Likelihood to Recommend
Smoothwall SWG is very suitable in companies where there is a lot of staff and power to distribute the bandwidth by areas and give priority to the staff that requires better service. It's also well suited for business that require protection of their data and services as it is constantly monitoring the network and does not let them enter dangerous sites.
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In a large environment, this is the perfect system. If you do not have constant changes, it easily becomes a system you drop in place and rarely have to think about. Our units have been rock solid and have never experienced any unexpected downtime, and upgrades are just a couple button clicks to deploy, or roll back. For small offices, with minimal traffic this may be using a sledgehammer to put in a push pin. It will work great, but the devices is likely over engineered for small offices (<50 people). That being said, price-wise it's still a great solution when compared to competing products and being from Symantec, you know it's going to be around and support for the long term.
Read full review Pros Real-time IP filtering is very favorable. That helps limit and restrict prohibited content. Elaboration of personalized reports of the activities or pages that users visit to make new blocking rules to the pages most visited by users that may damage the functioning of the servers. Read full review Almost real time protection from all ongoing threats with their DLA inspection Great visibility into web filtering policies using the dashboards and reports No patching or downloads needed, immediate protection is provided as clients are always cloud connected Read full review Cons It is necessary for them to have more material or a community that can help expand knowledge about this software so users can use 100% of their tools. Read full review The admin interface would be better off not using Java Setting up SSL properly can be a bit challenging Could really use a better source for training, like a library of how-to videos Read full review Usability
I really like the system, it's easy to use and mostly intuitive. I would have gone 10/10, but the management interface uses Java, and that seems to always make things a bit harder to start. Once everything is loaded and running, it's great - but it does require me to maintain a compatible version of Java on the machine I use to access the system, I'd be much happier with some kind of HTML5 interface. I also deducted 1 point for the functionality of the refer filter - it works as expected, but if the site isn't coded with the correct refer header, like Microsoft's site - then some page elements get stripped and pages only render about 98% correctly. I know that's not in Symantec's list of responsibilities, but having a filter that doesn't fully understand CDNs is worth the 1 point ding.
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I've had exactly 1 problem in 8 years, I contacted support via the customer portal, less than an hour later I found myself in a screen share with a support tech who not only fixed my configuration error, but also took the time to ask about my usage and offered some great tips on changes. It was just one support incident, but I was impressed by the speed of response to a non-critical issue as well as the depth of product knowledge the support engineer had.
Read full review Alternatives Considered
Smoothwall SWG has many tools similar to
but in my opinion I like the graphical environment of smoothwall swg more. It is more didactic and simple to use for new users. Also
lacks the tools for monitoring in real time and the elaboration of reports that helps to perform statistics on sites visited.
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Symantec WebFilter / Intelligence Services solution was a simple 1U appliance that does everything we need, compared to the
solution which required a virtual appliance, a database server, a log server, and a management server - the licensing costs alone make the Symantec WebFilter / Intelligence Services solution a clear winner. The
solution is really good, it just requires such a big footprint without delivering much beyond what the Symantec WebFilter / Intelligence Services solution does with a single unit.