Remote Access Appliance TZ-210 for Small Office and Home office.
After testing several software applications for remote access and network access and not finding what I needed I switched back to VPNs. I tested several and when I found the TZ-210 I stopped testing.
Becasue typically when I test new software and hardware I stop at the first complete failure to function or major security issue. It normally doesn't take me long to spot issues but this time I'm forced to start writing about the SonicWall TZ-210 before failures and security issues.
Updated: 8/21/2011 Back in 2010 I wrote that I stopped testing the TZ-210 because I ran out of classical VPN failure tests. In short, it didn't fail. Now with more than 12 months of service it has been offline 3 times this year. It was one of the oldest issues known to the technical world. NO POWER. That's it, not a single reset, logs clear out and email on time every time. Defends against non SSL connections like no firewall I have ever tested and still today amazes me how well this unit functions for the sub $700 range.
The article I have in mind is using the Windows 7 VPN native support with port forward to authentication server. The issues I have seen with other networks this year is the increased number of port scans. Configuration is key when you are routing packets. Make sure you do this in silent mode.
I'll place the link here as soon as the article is published. (Need to document settings still.)
End Update: 8/21/2011 On with last years posting.
I've installed the TZ-210 back in July 2010 to supply remote access, remote network, remote printing, accessing internal intranet services and a small business server.
Here's a short review I wrote for Price Grabber. They most likely will edit out this sites domain name but if you search for reviews I'm sure this one appeared close to the top 1,000,000,000.
Reviewed by: XtremeComputer.Com on May 27, 2011
Title: TZ-210 Remote Access VPN, Firewall and your Administrators dream monitor
Strengths: Failsafe to USB connected Wireless Teleco device.Email Alerts monitoring traffic. Configuration console. Easy to add licenses. Works with DC login and Radius loginNo network slow down for remote
Weaknesses: Subscription based updates to the application require a yearly fee.
After working with several different VPNs under the $700 range the TZ-210 SonicWall is the only unit I have not had to reconfigure or replace. If you have purchased Wireless Routers, Remote Access software to control your computer or switches you might want to stop spending the money on 3 different units and services and set yourself up with the TZ-210. Even if you remotely access your home network this unit is going to be on when you need to connect from my experience over the past 10 months. When I installed this unit July 2010 it took one hour on the phone with the Sonicwall tech support to explain how the interface control panel worked. Even after I used the online demo and read the documentation I wanted to make sure everything was set.The SonicWall tech access the unit and reviewed everything and told me what settings he changed. That was a life saver when it comes to new equipment setup. Having someone show you step by step was great. After that 1 hour I never needed to call SonicWall for support. It was easy for an IT person but for others you might need to keep the fee based support number handy. Sonicwalls website has a KB that is not the easiest to use but offers some good configurations. Some items for the VPN setups are in the Server 2K days but still apply and not much on the VPN TZ-210 when I last looked July 2010.
Conclusion: Toss your DLink, Netgear and your Cisco sub $500 VPN equipment. Uninstall your GoTo and TeamV software (remote access) and replace it all with this unit. If you have a static IP great if not the IP DNS software is built into the configuration and works great.
You do not have to believe my review, I am just a tech from XtremeComputer.Com. But if you purchase a TZ-210 and do not feel the same you have to tell me what you are using. I always look for better equipment and if you know of it send a note.
It is worth every penny of the price and I have added it to my network designs.
Let me post a FTC disclaimer now in case I forget later. I will be reselling this item which means this article will be a promotional advertisement. But that's after I start bundling the TZ-210 with my network designs. To date I have purchased all the SonicWall equipment from a reseller in PA. Which means I have not profited from any of my reviews.
This unit will be part of my bundled office solutions package and service contract packages and I do make profit from the sale and from the review I'm posting due to the visitors reading and call
The TZ-210 is so good to service techs in that service is not required and that has allowed me to connect to more computers that needed service I am going to require this unit to be installed at all office locations I have service contacts with.
Let me say it as a tech. When a customer calls having computer issues and you can't connect to their local network then you can't offer remote service. The key is to have a device that you know is working to be able to toubleshoot remote networks. The TZ-210 via a wireless laptop in another town allowed me to tell the office manager she was out of printer toner. Now explain how I did that with a VPN if the computer attempting to print wasn't connected to the network.
Anyway, I'll write up a good technical review in July. For now feel free to purchase this unit and while you waite start reading everything you can find in their knowledge base. (There's allot of information.)
Update: I do believe that Dell Inc. has purchased SonicWall. Not sure if they are going to keep the smaller SMB units but it will be interesting who they use as the outsourced manufacturer. I'll keep my ears open and my eyes shut just incase the TZ200 series goes the way of Cisco and Linksys (or is that Lynski?)
Update: 8-10-2012 The TZ 210 has been replaced with the TZ-215. As soon as I get ahold of one I'll see if they have made some improvements to that make a difference.