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LAN & WAN Reviews

Conclusion

The TZ190 / 190W's capabilties extend far beyond what you find in typical consumer routers, and even beyond other manufacturers' "Pro" product lines. But with great capability comes greater cost—and not just for the hardware.

List pricing for the TZ 190 is $895 and $1320 for the TZ 190W, although street pricing can be found as low as $630. Annual support costs $155/yr for 8–5 business hour support, $205/yr for 24x7 support or you have the option of just software and firmware updates at $110/yr. Note that an annual support contract is necessary as firmware updates are available only for 90 days after purchase (and after required product registration).

If you want to take advantage of the UTM services, a full Gateway Anti-Virus, Anti-Spyware, Intrusion Prevention, Content Filtering, and 24x7 support solution will cost an additional $395/yr, or $295/yr without the Content Filtering Services. Longer-term subscriptions, which decrease the annual costs, are an option.

Client-based services, such as the desktop Anti-Virus software or the VPN software are also subscription based and further increase the cost. A 5-user license for Client Anti-Virus software is $199/yr and a 10-user license for the Global VPN client is $345. When you're adding this all up, keep in mind that the above pricing does not include your contract with your wireless provider for the WWAN service.

If you're looking for simple WWAN functionality, there are lower-priced devices, such as the D-Link DIR-450 ($178.99 at newegg.com) or a Linksys/Sprint offering, the Linksys WRT54G3G-ST router with a Sprint WWAN card ($249.99 at CDW.com). Neither of these devices, however, offers the UTM features or Dual WAN capabilities of the SonicWALL. Zyxel has a UTM product, the Zywall 5 UTM ($604.99 at Buy.com) with integrated security features, but lacking WWAN, WLAN, and Dual WAN functionality. Clearly, the SonicWALL TZ 190/TZ 190W appliance is in a different class than these offerings from D-Link, Linksys, and Zyxel. With WWAN, WLAN, Dual WAN capability, and advanced UTM services, a fairer comparison of the SonicWALL may be with devices from Cisco, WatchGuard, Fortinet, etc.

Like most networking enthusiasts, I can usually fire up a consumer/”prosumer” device with little or no assistance from the manual. However, to get the most from the TZ 190, plan to spend some time with the manual. The SonicWALL OS is GUI driven and the wizards do get you running quickly. Nevertheless, with the 190’s extensive details and options, I found it beneficial and necessary to go through the SonicOS 3.8 Enhanced Administrator’s Guide.

Traditional business network design has been more modular, with key functions distributed over multiple devices. Lately, however, the pendulum (perhaps pushed a bit by Cisco and its ASA product line) has been swinging toward the integrated approach that has been used since virtually the beginning for consumer networking. Unified Threat Management is popular in the small business space, and SonicWALL’s TZ 190/W brings a lot to the party, even throwing in WWAN capability to sweeten the deal. Overall, I am amazed at how much this single networking device can do. The TZ 190W truly is the Swiss Army Knife of small business networking!

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