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WatchGuard Firebox OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

WatchGuard Firebox is the #3 ranked solution in our list of top Unified Threat Management (UTM) tools. It is most often compared to Fortinet FortiGate: WatchGuard Firebox vs Fortinet FortiGate

What is WatchGuard Firebox?

WatchGuard's approach to network security focuses on bringing best-in-class, enterprise-grade security to any organization, regardless of size or technical expertise. Ideal for SMBs and distributed enterprise organizations, our award-winning Unified Threat Management (UTM) appliances are designed from the ground up to focus on ease of deployment, use, and ongoing management, in addition to providing the strongest security possible.

WatchGuard Firebox Buyer's Guide

Download the WatchGuard Firebox Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: October 2021

WatchGuard Firebox Customers

Ellips, Diecutstickers.com, Clarke Energy, NCR, Wrest Park, Homeslice Pizza, Fortessa Tableware Solutions, The Phoenix Residence

WatchGuard Firebox Video

Archived WatchGuard Firebox Reviews (more than two years old)

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HalChernoff
Enterprise Architect at a wellness & fitness company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Provides the layered security I need but reporting and management features could be improved

Pros and Cons

  • "Intrusion Prevention is my primary focus so that's what I find most useful. The why is straightforward: It's to prevent intrusion."
  • "I'd like to have better access to workstation monitoring, connection monitoring, and the amount of time an address is being used, to better gauge proper network utilization. If I knew that something was connected to a particular external location for an extended period that seems abnormal, I'd be able to act upon it."

What is our primary use case?

The primary use case is protection for my network from external access. We also use it for some VPN, but mostly it's for protection. It's mixed usage on about a dozen different connections, a dozen different workstations, and access points.

How has it helped my organization?

I don't really worry about individual workstation security as much, anymore. I can depend upon the firewall to control incoming viruses, incoming attacks, bad port usage.

It simplifies my job because I don't have to worry about it on a day-to-day basis, the way I otherwise would. I'm not checking and monitoring each workstation on a minute-by-minute basis. I can check what's going on with the firewall and see how it's being used and where, and if there are any things coming through the logs.

I've built my process around the WatchGuard. I can't say it has saved me time because it's become the defacto process. I don't have anything against which to compare it.

What is most valuable?

  • Intrusion Prevention is my primary focus so that's what I find most useful. The why is straightforward: It's to prevent intrusion.
  • The usability is pretty good. 
  • The throughput of the solution is also pretty good. I think there is some throttling that occurs.
  • It provides me the layered security I need.

What needs improvement?

There are some features I'd like to see, although they are not standard in any of the products in this class; for example, better monitoring.

I'd like to have better access to workstation monitoring, connection monitoring, and the amount of time an address is being used, to better gauge proper network utilization. If I knew that something was connected to a particular external location for an extended period that seems abnormal, I'd be able to act upon it. It comes down to overall monitoring and reporting for the class of services that I have.

The solution's reporting and management features, based on what I have, are fair. I'd like to see an easier way of managing, controlling, and viewing usage at an IP-address-based level.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for about five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

WatchGuard's product line is very scalable, but this particular product is not.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is pretty good. The online knowledge base is usually the best way to go. But I have had some telephone support as well.

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

I had been using SonicWall for about ten years. I got a little frustrated with them at around the time that Dell purchased them. The WatchGuard UI is easier to manage and easier to work through. I ultimately became dissatisfied with the service and ongoing costs of the SonicWall devices.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward. They walked me through it. I have enough knowledge to be able to walk through the setup and then tweak it the way I need it. I was able to find anything that was unusual, pretty easily, on the web.

The initial deployment took under an hour. I've spent dozens of hours tweaking it over the years, but nothing out of the ordinary.

The implementation strategy was to set up something that allowed for VPN access, to grow VPN access, and that would protect my workstations against viruses and attacks, as well as my servers. The goal was to simplify everything with one box.

For deployment and maintenance, it's just one person who handles the network, and that is me.

What about the implementation team?

I did it myself.

What was our ROI?

I'm not sure I could establish a numerical return on investment. It's mostly peace of mind. I could probably do well with a lesser product, but I'm afraid a lesser product would provide significantly less protection.

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

It costs me about $800 a year. There any no costs in addition to the standard licensing fees.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I looked at some Cisco products. I only upgraded to this latest T35 last year, from the previous WatchGuard item. I also looked at SonicWall and a couple of others.

