Secure Remote Access: Sonicwall SRA 4200 Review

The Sonicwall Secure Remote Access 4200 that was tested for this review has a 1.8 GHz CPU along with 2 GB of memory and 4 network interfaces.  It is licensed for 25 users with additional licensing available for up to 500 users.  The Sonicwall Secure Remote Access 4200 is geared towards mid-sized businesses whereas a smaller version, the Sonicwall SRA 1200, is ideal for small businesses.

The Sonicwall SRA 4200 is very similar to the SRA 1200 except that the hardware is more robust and able to handle larger network traffic that is usually present in mid-sized company networks.  The Sonicwall SRA 4200 network interfaces are easy to configure and edit using the management interface, just like the SRA 1200.  Along with these capabilities, the management interface provides the user with statistics on both inbound and outbound packets.

To first configure and install the Sonicwall SRA 4200, the user must connect to the SRA 4200′s management interface.  This is done through a web browser and the use of a computer with Windows, Mac, or Linux installed.  Since most products support only one or two operating systems, this is a very convenient feature. In order to connect to the management interface of the unit, the user must set the network card of the computer to a static IP as stated in the instructions that come with the unit.  Details of connecting, configuring, and installing the uni are pretty straightforward in the unit’s manual.

The Sonicwall SRA 4200 default settings uses HTTPS and a self-signed certificate. The user is able to use the management interface to add additional certificates as well as certificates issued by a CA.  The user will appreciate that the Sonicwall SRA 4200 has default security settings that make the unit secure right out of the box without having to enable or configure them.  Note that all of the settings can be changed and made more secure by the user, but the default settings are secure enough. One item that would improve the overall security of the unit is to be able to change the name of the default admin account.  This would add up another layer of security.

The Sonicwall SRA 4200 has an automatic log-off feature when the unit is inactive. This is a good security feature but it could also be considered as a hassle for those that have to perform administrative duties on the unit.

Optional licenses for the Sonicwall Secure Remote Access 4200 include Virtual Assist, Viewpoint, Web Application Firewall and Spike licensing.  Each one of these features is explained in the documentation.  Sonicwall states that Viewpoint is “a software solution that creates web-based reports for the remote access unit,”   but it also reports and displays remote access usage by user, IP address, service, bandwidth, etc.  It appears that Viewpoint would be an essential tool for those who manage the device as well as those trying to secure their business’ network.

The Sonicwall SRA 4200 has a number of diagnostic tools built into the management interface that will help the network administrator. These include bandwidth testing, DNS lookup, Ping, Traceroute, and SNMP query.  Additional features of the unit include the ability to add domains, add policies, configure how log events are saved and reported, and configure one-time passwords. Other features are too numerous to mention but can be found and compared to other possible solutions on the .