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SonicWALL NSA 3500

By Sally Finley - Posted Mar 1, 2012
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Company: Dreaming Tree Technology, Inc., Department, P.O. Box 1136, Nobles­ ville, IN, 46062, (866) 403-5305,

Price: Licenses can be purchased online or by phone at (317) 225-4117. Pricing varies based on appliance type, model, and subscription selection.

Audience: SonicWALL is geared toward IT managers of medium-sized school districts and their system administrators.

System Requirements: SonicWALL requires internet access via computer and a modem to connect to the firewall via Ethernet.

Description: SonicWALL NSA 3500 is an integrated security appliance used to provide the user with online security on the internet.


Overall Rating:5 Stars
Ease of Use:A
Product Support:A

Reviewer Comments:

Installation/Access: Installation will need to be completed by an IT technician or system administrator. Training videos provide easy-to-follow directions for installing and operating the system. Installation Rating: A

Content/Features: SonicWALL NSA 3500 supports unrestricted Nodes, a 1.5 Gbps stateful throughput, 240 Mbps UTM throughput, and a 6 gigabit interface. The firewall contains gateway antivirus, anti-spyware, intrusion prevention, and application protection. It can block spam and access to sites that are considered unsafe based on an IP reputation system. It comes complete with a firewall, application firewall, secure wireless controller, SSI, VPN, and anti-spam and antivirus capabilities.

Admin Tools provides the following features: New Tools offer notification of changes being made on the main screen or enhancements to the product. Also included is a list of applications and tools available with licensing status. An activity section shows what activity the user has completed with the tools. Security updates are automated.

Training Videos are short and easy to follow when performing a task or troubleshooting an issue with a firewall. They are updated weekly and include specific categories. Topics are often generated by customer requests. Videos are divided into specific categories related to user authentication.

A Configuration Auditor checks security and performance of the firewall either for issues or opportunities. Two reports are generated: an executive report for management staff and a technical report with a specific breakdown of tests and resolution options.

A Document Firewall includes the configuration of the firewall. It addresses policies and user groups and gives the user a hard copy of the firewall configuration.

Performance Tools report on bandwidth management testing for internet, video, and voiceover to get the best performance from the firewall. Content/Features Rating: A

Ease of Use: SonicWALL offers free training videos that are provided upon purchase of a license. These videos help the system administrator troubleshoot issues. Ease of Use Rating: A

Product Support: Support is available through training videos, a blog, telephone assistance, and live chats at (866) 403-5305. SonicWALL will configure and lock down your firewall and VPN services for a fee. Online demos provide step-to-step instructions for completing a required task. A newsletter provides information that is timely and essential for securing a safe environment. Product Support Rating: A

Recommendation: SonicWALL offers medium-sized school districts an excellent tool to provide security for internet access. It offers a high-performance, multiservice network security platform with its 6 gigabit interfaces. Its variety of security products focus on expanding wireless networks, content filtering, controlling Skype, protecting the network with certificate control, and email security. I was impressed at the availability of technicians who were able to answer my questions quickly and effectively. Chat assistance was offered the minute I logged on to the Contact Us link.

Protecting students and staff who are on the internet needs to be a high priority in our schools. SonicWALL offers a quality product that is worth the investment. Highly Recommended.

Reviewer: Sally Finley, educational consultant, Coral Springs, Fla.;

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