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Review: Aventail's EX-1500SSL VPN Appliances

When I last tested Aventail's EX-1500 SSL VPN device, I found it lacked several features, including proper cache cleaning and on-demand host scanning. And the appliance's Java port redirect and management interface were difficult to work with (see that review).

To Aventail's credit, the new EX-1500 has an updated user portal, ASAP Workplace 7.1, that improves cache cleaning. It also has useful new management functions and logging facilities, and works with Zone Labs' Integrity Clientless Security scanner and WholeSecurity's Confidence Online host scanner.

I tested the EX-1500 in our Real-World Labs at Syracuse University, and found the improvements to ASAP bring the product up to speed with its competitors and make it an easy-to-use VPN device, with well-thought-out functionality. However, I also found some problems.

For instance, Aventail lacks support for NTLM (Microsoft LAN Manager/NT) authentication, which the company says it will add in the next release. I also had trouble connecting to URLs dynamically generated by JavaScript, and had to use a workaround to access our Lancope StealthWatch and Q1 Labs QRadar anomaly-detection devices until Aventail could provide a fix.

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