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SM
Global Head ICT (CITP & MIE) at The Aga Khan Academies
Real User
Top 5
Helpful for policy-based usage and monitoring our mail services, very stable, and fast support

Pros and Cons

  • "Policy VPN, site-to-site VPN, traffic monitoring, anti-spam filters, and all other advanced features are valuable."
  • "The way Secure Sign-On authentication is happening needs to be improved. When the Secure Sign-On portal is turned on, anybody who comes into the campus, whether he or she is a staff member or a guest, has to go past the initial portal. One of the shortcomings is the username. It shouldn't allow permutations or combinations with upper or lower cases. For example, when there is a username abc, it shouldn't allow ABC or Abc. It should not allow the same username, but currently, two separate people can go in. Therefore, its authentication or validation should be improved, and the case sensitiveness should be picked up. If I have restricted someone to two devices, they shouldn't be able to use different combinations of the same username and get into the third or fourth device. It shouldn't allow different combinations of alphabets to be used to log in."

What is our primary use case?

We run education organizations. We have students and staff working on campus. We wanted to be protected within the campus as well as outside the campus.

I am using WatchGuard Firebox XTM 850, and I have its latest version.

How has it helped my organization?

In terms of users within the campus, the policy-based usage helps us where we allow something during the daytime, something after school hours, and something during the night. In terms of outside the campus, it helps us in monitoring our mail services. All our deployments are protected from external users.

What is most valuable?

Policy VPN, site-to-site VPN, traffic monitoring, anti-spam filters, and all other advanced features are valuable.

What needs improvement?

The way Secure Sign-On authentication is happening needs to be improved. When the Secure Sign-On portal is turned on, anybody who comes into the campus, whether he or she is a staff member or a guest, has to go past the initial portal. One of the shortcomings is the username. It shouldn't allow permutations or combinations with upper or lower cases. For example, when there is a username abc, it shouldn't allow ABC or Abc. It should not allow the same username, but currently, two separate people can go in. Therefore, its authentication or validation should be improved, and the case sensitiveness should be picked up. If I have restricted someone to two devices, they shouldn't be able to use different combinations of the same username and get into the third or fourth device. It shouldn't allow different combinations of alphabets to be used to log in. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using WatchGuard solutions for the last ten years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is scalable. We have about 1,200 users at this point in time, but the number of devices exceeds 2,200. There are multiple devices per person in today's world. A staff member is using three or four devices, and students are using at least two, which makes it 2,500 or 3,000 devices.

How are customer service and technical support?

Their technical support is very good. You get a response within 15 minutes to an hour at the max.

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

We had Cisco ASA Firewall. It was a very simple firewall.

How was the initial setup?

Its initial setup is very straightforward. It took 30 minutes.

What about the implementation team?

A consultant from WatchGuard was there. He showed it once, and our people could do it easily. They have deployed it again and again. It is pretty simple. 

You just need one person for its deployment and maintenance. Security personnel is the one who manages it.

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

They have an annual subscription license. Initially, we had opted for three years. After that, we went for another three years, and after that, we have been doing it yearly. They also have a license for five years.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated SonicWall, Palo Alto, and Cisco, but this was the best.

What other advice do I have?

I would rate this solution a nine out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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JS
Network Admin at a manufacturing company with 51-200 employees
Real User
Top 20
Intuitive to configure and provides us with layered security

Pros and Cons

  • "It also provides us with layered security. It has onboard virus scanning features that allow it to scan before something gets to the host. It will also stop a person from going to a site that is known to be bad."
  • "There is room for improvement on the education side, regarding what does what, rather than just throwing it at a person and assuming they know everything about it. A lot of times, you have to call WatchGuard support to get the solution that will work, rather than their just having it published so that you can fix the problem on your own."

What is our primary use case?

It's our external firewall and VPN solution.

How has it helped my organization?

