Over the years, SonicWall has become the dominating vendor for branch offices looking for wireless and wired security appliances. The company has enjoyed an impressive success rate with their TZ series of appliances, thanks mostly to the channel. So much so, that most solution providers tend to look no further than SonicWall for small-scale security solutions. The company’s success has started to impact the small and midsize market and SonicWall is beginning to become a favorite among solution providers servicing those offices.
NetGear aims to upset SonicWall’s apple cart and put an end to the company’s growth in the SMB sector with the ProSafe series of security appliances. NetGear has focused on meeting SonicWall’s products feature for feature in the contentious small, midsize and branch office markets.
The NetGear ProSafe 802.11n Wireless-N VPN Firewall, almost a dead ringer for SonicWall’s TZ180 Firewall, with a few exceptions. ProSafe features 802.11n, which promises higher throughput than the TZ180’s 802.11 b/g wireless radios.
What’s more, the NetGear unit comes with a sticker price of $485, as compared with the TZ180’s MSRP of $790. To be fair, one must admit that the TZ180 does come with more user licenses and works well in a branch office. That said, when it comes to the stand-alone SMB Office, the SonicWall Unit offers features that will go unused, such as enterprise management dashboards and multisite to multisite encryption tunnels.
Simply put, if you are looking to roll up a bunch of branch offices into a centralized enterprise environment, the ProSafe 802.11n Wireless-N VPN Firewall is not for you. On the other hand, the SonicWall TZ180 may not be a good fit for the small office, where site-to-site connectivity and advanced management features are not needed.