Pros: This appliance is incredibly powerful and customizable. I have five of these installed with a vpn in a star configuration. The vpn has never failed and I'm approaching one year of up-time across all devices.
Cons: The learning curve is very high, even if you have a good networking background. The good news is that there are no command lines to fiddle with. The gui is well organized. There is however a hidden, advanced control panel that controls some very obscure options. I've only had to use it once.
Summary: Support is sometimes Asia based. While they know their products their thick accents can be barriers to having a conversation and repeating oneself is very annoying. 2 Stars taken off for such support at certain times of the day. Charge 220.00 a year for support *8x5,24/7) and get US based all the time.
Pros: Great firewall for the 300-800 dollar range. Love the new load balancing and failover response. On the tz200 it would take some 5 mintues for clients to see the switch. Now it's within 1 min. Even Windows XP machines see the change within one min (for failover).
Cons: Some people like McFarley (a reviewer here) don't understand how this works. Yes this takes knowledge to get working in a "complicated" environment. However it does have Wizards. If you can't figure a wizard out then you are not a network administrator and not even in the least should you be touching this device. Self given titles like this ruin the credibility of our IT industry workers.
Pros: I have been working with Sonicwall firewalls for years and I love them. You get all the functionality of Cisco products without the "attend $20,000 worth of classes to do it" problem. Tech support is awesome as well. Yes, for complicated things like forward ports, multiple WAN connections, you'll need help, but I have yet to post something to the support group and not get an answer within 12 hours.
Cons: Make sure you buy it for the size you really need... don't skimp! I tried to use a TZ 210 once (before I knew better) to run a 100+ room hotel... it would do it, but not with intrusion prevention and antivirus scanning turned on...
Summary: - The system can increase in price as you license the above capabilities, but you are getting a level of protection, control and information that simply is not available from off the shelf consumer devices that cost in the $100 or less range.
Pros: - nearly total protection. Make sure you subscribe to intrusion prevention, content filer and anti-virus services at firewall. It's not cheap. If you're not familiar with true firewalls, TCP/IP and ports, but are more familiar with firewall/routers from consumer stores, you'll need to hire an expert to manage this unit. If you want detailed reporting on websites visited you need to install software on a server to see that. This unit gives you powerful protection from ...
Pros: I have nothing good to say about this thing... maybe it looks kinda cool? Like some kind of Rebel scanning droid on Hoth?
Cons: Complicated and difficult to understand. This UI is NOT easy to configure at all. If you are an IT guy, you will love it as it will continue to make you feel smarter than everyone else and boost your ego. For us network administrators that just want something that is somewhat easy to setup and turn services on or off, this thing is a nightmare.
Summary: I wish this device had sonicwall's new geosecurity feature where you can block entire country IP blocks. It wasn't clear to me from their website that this model didnt have it. If you want that, you have to move up to the tz 215 (which sucks, they need to bring that feature to the 205).
Pros: Purchased this to get a step up in security for our small business office (10 users) for a reasonable price. The hardware is handling the traffic of our office without any noticeable drop off in speed and we have full stateful packet inspection turned on including all the security features.
Cons: The price you pay is only for the basics. Expect to pay about $330/yr more if you want all the services they offer with this unit. I didn't deduct an egg for this because this was pretty obvious to me when I bought the router and paying annually for dynamic security services ensures that there are people at those places maintaining it at a high level.