Palo Alto’s next-generation firewall classifies all traffic, including encrypted traffic, based on application, application function, user and content. You can create comprehensive, precise security policies, resulting in safe enablement of applications. This lets only authorized users run sanctioned applications, greatly reducing the surface area of cyber attacks across the organization.

 

Palo Alto provides a complete and comprehensive solution to secure your office, in datacenter, and in cloud presence. The security modules alone set this solution so far apart from all of the others. The visibility into the traffic, the integration of rules, and the power behind the physical and virtual appliances are beyond expectations.

 

Palo Alto PA-200 includes the following main features: active/passive and active/active high availability (HA), passive cooling, (no fans), to reduce noise and power consumption, eight Ethernet ports, and dual power adapters for power redundancy. The PA-200 firewall enables you to secure your organization through advanced visibility and control of applications, users, and content.

 

Why Choose Palo Alto Firewall PA-200?

Palo Alto PA200

The PA-200 desktop form brings you the same PAN-OS features that protect your data centers. It includes high availability with active/active and active/passive modes. The PA-200 provides you with interactive visibility and control of applications, users, and content at high throughput speeds.

 

You get consistent power input for increased reliability as well as fanless design for quiet operation, and compact state disks to remove any moving parts.The PA-200 also simplifies the distribution of large numbers of firewalls through the USB port.

 

Palo Alto PA Series firewalls are well-suited to be your main firewall or NAT or VPN or content or URL filtering gateway.It simplifies management and design by having all of these features integrated into one device.It also handles AD and terminal server user identification requirements well, which a lot of other products don’t do at all.It scales up well since you can manage all of your Palo Alto firewalls from a single Panorama server.

 

Organizations are deploying more apps in the cloud, bringing more devices in branch offices and consuming more bandwidth. Traditional connectivity options like Multi-protocol Label Switching (MPLS) can be costly as well as slow to provision, and offer limited bandwidth in many locations.

 

Software-defined wide area networking, or SD-WAN, is what many organizations are looking for. But moving from MPLS to SD-WAN, organizations end up compromising on security, end-to-end performance, and simplicity of operation. With Palo Alto Networks, you get world-class security integrated with an SD-WAN architecture, a high-performance backbone with Prisma Access, and simplicity of consuming secure connectivity as a service.

Pros

Tighter Security Policies

High Availability

Private Network

Centralized Management

GlobalProtect VPN Connection To Help Employees Connect From Home Remotely

Wildfire Feature Provides Up-To-Date Info On Global Attack Mitigations And Stopping techniques

Cons

Blocking the VPN traffic from a DMVPN router

Booting Issues

No Moving Parts

Nested Security Rules Would Be Helpful As Opposed To A Linear approach

Key Features

Consistent Architecture Compact Implementation

The PA-200 desktop form factor brings the same PAN-OS  features that protect your largest data centers including high availability with active/active and active/passive modes to small organizations or distributed branch offices. It provides interactive visibility and granular control of applications, users and content at throughput speeds up to 100 Mbps.

 

Application Classification 

The PA-200 identifies any application, regardless of port, encryption (SSL or SSH) or evasive technique employed, and uses the application not the port as the basis for all your safe enablement policy decisions: allow, deny, schedule, inspect and apply traffic-shaping. It also categorizes unidentified applications for policy control, threat forensics or custom App-ID development.

 

Security Policy Reinforcement

The PA-200 lets you deploy consistent policies to local and remote users running on Windows, macOS, Linux, Android or Apple iOS platforms. You get agentless integration with Microsoft® Active Directory and Terminal Services, LDAP, Novell eDirectory™ and Citrix, and you can integrate your firewall policies easily with 802.1X wireless, proxies, network access control and other sources of user identity.

 

Prevents Known And Unknown Threats

The PA-200 blocks a range of threats, including exploits, malware and spyware, across all ports, regardless of common threat-evasion tactics employed. It limits the unauthorized transfer of files and sensitive data to safely enable non-work-related web surfing. It also identifies unknown malware, analyzes it based on hundreds of malicious behaviors, and then automatically creates and delivers protection.

