SonicWall NSA 2650: UTM Overview and Analysis

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Key Takeaways

SonicWall is a good candidate for most SMB uses, especially those that want cost-effective integrated wireless access management, says Gartner, but the vendor has been slow to offer a cloud management portal and virtual appliance. VPN connectivity, TLS inspection, sandboxing, endpoint integration with Kaspersky and McAfee, and centralized management are among SonicWall’s strengths. Cloud management, support, and lack of email security and encryption integration are areas for improvement.

Company Description

SonicWall has existed for almost thirty years. In that time, it has gone public, been acquired by Dell, and late last year became independent again. Today, SonicWall next-generation firewalls (NGFWs) and network security solutions protect more than 1 million networks worldwide at more than 500,000 organizations in more than 150 countries.

Product Description

SonicWall offers a range of UTM solutions. The SonicWall NSA 2650 addresses the growing trends in Web encryption and mobility with high-speed threat prevention. The use of Transport Layer Security/Secure Sockets Layer (TLS/SSL) to encrypt Web traffic and connections has risen to more than 62 percent of overall traffic, according to SonicWall research. The NSA 2650 firewall is said to deliver latency-free performance for simultaneous network streams by using SonicWall’s single-pass, stream-based, Reassembly-Free Deep Packet Inspection engine. Small- to medium-sized IT teams can detect and stop attacks, as the process is automated. It also uses cloud-based multi-engine sandboxing via the SonicWall Capture Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) service to decrypt and inspect encrypted traffic for unknown, zero-day threats over thousands of connections, for both 2.5 G wired and 802.11ac Wave 2 wireless networks.

The NSA 2650 includes hardware enhancements for mid-sized organizations and distributed enterprises. An optional second power supply is available in case of failure for added redundancy. To help with scalability, the NSA 2650 includes two expansion slots. One is pre-populated with a 16 MB storage module. The storage enables support for various features, including logging, reporting, last signature update, backup and restore and more. The second slot provides flexibility to add future feature and physical capability expansion.

Markets and Use Cases

The SonicWall NSA 2650 firewall is aimed at campus and branch networks.


Delivering protection to 300,000+ users, the SonicWall NSA 2650 appliance supports multi-engine sandboxing and full deep-packet inspection of TLS/SSL-encrypted traffic for 2.5G wired and 802.11ac Wave 2 wireless networks.


The SonicWall Capture Labs team researches and develops countermeasures to deploy to firewalls for up-to-date protection. Machine learning algorithms are used to analyze data and classify and block known malware. Unknown files are sent to the Capture Cloud for analysis using a variety of techniques, including hypervisor analysis, emulation, virtualization and the newly introduced Real-Time Deep Memory Inspection. Decisions are rendered in fractions of a second, allowing zero-day malware to be blocked in near real-time.


On premises firewall appliances




Pricing for firewalls largely depends on the size of network, number of security subscription services purchased, etc. Entry-level appliances start at around $500. The SonicWall NSA 2650 costs $2,495. Organizations may purchase the solution as either a stand-alone firewall or as a TotalSecure bundle that adds security and support.

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