Installing and Using the ZyWall 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.

Administrators will find the unit very easy to deploy. After plugging the unit in, administrators simply point a Web browser at a default address to download a security certificate and access the installation wizard.

Zyxel really did its homework when it comes to easy setup. The setup wizard starts by offering a choice of either a single ISP or dual ISP configuration. The dual ISP portion of the wizard autopopulates the options for connecting to two separate ISPs and helps administrators define whether those connections should be used for failover or high availability or be bonded together.

Choosing the single ISP option skips over the high-availability options and dives right into the basic setup of the unit. Here, administrators will need to know some details about the ISP and the local network. The wizard does an excellent job of stepping administrators through the WAN setup portion of the install; installers can choose from PPOE, cable modem, DSL or most any other type of broadband Ethernet setup. Once the basics are set up, administrators will have to register the device and select what service subscriptions are to be used. Anti-spam protection is free, while other security services have a yearly fee associated with them. A combined package for $340 offers a year's worth of anti-virus, content filtering and IDS/IPS (intrusion detection services/intrusion protection services). The various security services are also available a la carte.

The setup wizard can also optionally launch the VPN Advanced Wizard, which walks users through the process of defining VPN connectivity and which encryption method should be used. While the process is complex in the terms and definitions used, any administrator should be able to breeze through advanced VPN settings using the wizard.

Other setup chores are wizard-driven, but administrators may want to turn to the product's quick-start guide to make setup easier. Zyxel includes a CD with the USG100 that contains comprehensive documentation in PDF form. The very detailed documentation offers diagrams and tips on how to deploy the device.

Administrators will definitely want to refer to the documentation to define rules, roles and zones. The device offers a high level of configurability, allowing it to address the most arcane of implementations. Luckily, an abundance of examples are included in the documentation to make the setup chores as easy as possible. The documentation also sports several tutorials that will help administrators get quickly up to speed on the intricacies of the product and also can educate administrators on many of the standards and terms used by today's security devices.


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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