What other advice do I have?

It's used extensively. Do I plan to increase usage? If I can get better reporting, perhaps. But it's fully deployed and static at this point.

I would rate WatchGuard a seven out of ten. A perfect ten would come from lower costs for small installations for the service licensing, and improved reporting. And maybe some better awareness of what it's capable of doing. It's hard to figure out what I could do. That's a big thing. It's hard to figure out what is possible. What am I not taking advantage of? I've tried to work with people on that, and that's the biggest thing.

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.
JasonGiles
IT Manager at WTS Media (Wholesale Tape & Supply)
Real User
Setup, and setting up the routing — normally very complicated processes — are intuitive

Pros and Cons

  • "[A] valuable feature would be the branch office. We have five offices throughout the United States, and it coordinates the connections of those offices."
  • "In terms of the reporting and management features — and this isn't necessarily a WatchGuard issue, this seems to be more of an industry-wide issue — you get reports, but a lot of times you don't know what you're looking at. You're so overwhelmed with the data. You're getting a lot of stuff that doesn't matter, so it takes time to parse through it, to actually get what you want to know."

What is our primary use case?

It's our main firewall. We have over 120 hosts that flow through it.

How has it helped my organization?

The biggest way that it has advanced us is that when we started adding additional locations, it became surprisingly easy to do that, to create branch-office VPNs. When I was first tasked with that, I was overwhelmed with it. I thought, "This is going to be really difficult." But it was really simple. I've never actually done this, but they have the ability to program a box and ship it out there. It'll identify it by its number and just do the setup automatically. I've never been brave enough to just let it go automatically, but when I do get it in my office and set it up for the branch office, it's just a matter of just plugging in the right numbers. It works and it's very stable. That enables us to do some incredible things.

WatchGuard has been mostly cost-effective compared to other firewall systems that are out there, given the power that it has and the ease. I complain about the usability, but things such as how to set them up and how to set up the routing up are, at least, intuitive. So that's been invaluable. It's one of the reasons why I haven't moved away from them or been tempted to move away from them. These setups are very complicated and WatchGuard makes it very easy.

It does simplify my job in the sense that it's easy to set up a VPN. Setting up a branch-office VPN is rather simple, but when I have remote users, such as myself or remote salespeople who are operating out of their homes, I can use whatever solutions are out there; the software that makes it easy for them to connect. That avoids my having to go out and buy really expensive solutions like TeamViewer or LogMeIn. They are always clunky, always hard to navigate around in. With WatchGuard, remote users can pop in straight through the VPN and then RDP into their remote desktops. And everything works very smoothly and rather quickly. Anytime you VPN it's not super-fast, but it has been rather efficient and is a huge advantage. It makes my job a lot easier because I don't have to try to troubleshoot somebody else's TeamViewer account.

WatchGuard has saved me time versus having to manually help people with their remote connections. It saves me about ten to 15 hours a month of work, not having to do all that.

What is most valuable?

The basic firewall features, or just the routing, are the most valuable because that's how we configure our network. 

The second valuable feature would be the branch office. We have five offices throughout the United States, and it coordinates the connections of those offices. 

And the filtering features are okay.

It layers security in the sense that it does isolate different networks. I have in-house web hosting and that's more of a DMZ-type thing sitting out in the open, so that it has to be isolated from our network. It has Gateway antivirus, which is important. It has Gateway spam protection, but I've never actually seen it do anything. That could be because our regular spam filters grab it before it gets a chance to. It's not a direct user-security thing. Another level of security is that I do keep our guest WiFi network separate from our main WiFi network. Even though WatchGuard doesn't manage our WiFi, it does play the traffic-cop between those two networks and keeps them separate. It's more IP-based routing security than anything else.

What needs improvement?

We have several branch offices. Those things run, you forget about them. My biggest gripe was when I went to update some of my devices, to try to make some speed improvements, not only did I get hit with, "You need to renew your LiveSecurity," but there was this reinstatement fee that they threw in on top of it. That really angered me, to the point that I canceled the entire order. I actually almost replaced some of those devices and I'm looking to replace them because of that type of thing. It's fair to pay for services like filtering, etc., but I don't feel it's fair to pay for updates to a product because they're patching and fixing and updating their product because of bugs. If I want to pay for the next version of something that gives me additional features, that's fair. But to have to pay a reinstatement fee and that sort of thing, I find it to be a very poor and unethical practice. We'd never do that to our customers. The reason I haven't thrown a huge fit is because everybody does it. SonicWall will do it; Cisco. All those guys do that kind of thing. 

