WatchGuard Firebox Review

Helpful for policy-based usage and monitoring our mail services, very stable, and fast support

What is our primary use case?

We run education organizations. We have students and staff working on campus. We wanted to be protected within the campus as well as outside the campus.

I am using WatchGuard Firebox XTM 850, and I have its latest version.

How has it helped my organization?

In terms of users within the campus, the policy-based usage helps us where we allow something during the daytime, something after school hours, and something during the night. In terms of outside the campus, it helps us in monitoring our mail services. All our deployments are protected from external users.

What is most valuable?

Policy VPN, site-to-site VPN, traffic monitoring, anti-spam filters, and all other advanced features are valuable.

What needs improvement?

The way Secure Sign-On authentication is happening needs to be improved. When the Secure Sign-On portal is turned on, anybody who comes into the campus, whether he or she is a staff member or a guest, has to go past the initial portal. One of the shortcomings is the username. It shouldn't allow permutations or combinations with upper or lower cases. For example, when there is a username abc, it shouldn't allow ABC or Abc. It should not allow the same username, but currently, two separate people can go in. Therefore, its authentication or validation should be improved, and the case sensitiveness should be picked up. If I have restricted someone to two devices, they shouldn't be able to use different combinations of the same username and get into the third or fourth device. It shouldn't allow different combinations of alphabets to be used to log in. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using WatchGuard solutions for the last ten years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is scalable. We have about 1,200 users at this point in time, but the number of devices exceeds 2,200. There are multiple devices per person in today's world. A staff member is using three or four devices, and students are using at least two, which makes it 2,500 or 3,000 devices.

How are customer service and technical support?

Their technical support is very good. You get a response within 15 minutes to an hour at the max.

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

We had Cisco ASA Firewall. It was a very simple firewall.

How was the initial setup?

Its initial setup is very straightforward. It took 30 minutes.

What about the implementation team?

A consultant from WatchGuard was there. He showed it once, and our people could do it easily. They have deployed it again and again. It is pretty simple. 

You just need one person for its deployment and maintenance. Security personnel is the one who manages it.

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

They have an annual subscription license. Initially, we had opted for three years. After that, we went for another three years, and after that, we have been doing it yearly. They also have a license for five years.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated SonicWall, Palo Alto, and Cisco, but this was the best.

What other advice do I have?

I would rate this solution a nine out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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