Network access control in a nutshell

Twelve leading NAC products put to the test

Vendor: Alcatel-Lucent

Vendor: Avenda Systems

Product: eTIPS 5005

Pros: Simplicity, easy-to-use, well-balanced NAC features

Cons: Relies on 802.1X authentication

Vendor: Bradford Networks

Product: Network Sentry

Pros: Excellent, mature NAC tool for complex, multivendor environments

Cons: Might be too complex and difficult to install for a typical enterprise

Vendor: Enterasys

Product: NAC 3.2

Pros: Ease of use, well thought out, strong feature set

Cons: Minor management flaws

Recommended for: Enterasys and non-Enterasys networks considering 802.1X-based NAC.

Product: NAC Appliance

Pros: Strong enforcement in-line

Cons: Limited tools for fine-grained access control, weaker enforcement at network edge

Recommended for: Wireless and VPN environments

Pros: Strong endpoint security checking, complete NAC solution

Cons: Lack of integration between Alcatel-Lucent and InfoExpress products; confusing array of configuration and management options.

Recommended for: Companies interested in comprehensive endpoint NAC and fine-grained access control

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