I really don't like that, particularly because you're talking about a device that you paid $300 for, and the reinstatement fees are another $200-plus. I can just buy a brand-new device for that, get a faster unit, and get another year of stuff. Maybe that's what they're trying to encourage me to do. But there are firewall devices out there that I can buy that will do a lot of the stuff that I need to do in the remote offices, without having to purchase a yearly or three-year plan. I keep our main system up to date, but for the small edge units, it's just an unneeded expense. That's my biggest negative and biggest gripe about WatchGuard.

In terms of the reporting and management features — and this isn't necessarily a WatchGuard issue, this seems to be more of an industry-wide issue — you get reports, but a lot of times you don't know what you're looking at. You're so overwhelmed with the data. You're getting a lot of stuff that doesn't matter, so it takes time to parse through it, to actually get what you want to know. If it gives me a threat assessment such as, "You received an attack from North Korea," I don't know what that means. I know that an IP address from North Korea hit our server, and they tried a certain attack. Is that something I should take seriously or not? I don't know.

But that seems to be true with a lot of the solutions out there. They tend to report everything, and there's not a lot of control over getting rid of the noise. I've had it report threat attacks from devices within my network, from my own PC, in fact. So it's misinterpreting some things, obviously. Reporting is not something I rely very heavily on because of that. I look at it but I don't know what I'm looking at. Instead, I have a monitor that displays various things about my network, and I will have the main screen up just to see things like which host in the network is the busiest. I tend to use the main dashboard to get real-time information.


For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using this solution for over 15 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is very stable. I don't think I've ever had one crash in 15 years.

I did have one fail, but that was just a hardware failure. That was one of the very first, early units. That was years and years ago. I've never had one fail since then.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's not very scalable. You get what you get. You buy for your application but if you grow, if you were to double your network bandwidth or the like, you would have to upgrade the product. That's because the hardware can't handle that. 

You could say it is scalable if want to add additional networks and that sort of thing. It makes that fairly simple. But you do need to buy the appliance that's applicable to your network.

It's used at all of our locations and it traffic-cops our entire network. But we're not adding any new networks. As we buy companies, which we've been doing, I usually pull their firewalls out and put these in, because that's what I'm familiar with, if I can't interface their existing firewalls with it.

How are customer service and technical support?

Their tech support, the few times I've used them, have been excellent. Their staff has been very knowledgeable. I've had several instances where, when fixing a problem, they've made suggestions about other things not related to that problem, as they inspected the setup.

They have a very good system for logging in securely and seeing configurations without being able to check it. That's been very helpful. I've always given an "A+" to their tech support.

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

It was so long ago, but I used some PC-based proxies at the time. So there was something before this solution, but my first, actual, dedicated appliance was WatchGuard.

It might be that we purchased this back in the late '90s, because our previous solutions were back during the dial-up age. It wasn't until we started getting always-on internet in the late '90s or early 2000s that we looked at a firewall. Someone suggested WatchGuard.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is straightforward. Network setup is complex because setting up networks is complex. I will give them props for making a very complex task a little easier. I don't know a way you could make it any easier than they do. I have done network setups in other firewalls that I thought were way more complicated and more convoluted. We've set up a branch office with some SonicWall devices and my setup screen was a whole lot easier than theirs.

The deployment itself takes an hour, if that. I've done upgrades, but I haven't done a straight, flat-out deployment in a long time. But usually, when I deploy a branch office or upgrade the main unit, it's usually up and running within ten to 15 minutes in most cases. If I get something wrong, then it might go to an hour or so, but usually they're very straightforward. If it's a branch-office deployment, it's just a matter of plugging it in. It takes five to ten minutes. The configuration might take another ten to 15 minutes. The one thing that's difficult when you're setting one up is that you have to isolate a computer that you can connect directly to. They have things that make that easier, but I've never tried it.

Our implementation strategy, back then, was to bring branch offices online.

The process of deploying the product to distributed locations usually means that I bring the device in-house and preconfigure and test it before I send it out to a remote location. I'm usually onsite at remote locations to install it. So my process is to order the product, configure it locally, get it correct, and then install it onsite.

