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Acer America
Acer America Corp. is a computer manufacturer of business and consumer PCs, notebooks, ultrabooks, projectors, servers, and storage products.

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333 West San Carlos Street
San Jose, California 95110
United States

WWW: acer.com

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News & Articles

June 12, 2019 |

Untangle Ships New Firewall Software and Appliances

Version 14.2 of the vendor’s NG Firewall platform adds functionality for monitoring search terms and blocking objectionable YouTube content. The new appliances offer upgraded processors, faster storage, and speedier networking capabilities.

Untangle Inc. has rolled out an upgraded edition of its NG Firewall software and a refreshed line of appliances for running that platform featuring upgraded processors, faster storage, and speedier networking capabilities.

Like the earlier devices they replace, Untangle’s new zSeries appliances are designed to offer NG Firewall users a turnkey deployment option, according to Heather Paunet, the vendor’s vice president of product management.

“All they have to do is receive the box [and] turn it on,” she says. “It will just work from our cloud-based management tool at that point.”

The zSeries family, which Untangle officially launched last week, is the vendor’s first significant appliance update in years. “Our hardware has been great, but we just decided to sit down and take the opportunity to really analyze it, look at what the market wants with hardware today, and make some significant changes,” Paunet says.

The resulting devices, she continues, offer more of what users care about than their predecessors yet cost less. Untangle has reduced the number of appliances it offers from 11 to five as well to make selecting appliances simpler.

“We are significantly increasing performance, specs, options, simplifying the product line, and doing all that at a lower price,” Paunet says.

The entry-level z4 and z4w appliances are designed for use in small offices with up to 100 devices, Paunet says. Both units feature quad-core Intel Celeron processors, 4 GB of memory, a 32 GB mSATA SSD, and four network ports, twice as many as the products they replace. The z4w offers wireless connectivity as well. Pricing begins at $329 for that device and at $299 for the z4. “We have the lowest entry point on the market for a firewall at the moment,” Paunet says.

Intended for use in midsize offices and data centers, the new z6 and z12 start at $1,199 and $1,999, respectively. The former product supports around 300 devices, Paunet says, and is equipped with a dual-core Intel Core i3 CPU, 8 GB of RAM, a 512 GB solid-state NVMe storage drive, and six ports.

The z12, comes with the same 512 GB NVMe drive, but a quad-core Intel Xeon processor and 16 GB of memory, plus eight GbE ports and four SFP ports. It also offers fiber connectivity. “You could put 1,500 devices very comfortably on it,” Paunet says.

The top-of-the-line z20 appliance is optimized for campus deployments. Bearing a six-core Intel Xeon processor and 32 GB of RAM, it offers 17 GbE ports on top of the four SFP ports supported by the z12. Like that smaller product, the z20 has fiber connectivity and a 512 GB NVMe drive. It lists for $3,499 and up.

Untangle plans to retire the earlier appliances that the zSeries replaces. “We have a little bit of inventory left over that we’re running down, but for the most part as of today it’s all about the new series,” Paunet says. Owners of older appliances will still receive support, however. “We will honor the warranties that they have today,” Paunet notes.

All five zSeries SKUs come pre-loaded with version 14.2 of NG Firewall, which entered general availability today. Among the enhancements in that system are updated editions of its built-in web filtering and monitoring software that Untangle says are significantly more effective at detecting malware and malicious web pages. The new release also features native integration with Microsoft Azure Active Directory.

“A lot of businesses have already setup whole user databases within Azure, and we can now pull that in our NG Firewall so that we synchronize with it,” Paunet says.

Additional new functionality in version 14.2 lets users monitor searches in Google, YouTube, Yahoo, Bing, and Ask as they happen. “We already had the ability to flag web pages and flag blocked web pages based on the content on those web pages,” Paunet notes. Now the system can also act on search terms, and issue alerts if desired as well. That could be useful in a K-12 environment that wants to know immediately when students search for help on dealing with a bully, for example.

“We can catch that quickly so the administrator will know about it, and teachers can be informed that there’s a student that may be having some trouble,” Paunet says. A similar new feature lets organizations automatically keep children and other end users away from objectionable content on YouTube.

Untangle is currently rolling out NG Firewall 14.2 to existing users, who will receive it at no additional cost.

Untangle introduced a “Micro Firewall” and SD-WAN router for use in branch offices and IoT-related edge computing deployments in March.


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