SonicWall TZ Review

Easy to use with a simple initial setup and very helpful technical support

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use the solution as a firewall. It's pretty much for content filtering and protection between points.

What is most valuable?

The solution works very well.

They seem to be protecting themselves, or, at least, I assume they are, when they ask you to go online to enable the device.

The solution is easy to use. The actual setup is pretty easy.

I've found the technical support to be helpful. With all of the specifics, whether it's VPN stuff or the Analyzer products, et cetera, I'll always call for help. 

I'm very comfortable with the product. I know enough to really get to where I need to be and then to get it right. For my customers, I can call and get help if I need to, and it's nice to have that option, however, I'm really quite comfortable overall with its functionality.

What needs improvement?

There was one complaint I always had in the past. Years ago, you always had to enable the device. You had to go online to enable the device. You had to connect and do that. That was always a thing in my mind: "Well, why do I have to do that? Why do I have to go outside of my network just to do that?" Now, it seems to be less of an issue. However, that's been something that has frustrated me. It's not fixed. It's still the same. It's just something I live with now. I wish you didn't have to go off your network to connect.

I would like the solution to build in more redundancy. I would hope that doesn't come with a price increase, however, it would make the solution that much better.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for ten years at this point. It's been about a decade, therefore I'm comfortable saying that I've worked with it for a long time.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is largely stable. The one thing I did notice was their VPN connectivity. It hadn't been upgraded for a long time - maybe even years. Whether they were doing stuff with it, I don't know. I just noticed this past last year, they came out with a new VPN client. However, before that, it was a long time. They seem to have sorted it now. I don't know if that means they'll go another extended period without updating again or not.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I haven't grown out of one before, and therefore I haven't really had to scale. In terms of their throughput, we got close on one once. The thing is, if I call an inside connection, he'll get me in touch with his inside tech, which is different from tech support and they'll do some numbers. What my throughput is, the bandwidth I actually have, what I'm working with, et cetera. I seem to be always under. I'm really not in the hundreds of users. It's typically under 100. I work with smaller organizations, and there isn't much need to scale.

How are customer service and technical support?

I've dealt with technical support in the past. They've been good. I'm satisfied with eh level of support they provide. It's one of the selling points for me. I like to have products with good technical support capabilities.

Most of them were really sharp. I call with some questions sometimes, or I just want to set up a VPN between the buildings or something real quick and I just want to make sure I've got it right. They're just really great at assisting me. I'll say, "Look, am I missing anything?" And they'll look through and say, "This is good, but change this." Their tech support's been excellent. I'd give them a ten out of ten for sure.

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

I've worked with Symantec and Cisco. I haven't dealt with any Cisco in a few years. I did some Cisco and started to learn how to do certain tasks. I haven't really done much with them as my clients are a bit smaller. Cisco is an awesome product. They are likely the best on the market. However, as I recall, they don't really have a GUI and my clients don't need the size.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is very straightforward. It's nice and easy. A person or company shouldn't have any issues with the setup.

What other advice do I have?

I'm a reseller.

I tend to use the latest version of the solution. I go with whatever's happening. I'll upgrade when necessary when they go end of life. 

Although it is my understanding that they also have a cloud option, I tend to prefer on-premises deployments. If I need something, I will call my SonicWall rep.

I'd recommend new users try them. They have very good service and they're easy to use.

I'd rate them ten out of ten simply for the fact that I really haven't had any issues with them at all.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

**Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: reseller
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