In terms of using it, there are maybe ten users and they use a VPN client. They directly interface with it. It's primarily me who manages it. I'm the only user who actually sets the configurations up in it.

What about the implementation team?

I purchased it from a retailer at CDW and did the deployment myself.

What was our ROI?

Being able to control network traffic and being able to monitor employee activity on the network are things you can't quantify, but there's definitely a cost that you could attach to each. If we have users that we find are spending too much time on social networks, we can address those issues, replace the employee if they don't comply, or help them with their productivity, etc. 

A firewall is a necessary evil. You've got to have one. It's one of the less expensive but powerful models. I've always been very impressed with that. There's a definite return on investment in terms of that the branch-office option. I didn't have to pay anything extra for that. It was just built-in. Those can get upwards of thousands of dollars with other solutions. One solution I saw was $15 a month per user. It would be astronomical if we tried to go that route.

I don't have a number, but the return on investment is good.

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

I buy a three-year renewal on the main device, which is usually around $3,000 to $4,000. They usually upgrade the device when I do it. You get a big discount when you do three years.

If I were to renew my other devices — we haven't renewed them — it would probably be around a couple of thousand dollars for the little edge devices.

In addition to the standard licensing fees, we pay for the filtering software. There's a web blocker, Gateway antivirus, intrusion prevention. Those sorts of things are extra. They call it LiveSecurity. I do the LiveSecurity update and that includes a lot of those features. It's a type of a-la-carte scenario. You pick what you want, and that then includes maintenance and support.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I can't remember what we looked at, at that time. I have looked at more recent solutions like Untangled, SonicWall, and the like, just to see what else is out there.

What other advice do I have?

Make sure you buy the device that fits your environment. Don't try to do too much with too little. You can buy one of the edge devices, and you could technically run a large network on it, but it's not going to work as smoothly. Your firewall is your primary point of security from outside intrusion so you want to do it right. Be very meticulous about your configuration.

Straight-up, walking-to-the-console usability of the solution is not very user-friendly. It's not very intuitive. However, compared to other firewalls, it's very user-friendly. So it's more user-friendly than most, but it's just not something anybody could walk up to and use. If I had to walk someone through it remotely, it wouldn't be very easy for them to do.

Each upgrade of the device, and I've had about five of them — five main devices — has allowed an increase in bandwidth and performance. They tend to work fairly consistently, but as speeds have gotten faster, you've got to upgrade the device to keep up with it. They seem to be doing an adequate job at that.

I have used the solution's Cloud Visibility feature. I wasn't really blown away. I thought, "Okay, that's neat." I haven't really dug into it deeply. I don't really think about it in the context of detecting and reacting to threats or other issues in our network. I like to be aware of threats, but threats in networking terms are always not practical. For a company like ours, we know there are going to be internet probes out there, and they're going to hit our network. The WatchGuard identifies them and locks them down. There's nothing I can do about it. It's more along the lines of, "For your information, there was an attempted attacked last night."

What I'd rather have is internal threat assessment. I want to know: "This machine started doing something last night it wasn't supposed to do. It was sending out emails at two in the morning. It shouldn't be doing that." Since it's sitting here watching the network, I'm more concerned with internal threats, and people doing things they shouldn't be doing, than I'm worried about the external threats. 

I probably should be equally concerned about them but I've never found a really good solution on that. I have some customized things that I've done that try to send me alerts if certain behavior patterns are detected. I'm scanning through the logs, and if certain keywords pop up, then I'm alerted. That's been somewhat helpful, but most of the time I get more false positives than I get actual.

We have web filtering, so I'm looking to see if anyone is going to pornographic or hacker or peer-to-peer sites. I get alerts from that and it logs those. But most of the time, I'll get hundreds of alerts on sites for a user, and I'll go over and find that the user was looking for fonts and one of the ads happened to be on a server that caused a trigger. It was a complete false positive but I don't know how to filter all that out. So the alert becomes useless. That may be an industry problem.

I would rate WatchGuard at eight out ten. There is a need for improvements in the reporting. There needs to be more granular, built-in filtering in the reporting, so that you can drill it down to exactly the information you want. The second thing would be the cost-plan of renewals. They can have a security plan and they can have a renewal plan. But if you lapse and they charge a penalty on top of that, to me that's really unacceptable. I should be able to let a product lapse if I want to. It may not be a priority. It might be something I have in someone's home and then there's just a new feature I need to add. As I'm going down the road I should just be able to buy that when I want. To put in reinstatement fees is a big negative to me. Granted, they all do it, but they all shouldn't do it.

