WatchGuard Firebox Initial Setup

IT Manager at a engineering company
The initial setup was a little bit of both straightforward and complex. I'm a technical person. I read an instruction manual before I do something, whether it's putting a piece of gym equipment together or implementing something like a WatchGuard firewall. I had gone through all of their admin guides and getting-started guides and recommendations. So it was pretty straightforward, but there were a lot of steps and a lot of things to work through. Something as simple as email wasn't just set up by specifying the IP address of your email server. I had to enable a bunch of things on the web interface and then install the software on my computer and set it up as an email relay. That was the only way to get email alerts, which I found a little shocking because email alerts should be critical on these things. I guess bigger companies may have alert servers or Syslog servers or other things they're using. But we're smaller and we don't. So that was one thing that I found was a little more complicated than it should have been for the importance of the feature. And now I have a computer and a firewall and if one or the other isn't working, those email alerts don't work. Our deployment did not take long. It was no more than a week or two. I did it pretty quickly. I convinced the owner why we needed it and why this was the right move. I wanted to make sure I implemented it quickly and that we got some benefits out of it right away. I didn't want to let it sit around. It took less than two weeks. My implementation strategy was mostly what I mentioned above: Review all of the guides, all of the walk-throughs, a couple of tutorial videos, get a baseline of what I wanted to enable and how. Then I did it offline, as you would expect. I brought the device into my office, got it updated, got everything baselined and set up the way I needed it to start with. From there it was just switch out early in the morning before users were in the office. It was nothing too out of the ordinary. For deployment and maintenance of the product, it's just me. View full review »
Joseph Jansen
IT Specialist at Art Students League
I remember it being somewhat complicated. There were some complications we ran into; it didn't seem to be quite as easy as what we'd hoped. We did have really good support though, from WatchGuard, on the other end, assisting with the setup. That made all the difference in the world. That made it pretty painless. That was the key. When you're configuring a new piece of hardware, there's always some little switch that you miss or that just doesn't make sense. When you've got that support on the other end they know exactly where to go... WatchGuard had that. At first, we were running into some issues configuring it to meet our needs. It was throwing us for a loop for a while. The issue was setting up the correct rules. But from the time we got that done, it just sits there and runs. We've had it 15 months and I haven't seen it in nine months. We got it configured and set up, and it just operates. We had it running on the first day, literally within hours. We had a lot of configuration to be done over the next six months, twists here and there. But as far as actually being able to set it up and have a firewall in place, that was done within two or three hours. View full review »
Hiro Amano
IT Manager at Yamazen Inc
The initial setup was very straightforward. The graphic interface gives you bandwidth control, traffic control, and a graphics screen, unlike the Cisco products where you have to go into the command line. There, you are typing commands but it's really hard to tell if it's working or not. With WatchGuard, it gives you the response right back and you see results right away. So, it's much easier to configure. Our deployment took about three days. To get it up and running it took about one hour. The rest of the time was to tweak our firewalls, open up this port, open up that site. Regarding our implementation strategy, we have ten remote locations. We started with one branch as a test bed, set up a template there, and applied it to the corporate site here. When we applied it to the corporate site it took a little while, about three days. But once the corporate template was done, the other sites were quick. We set up the device, and it shipped it out and, in ten to 15 minutes, it was up and running. View full review »
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Jon Leib
Information Technology Specialist at a healthcare company with 51-200 employees
At first, I did the guided set up where I chose the rules of what to block and what not to block. That was fairly simple. There are a few things that I had to go in and change. That took me a little bit of time to figure out. Overall, it was pretty simple. When logging in and registering it, I did run into an issue where I had to spend about an hour reading to try and figure out why I couldn't activate it. I contacted my reseller and they helped me with it. The deployment took about two and a half hours. Implementation strategy was more about my bosses wanting to get in, then set it up afterward. It was more about let's get it in place, get it working, and then we'll lock things down as we need to. We have hubs in multiple locations. Our strategy for implementing these was once the first one was installed in our main location, then we had the role set up the way we wanted it for the entire organization. We used that to order additional Fireboxes and took them to our other locations. Those were preloaded with the same role sets and put online. View full review »
IT Manager at Horizon Forest Products
The initial setup was a little complex. But once we understood how it works and after we got the first one configured, the rest of the firewalls were pretty easy. It is pretty straightforward. It is just a matter of learning it initially: understanding the nuances of the application and the user interface, understanding how to set it up and understanding what does what and the naming of features. That initial learning curve was a little steep, but once we got into it, it made a lot of sense. Company-wide, our deployment took about 30 days. Our initial implementation strategy was to do a backup to the internet and ultimately remove our MPLS and use the branch office VPN to manage it ourselves. View full review »
Richard Marcin
Sr. Systems Administrator at a individual & family service with 201-500 employees
The initial set up was very straightforward. You take it out of the box, you plug it in, you download the software, and it starts working. That's what I consider to be the initial set up, and that was very easy and very fast. The deployment took me a total of about 40 hours for two sites, two firewalls, and with an incredibly complicated configuration. The complexity was a product of the environment, not the firewall. I utilized the template feature to make everything that could be the same, the same across both sites, which are connected locations. View full review »
Joseph Redmond
Woodworker at Creative Woodworking NW
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. View full review »
I.T. Manager at a construction company with 201-500 employees
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. View full review »
John Giacco
Network Administrator at Peace Bridge
The initial setup was straightforward. We had been previously using WatchGuard and moved from an XTM to an M400. So, this is our second-generation of firewall with them, and I didn't have any problems. The deployment took about a day. I upgraded the hardware, making sure that everything migrated over correctly. That was the goal. I had one rule that I dropped, but that's about it. We have multiple networks with Internet points of presence where we have multiple firewalls. These are not at the distribution layer. The core layer is more where our firewall is. View full review »
Rick Phillips
IT Manager at IDI Distributors Inc.
