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I'm a software developer as me day job but have landed a contract position to spec out and install the computer equipment for a small office.

Ease of use (easy installation, low maintenance and good support) is priority number one, it supersedes price by a wide margin. The installation we had in mind would support up to ten workstations.

I was originally going to go with Netgear hardware for firewall NETGEAR UTM25-100NAS and switch NETGEAR GS724T, but have been told Sonicwall firewalls are easier to configure, maintain and have a better track record.

If ease of use was priority number one, what hardware would you purchase for a firewall and a switch duties?


I'm now looking at the Cisco Catalyst 500 line for switches. Seems straight forward and comes highly recommended. Still not certain which version Sonicwall to get, perhaps I should forego the extra purchase of a switch and get the NSA 2400MX?

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closed as off topic by Sam Jan 18 '12 at 15:01

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When you say ease of use, do you mean for you or the end users for functionality? – tegbains Jun 18 '10 at 5:59
In a way, yes. Basically what I need is a recommendation for a firewall and a switch which are reliable and don't have a million arcane configuration options. – Jake McGraw Jun 18 '10 at 12:04
IMO, if you are looking for PnP, you aren't really going to get that with any Cisco products. – DanBig Jun 18 '10 at 12:51

I've only used a SonicWall firewall/router and its OK but I too am a programmer with some IT responsibility. Personally, I think the interface has a little too much hand-holding when I don't want it to, but not enough help or documentation in other areas.

I also think it would depend on the extent of the setup. Will they need to host files on the internet, set up a DMZ, or will you just be setting up the internet once and let it run.

For the switch, for a small office, I think it'd be simpler to stick to an unmananged switch like the following (just an example).

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Their setup will host a few intranet applications, file sharing, backups only. I plan on using OpenVPN over a VPN managed by the firewall as I have more experience with OpenVPN. – Jake McGraw Jun 18 '10 at 1:02

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