WatchGuard Firebox Review

I discovered that I could still keep the data rates really high, up near the 1 gigahertz data speed, without compromise on the security perimeters being active simultaneously. The setup is complex.


What is our primary use case?

Intellectual Property protection for our and our clients' data.  We strategize for deployments of new products into Federal and State healthcare formularies.

How has it helped my organization?

I discovered the WatchGuard T-70 could still keep the data near the 1 gigahertz data speed, without compromise on the security perimeters being active simultaneously.  I got that information through my subscription with IT Central Station.  The WatchGuard T70 does not come with WiFi capabilities, offering flexibility for what WiFi devices you prefer.

What is most valuable?

Default set-ups found on the WatchGuard site and via YouTube are very helpful - the screen for set-up and adding additional features are lists with checkboxes.  Understand what you click before you do so.

What needs improvement?

The set-up and additional feature screens are old in design and very granular.  You have to know what you are doing.

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Stable - However, you need to add APC/UPC battery back-ups to avoid power outages/surges that will mitigate your time for trouble-shooting post-power outage.

How is customer service and technical support?

Yes, I had a positive experience with tech support.

Which solutions did we use previously?

I previously used FortiGate. I moved from the FortiGate brand on account of when you turn on all of the FortiGate capabilities (80-C & 90-D), the protection is active but your data speeds drop significantly.  We had a Verizon FiOS fiber optic true gigabit subscription.  I noticed data rate drops as our 3rd party support team also noticed.  Upon system review, the function of the reduced data speeds was the Fortigate capacity.  We were literally locking up where we couldn't communicate. So, I went with the WatchGuard XTM T-70.

How was the initial setup?

Go to the WatchGuard site:

>enter the model and serial number of your device

>That loads the site automatically with the provisioning apps, firmware updates and other system checks relevant for that device

> The set-up is nearly automatic

> Once the firmware is updated, the device reboots

> Drill into the site for additional steps and additional software you can activate - you have to know what they are talking about to understand which checkboxes to click and why.

> You can reference the YouTube "JSCM" for extra support and background helps that go beyond the WatchGuard site. 

What about the implementation team?

No vendor team and no "in-house" beside myself.  We are a company of under 30 people, I am an IT dept/System Engineering staff of 1.

What was our ROI?

I have far less ( 50-75%) less admin time trying to figure out why our system is so slow.  That's gone.  The admin screens are informative, especially the Dimension application, reducing your search time for the information you need to assess what your users and network are doing.

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

If you are experienced, I can recommend the T70 set-up with minimal support and reference.  Since I am relatively new as a systems engineer/IT design, I have had to reference a lot of online sources and hire an expert familiar with the WatchGuard line of products to help shorten my learning curve and get the system up and running quickly.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Yes - SonicWall, Baracuda and Dell.

What other advice do I have?

When considering a solution like this:

> not only putting data security at the top of my list

> user convenience as the second consideration.

If there's anything extra that I have my users do, I have to really look seriously at those trade-offs.

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