  • It allows us to access the outside world.
  • It keeps us safe from external threats coming in.
  • It allows us to have remote access.

What is most valuable?

The fact that it just works is one of the most valuable features.

It's fairly intuitive when trying to figure out how to try to get things configured the way you need them. It either works or it doesn't, which means if you have a failure you have a chance to get things fixed.

In addition, I have not noticed any throughput issues at all. The device we have will actually operate at faster technologies than we have available to us.

Management of the solution is great and it also provides us with layered security. It has onboard virus scanning features that allow it to scan before something gets to the host. It will also stop a person from going to a site that is known to be bad.

What needs improvement?

There is room for improvement on the education side, regarding what does what, rather than just throwing it at a person and assuming they know everything about it. A lot of times, you have to call WatchGuard support to get the solution that will work, rather than their just having it published so that you can fix the problem on your own.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been with WatchGuard now for about six years. We've got their XTM firewall.

How are customer service and technical support?

Their support is awesome. I get a solution to my problem within 24 hours, and if they don't have a solution within 24 hours, they usually have a higher-tier tech working with me until the problem is solved.

How was the initial setup?

The setup was fairly straight forward. We were actually dealing with a failure situation when we received the product. So we had WatchGuard support on the lines from the get-go, helping us get started so that we could get the information. It's something that we would not have been able to do had they not helped.

The main firewall was deployed within a day. The satellites were deployed within a week.

We have two home offices that they're distributed to. Typically, I get the device in, I provision it with the workflows and the exceptions they need, and then they plug it.

What other advice do I have?

I can't say whether Firebox has saved me time. It's a firewall and it does its job. So whether it be WatchGuard, SonicWall, or anybody else, if it does its job and I don't have to look at it, I'm happy. I haven't really looked at a lot of the reporting features. I mainly go in there, figure out where people are having troubles, and fix their problems. 

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.
Learn what your peers think about WatchGuard Firebox. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: September 2021.
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GS
Network Engineer at Vanderburgh Police Department
Real User
Top 20
Ease of configuration means setup can be done quickly

Pros and Cons

  • "It provides us with Layer 2 and Layer 3 security."
  • "There are a couple of things I wished that it would do, but I can't think of those off the top of my head."

What is our primary use case?

It's our perimeter firewall.

How has it helped my organization?

We used to have Cisco and Cisco was pretty cumbersome. I actually still use Cisco, but I like WatchGuard for the features it has.

It provides us with Layer 2 and Layer 3 security.

If it didn't work we wouldn't be able to get to the internet and that would be a terrible thing.

What is most valuable?

All of its features are valuable, although we don't use the antivirus. We do use the web filter.

It's also the ease of configuration that I like. In terms of usability, it just works. And the throughput is 100 Mbps. It's fine.

What needs improvement?

There are a couple of things I wished that it would do, but I can't think of those off the top of my head.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using WatchGuard Firebox for about 15 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It works and just keeps on working.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is fine.

How are customer service and technical support?

Their technical support is good. Honestly, I haven't had to call them in five or six years.

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

We used Cisco previously. Cisco didn't have the features that I needed, like the proxies. A Cisco box would probably do that now, but back then they wouldn't. So we switched to WatchGuard.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is straightforward. You just read the manual and follow the directions. It didn't take very long to set up. It was about an hour to have it configured and set up.

I have deployed Firebox to distributed locations. You just plug in the numbers, the IP addresses. That's all you do. It's pretty simple.

What was our ROI?

We have seen return on our investment. It just works. I may have to reboot it once every two or three years.

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

The pricing of WatchGuard was pretty comparable to Cisco, but I actually haven't looked at a new Cisco box in quite some time, so I can't say how they compare now.

What other advice do I have?

I would advise that you go with whatever you're more comfortable with. If you're more comfortable with Cisco, then go with Cisco.

Firebox doesn't really save us time because whether you're going to configure a Cisco or you're going to configure a WatchGuard, you still have to configure something, no matter what it is. It is a little easier to configure WatchGuard though.

