IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

Zyxel USG FLEX 100: A Unified Threat Management Vaccine: Page 2 of 4

For networking, VPN, and threat protection capabilities, the FLEX series of UTM gateways may very well be the cure your SMB customers are looking for in a post-COVID world. By Matt Whitlock

Setup and Configuration

Zyxel put a lot of effort into simplifying the setup and operation. It was box to UI in less than 10 minutes, and most of that was setting up a Zyxel account and registering the device to activate the various licenses (more on this later).

Other models in the series sport multiple WAN ports, but it’s important to note that the FLEX 100 can be configured with multiple WAN scenarios thanks to the SFP/OPT ports and support for 3G/4G USB modems. There are multiple algorithms for load balancing, as well as fallback options.

The UI is clean and attractive, adopting a web feel with major sections in tabs on the left and subsections along the top. It’s great to see companies like Zyxel working so hard on the user experience, as generally firewall UIs often look like 90s holdovers with simplistic hierarchies and endless checkboxes.

The most impressive section is the dashboard, which gives a bird’s-eye view of important information like active sessions, logged in users, and Tx/Rx stats (pictured left). The Threat Protection tab highlights important security information on scanned traffic, including an overview on any threats encountered.

Don’t let the small size fool you. The FLEX 100 is a full-featured firewall and threat detection device, and that means a dizzying amount of configuration options. Zyxel has managed to make the configuration area navigable and a little less overwhelming, but with it all crammed in one place it was hard to avoid the sprawling menu tree of options. It works, though isn’t always intuitive, as you’ll often have to click around to find what you’re looking for.

About the Author

Matt Whitlock's picture

Matt Whitlock is online director and technical editor for

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