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Thread: Home user cost

  1. #1
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    Default Home user cost

    I am an avid supporter of Untangle, but am frustrated to see the financial commitment required to use it in my home. The lite versions are insufficient for my needs and competing offerings that can meet my needs are less expensive. I also need to use the premium package so that I can stay up-to-date to support two businesses where I have implemented untangle.

    I can get a SonicWall (SW) xxxx with 1 yr of maintenance for the same price as the untangle premium package. Each year of maintenance after that I can get for >$200 with sonic wall, but it would still cost me $540 each year for the premium package on untangle. The comparison, however, is not fair because SW offers some functionality sorely missing from untangle like Vlans, failover to a backup device, and 5-7 interfaces(on base models). On untangle I have had challenges getting getting dual nics to work so getting 5 interfaces can be a problem.

    We need a version of the premium package for us home users that promote Untangle. I was introduced to untangle by another home user who supports small business on the side and has the same issue. I know I can get 25 or 30% off if I become a re seller, but that isn't enough off, and I don't really qualify and I am not a full time tech.

    I prefer the Untangle interface and that I can install it on my own hardware. I am a home user and have 8 PC's + a home server as many avid tech people are likely to have. I don't know the solution that works best for Untangle, but it seems to me that there are many in my boat that have a hard time seeing the numbers add up in favor of Untangle.

    Aaron

  2. #2
    Untangle Ninja dwasserman's Avatar
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    Default

    Qualify to partner and buy the NFR license.
    The world is divided into 10 kinds of people, who know binary and those not

  3. #3
    Untangle Ninja dwasserman's Avatar
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    "I also need to use the premium package so that I can stay up-to-date to support two businesses where I have implemented untangle."

    When the time to renew the subscription arrive, renew at your cost as partner.
    Talk this issue with sales, sure they have a solution.
    The world is divided into 10 kinds of people, who know binary and those not

  4. #4
    Untangle Ninja sky-knight's Avatar
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    Becoming a partner for a purpose other than to resell the product is unethical. Besides, Untangle's prices are fine.

    This is simply a comparison of apples and oranges. The OP simply doesn't know what he's talking about. The Web Filter ALONE is worth what Untangle sells it for. And there are many companies out there that DO sell it for more. The only place the Sonicwall device in question is "better" is in the routing department. We all know Untangle needs some work on layer 3.

    NTzeek, I'm not flaming you, but you need to do some homework. You're asking for something that's already been asked. And to be perfectly honest, it is NOT a reasonable request.

    $45/month for the best set of Parental Controls on the planet is NOT much money for a home. If you want something cheaper, I suggest you use OpenDNS. They have many products from free to paid that serve in the $200 or less / year category. If you want to actually know what your kids are doing, buy Untangle. And if you need interface density, I suggest you look around. There are more than a few vendors that sell workable hardware options.
    Last edited by sky-knight; 03-09-2013 at 02:03 PM.
    Rob Sandling, BS:SWE, MCP
    NexgenAppliances.com
    Phone: 866-794-8879 x201
    Email: support@nexgenappliances.com

  5. #5
    Untangle Ninja dwasserman's Avatar
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    I don't think suggest to make some unethical action.
    The purpose of the NFR license is for demo in pre sales environment, and for know the product and provide support to customer.
    Ntzeek have 2 clients, and support them, I believe at end of 1 client subscription he can take at your own cost (with the partner discount]) and re sell this at same end price to end user.
    This is I call a win win scenario.
    Untangle sell a NFR license, win
    Ntzeek take a full license at good prize and the option to sell more, win
    And the client pay the same , but get better support, win
    Last edited by dwasserman; 03-09-2013 at 02:49 PM. Reason: mismatch
    The world is divided into 10 kinds of people, who know binary and those not

  6. #6
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    Open discussion is great. I don't fully understand your comments sky and I hope that you can engage in a specific discussion. Perhaps this is a discussion better had with untangle sales, but I'll go a little further here.

    "The OP simply doesn't know what he's talking about."<--By the way, if you are trying not to flame, you may consider using different language.
    I am sure I am not as expert as you in untangle, but I have run it for 5 years, and I have run SW. Comparing apples to oranges . . . of course. SW and untangle have different strengths and weaknesses, however, if you are saying that untangle is vastly superior to SW, then you will have to give more supporting evidence. It appears that you are justifying the cost of Ut based upon features without comparing to the market.

    Yes, untangle has better granularity on web filtering, however, having about a hundred categories in web filter is not necessarily that superior to the 50 in SW. Each installation will need a few exceptions added and fine tuning done. Neither is perfect out of the box. I'll give a +1 here to untangle, but I wouldn't sensationalize the differece.