It takes just one person in our organization to deploy and support it, and that's me. Overall, our environment has about 300 users.

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.
GH
VP at a healthcare company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 20
NAT-ing allows us to direct and control the traffic

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable feature is the NAT-ing, the IP addresses... We can direct the traffic where it needs to go. We can control the traffic."
  • "I would like to see more tutorials on setting up the Firebox."

What is our primary use case?

It's our firewall for the internet.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the NAT-ing, the IP addresses. What the firewall does is that it NATs through the IP addresses for different servers. We can direct the traffic where it needs to go. We can control the traffic.

It's fairly easy to use. I don't think we have any trouble with it.

We've also never had any trouble with the throughput or performance. We've just recently upgraded the internet and we're getting our router upgraded. Once we get that in place, we'll see how the Firebox responds. To date, we've never had any problems.

It also provides us with layered security.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see more tutorials on setting up the Firebox.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been Using WatchGuard for well over 10 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability has been fine. We've had no issues with its stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We haven't scaled it.

There are about 40 users, anywhere from plant production to purchasing to the president, and accounting. They all go through the firebox to get to the internet of course. It's used by all management in the organization, for sure.

We don't have any plans to increase usage of the solution.

There is just one person who handles the deployment and maintenance of the solution. He's a programmer.

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

We didn't have a previous solution. It's always been a Firebox.

How was the initial setup?

I don't believe we had any trouble with the initial setup. 

What was our ROI?

My gut feeling is that we have seen ROI. It keeps us secure and it allows us to get out to the internet. As opposed to having no protection, it has provided ROI.

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

I've had no problems with the licensing.

What other advice do I have?

It works for us.

In terms of simplifying any aspects of my job, there's nothing I can specifically say because I've used WatchGuard for so long that I don't have anything to compare it against.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
RV
Chief Executive Officer at esupport Solutions Pvt ltd
Reseller
Top 20
Easy to use and configure with very good scalability

Pros and Cons

  • "There are many fantastic features."
  • "There should be better integration and a way to configure multiple vendors into the same data center in order to offer more flexibility."

What is our primary use case?

We provide the solution to our customers. It's primarily used for security.

What is most valuable?

The reporting aspect of the solution is what is most valuable to us.

The solution is very easy to configure.

The product has been very easy to use.

We've found the stability to be very good.

The scalability is excellent.

The pricing of the product is reasonable.

We've been in touch with technical support and found them to be very helpful.

There are many fantastic features.

What needs improvement?

Often, customers don't end up using a lot of the features.

They should move more towards integration with other OEMs such as web application firewalls, et cetera. There should be better integration and a way to configure multiple vendors into the same data center in order to offer more flexibility. 

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been working with the solution for about seven to eight years at this point. It's been a while. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability of the solution is very good. There are no bugs or glitches. It doesn't crash or freeze. It's quite reliable in terms of performance.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We've found the scalability to be very good. There are no limitations. If a company needs to expand it, they can.

How are customer service and technical support?

We've contacted technical support in the past. We've found them to be very good. They are helpful and responsive. I would say that we are quite satisfied with the level of support we've received.

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

The pricing of the product is pretty good. I would describe it as fair. It's not overly expensive.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

One of our customers wanted us to compare this solution against Azure Firewall to see which would be better. We're still looking into that.

What other advice do I have?

We are resellers.

I'd rate the solution at a ten out of ten. It's a pretty fantastic solution overall.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Reseller
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JP
Principal at a consumer goods company with 1-10 employees
Real User
Top 20
We set it up and it's been running since then without issues and with good throughput

Pros and Cons

  • "The main reason we went with it was the security protocols. They were more robust on this device."

    What is our primary use case?

    We just use it as a secondary WiFi device. We're a small office and we needed to set up a WiFi device for a few of our employees.

