Netgear ProSecure UTM5 review

Price when reviewed

Netgear’s new ProSecure UTM5 offers an amazing set of features for the price: SPI firewall, IPS, antivirus, antispam, web filtering, IM and P2P controls, IPsec VPNs and SSL VPNs.

As the name implies, the UTM5 is designed for up to five concurrent users, but this is just a recommendation since the appliance’s hardware is the only limiting factor. The subscription fee included in the price activates every service plus all updates and support for the first year, without user restrictions.

The UTM5 replaces your firewall and functions as a transparent gateway and so can be dropped in place with minimum fuss. We slotted it in between the lab’s LAN and net connection, ran the setup wizard from the web interface and were up and running in minutes.

It may be small but the UTM5 is big on security, with Sophos providing antivirus measures, Mailshell handling antispam and Commtouch for web filtering. You also get Netgear’s stream scanning technology, which uses a multithreaded approach to provide close to real-time scanning of network traffic.

Netgear ProSecure UTM5

Protection starts from the box, as the firewall has two default rules for inbound and outbound traffic; you can add more if you wish. Web filtering for common nuisance sites is active and you can customise this by checking the selection boxes next to each category.

Web scanning covers HTTP, FTP and HTTPS, while Commtouch’s filters offer more than 60 categories to choose from. It performed well: we blocked the games and gambling categories, and gave up trying to visit bingo and poker sites after the first 50 attempts were blocked.

The social networking category kept us away from the likes of Facebook and Twitter, while the IM app controls allowed us to stop users logging in with Windows Messenger and Live. The list is small but common P2P apps can be blocked, and we found our BitTorrent client and Vuze no longer functioned with these activated.

Mailshell is no pushover either, and to test antispam we left the appliance filtering live email on its default sensitivity setting for more than a week. We set Outlook rules to move tagged messages to a separate folder and calculated a 97% success rate with only 15 false positives from 1,000 mails.

The UTM5 supports up to five IPsec VPNs and only two SSL VPNs. You need to declare LAN service objects and choose from local, RADIUS, LDAP or AD authentication.

Reporting is good, with graphs and tables of spam, malware, blocked files and websites. You can also create up to five reports showing system/web/mail details for a specific period.

The UTM5 is a cinch to deploy and offers a remarkable range of security measures. Plus, for small businesses, it’s offered at a price competitors will find impossible to match.



Warranty RTB years 2


Server format Desktop
Server configuration Desktop chassis


Gigabit LAN ports 5

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