SMB Firewall: NetGear FVX538 vs. DLink DFL-700

From: Computrav (tsolin_at_gmail.com)
Date: 09/27/05


Date: 27 Sep 2005 11:40:58 -0700

One of my clients is in the market for a straight-forward hardware
firewall for their corporate office. Their office consists of about 5
total employees. They run their own mail & DNS server and have a few
other servers on their LAN, along with various client PCs.

The main requirements for the firewall device I want include:
   - VPN support w/std encryption protocols
   - DMZ port(s)
   - DHCP Server
   - IDS features w/e-mail notification (even if basic)
   - Relatively easy to administer (web interface, only moderate
networking knowledge req'd)

I don't want to spend an unreasonable amount of money on the device
(i.e., a nice Cisco PIX is out of the question). I've been reviewing
products aimed at the SMB market and am currently leaning towards one
of the following:
    - Netgear FVX538, ~$340.00 street price
      http://kbserver.netgear.com/products/FVX538.asp

    - D-Link DFL-700, ~$320.00 street price
      http://www.dlink.com/products/?sec=0&pid=327

They both are very cost-effective and seem to have the features that
would work well for their office. As mentioned above, I want one that
has DMZ support, which rules out a lot of models in the SMB space
(their mail & DNS server will end up in the DMZ). My experience with
both brands have been good, although I know the general tone of Netgear
is 'so-so'. The above NetGear device does have a great feature set
though, but I'm ultimately most concerned about the overall
effectiveness of the unit for it's intended job (as a firewall).

I also looked at these and am somewhat ruling them out for the reasons
stated:
    - SonicWall Pro 230 -- mainly cost reasons, price is ~$1,700
    - WatchGuard Firebox X500 -- mainly cost reasons, starts at around
$1,800 and some of the features we want are add-ons which would drive
the price up more

Can anyone provide some comments on the above or would anyone care to
suggest some other cost-effective alternatives to these two models?
Both of these models are pretty new so the reviews online are hard to
come by (I've found 1 or 2, but that's about it).
 
Thanks!