    "The only place the Sonicwall device in question is "better" is in the routing department. We all know Untangle needs some work on layer 3."
    I don't understand this either. I just had to switch a client to SW from Ut because Ut lacked hardware fail-over. SW offers high Availability (HA) where if one router goes down the other picks up within seconds without any loss of service. I also listed the lack of Vlans, and how about a cost comparison on interface density? What about AP management, 3G failover, and wireless integration? These are valid features for comparison that some installations will find necessary. Now, untangle has some nice features, spam blocking is part of the package, but costs extra with SW, and I can get AD user level control with policy manager, not on SW.

    Another question, "$45/month for the best set of Parental Controls on the planet is NOT much money for a home." To me this seems like hyperbole. I freely say, I prefer the Ut interface, great reports, but you may need to take another look at SW if you assume I cannot use it see what my kids are doing. I am introducing a cost comparison for another appliance in the same category, not introducing a flame war on which is best.

    "You're asking for something that's already been asked. And to be perfectly honest, it is NOT a reasonable request."
    I looked at past postings on the topic and didn't find a satisfying answer. One thread was closed after one post. Even if I do the NFR, at 25% off, if I make 3 annual renewals I am looking at 1620 for Ut, and 1080 for SW.
    I like untangle. I don't want to stop using it and feel it appropriate to express my position. If you can convince me otherwise, please do. I just don't see it. Why is it not reasonable to compete with SW?

    I got started in Ut because it was a cost effective option, I'd like to see it stay at least competitive.
    Last edited by NTzeek; 03-09-2013 at 07:43 PM. Reason: formatting, accuracy and fairness

  7. #7
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    NTzeek,

    They don't care about the home user as far as catering in anyway to reduced subscription pricing, their target market is SOHO, small business, and enterprise. All of which can afford the subscription pricing. How would THEY tell if you were a home user or SOHO user?, not by IP count in today's home environment. I bet a high number of us have more IPs at home then a small SOHO/small business company has. They allow home use with Open Source to get the platform out it more peoples hands to sell their product to their place of work.

    Like you posted, you have other options. You can use Astaro Home for free, that gives you FULL use of all subscriptions, but not custom configs on their ISO download software/appliances. Then there is Zyxel and the use of the Blue Coat WebPulse database. USG 50 for home is affordable.

    Really, don't even waste your time. They have a roadmap and you and I are not on it.

    I do get why you want to throw it out there though. I too want some change too. My thing is the sub-par paid AV module they use. A couple of posters have suggested to go with a better paid AV vendor like Hitman Pro UTM. It appears from their site it would be a good fit into Untangle's module/Linux architecture, the Hitman module would have 4 top branded AV scan engines scanning in the cloud and or using binary hashes.

    They could careless, it is not on their roadmap.

    .

  8. #8
    Master Untangler wharfratjoe's Avatar
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    Default Re: Home user cost

    I feel the sameway for the UT cost for the home users.Parent's at my sons school want Untangle but its a cost thing. I tell them the cost for webfilter,etc. and they cringe. Folks are on budgets , lost jobs etc. So I tell them about the webfilter lite, show them they can block on their own. It's also about the Policy Manger to for the kids internet access. I have also turned to back to using Endian and Ipcop in some homes. There are other options out there that r cost effective and work.

    Sent from my ADR6350 using Tapatalk 2

  9. #9
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    Then set them up on Blue Coat's free K9 browser and you will get the backing of WebPulses's database. Problem solved

    http://www1.k9webprotection.com/

    .

  10. #10
    Untangle Ninja sky-knight's Avatar
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    Ok... I'll bite. Understand, my choice of words is my own. I called you on your ignorance, not your stupidity. There's a drastic difference as the former can be corrected if minds are open, the latter as we all know cannot be cured. You seem to be willing to put in the effort, as you came back here to read my response. Most just show up, whine about things being too expensive and vanish into the ether. As a forum regular, an Untangle reseller, and network engineer I find that pattern more than a bit annoying, as it indicates further issues within our industry that I'd just as soon see destroyed.


    Untangle's Web Filter vs Sonicwall's web filter. This comparison is really hard to make... because, under the hood I think the two filters are both based on zVelo's back end. It's a pretty well documented fact that you can get Web Filtration cheaper from Sonicwall, than you can from Untangle. Heck you can get Web Filtration from many products cheaper than you can from Untangle, but that's not the point. The point is the integration of specific features that allow the administrator to control network traffic, and visualize what's going on.

    So what does Untangle do that Sonicwall doesn't do? IMHO everything... but here's a short list. Given that you claim to have operated Untangle for 5 years, this list should be rather redundant, that is unless you've neglected to understand some critical functionality of your own servers.