 

Cloud-Delivered SD-WAN 

Prisma Access and CloudGenix cloud-delivered SD-WAN converge in this product, expediting the intelligent onboarding of remote branches and retail stores, providing a seamless end-to-end solution to our customers. This joint solution addresses network and security transformation requirements, and accelerates the shift to SASE, Secure Access Service Edge.

 

What makes SASE so important and how will it help your business? SASE takes cloud-based firewalls or (FWaaS), cloud access service brokers (CASB), and software defined networks (SD-WAN) and puts them all into one Zero-Trust model. A Zero-trust model is a security model that does not automatically trust a single thing inside or outside its network perimeter.Layers of authentication or verification is required before accessing sensitive or protected data.

 

LDAP Support 

LDAP, or Lightweight Directory Access Protocol, is specified in a series of Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) Standard Track publications called Request for Comments (RFCs), using the description language ASN.1.The latest specification is Version 3, published as RFC 4511, (a road map to the technical specifications is provided by RFC4510).

 

To put it simply, LDAP is a standard protocol for accessing information directory. A common use of LDAP is to provide a central place to store usernames and passwords.This allows many different applications and services to connect to the LDAP server to validate users.So, how does this affect users?When you configure the PA-200 to an LDAP server, you are able to define policy rules based on users and users groups instead of just on IP addresses.

 

VLAN Support 

Virtual LANs (VLANs) allow network administrators to subdivide a physical network into separate logical broadcast domains. On a standard Layer 2 network, all hosts connected to a switch are members of the same broadcast domain; and broadcast domains can only be physically separated across different switches by routers. As networks scale, it becomes necessary to introduce multiple broadcast domains in order to segment traffic for performance, security or logistics reasons. Without the use of VLANs, this would typically require each network segment to have its own separate switch infrastructure, with one or more routers managing communication between each switch segment.

 

Traffic Classification 

PA-200 has the ability to classify traffic and unidentified applications regardless of port, encryption (SSL or SSH) or evasive techniques employed. Multiple classification mechanisms are applied to the traffic stream to determine the identity of the applications traversing your network. This also recognizes threats or malware.

 

Cyber Attack Prevention 

Once the traffic is fully classified, you can protect your network from a range of cyber attacks by allowing specific applications and denying others to reduce the network threat footprint. Coordinated cyber attack protection can then be applied to the allowed traffic, blocking known malware sites, preventing vulnerability, viruses, spyware and malicious DNS queries.

 

Custom or otherwise unknown malware found in the applications on your network is analyzed by executing the files and directly observing their malicious behavior in a virtualized sandbox environment. If new malware is discovered, a signature for the infecting file and related malware traffic is automatically generated and delivered to you.

 

IPv6 Support

IPv6 is the latest version of a communications protocol which just basically identifies devices across the Internet so they can be located.IPv6 identifies devices through end-to-end datagram transmission across multiple IP networks, a process that closely adheres to the design principles developed in the previous version of the protocol, IPv4. However, unlike IPv4, IPv6 offers more addresses, and simplifies processing of packets in routers by placing the responsibility for packet fragmentation on the end points.

 

IPSec Virtual 

IP security (IPsec) Virtual Tunnel interfaces provide a routable interface type for terminating IPsec tunnels and an easy way to define protection between sites to form an overlay network. IPsec VTIs simplify configuration of IPsec for protection of remote links, support multicast, and simplify network management and load balancing.

 

IPv4 Support

Palo Alto PA-200 supports Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4), the fourth version of  Internet Protocol (IP). It is one of the core protocols of standards-based Internet working methods in the Internet and other packet-switched networks.

 

cCSAus, CB Safety

Operated by the IEC System of Conformity Assessment Schemes for Electrotechnical Equipment and Components (IECEE), the IECEE CB Scheme is an international system for mutual acceptance of test reports and certificates dealing with the safety of electrical and electronic components, equipment and products.

Other Features

100 Mbps firewall throughput

50 Mbps Threat Prevention throughput

50 Mbps IPsec VPN throughput

64,000 max sessions

1,000 new sessions per second

25 IPsec VPN tunnels/tunnel interfaces

25 SSL VPN users

10 security zones

250 max number of policies

Specifications

Firewall Throughput: 100Mbps
Maximum New Sessions Per Second: 1000
Maximum Concurrent Sessions: 64000
Integrated I/O: 4x Gigabit Ethernet
Storage Capacity: 16GB SSD
Serial Ports: LAN and USB
Form Factor: Desktop
Power Supply: 40W
Dimensions: 234.95 x 177.8 x 44.45mm
Weight: 1.27kg

How To Use

Think the Palo Alto Firewall PA-200 will benefit your home or business?

