WatchGuard XTM [EOL] Review

The multi-layer security of the products are the primary reason we use these appliances, however, the gateway wireless functionality for managing access points leaves much to be desired.

What is most valuable?

They provide excellent security and administration at a reasonable price. However, the multi-layer security of the products are the primary reason we use these appliances. Another valuable feature of the product is that the configuration interface and tools across any product is the same, making administration of the devices simple and consistent.

How has it helped my organization?

WatchGuard has improved the way our organization functions by providing our client sites with better security. Since we have been working with WatchGuard appliances, the rate of spy-ware, malware, and viruses has dropped significantly.

What needs improvement?

The WatchGuard gateway wireless functionality for managing access points leaves much to be desired. While the access points are good hardware, the access point controller lacks many of the features found on other wireless controllers. For example, when adding a MAC address to the controller (if restricting access to particular devices), every attached access point reboots, interrupting the wireless network.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've used it for more than four years, alongside APs100 & 200. We also run a WatchGuard Dimension reporting server.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

No issues encountered.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We encountered some issues with the older generation firewalls (e.g. XTM 515s), however, the more recent models have been very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have not encountered any scalability issues with these firewall appliances.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

When we have called on them for sales and product support, the customer service has been very good.

Technical Support:

When we have needed it, the technicians responding to cases are always helpful and very competent on the products. We generally get quick resolution on the issues.

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

We used to use various other firewall solutions Including Cisco, Sonicwall, and Fortinet. We switched because WatchGuard offered better value for money without sacrificing security. We found the ease of configuration, tools, and features on this next generation firewall to be a better value than other firewalls with no security compromise.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup for these appliances is simple. There are options to configure through a software utility or a web-based GUI. Both options are relatively simple. There is a wizard feature that allows for quick configuration. They even have the ability to preconfigure firewalls, send them to the sites, and have them deployed live on-site, where the configuration is downloaded from the Internet. This saves a lot of time.

We can deploy online and automatically download configurations. Or, we can deploy off-line by manually installing and configuring the appliances. Deployment is simplified since all configurations are saved as XML files.

What about the implementation team?

We implemented our WatchGuard solutions in-house since we are a managed service provider.

What was our ROI?

Our ROI on the product is positive.

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

Depending on model chosen, the setup cost hardware ($2,000-$5,000) and labor (approx. $500). The day-to-day cost is approximately $1.20 per day (includes maintenance/updates and labor costs to do firmware updates & monitoring).

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We compared our existing solutions to WatchGuard.

What other advice do I have?

The best advice is to take the time to learn the product well. Take advantage of training to learn the product fully as, without the training, it can be difficult to administer the products. Also, knowing the tools for administration goes a long way.

Which version of this solution are you currently using?

**Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We have been WatchGuard channel partners for four years.
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