WatchGuard XTM 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.


Valuable Features

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.

Improvements to 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.

Room for 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.

Use of Solution

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

Deployment Issues

No issues encountered.

Stability Issues

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

Scalability Issues

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

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.

Previous Solutions

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.

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.

Implementation Team

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

ROI

Our ROI on the product is positive.

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).

Other Solutions Considered

We compared our existing solutions to WatchGuard.

Other Advice

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.

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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