WatchGuard Firebox Review

Protects my network and I don't have to deal with downtime

What is our primary use case?

I use it for protecting my network and for routing. Also, if my network connection goes down with CenturyLink, it automatically switches over to my Verizon cellular.

How has it helped my organization?

It protects me against malicious websites, as well as malicious downloads, as a perimeter anti-virus. I've also seen it blocking a lot of pings and different probes. 

A file wasn't opening on one of our mobile devices, so the owner said, "Hey, open it on your computer," and WatchGuard stopped it. I didn't have to try to remove a virus from my accountant's computer because WatchGuard stopped it. 

It has also saved me time by not having to rebuild because of damage to the network due to nefarious situations. Since I installed WatchGuard, it has probably saved me 20 hours a year thanks to increased uptime as well as not having any issues with viruses on computers. It's protecting my network and I don't have to deal with downtime.

It has increased productivity in security management.

I've also had very good uptake time. I would have to reboot my previous routers once a month or so or try to figure out what was wrong with them. With WatchGuard I've had zero problems. If I ever have an issue with connecting to the internet, it's always due to my internet provider.

As the person who manages IT for the business, it saves me thousands of dollars.

What is most valuable?

  • Safety
  • Uptime

The solution's reporting and management features are good.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see more simplified management of the firewall. It's something that I've had to bring in outside support for - for setting up the firewall - because I don't fully understand it yet. I've been learning it. Some of that is my fault, but it's a complicated system to use. I don't know if it can be simplified much, because of the nature of what it's doing. But it's very complicated.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using it for about three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's very stable. I haven't ever had a product that is this stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It appears to be scalable. Scalability doesn't apply to me very much. I did have to buy a new router since the last one wasn't powerful enough. But it was not too bad because I was able to upload all my previous settings to this new one. It handles our entire network, but I don't have any plans on increasing usage.

We have 15 employees and everyone uses it for some sort of connection, whether it be for their phones to connect to our server for our time-tracking system, or for our office computers. I'm the only person who takes care of its maintenance.

How are customer service and technical support?

I would rate their technical support very highly. They are very knowledgeable.

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

I used Ubiquity. I switched because it was not stable and it would not provide a lot of the services that I needed.

How was the initial setup?

It was complicated, but it's hard to say that it's the fault of the device itself, and not the complexity of what I was doing. It's managing my internet connection. I eliminated my internet provider's modem from my network. It's doing all of the routing and the work of the modem for my fibre internet connection. So it was complicated to set that up with my internet provider, but I don't know if that's due to the appliance itself.

The deployment took less than a day. It's hard to say exactly how long it took because I do woodworking as well as maintaining our network. It's hard for me to give it my full attention but I would say it took about four hours.

What about the implementation team?

I purchased it through Last Mile Gear, a reseller. One of their techs assisted me in installing it. He was pretty helpful. I also called WatchGuard's helpline and they were very helpful.

What was our ROI?

The service seemed fairly expensive, but when I saw it stopped a malicious file and saved our computer from having to be rebuilt, I upped it to their Security Suite. It definitely showed itself to be useful, and I'm glad that I have it.

It's prevented network intrusions, which is invaluable. Having 100 percent uptime so far has made it a great value.

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

The cost three years ago was about $800. There were no additional costs beyond the initial purchase.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

The reseller recommended WatchGuard, so that's what I went with.

What other advice do I have?

If you can understand the way the firewall works, the logic of the firewall, it will serve you really well. It's a very stable, great product.

I started with a T10. I ended up needing a more powerful version, so I bought the T30 about two years ago. I've been very happy with it. The usability is difficult but it's a complicated system. It's a professional solution. I wouldn't recommend it to my friends for their homes, but for business, I think it's a fantastic solution.

I'm happy with the throughput on the T30. The T10 was definitely lacking. It was definitely slow.

I would rate it a nine out of ten. The way to make it a ten would be to make it easier to use for a novice.

**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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