WatchGuard XTM [EOL] Review

It has definitely helped us in framing and implementing IT policy of our organization, but the VPN hardware needs to improve.


What is most valuable?

  • For the monitoring of the devices' operation, and network traffic, a monitoring software, "WatchGuard System Manager" is provided
  • It has an online traffic monitor, which is an ultimate feature and valuable for troubleshooting
  • Web/URL filter is strengthened by the WebSense filter
  • The web based log analyzer called "WatchGuard Dimension," offers great information regarding network traffic
  • The traffic analysis reports can be created in both granular and brief summary fashion, and extracts are useful for managerial information

How has it helped my organization?

  • Online traffic monitoring is a great help in network troubleshooting, as the log analyzer reports found great sources of information for technical support and the management who are barely acquainted with the technical terms
  • Websense has categorized web traffic in over 150 different categories
  • Decisions to block certain unwanted sites or categories have been made on the basis of the web traffic trend presented by the log analyzer
  • Permissions can be set by groups, so as an educational organization, our users are grouped as administrative officers, clerical staff, post graduate students, research students and faculty
  • The web access is made available to users is only available for their work, and as a result, the utilization of Internet connectivity has been improved
  • It has definitely help us in framing and implementing IT policy of our organization.

What needs improvement?

Initially WatchGuard assured us regarding endpoint security, but we are not sure that the product provides endpoint security features to its full extent. Instead, WatchGuard provided us a VPN hardware. WatchGuard needs to improve this feature.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used it for over two years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

We had almost no problems.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The product has been stable for the last two years. We have connected it to three leased lines, a DMZ with 10 web applications and 2000+ campus users are connected without any issues. Also, there have been no bottlenecks!!!

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

Satisfactory to good.

Technical Support:

The technical team, so far with WatchGuard OEM has been excellent. Recently, there a new team has been formed, and I am yet to interact with them. Also, the support team from their business partner is also good. We have a very good rapport with them and during the last two years only, only one or two unsolved issues were escalated to their international support.

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

We were using a different solution previously, but it didn't prove perfect for our requirements. It lacked many features like URL filtering, log analysis etc. So we were searching for a better product. We had a proof of concept from three reputed products.
Finally, WatchGuard offered almost all the features we needed, coupled with the lowest recurring cost, i.e. annual subscription renewals.

How was the initial setup?

We have got three internet lines shared amongst campus users and off campus web clients.
The requirements keep changing from time to time. We have over 35 VLANs that need to be catered for according to IT policy of the organization. and WatchGuard is almost perfect.

What about the implementation team?

A joint OEM and vendor team initially implemented the product. The team configured and demonstrated the product to us. They also handed over operational know-how of the product, and the team had an exceptional level of competency.

What was our ROI?

The ROI can be measured in several ways. First, our in house team has excelled in re-configurating the product and network troubleshooting is made simple using WatchGuard tools. The tools are very simple to handle, so our in-house team has become more confident and got more expertise in handling IT infrastructure.

There are moderate renewal cost for subscriptions like AV, IPS, IDS,web filter, application control etc. therefore recurring cost is low. As such after fulfilling rationale of the firewall device, additional returns are in the form of lower operating costs and manpower expertise.
Therefore, the returns are higher as compared with the initial investment on this product, so the ROI is positive.

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

Our estimated cost for the setup was INR25,00,000+/- and we grabbed an offer for a pair of devices, costing around half of the estimated cost. Deprecation is 33% on this kind of equipment. The annual subscription renewal cost is 20% of original set up cost.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

  • Fortinet
  • HP

What other advice do I have?

WatchGuard XTM2050A has enterprise class performance with the cost of an SMB class device. If you are not enthusiastic about the brands or reputed survey reports, WatchGuard will be definitely an option to go for.

Which version of this solution are you currently using?

2050A
**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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2 Comments

author avatarit_user229362 (Senior Systems Engineer at a financial services firm with 51-200 employees)
Vendor

I have worked with the WatchGurad XTM series for the past 3+ years. I have found it to be stable, intuitive to work with and support easy to find. The VPN's are somewhat difficult, but necessarily so I believe, for security sake. Overall I believe it is a great product.

author avatarit_user684585 (IT Director at a translation and localization position with 501-1,000 employees)
Real User

I agree with Criag, we have 13 devices using them for backup VPN connection over the internet and also VPN for our company phones and tablets to access our shared data across our enterprise. we also have 30 some odd web apps behind these firewalls. the policies are easy to setup and support is awesome.