Riverbed Technology's  Steelhead appliance has been awarded the 2008 "Best of the Tests" designation for best WAN optimisation and application acceleration solution by Network World.

In August 2007, Network World conducted a competitive review of WAN optimization and application acceleration products. In that test, Riverbed outperformed appliances from Blue Coat, Cisco and Silver Peak and was awarded the Network World “Clear Choice” designation.
David Newman, president of Network Test, conducted the review for Network World.
According to Newman in his introduction article entitled "WAN acceleration offers huge payoff”, boxes from each vendor were tested in a "true enterprise context, with a massive test bed pushing data over multiple T-3 and T-1 links.  After pounding the systems with the most popular enterprise applications, we're inclined to believe the hype."
Riverbed Steelhead appliances reduced bandwidth by a factor of 84 in the warm run and a factor of 32 in the 10%run.
According to Newman, "Any device that reduces bandwidth use by 20- or 30-times must be considered a boon to IT budgets."
Newman also stated that, "As in the CIFS and MAPI tests, the Riverbed Steelhead appliances delivered Web traffic the fastest. In all three ways we measured — transactions per second, traffic rates, and response time — the Steelhead appliances delivered Web traffic seven times faster than tests with no device inline."
The test also found that only Riverbed Steelhead appliances sped up file transfers 45 times to a low-bandwidth, low-delay site and 34 times to a low-bandwidth, high-delay site.
“Riverbed has always maintained a focus on meeting and exceeding our customers’ needs, with a primary focus on speeding access to data and the broadest range of applications that customers depend on most over the WAN. Speed is the number one reason customers choose Riverbed,” says Eric Wolford, senior vice-president of marketing and business development, Riverbed.
“This recognition from Network World, based on their head-to-head test of Riverbed and our competitors, mirrors our consistently high win rate against the competition and provides further validation that we’re effectively meeting customer needs.”