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: October 2021.
543,089 professionals have used our research since 2012.
John Giacco
Network Administrator at Peace Bridge
Real User
Its features provide me visibility on the network

Pros and Cons

  • "HostWatch makes it so I can see, in real-time, activity in the event that there is something weird happening on the network. This simplifies my job."
  • "The product's usability is good. It is straightforward and simple. One of the benefits is that it is easy to navigate and intuitive."
  • "Sometimes, the writing rules are a little confusing in how am I doing them."
  • "We were able to take from an older configuration, build a new one quickly, and get it up and running, which didn't take long, but there was some pain around it."

What is our primary use case?

It is a firewall. I have two M400s. They act as security for the Internet, like a border between us and the Internet.

How has it helped my organization?

We allow more outside vendors to be able to come in, then I could protect them. This is a way that I could leverage the solution which has improved business. It has made vendors coming from the outside able to get to resources that we can provide them without allowing them onto our production network.

We have the logging working along with the System Manager overview. This all seems very good to use and straightforward. It is where I look when I start since it gives me that sort of a single pane of glass for both firewalls.

It gives me Layer 3 and Layer 4 security. I don't know if it gives me the full Layer 7 security, which some other firewalls do. It might in new revisions of it. However, for what I need, it meets the sweet spot.

Having the VPN access helps productivity in the sense that people can get to resources anywhere.

What is most valuable?

  • HostWatch is a nice feature.
  • Logging
  • The central management piece of the system
  • The overview manager is good to have.
  • The GUI is somewhat easy to use.

These features provide visibility on the network. When there is trouble, I like to see why I might be having trouble at the gateway level.

HostWatch makes it so I can see, in real-time, activity in the event that there is something weird happening on the network. This simplifies my job.

The product's usability is good. It is straightforward and simple. One of the benefits is that it is easy to navigate and intuitive.

What needs improvement?

Sometimes, the writing rules are a little confusing in how am I doing them.

I had some trouble with the previous product version (XTM) at the end. When the product aged a bit, there were no redundant power supplies. For what we're doing, it would've been nice to have something to fall back on instead rebuilding and taking it from an old configuration because the older version did die. We were able to take from an older configuration, build a new one quickly, and get it up and running, which didn't take long, but there was some pain around it.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using it for a year and a few months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

With the previous version (XTM), I started seeing some hiccups.

With this new version (M400), it has been in place for about a year and been running just fine. I haven't had to reboot it. I don't think I've had an issue at all with it.

I manage the solution as the network administrator.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I am not sure what I can scale up to. It meets our needs, though. We're not a growing company. We are sort of a static company in terms of growth. As a static company, we are not looking to increase our usage.

We have around 200 users, who are tradesmen, toll collectors, administrators, accountants, and auditors.

How are customer service and technical support?

I haven't used WatchGuard's technical support because it is an easy product to use.

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

We switched from WatchGuard's previous model due to age of hardware. We went from something that was seven or eight years old to something from the last year or two.

How was the initial setup?

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.

What was our ROI?

For the price point, what we do with it, and the time that the last one lived for on our network, we have gotten our money's worth from it. I'm satisfied with the product for the most part.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We did consider other vendors. I don't think there's a need for us to switch right now. In the future, there might be. However, we're pretty happy right now with what we have.

We also looked at Palo Alto, Cisco, and Juniper NetScreen. We looked at Juniper because we have a lot of Juniper switching infrastructure. WatchGuard's price point worked, which is the reason why we stayed with WatchGuard.

What other advice do I have?

Leverage the website. They have a good knowledge base out there. If this was a green deployment, make sure that you understand how the policies work for VPN and matting.

The throughput is adequate. It certainly handles what I pumped through it, which is about 150MB. I don't know how we would do on a big gigabit network, but for what I do, it works. I haven't seen any slow downs in throughput.

I am not using the Cloud Visibility feature.

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.
JR
Network Administrator at Advanced Software Designs
Real User
Keeps our VPN secure and it is stable as well - it doesn't go down

Pros and Cons

  • "The throughput is great. It's perfect. We have no issues whatsoever. The management features are very powerful..."
  • "The software base, the management piece that goes onto a server, is not as user-friendly as I would like. There are three different pieces that you have to manage, so it's a little bit convoluted, in my opinion."

