Product recommendation request

Hi all, I’m new here, so sorry if this isn’t the right group in which to post this question. Please move if it is not, or let me know where to post it.

I, like many others here, am also new(-ish) to networking. I’ve been in IT for 20 years, so I get networks. I just haven’t built one. Most of my career was spent as a hardware tech. In my new job, I am in charge of hardware, software, networking and security. It’s a big step up and I’m terrified. Anyway, I hope my questions aren’t too dumb and that you might be able to give me a little push in the right direction.

I have two questions:

  1. What would be a good alternative to Cisco ASA 5505 and Netgear GS308E for a small company? Both were end-of-life years ago and I need to purchase something newer. We have five remote users, each with a Cisco ASA 5505 and a VPN tunnel back to the office. The office, with three users, also has an ASA 5505, along with a bunch of Netgear GS308E switches. I was going to go with an ASA 5506 but, as you will see in question 2, this may not be feasible, since they are made in China. Same issue with Netgear. Whichever I get, they will be working in conjunction with ESXi and Active Directory and must support VLANs. I know some of that doesn’t matter, I’m just trying to give you a sense of our network. Also, I’m trying to stay under $1000 per device, if possible. If not, that’s fine too.

  2. Which routers, firewalls and/or switches are made in the USA? My boss wants me to buy US products and I’m not finding many made here. I see many are headquartered here, but I’m not finding products made here.

Thank you!

PS - Tom, your videos on YouTube are invaluable! Thank you!

I don’t really have any recommendations for you, but I think you will struggle to find something that is not made in China. After all, even Apple make a large percentage of their items in China. Whether we like it or not, and political issues aside, I personally don’t think it’s a good idea to have any one country make everything, that’s the way it is. Even if you can find someone making it outside of China there is a good chance that a large number of the components inside the device are made in China.

Personally our company uses SonicWall products. For the price point they seem very good. Although I still have a dislike of them for some reason, but that might be because they took 9 months to fix one issue.

The only other company that comes to mind is Check Point. I saw a demo of some of their products and I’m sure they were from Israel and they may well make the products in the US, worth asking, although they weren’t super cheap from what I remember.

Thanks. I figured that would be the case. I agree, it’s better to have a distributed supply chain.

Probably difficult to find kit made outside of china, even if you do the mark-up will be eye-watering.

Bought some SFP modules from these people like the look of their switches but just slightly out of my budget.

While I use Netgear switches, I really hate that they can’t be bothered to update their GUI after a decade.

Thanks for the feedback. I’m with you on the Netgear interface.

The only line not made in China is Mikrotik a Latvian manufacturer. Good reliable switches and inexpensive. Pf-Sense for firewall and router solid products supports Open VPN and is extensible with plugins such a pfBlocker. Two versions FOSS and Subscription. Untangle is another firewall/router worth considering that Tom speaks well of. Unifi switches and ACs would no doubt be Tom’s recommendation eaiser to set up but are more expensive than Mikrotic.

Without nore specifics it is not possible to make a detailed recommend. Check Tom’s video catalog for others.

https://www.pfsense.org/
What product you choose it will always be a balance between cost, features, and cost in terms of time to adninister all the devices.

Awesome. Thanks! I’m kind of leaning towards pfsense and unifi. I’ll watch more of his videos.

Tom does a great job digging into products. he has saved me much time. Also look at the Ubiquiti Edge line a bit more effort but nice price points.

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