WatchGuard Firebox Review

They have some of the best customer service in the industry


What is our primary use case?

At a specific client location, we are using the WatchGuard Firebox M470 to control all of the security protocols, routing, VLANs, and traffic. We have a 1GB internet circuit coming into the M470 firewall, and SFPs going out to the Netgear M4300-96X modular switch. From this switch, it goes out to the Netgear GS110 devices through SFPs.

How has it helped my organization?

WatchGuard Web GUI is one of the best consoles I have worked with. It makes each step very simple, while you can get granular too. It made the installation process extremely easy and simple for each step to program into the Firebox. The Firebox works well with other brands and also has the capabilities to use an SFP module to use fiber connections instead of Ethernet. We were able to remove over seven devices and replace them with two devices: Firebox M470 and Netgear M4300-96X. What a cost saving and less equipment to troubleshoot. 

What is most valuable?

Here are just some of the valuable features: 

  • WebGUI
  • Spam blocker
  • Website filtering
  • Internet security
  • Tech support is amazing.
  • Routing and setting up VLANs. 

These are just some; there are so many more to go over. Depending on the customer's budget, I would always recommend WatchGuard Firebox and their other security products. They have some of the best customer service in the industry.

What needs improvement?

I don't think that WatchGuard would need to improve on their product. They have some of the least expensive appliances and software out there. They are extremely easy to use, the GUI is great through the web and on the desktop. That's why I feel WatchGuard has outdone themselves on their security products. Hands down, it's one of the best firewalls I have ever worked with.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This Firebox M470 is a true workhorse and has been flawless. It has not crashed yet and has been on for over a year now.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

This product is very scalable: from the Total Security Suite to adding an extra module, to getting an extended tech support contract.

How are customer service and technical support?

Their customer service is one of the best and is extremely knowledgeable about their products. They are very responsive when calling and or if they need to call you back. They have been a key part of this major installation.

If you previously used a different solution, which one did you use and why did you switch?

I used a Sophos firewall that was already installed when we took over the account. The Sophos Web GUI is not that easy to navigate and completely different from most of the other firewalls out there. We switched because I professionally feel that the WatchGuard security products are superior over most of the other brands out there and their Web GUI is extremely easy to navigate and use. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward, but there is always a learning curve on all devices.

What about the implementation team?

We used WatchGuard's team to help implement our programming into the firewall as our implementation was a one-off. 

What was our ROI?

Our ROI has been over 35% just on the equipment and the job.

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

The setup cost is extremely low for what you get with the Firebox M470. The cost of the Firebox M470 was a third of the cost of a Barracuda and a high-end SonicWall.

I loved that I could add an SFP module to the firewall and use both Ethernet and fiber connections. 

You will need licensing for the security features like Total Security Suite, etc.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated SonicWall, Sophos, Barracuda, and Fortinet for our firewall needs. WatchGuard not only was a great price point but also comes with so many great features without having to pay too much.

What other advice do I have?

If you want a robust firewall that has a great price point, this is the best way to go.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We are a reseller and an End user of their products.
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