SMB Firewall: NetGear FVX538 vs. DLink DFL-700

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

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- D-Link DFL-700, ~$320.00 street price
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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!

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IMHO a superior product to everything mentioned above, cheaper than the latter alternatives.


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The FVX538 only filters a maximum of 32 URL keywords. How many URLs can the DFL-700 filter? I downloaded the user manual, but don't see any mention of a limit. We need the ability to filter a much longer list of URLs.

Best, Christopher

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