Cyberoam NetGenie SOHO review
A cheap web content security appliance crammed with valuable features; wireless performance is slow, though
Review Date: 27 Feb 2012
Reviewed By: Dave Mitchell
Price when reviewed: £139 (£167 inc VAT)
Features & Design
Value for Money
Cyberoam has a reputation for delivering affordable SMB gateway security solutions and its latest NetGenie SOHO takes this a stage further. In this exclusive review we look at its new entry-level wireless router which provides a complete small office UTM solution at a remarkably low price.
This lightweight plastic chassis provides four Fast Ethernet LAN and a single WAN port and teams them up with an 802.11n 2.4GHz wireless access point. A USB port is also located in the top panel, with support for 3G modems.
What’s inside is of more interest as along with an SPI firewall, the NetGenie provides true web content filtering, anti-virus, anti-spyware, application controls, IPS and support for IPsec VPNs. The icing on the cake is the price as this includes a three-year subscription to updates for all security services.
After installation, which is straightforward, users can be left to surf as normal where the appliance will log all activity and apply firewall, anti-virus, anti-spyware and IPS security. To enforce web access and application controls, however, user accounts need to be created.
Cyberoam provides four distinct groups of URL categories and during user creation it’s simply a matter of moving a slider bar to determine how many groups should be blocked. This also applies to four groups of common web applications with the minimum setting blocking P2P traffic and anonymous proxies.
A fifth option is provided where all four URL groups are blocked and the user can only access sites specified in a white list. A scheduler also gives control over when each user can access the Internet, and this can also be applied to individual web and app entries.
By default, wireless access is set for 802.11bgn mixed mode with WPA2 enabled and the default key printed under the unit. However, it’s easy to customise these settings from the web interface if required. Wireless performance isn’t great, though, as we only saw around 5.5-6MB/sec when copying files from a netbook eleven metres away at the other end of the lab.
Web filtering performed very well, however, and so it should as it uses a subset of Cyberoam’s cloud URL category database. This is used by its pricier UTM appliances and the NetGenie is able to apply 57 of the 82 categories. Application controls also worked well: with different slider settings it’s possible to block selected users accessing the Internet using apps such as Windows Live Messenger, Live Mail, Outlook, BitTorrent and FTP.
There are cheaper wireless routers around but none offer built-in identity based security, web content filtering, gateway antivirus or app controls. Netgear and D-Link consumer products use the third-party OpenDNS service for basic parental controls but must be managed from a separate portal.
If you also want anti-spam we suggest the Netgear ProSecure UTM5, but a full three year subscription to all services costs around three times as much. At only £139, the NetGenie SOHO simply can’t be beaten on price and for an extra £59 you can extend phone and email support to three years as well.
Author: Dave Mitchell
- BBC admits £100 million IT project was a "waste"
- ISPs offer network-level porn filters to dodge "regulatory threats"
- Intel: PC designs "not compelling enough"
- Microsoft reinstates the Start button – on a mouse
- Facebook tells EE to stall launch of HTC First
- Google considers $1 billion bid for satnav firm Waze
- Hyperoptic extends 1Gbit/sec broadband beyond London
- PC Pro Enhanced: an update
- Samsung racks up ten million Galaxy S4 shipments
- Lenovo defies PC slump to post 90% profit increase
- Is it worth upgrading a media centre to Windows 8?
- Flickr redesign: is it enough to tempt photographers back?
- Hands on with the new Google Maps
- Nokia Lumia 925 review: first look
- Why I won't subscribe to Creative Cloud
- GoPro camera strapped to a remote-control helicopter: the ultimate boy's toy
- Acer Iconia A1 review: first look
- Acer Aspire P3 review: first look
- Acer Aspire R7 review: first look
- How we produce the PC Pro podcast
- 38 best iPad apps
- 35 best web apps
- Software subscriptions return us to a life of servitude
- Dropbox: everything you need to know
- Best smartphones for 2013
- The best broadband speed tests
- iPhone apps for business travel
- How to get a job as a mobile games developer
- 25 best Windows 8 apps
- Introducing Arduino - a simple Raspberry Pi alternative
- The ICO's shame-faced u-turn on cookies
- Start8 and ModernMix: making Windows 8 work on a desktop
- How to boost your mobile reception
- How to fix Facebook: Social Fixer
- Taking the stress out of WordPress updates
- Where to download free web fonts
- Turn your tablet into a Sky+ remote control
- How to measure the success of a new IT system
- Three years on: the state of the tablet market
- Windows 8: what works and what doesn't
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