    How has it helped my organization?

    The way it saves me time is that there is no maintenance. Once we set it up, there's nothing else for us to do on a regular basis. It might be saving me about an hour a month.

    What is most valuable?

    • It has a good signal.
    • We haven't had any security issues.
    • The usability has been good. We haven't had any problems with it.
    • The performance has been good. We haven't had any issues with the performance.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    We have been using WatchGuard Firebox for about two years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    We haven't had any issues with it. We set it up and it's been running since we set it up.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    We don't have any plans to increase usage. It just services our one office, with eight users.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    We have not had to use their technical support.

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

    We did not have a wireless solution before Firebox. The main reason we went with it was the security protocols. They were more robust on this device.

    How was the initial setup?

    The setup was easy enough. It was more or less plug-and-play. There weren't a lot of settings that we had to run through. The setup wasn't that complicated. It took about two hours and there was just one person involved.

    What was our ROI?

    The addition of the WiFi saves us from usage of our data plan. We have had some cost savings there.

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

    The pricing was in line with everyone else; maybe slightly higher. That's why it's not a 10 out of 10.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    YH
    IT Management and owner at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
    Real User
    Good support that is knowledgeable, priced well, and has very few issues

    Pros and Cons

    • "I like that this product has very few issues."
    • "The only downside is that it is missing an API, that you can use to easily collect information from it."

    What is most valuable?

    In regards to price and technology, it's a great solution.

    I like that this product has very few issues.

    What needs improvement?

    The only downside is that it is missing an API, that you can use to easily collect information from it. Also, everything is proprietary with the WatchGuard software and that is a bit of an issue.

    The API connection would be a very big improvement to get information from the system or to actually configure it with its own dashboard, for example.

    Providing additional features would give it a more up-to-date management interface. They have only just entered the cloud since last year which puts them behind compared to other competitors, such as Fortinet, who has the advantage over that, but they have a disadvantage where they have several zero-day attacks on their devices.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been using WatchGuard for six or seven years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Stability is the most valuable feature of this solution.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    It's a very scalable solution, but we are not using it in a very large environment.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    We use this solution because they have a very good support team. They are very knowledgeable about ways of implementing this solution in our industry.

    Technical support is good.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup was straightforward.

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

    It's fair pricing, but it could always be reduced.

    What other advice do I have?

    I would suggest comparing the features of the competitors based on data consumption because that's where Firebox is winning.

    Overall, we are quite happy with the Firebox solution and we have not seen any issues so far. This is why we are using it.

    I would rate this solution an eight out of ten.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    On-premises
    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Reseller
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    SJ
    VP IT at a real estate/law firm with 51-200 employees
    Real User
    Top 20
    Protects us from viruses and intrusions and provides us with good throughput

    Pros and Cons

    • "The most valuable feature is the ease of use of the interface."
    • "The reporting is a little on the weak side. I would like to see a better reporting set and easier drill-down options."

    What is our primary use case?

    It's our primary edge firewall at the home office. We have two M470s running Active-Passive. We have about 100 users in total here. Everything runs through the firewall, so the users run the gamut from analysts to accountants to executives.

    How has it helped my organization?

    It protects us from viruses and intrusions.

    It has also saved me time, about an hour per month.

    What is most valuable?

    The most valuable feature is the ease of use of the interface. The usability is good. It's a firewall, it does its job and it does it well.

    The throughput also seems to be good. I don't have any issues with throughput.

    The management features are good.

    What needs improvement?

    The reporting is a little on the weak side. I would like to see a better reporting set and easier drill-down options.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've been with the company for a year and they were already on WatchGuard when I got here.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The stability is good. It runs well.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    I haven't had reason to scale it. It's the edge firewall and it's used extensively. We're a pretty small environment with a couple of hundred devices.

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

    We pay yearly.

    What other advice do I have?

    It's just me who is responsible for deployment and maintenance of the solution.

    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.