Launched in 1999, PistolStar, Inc. is an authority on user authentication. PistolStar, Inc. has experienced phenomenal growth, attributing its success to an understanding of customer pain, having the ability to demonstrate a positive return on investment, and differentiating itself from the competition by delivering flexible solutions with full technical support from the developers.

Privately Funded and based in Bedford, New Hampshire, PistolStar, Inc. maintains a global presence through relationships with international resellers. Since introduced, the company has sold its software to more than 600 enterprises in the U.S. and abroad, comprising millions of users.

What is PortalGuard?

PortalGuard was introduced in 2009 as an on-premises, Windows based authentication solution developed by a dedicated team of PistolStar Inc, engineers. Our solution provides customers with the ability to deploy a fully customizable application that includes self-service password reset (SSPR), single sign-on (SSO), two factor authentication (2FA) and contextual authentication.

As both technology and client demands have evolved overtime, so too has PortalGuard. We are proud to offer our clients the opportunity to experience the same robust and proven technology of our flagship, on-premises solution as a fully integrated and cloud hosted solution: PortalGuard Nebula.

PortalGuard Nebula gives our clients the ability to have all of their authentication needs hosted for them without any of the additional infrastructure, manpower or capital upgrades that are often associated with running an on-premises solution.

Nebula provides all of the usability, scalability and customization features attributed to our on-premises package, while simultaneously providing clients with best in class up-time, load balancing, fail-over protection, automatic version updates and regular system back-ups. All of these features are included in a turn-key approach at an industry leading price point. We work directly with you to take the pain out of managing your authentication solution - while providing you with full control over your newly acquired solution.

White Glove Service and Support

As a company and team, our first goal is to understand your needs and the challenges that face your environment. We will deliver a tailored, easy-to-use, and cost-effective product that meets those needs. We couple this with our dedicated, white-glove service from the moment that you begin your pilot to evaluate Nebula for yourself through end user training and post go-live support.

Expertly trained developers and engineers handle our customer service and technical support, which is done completely in-house. Each client receives a dedicated engineer to help guide them through the pilot, all the way to deployment and production. Our technical support and customer service lines are manned by PistolStar,Inc. employees who will make sure that your needs are met quickly and efficiently.

We guarantee that you will never have to navigate through a phone tree of button pushes and delays, only to be transferred to an outsourced customer service phone center that doesn't know you or your company. Our service commitment is second to none.

A True Hybrid Cloud Approach

We believe that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to delivering our clients the authentication solution that they deserve. In that light, we are one of the few software providers that is able to offer clients a true choice when it comes to how their solution is configured:

a) on-premises b) cloud based c) a hybrid of both.

Our pricing and configuration models allow us to work with our clients to provide them the ultimate flexibility when it comes to configuring their solution. We are more than willing to work with you to find a model that best fits your budget, deployment schedule and configuration needs.

Nebula can be deployed as either a stand-alone, cloud-based solution, or as a hybrid solution that integrates easily with an on-premise PortalGuard server. No matter the scenario, PortalGuard has the ability to be configured consistently across all instances.

Customer Branding

User acceptance and policy adoption is greatly aided by having a consistent user interface that ties in seamlessly with your company's existing branding. Nebula's user interface (UI) is fully customizable to suit your needs. Whether it's logos, color schema or fonts; we will work with you to ensure that your end user is working with a UI that is both recognizable and easy to use.

Examples of Customer Branding:

Flexible Pricing Models

Our cloud pricing models are based on a per-user, per month model and we offer one of the best cloud-based value propositions on the market today. Because of this, our subscription tiers are not highly segmented like most of our competition. Instead, we offer just two tiers:

a) self-service password reset (SSPR) and b) a full feature set that includes SSPR, SSO, 2FA, and our Authentication Dashboard reporting tool.

Contact our sales team at to find out about special non-profit discounts that we offer.

No Forced Framework Adherence

Many authentication software providers require an adherence to a specific layout and design element for a“Jump Page”.Nebula supports links and bookmarking as an alternative to the jump page approach, as we believe this is a more natural user behavior and one that can aid in achieving increased user adoption and acceptance.

Which ever method you choose, we are happy to work with you to make sure that key design elements such as this are structured to meet your needs.

Support for Multiple Directory Structures, User Groups, and Rules

Nebula supports many industry standards when it comes to integrating with a client's directory. Whether it's an Active Directory (AD), Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) or a custom SQL data table, we are able to work with you to make sure that your user repository is fully integrated. We strive to work with our customers to ensure that no wholesale changes need to be made to their existing infrastructure in order to get the benefit of our authentication solutions.

Nebula does not replace the existing user repository, nor does it store or copy user-specific account information (such as usernames and passwords). Nebula only stores its own data (e.g. expiration date, challenge answer hashes, strike data, etc.), using a look-aside database; contacting the local user repository only to authenticate user credentials and affect password changes.

All of our directory integration is done in real-time, so there is no risk of a time lag while you wait for a directory synchronization to occur. Every user action, whether it is an addition or deletion, is fed instantly to the Nebula server - thereby improving security.

Nebula can also be configured to handle multiple user groups with various access rules. Administrators have full control over who has access to what, based on the rules and permissions that they have put in place.

Web-based Multi-factor that Supports Many Industry Protocols

Our solution provides support for both web-based and on-premises applications, with full support and integration through the use of industry standards like SAML, WS-Federation, Shibboleth, CAS and OAuth (available Q1-2016).

Password Authentication and Management

IT administrators can lock down access to both intranet and extranet portals while simultaneously providing end users with a more streamlined, user-friendly authentication experience. Nebula provides end users with the ability to either recover or reset their password directly from the browser with a secure, and simple to follow UI. There is no need to involve the helpdesk.

  • Additional Password-related Configuration Options include: Password Expiration terms
  • Password Complexity Rules Change History
  • Lockout Strike Count
  • All changes are managed through the native Administrator Dashboard and take effect immediately.
  • Platform Integration Flexibility

    While most customers will look to run PortalGuard Nebula in a standard Windows IIS environment, we realize that not all customers fit this mold. With that in mind, we've ported our solution over to support both Wyse thinOS and Citrix Storefront.

    If you'refacing a unique configuration or platform challenge,we encourage you to email us ( and outline your specific needs. We will happily work with you to see if we can offer a solution that fits those needs.