SonicWall TZ Review

Effective and affordable, simple setup and ease of management, with very good VPN integration


What is our primary use case?

We are an MSP and Sonicwall partner and have installed virtually every model, from the TZ 150 during the old days, up to the new TZ 500, TZ 600s and NSA series. I've been using SonicWall for many years and it's still a major part of our solutions for many of our customers compared the optional product lines that we sell. I previous owned an IT firm for 30 years and recently merged with a larger organization where I focus on customer security and guidance. 

How has it helped my organization?

Sonic has been very progressive, continually updating their product-line and service offerings to stay current with, and ahead of the evolving security landscape. Again, they have consistently developed great solutions for both the SMB and enterprise market which has enable our support team to leverage their expertise with Sonicwall across our entire client base.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features are the ease of setup, ease of management, integration, the VPN integration andnet extender which is part of their remote access, and functionality. Overall, they've been very effective and it's an affordable product. 

What needs improvement?

Not relating to this product specifically, but I think overall the company needs to think more broadly about security continuity across the entire security spectrum and integrate more security options with their solutions, like Cisco is doing. They need identity management products and DNS solutions to really complete the line of security. Because of the whole management system, there could also be improvement to their GMS, which is a system allowing you to manage an entire fleet of their firewalls via a central pane of glass. Today as more organizations as forced to working from home and the security perimeter is now the home, businesses need more affordable and scalable systems to manage and monitor numerous devices, more easily and push out updates through essential platforms.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using this solution for over 15 years. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I find it a very stable product and company. We really have not had problems with functionality or support. The ability to meet customer needs and implement security features, as well as just the reliability of the hardware itself has been very good over the years.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is good but once you buy the product itself, you're limited to what that particular device can deliver in terms of throughput and add-on features. You can easily add on additional functionality through various software/licensing, but it can't scale up more than the product's physical limitations. To address this, Sonicwall does have an upgrade program to enable organizations to capitalize on any investments made in training and management tools.

How are customer service and technical support?

Obviously they have a dedicated support team for firewalls in general, unless you get to the bigger enterprise products. That's a different team. We find that whenever we have problems, we can get to somebody within a reasonable period of time.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We also provide CISCO solutions our clients where it may be a better fit.  The decision on which solutions to use can be influenced by either existing infrastructure and/or the experience and resources the customer may have inhouse.  Additionally, product feature-set and customer needs play the biggest role in determining what is the best fit for the customer.

How was the initial setup?

Initial setup is quite straightforward via Sonicwall's GUI.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

I can't talk about specifics, but purchasing the product is an upfront capital expense for maintenance as well as for the product itself so I can't amortize that down to a monthly or annual figure because the products are also very diverse in price depending on the usage or the package that you get. There are a very broad number of products within the TZ series from the very low end to the medium range. You've got many different models to choose from at different price points. On top of that, you've got the maintenance agreements that are relatively priced based on the product, so that is a variable too. I know that they are very competitive in pricing compared to other solutions on the market.

What other advice do I have?

It's worth looking into this solution. It's a very competitive product in terms of pricing, performance and features. It's definitely worth evaluating, especially for small to medium size businesses, branch offices and home. 

I would rate this solution an eight out of 10. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
**Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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