions Inc., Government VAR, TechBuilder and various custom publications. Frank joined Ziff Davis Enterprise in September of 2007 and focuses on creating editorial content geared towards the purveyors of Information Technology products and services. Frank writes comparative reviews, channel analysis pieces and participates in many of Ziff Davis Enterprise's tradeshows and webinars. He has received several awards for his writing and editing, including back to back best review of the year awards, and a president's award for CRN-TV. Frank speaks at many industry conferences, is a contributor to several IT Books, holds several records for online hits and has several industry certifications, including Novell's CNE, Microsoft's MCP.Frank can be reached at frank.ohlhorst@ziffdavisenterprise.com

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