Product Reviews

FutureSoft DCS Firewall Plus 3.0

FutureSoft’s DCS Firewall Plus 3.0 touts itself as a “Third Generation Stateful Multi-Layer Inspection (SMLI) Technology.” Besides SMLI, the feature-rich DCS Firewall Plus package offers an IPSEC-compliant VPN, Application Proxy, IPX support, NAT, and ActiveX/Java filtering.

On the downside, my initial DCS Firewall Plus installation failed with warnings of registry inconsistencies. A second installation seemed to solve the immediate problem, but then I was plagued by some glitches with the administrator utility. In addition, administrator alerting proved thin in that it allowed for email alerts only.

In its favor, however, DCS Firewall Plus is a comprehensive firewall solution incorporating just about every feature on the block. The user interface is fairly intuitive for a product offering so many options. In addition, FutureSoft has, I’m thankful to report, separated DCS Firewall Plus’ firewall management utility from the firewall engine to help both local and remote administrators access the firewall. While the DCS Firewall Plus engine is NT-only, the management utility executes on just about any operating system that Microsoft still sells.

FutureSoft’s DCS Firewall Plus supports heavy-duty advanced IP options, but you need an administrator qualified to handle these and the many other options the package offers.

Despite a few quirks, DCS Firewall Plus is a solid contender loaded with an impressive arsenal of features. The package is best suited for medium-sized companies that require advanced firewall functionality and have the personnel qualified to navigate the huge number of options this product offers.

About the Author

Chip Andrews, MCSE+I, MCDBA is a software security architect at (Clarus Corp.). Chip maintains the (sqlsecurity.com) Web site and speaks at security conferences on SQL Server security issues.

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