Xent Raptor - A superfast proxy firewall

Raptor firewall is among the fastest proxy firewalls in market. Read the article to know its features and price.

Raptor firewall is one of the fastest proxy firewalls. It is one of the few firewalls that can handle dedicated circuits upto T3 (45Mbps). Raptor is a multi-threaded firewall that takes advantage of multiple processors. It runs on Windows NT, HP/UX and Sun Solaris (SPARC). Windows NT Cluster Server can be used with the firewall if you want to create high availability firewall services for your network. You need a very fast processor (example, Intel Pentium II) to run any compute bound proxy server. Other system requirements for running Raptor are 64 MB RAM, 1 GB disk and two network interfaces.


Raptor has a highly integrated user interface which is achieved with the help of Microsoft Management Console (MMC). The client-server based interface can support unlimited firewalls. The interface is often referred to as Raptor Management Console (RMC). Unlike the management interfaces in most firewalls, Raptor has a very simple interface where all the management objects are placed in a hierarchical order. Those who have worked before at MMC will find it very easy to use.

Security features

Raptor uses such highly efficient gateway security architecture that no attack through the firewall is likely to succeed. Every function takes place above the network layer and the TCP/IP stack is very stable. A description of the security features is provided below.

Packet filtering for the gateway

All data packets (including low level information generic services like TCP and ICMP) are routed through application layer proxy services to ensure that no malformed packets cross the gateway. As there is no network level routing, a packet filter is absent in Raptor but the function is performed as stated above. Before any connection proxy is done on the packets, the source routed packets and those showing internal addresses on external interfaces are automatically dropped.

Protection from denial of service attacks

An NDIS-layer adapter driver is absent in the firewall but the good thing is that Raptor requires teardrop patch at the time of installation. The patch is designed especially to eliminate denial of service attacks in NT. Service pack 3 is also needed for installation.

Network Address Translation (NAT)

Raptor uses its Virtual Clients feature for reverse address translation that supports services on true NAT and on interior machines. To perform many-to-one address translations, Raptor depends on its proxy services. The application layer support for NAT is highly efficient and transparent.

Security proxies

Different security proxies are used for different protocols. Raptor uses security proxies for HTTP, FTP, SMB/CIFS, SLQ Net, SMTP, Real Audio & Real Video, Telnet, H.323 and Ping services.

Authentication support

Raptor supports various authentication protocols including CRYPTOCard, Security Dynamics ACE, Defender, RADIUS, Gateway password and BellCore S/Key.

MIMEsweeper virus scanning

The MIMEsweeper feature of Raptor strips viruses out of email attachments and downloads. This makes sure that the system does not get infected by viruses on using internet services.

URL blocking

Raptor filters URLs and blocks the sites that are categorized as illegal. This is to ensure that no illegal content opens on the system. As search engines regularly come up with new illicit sites, the list of such sites is regularly updated by client or server.

Audible paging alerts

If you have a Hayes-compatible modem or a sound card, you can receive audible paging alerts when a message is received on the system. Administrators looking for real-time response capability will find this feature very useful.

Dual Domain Name Servers (DNS)
Raptor allows dual DNS names. This configuration can be made to serve one name for the private and other for the public domain.


Prices for Raptor depend on the service you avail. If you use the VPN support in your organization, prices are $900 for 100 users, $2000 for 250 users and $2800 for unlimited number of users.

If you want only standard support, Raptor will cost $375 for 25 users, $600 for 100 users, $1275 for 250 users and $1875 for unlimited number of users.

The licensing costs are separate. It is $4000 for up to 100 users, $8500 for up to 250 users and $12500 for above.

Unfortunately, there is no evaluation edition available at the official website of Axent. There is one firewall document that you can download from there but it covers only some basic concepts and is not training oriented. A 24x7 support is provided through the website.

Read Compaq's AltaVista Firewall - a security proxy for network


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