    1.) Policy Manager... I cannot stress enough this modules importance to the defense and maintenance of the network. There is no functional equivalent in Sonicwall, You do things one way in Sonicwall, that's it. Policy manager grants the administrator the power to completely rewrite the security context of the network based on time of day, protocol, source and destination addresses, and just about any other network related flag you can imagine. Adding Directory Connector to the mix introduces the ability to rewrite these policies based on AD username, or group affiliation. Adding yet another tool, Sonicwall is simply lacking.

    2.) Reports, I find the Untangle reports to be far easier to read. This is arguably a personal preference.

    3.) Open hardware. I can't even begin to scratch the surface here. Sonicwall hardware is garbage. It's so many levels of junk that it is hard to describe. This description is coming from not just an Untangle reseller, but a reseller that manufactures generic network appliances for many things, Untangle included. I know where Sonicwall gets their hardware, and I know what's under that hood... it isn't pretty. This leads directly into your requirement for HA features on the Sonicwall... why? Because the darn things FAIL! So I fall back to Open Hardware. Because Untangle is a software solution, you're free as the admin to purchase whatever hardware meets the budget, and environmental requirements of the installation.

    4.) Fault Tolerance. You claim that HA features aren't a part of Untangle. You're correct the active-passive cluster option Sonicwall has isn't there, and you're largely true. (For the record, if things go right I'll have plugged this little hole sometime this year) However, I've got several hundred Untangle servers built on various platforms all around the world. Some are even virtual. Can you virtualize your Sonicwall? Nope... Now these installations come in many shapes and sizes, and in all cases where HA features were required, I am able to deploy either a virtual appliance, wrap Untangle with a Cisco, OR use bypass hardware NICs with a bridge mode Untangle to ensure uninterrupted network communications in the event of a failure.

    Oh, and what failures are we talking about? 99% of them are defective hard disks. Oh wait, I've got that covered too because the platforms I use can be repaired with off the shelf components, and I provide tools for a rebuild that has a server back online in less than 30min. Again, pointing back to the open platform argument, I can custom deploy an Untangle into any environment, and make it exactly what that environment needs.

    5.) Support. I rarely have to contact Untangle support. It's just reality, I know the product well and I can fix most issues quickly and efficiently myself. As an Untangle owner I have access to not only these forums, but solid documentation on the wiki (that I can change if I want/need to), but I also have on call support backup that's based in the US. Now, I'll admit I have a hard time with Richie's accent some times (Richie is one of UT's support guys), but he knows his stuff. And I can't tell you how many of those calls I've made where I've overlooked something boneheaded, and they always help me get it sorted in very short order. These forums are frequented by senior staff as well, so even posts here get handled in most cases.

    6.) Self Support, that open hardware bonus? Yeah it applies to the software as well. I have SSH access to the base operating system. It's Debian Lenny derived, so documentation to work down there is pretty easy to come by, and while in there I have access to a full suite of network troubleshooting tools that rival anything in Cisco's arsenal, Sonicwall doesn't even come close here. If there's a bug in the Untangle software I'm free to access the OS and work around the problem while waiting on a patch. An administrator needs to be careful in here, because a wrong move can make your installation unsupportable. Great power comes with great responsibility after all, but I take that power in stride and I use it to deliver superior services to my customers. As a reseller I offer access to this expertise to my resellers and customers alike so they don't have to make the time investment. The average resolution time for my customers is somewhere around 45min. Granted, they don't call me unless something is REALLY wrong. But even a failed unit is usually fixed in less than an hour on the phone.


    The others here have outlined other realities too. How would one tell a home user from a business user? And more to the point, home users these days actually have more developed networks than most SMBs! So if a home network is at such a development level why is it expected to deliver Untangle functionality, listed above, at a Linksys price?

    Anyway, the market is full of individual options for specific Untangle features that cost less. But if you want a complete integrated solution, there is simply nothing else on the market to compare. Untangle is powerful, Untangle is effective, and most importantly Untangle is EASY. Any cost savings gained by going with a competitors product will be eaten in time to deploy the more complex solution, and maintain the more complex solution. A reality that my larger customers are coming to know, love, and abuse.

    Again, I'm an Untangle Customer, an Untangle Star Partner, and Untangle User. I drink my own cool-aide on this, because there is simply nothing better on the shelf. I've worked with them all, I replace them all, and I do so in every size of environment you can imagine. I've got units installed in SMB offices, Homes, Cruise Liners, Theme Parks, Universities, and Hotels. And I personally draw great satisfaction handing the keys of a network to an appropriately trained admin and just stand back and watch the magic fly. Because in the end, that's exactly what Untangle is for most organizations, pure magic.
    Rob Sandling, BS:SWE, MCP
    NexgenAppliances.com
    Phone: 866-794-8879 x201
    Email: support@nexgenappliances.com

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