WatchGuard Firebox Review

A global map allows us to block an IP based on the country it's coming from


What is our primary use case?

We use them as our firewall in every location. It's extensively used and our locations for it are ever-expanding. Right now, we have 14 locations with them. We have everything from the M300 to the T50-W to the T30-W.

How has it helped my organization?

Like any other firewall, if it goes down, it's going to cause problems but these don't go down.

If I had to spend half my day fighting the stuff that it's keeping out, in that sense, it's increasing productivity. But if I was having to do that, I would find something else.

What is most valuable?

There are a lot of features I really like.

One of them is that the interface is more intuitive for us. And the success rate has been very good for us. It's easier to use than a SonicWall. There's a learning curve with every firewall, but this one is a lot more intuitive than some of the other ones I've used.

We've been very happy with the throughput and the performance the solution provides.

The Dimension control, the one-spot reporting and control, has been nice. It's been easy to go in and make sure people are doing what they're supposed to be doing and that only the right stuff is getting in.

It provides us with layered security.

It's got a global map where you can block IP based on which country it's coming from. I haven't seen that on anything else.

For how long have I used the solution?

I started here in 2009 and they already had the WatchGuard at that time. So I've been using it for about ten years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

They work. We don't have to boot them. 

The only time they get booted is if there is a major, extended loss of power. Otherwise, they just stay up and running. The location I'm at has been up for 90 days and the only reason it went down 90 days ago was that we had about a 12-hour power outage. It got our batteries. It got everything. But like I said, they're reliable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

There is scalability because they have different models to choose from, as long as you buy right.

We have 500 employees and about 150 users. I'm sure we have plans to increase usage. In terms of how extensively it is being used, it's filtering every piece of internet traffic we have.

How are customer service and technical support?

I haven't had to use their technical support in about seven years.

How was the initial setup?

When it comes to installing a new box, it's pretty simple. We have a config we copy over to it and then we just customize that config with the IP addressing that we need at that location. It doesn't get much easier than that. It takes less than an hour and takes one person to deploy it.

What about the implementation team?

We used a third-party integrator when we did our mass upgrade in 2017. At that time, all of our other ones had become end-of-life. They were Firebox Edges. We bought the boxes, dumped the configs on them, between us and the third-party, and either I or the third-party would deliver and install. Onsite downtime was as little as ten minutes.

Deploying it to distributed locations was super-simple.

What was our ROI?

We haven't had anything get through it. It's hard to say what your return on investment is when you're saving problems. You can't quantify how many possible threats you're saving in a day.

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

We bought ours bundled with two or three years at the time we bought them. I haven't seen the pricing since 2017, but it was competitive. SonicWall, Barracuda, and WatchGuard were all about the same price when we did our last pricing.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We investigated SonicWall back in about 2016 and decided to stay with WatchGuard because we felt the interface was a lot better. It's also easier to manage, easier to keep an eye on. We really despised the SonicWall. The support for it was awful. Dell already had it and it was bad. I had experience with SonicWall in the past, before it was a Dell company. The SonicWalls were pretty good then.

We looked into Barracuda. We didn't actually test it. We used some other Barracuda stuff, but we didn't actually even test their firewall. I don't remember why we didn't go with them. That was a decision made three years ago. We use their backup appliance and couldn't be happier with it, so it wasn't a support issue or a reputation issue. I don't know if there was a little difference in pricing which was the reason that we didn't try it.

We investigated the other one, we actually put the test box in, and Firebox was far superior to what we tested.

What other advice do I have?

Give Firebox a good, strong look. Give it a test run and I'm sure you'll be happy with it. We've always had it. Our opinion of it is that it flat-out works and we're very satisfied with it.

I'm sure there are better ones out there for somebody who has more time to manage it. But if you're looking for something so that you don't need a dedicated staff to manage it, I'd say this is a pretty good one. I give it a nine out of ten.

Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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