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With various kinds of network attacks happening every day, network security becomes a matter of concern. Attacks can be of various degrees and hence one has to remain alert to avoid any mishap.

firewall is that preventive measure which protects the network from any type of Virus, Ransomware, Trojan, etc. Thereby, protecting the underlying infrastructure and providing a secure network for computers and users to perform their functions within a safe environment.

Features of  Next-Generation Network Security

Email Security

Phishing attack is the most common type of attack when it comes to email. Email security tools can help in blocking those spam messages and protect your data.

Anti-Malware

Virus, Trojan and different kinds of malware attacks happen in the system. They can slow down or crash the system for the day.  Anti-malware can be used to find out that hidden malware in the system and remove it.

Firewall

The most important method of securing the network is Firewall. They follow the rules which you define for allowing or denying the traffic at the border of your device and the internet. They allow or deny the data packets to pass from the public network to the private network. Also, there are different types of firewalls like Packet filtering, proxy firewall, and next-generation firewall.

Recently, Untangle is a name which pops up whenever we discuss network security. Untangle has launched a Next Generation (NG) Firewall. It was launched with an aim to protect and help small and medium companies to protect their networks. A next-generation firewall uses a multi-layered approach to integrate the capabilities of a firewall with an intrusion prevention system and application control.

Next-Generation Firewall

Managing a network and protecting all the devices is an uphill task. Untangle NG Firewall helps to simplify network security with the help of a software platform designed to fit the needs of your organization.NG Firewall is designed mainly for small/medium business organizations having limited IT resources and small budgets. It provides a responsive and browser-based interface to gain insights on the network traffic. Untangle NG Firewall helps us in controlling everything from content filtering to web caching, remote access to policy enforcement, VPN connectivity to application-based shaping for bandwidth optimization, etc.

Untangle has raised the bar of a simple firewall to a Threat Management System. Being open-source software, it gives tremendous flexibility to users in terms of network coverage and budget control. Some of the main features of the Untangle NG Firewall are:

Web Filter

Web Filters help the system administrator to secure web and content across the network. Using Web Filters, you can create policies to block social media, shopping sites, gambling or any inappropriate content from being accessed. You can easily configure the rules to allow flag or alert any content which is inappropriate. You can easily control and monitor searches across popular search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, Ask and Bing. You can also enable safe search on YouTube in schools, libraries, and organizations.

Allowing access to inappropriate content can reduce your productivity and can land you in legal trouble. So, it is a better option to use Web Filter to ensure a secure network so that no one can abuse the network policies.

WAN Failover

Internet services are highly unstable. Unexpected downtime may cause huge losses to the business. That’s why it is recommended to use WAN Failover and multiple ISPs (Internet Service Provider). WAN Failover is used to reduce your downtime and maximize your uptime by rerouting the network traffic to remaining connections, whenever one network slows down or fails.

Web Cache

Web Cache is used to increase the browsing performance by caching the static elements and serving them locally. This result in reduces bandwidth and faster page loading. Web Cache boosts the browser responsiveness, resulting in higher user satisfaction.

Bandwidth Control

Quality of service gets affected with more traffic. Bandwidth Control helps you to manage the priority of important websites and unnecessary traffic before it affects the user experience. Recreational apps and websites (gaming, file sharing, and video) can suck up the available bandwidth and make your network slow. Bandwidth Control helps you to track and monitor bandwidth usage. It helps in finding out the problematic apps, websites, and users. Bandwidth control helps the user to take care of bandwidth allocation.

Virus Blocker

Don’t wait until your system gets destroyed by malware. Block them at the gateway instead. Modern viruses and malware attacks appliances, mobile phones, laptops, and servers. To defend the system from all these, a proper defense system is required. Virus Blocker is used for ensuring optimum security with real-time updates and by providing security against zero-day threats, Trojan horses, malware, infections, botnets, and worms.

Spam Blocker

Around 80% of the emails which are received are either spam, phishing or email fraud. Spam Blocker is used to block the spam, phishing and email fraud by standing in between the internet and your mail server. Spammers try various tactics to evade spam blocker. Spam blocker updates itself in real-time so that you can get full protection against spammers.

SSL Inspector

Nowadays, a lot of internet traffic is being encrypted using HTTPS, which creates trouble for firewalls. It hinders the process of the firewall to analyze traffic, identify threats and handle violations.

The amount of encrypted Internet traffic has exploded after the rise of applications like Facebook and Netflix. SSL Inspector solves this problem by putting the NG Firewall in the middle of encrypted traffic, allowing it to decrypt and analyze the data that passes through it.