The initial setup is very straightforward. I've done it so many times that I could do it in my sleep. It's pretty simple to run through the GUI and get a quick setup. It's like if you asked me, is it hard to drive a car? I've been driving a car so long I don't know any other options. It takes me maybe an hour to set one up and get it ready to send out. At that point, it's fully configured. It's just plug-and-play when it gets to the location. I, or one of my IT guys, will often have to be onsite. We'll send one out to a branch, then we'll have to walk the warehouse manager through how to plug things in. Deploying it to distributed locations consists of plugging it into the modem and plugging it into the network, assuming I programmed it correctly. Deploying it requires just one person. We have three people in the IT group maintaining the entire network, but it's mostly me. It takes me about five hours a week. View full review »
Shaun Sheng
Technical Support at Dataworld Computer Center
The initial setup is very easy for somebody who knows the product, so I can't say that it is complex. For someone who is new to the product, of course, they would find it intimidating at first. The deployment took three days, with the third day being the turnover. I had to train them on how to use it. The first two days were spent setting it up. One IT person handles maintenance for the solution, just for secondary support. View full review »
John Rhines
Network Administrator at Advanced Software Designs
The initial setup wasn't too bad. We didn't have any problems with it. It took a couple of hours. We planned ahead of time, put the policies in place on paper and then tested them out. We then went live with it and fine-tuned it as necessary. View full review »
Prepress/Systems Manager at a printing company with 51-200 employees
I didn't do the setup. The deployment took about a couple of days, because when we were initially setting it up, we didn't understand everything to do with IPs. Now that we've played with it over time, we understand what it's doing and how it's working. It is definitely easier and faster now, but the first time building it was at least a couple of days. When we deploy the product to other locations, we usually just get a box. On it, we make a copy of another box, importing the information into the new box, then change the settings that need to connect to the IP address on the incoming box. After that, we just run out and change the ports over, then go. It's not hard at all. View full review »
John Farmer
Manager/Senior Systems Administrator at a tech services company
The initial was straightforward. We set it up and were able to get it up and running quickly. The deployment took about 15 minutes. I just followed the instructions. They basically had it set up for us. If you followed the instructions, it worked. WatchGuard has an online program where you can configure it locally, then upload your configuration to their website. Once that device in the remote site comes up, it will automatically download the settings and configure it for you automatically. View full review »
Ryan Baskharoon
Operations Manager at DLL Technologies
The initial setup was straightforward, but there is always a learning curve on all devices. View full review »
Owner at
The initial setup is complicated. Unless you know what you're doing with it, you can make mistakes, which are really difficult to recoup from. You have to know what you are doing with it. Otherwise, you'll screw it all up. It only took our IT guy probably an hour to set it all up, but he knows what he's doing with it. He works with them everyday. View full review »
COO/CTO at a pharma/biotech company with 11-50 employees
Go to the WatchGuard site: >enter the model and serial number of your device >That loads the site automatically with the provisioning apps, firmware updates and other system checks relevant for that device > The set-up is nearly automatic > Once the firmware is updated, the device reboots > Drill into the site for additional steps and additional software you can activate - you have to know what they are talking about to understand which checkboxes to click and why. > You can reference the YouTube "JSCM" for extra support and background helps that go beyond the WatchGuard site. View full review »
Roman Laminin
Technical Consultant at Rainbow Security
The initial setup is very easy. It is not complex. For a small organization that has between fifty and one hundred users, the deployment can be done in perhaps fifteen minutes to three hours. Our deployment took approximately one hour. Only one person is required for maintenance. View full review »
CFO at a tech vendor with 11-50 employees
The setup was straightforward with a simple GUI-based administrative tool. View full review »
Chief Technology Officer at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
Find out what your peers are saying about WatchGuard, Fortinet, pfSense and others in Firewalls. Updated: September 2019.
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