FaceTime USG-320 review
FaceTime delivers the most sophisticated solution for managing social networking in the workplace
Review Date: 10 Nov 2010
Reviewed By: Dave Mitchell
Price when reviewed: £5,775 (£6,786 inc VAT)
Features & Design
Value for Money
The growth of social networking has been nothing short of explosive over the past couple of years, but for businesses it represents a very real security risk. FaceTime specialises in this area, and its latest USG appliances deliver levels of control over these activities that are far more sophisticated than anything else on the market.
In this exclusive review, we look at the USG-320, which can handle up to 2,500 users. A key feature of the FaceTime solution is its optional Socialite (social: IT enabled) module, which focuses on managing employee access to Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.
FaceTime offers Socialite as a SaaS deployment option, but the appliance also offers superb IM and P2P app controls, web content filtering and antispyware services. Other new features in the latest firmware version include Safe Search controls for Google, Yahoo and Bing, the option to run the Squid web proxy cache locally and support for ISA proxy servers.
Deployment is simple: one port monitors all network traffic from a switch span port, and the second brings FaceTime's IM proxy into play. This takes IM app control to higher levels since it can scan all messages as they're sent, check for unacceptable content and issue challenges to users.
The Socialite functions allow you to control just about any activity on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. For Facebook, you have nearly 50 control settings where you can block or allow access to features such as account and application settings, friends, games and video. Once users have logged in you can apply post controls such as blocking chat, postings, friends lists and so on.
The LinkedIn controls are just as sophisticated. We could use policies to manage access to all key features, including company and job searches. Using our own account to test this, we found we could easily block post login activities, including posting messages and sending invitations.
FaceTime offers both an optional URL category and true web content filtering, with the latter scanning web pages for specific words or phrases. This can also be applied to archives, text files and documents, and you can block access, passively monitor activity, be alerted when a user triggers a scan policy, and present users with AUP agreements.
The latest firmware adds new Flash-based dynamic views to the dashboard, although we prefer the standard classic dashboard since it provides more useful information. You get a full colour-coded graphical view of all network traffic along with individual summaries for IM, P2P, web and malware activity.
Activating the IM proxy brings a wide range of controls into play. You can stop users talking to external IM users or non-employees, permit or deny access to functions such as games and video, control file transfers, and force virus scans. All IM messages are scanned by the proxy, and if banned words are encountered you can stop the message being sent, challenge the user and send them a disclaimer they must agree to.
Businesses that want full control over social networking in the workplace should check out FaceTime's USG appliances. Nothing else can match them in this area: they deliver unbeatable IM and P2P app controls along with full web page and document content filtering.
Author: Dave Mitchell
Apple get round to suing this company for using the 'Facetime' name. Surely only a matter of time
By alan123 on 10 Nov 2010
No it won't
Apple is in the process of acquiring the name - see http://www.facetime.com/LearnMore.aspx
By DaveMitchell on 10 Nov 2010
- Microsoft patches TIFF flaw in next Patch Tuesday
- Microsoft expands encryption over NSA spying "threat"
- UK Cloud Awards 2014: nominations now open
- BlackBerry says "we're still alive" as sales hit new low
- Has HP turned a corner?
- Adobe admits it's struggling to notify hack victims
- Microsoft rolls out Office 365 admin app for mobile
- Office 2013 Service Pack 1 to arrive early next year
- Backup the best defence against CryptoLocker
- UK SMBs can now buy ads on Twitter
- Play it again: Berlin's Computer Game Museum
- Switching from iPhone to Android: what I miss, what I don't
- Tech City: Easy to score when you move the goalposts
- How to remove SkyDrive from the Windows 8.1 Explorer
- Switching from iPhone to Android? Switch off iMessage
- Why is Google pumping more money into Firefox?
- Sky Broadband Shield review
- Samsung Galaxy S4: how to double your battery life
- Motorola Moto G review: first look
- IBM Watson meets Willy Wonka
- gTLDs: what your business should know about new domain names
- Can Microsoft survive? A look at servers and tools
- Can Microsoft survive? The future of Office
- A real-world guide to business VoIP
- Sack your PA: how to stay on top of your work life
- Power lies with the internet giants, not the governments
- Software subscriptions return us to a life of servitude
- How to get a job in cloud computing
- Are today's tech start-ups simply get-rich-quick schemes?
- Choosing the right tablet for business
- The importance of load balancing
- Windows Phone App Studio: an easy way to create your first Windows Phone 8 app
- The end of Windows XP support: what it really means for businesses
- Don't rely on Chrome's password vault
- Using Buffer to manage your social media
- Microsoft needs its own Steve Jobs
- Forget credit cards: hackers want your Facebook account
- Can't get fast enough broadband? Here's what to do
- Leap Motion and the battle against UI stagnation
- How to build a really bad network
There are dozens of exciting prizes up for grabs on PC Pro Competitions. All our competitions are free to enter. Try your luck.ENTER NOW