SSL Inspector creates a special certificate on each client. This certificate is directly connected to the gateway which is able to decrypt HTTPS and SMTP traffic, process it and then re-encrypt it without exposing the decrypted traffic to the network.

Branding Manager

Branding Manager is used to project your brand in such a way that would impress your customers, users, and visitors. Although there are some Untangle branding such as copyright, license, etc. there is still a lot to customize.

Branding Manager is used to personalize user-interacting screens, adding your logo, contact information, and company name. Branding Manager helps you to edit logo and contact information on login and block pages, where Untangle logo and contact information is shown by default. The customizable changes get applied to user-facing pages, reports, login pages, and administrative interface.

WAN Balancer

WAN Balancer helps you to maximize your cumulative network performance and throughput by distributing the traffic based on certain rules. WAN Balancer works if you have two or more internet connections. For example, if you have a 50Mbps cable connection and a 15Mbps DSL then WAN Balancer enables you to send 10% of your traffic over DSL and 90% over cable, acting as a “single virtual” 75Mbps connection. It maximizes your aggregate throughput.

WAN Balancer enables you to combine multiple internet connections into a cost-effective solution as compared to costly high bandwidth connections.

IPsec VPN

IPsec VPN is used to protect users from threats when they access the internet from an unknown source. Everyone wants to remain online all the time. So, they connect to the public Wi-Fi when their internet is not working, without thinking of the consequences. By connecting to the public network without security is too risky.

Accessing the internet from a public network can expose you to hackers, viruses and many other threats. IPsec VPN solves this problem by routing the network through Untangle, where policies and protections are provided via a secure encrypted tunnel between your network and the user.

IPsec VPN is also used to securely extend your network to remote users, or combine branch offices into a single virtual network. If you have one or more branch offices, then it creates an encrypted mesh between them, enabling them to work as a single virtual network. Also, IPsec interoperates with other firewalls.

Intrusion Prevention

Intrusion Prevention prevents any attacks before they affect the system. It blocks hacking attempts on internal servers and desktops. Preconfigured IDS and signature-based IPS makes it easier for administrators to provide 24/7 protection from hackers.

Untangle also ensures that signatures are always updated to tackle false positives and provide flexible control. It has over 34,000 signature detections which will be useful to monitor and block most suspicious requests. 

Application Control

You cannot just relax after blocking the websites by URL. There are a lot of other things to be taken care of. You need to control traffic at the application level too. Application Control gives the user access to cloud-based apps(like CRM, ERP) by keeping the inappropriate apps off the network.

Application Control identifies various applications such as Social Networking, video streaming, file sharing, etc by performing deep packet and flow research. If you want to stop any application, you just have to click “block” and Application Control will take care of the rest.

Phish Blocker

Even after blocking phishing emails, there is always a possibility that some of them might sneak in. Hackers and identity thieves are framing emails in such a way that it is impossible to differentiate from the real one. Untangle Phish Blocker ensures that signatures are always up to date and protects users from email phishing and fraudulent pharming websites.

Ad Blocker

Ads are annoying when you are working or even reading your favorite blog. Using  Untangle’s Ad Blocker you can eliminate advertisements and reduce the load time. Ad Blocker prevents virus and scam links through display ads and lets you easily block ads at the gateway without installing browser plugins.

Open VPN

Open VPN enables you to create a secure SSL based VPN(Virtual Private Network) that supports site to site and client to client tunnels. This allows you to connect to local resources with the added security of encryption. Open VPN application can run as a server for the remote client which will connect other remote Untangle servers as a client.

It offers a secure tunnel to transfer data on the internet by creating its own private network.

Reports

Untangle Reports is one of the best and latest features of Untangle. This feature differentiates and ranks Untangle higher as compared to other firewalls. You can add customize reports. How cool is that?

Reports provide users statistical data and activity on their network. It provides reports on Web Usage, Applications, Web Filters and much more. You can send customizable reports via email or it can be stored in Google Drive for the long term.

If there is no support for assisting, then all these features are of no use. The most important service which Untangle offers is Live Support.

Live Support is available for Untangle if any problem persists. They are available on mail and phone. You can contact them whenever you want. Configuration Backup is included with Live Support as a bonus. This means, even if you lose your NG Firewall Configuration because of some hardware or software problem, you can still recover from the worst situations.

These are some of the features of the Untangle NG Firewall. The latest version of Untangle NG Firewall is 14.2. It provides more visibility and control for the network and lower costs for SD-WAN. Stay tuned for latest updates on Untangle and its services.

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