Learn more about its features and current price here.

 

But if you’ve already bought the PA-200 firewall, here’s a quick primer to help you get it installed:

 

Install The PA-200 Firewall On A Flat Surface

Attach the rubber pads to the recessed circles on the bottom of the firewall and then place the firewall on a flat stable surface.

 

Connect Power To A PA-200 Firewall

The PA-200 firewall is powered by an external power adapter that converts an AC power source to DC power.

 

How To Connect Power To A PA-200 Firewall?

  • Remove the screw and star washer from the ground point on the back of the firewall.
  • Crimp a 14AWG ground cable to a ring lug, place the ring lug over the screw and star washer, then replace the screw to attach the cable to the firewall. Torque the screw to 25 and then connect the other end of the cable to earth ground.
  • Connect the DC connector from the power adapter into the PWR 1 port on the firewall and tighten the connector nut to secure the cable to the firewall.
  • Plug the AC connector from the power adapter into your AC power source. After power is connected, the firewall powers on as indicated by the green power LED next to the PWR 1 port. The front PWR LED shows green when a functioning power adapter is connected.

About Palo Alto

Palo Alto Networks, Inc. is an American multinational cybersecurity company with headquarters in Santa Clara, California. Its core products are a platform that includes advanced firewalls and cloud-based offerings that extend those firewalls to cover other aspects of security. The company serves over 60,000 organizations in over 150 countries, including 85 of the Fortune 100. It is home to the Unit 42 threat research team and is a regular host of the Ignite Cybersecurity Conference.

 

Israeli-American Nir Zuk established the business in 2005. As the principal developer of the first stateful inspection firewall and the first intrusion prevention system, Nir believed the establishment of Palo Alto Networks would help solve a problem enterprises were facing at that time concerning existing network security solutions : the inability to safely enable employees to use modern applications. In order to solve that, Nir developed a firewall under Palo Alto Networks that identified and provided fine-grained control of various applications.

 

From that moment it was full speed on – in 2018, Palo Alto Networks began opening cybersecurity training offices, an endeavour that was part of the company’s Global Cyber Range Initiative. Within the same year, the company announced the creation of Application Framework, a groundbreaking open cloud-delivered ecosystem that allowed developers to publish security services that could be instantly delivered to the company’s huge network of consumers.

 

A year later, Palo Alto Networks came out with the K2-Series, a 5G-ready next-generation firewall developed for service providers with 5G and IoT requirements in mind. One year after that, in February 2019, Palo Alto Networks released Cortex, an AI-based continuous security platform. The current CEO of Palo Alto Networks is former Google Chief Business Officer and SoftBank President, Indian-American business executive Nikesh Arora.

Final Thoughts

The good thing about the PA-200 is that it is so easy to configure, so easy a super technical security engineer is not necessarily needed to manage the device. From a small corporate office with the PA-200 to a very large office PA-5x series, management is very similar across the whole line of products. Security rules, objects and other building blocks are easy to find. The interface is easily navigable.

 

On the downside, there are some quirks in regards to the interface, but nothing horrible, especially since the v7 update. Frankly, utilizing UserID is beneficial in a corporate environment that employs LDAP/Active Directory in order to create policies according to users or user groups. Also, AppID helps reduce attack surfaces, while the Wildfire and the other antivirus/malware features are automatically updated to provide a very up- to- date protection package.

 

Overall, the Palo Alto PA-200 is one of the best network firewalls in the market, but it is most effective for small organizations, branch offices and retail locations. The traffic classification is one of PA-200’s strong points. Having no moving parts is the only physical weakness of the PA-200.Again,the Palo Alto PA-200 is an excellent network firewall for a small network setup.

 

What can you say about our product review? Did it make you want to give the Palo Alto PA-200 a try? Or would you rather check out other types of firewalls? If you feel more inclined towards the latter, go and check out other hardware firewall product reviews on our site. We are here to support you on your journey, we are more than willing to give you a helping hand until you find a product that will truly fit you.