What is our primary use case?

We use it to keep people out and we use it for a VPN.

How has it helped my organization?

The only thing that we care about is that we're kept safe from any attacks. That is important. The VPN is very secure and that's of huge importance because we have remote users who depend on it to do their jobs. So that's crucial.

The improvement it's provided is to our security. We don't have issues with rogue access, with people coming in here, or having access to our, data who shouldn't. That is huge, of course.

The solution simplifies my job. I don't even have to think about it. Everything is set and I leave it alone. And it just does its job. I would estimate it saves me at least 20 hours a month because I don't have to worry about things. It's set and it just runs.

WatchGuard has increased productivity because our VPN is stable. It's up. It doesn't go down. We used to have an issue with remote connectivity but that's no longer a problem. Having a VPN is very big for us.

What is most valuable?

  • We have firewall policies in place to keep safe from malware and we rely heavily on it for our secure VPN.
  • In terms of usability, the web interface is great.
  • The throughput is great. It's perfect. We have no issues whatsoever.
  • The management features are very powerful, although I don't use the reporting features at all.

What needs improvement?

The software base, the management piece that goes onto a server, is not as user-friendly as I would like. There are three different pieces that you have to manage, so it's a little bit convoluted, in my opinion. For people who use it all the time, it's great. But I don't use the management interface all the time.

Overall, it's powerful enough, so that is something that we can overlook.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using this solution since 2010.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's very stable and it meets our needs. The stability is huge. It's rock-solid.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's been able to handle anything we've thrown at it so far. We've never had an issue.

We upgrade as the models we have become obsolete. We upgrade to newer ones and they're usually on a three-year rotation, which is fine for us.

How are customer service and technical support?

I haven't had to use technical support very often, but when I have they've been great.

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

We tried a software-based solution. I don't even remember what it was now.

How was the initial setup?

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.

What about the implementation team?

Our reseller helped with deployment. Our experience with them was great. We still use them.

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

We pay about $3,500 every three years. There are no costs in addition to the standard licensing fees.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We looked into offerings from Dell EMC, from Fortigate, and Cisco. But it was just going to be too much of a nightmare.

What other advice do I have?

Rely on your vendor.

For us, it's in use every day. it's 24/7.

We're not using the solution's cloud visibility feature. That's something you have to pay for, and we haven't. I would love to, but there's a wireless piece and it's just too expensive. They have a wireless product that integrates perfectly with the WatchGuard appliance. But that's just not a reality for us because of the cost of those appliances. We would love to but just can't.

In terms of users, we've got about 15 people worldwide. They do support, testing - all of them use remote access. And then we have our internal users as well. It keeps us safe internally and our remote users are able to work with a reliable connection. It's very reliable.

I'm the only one who manages the firewall. If I need any help, there is a local vendor that helps me out as well. We're a small company but it's been great for us. I'm not that technical but I just know it works.

WatchGuard is a ten out of ten for me, because of its reliability.

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.
GT
Prepress/Systems Manager at a printing company with 51-200 employees
Real User
Provides ease of use and navigation without having to do too much networking

Pros and Cons

  • "It's pretty simple to use. It's pretty simple to understand, and there's plenty of documentation. It does a pretty good job of what it is meant to do."
  • "Last year, I had an issue with one of the Fireboxes going down. It was overheated, because my server room became overheated and this fried it."

What is our primary use case?

We use it as a firewall. It protects us from security threats and uses a VPN tunnel.

How has it helped my organization?

WatchGuard Firebox made it so that I can connect to my remote offices without having to set up every computer to connect to our headquarters. Now, the remote offices can all just login to their system and work as if they are here at our headquarters.

The throughput and performance are excellent. I have never had a problem with them.

The solution provides our business with layered security. It gives us the ability to prevent traffic from coming in on certain ports and the ability to navigate certain traffic to different locations, not letting it just come into my system and do whatever it wants to do.

What is most valuable?

The VPN and tunnel between the two different clients. 

The ability to route Internet traffic to certain computers or IP addresses based on ports, etc. It provides me with ease of use, allowing navigation without having to do too much networking. It is all in a user friendly location.

The product is very usable. I haven't had too many issues with it. It seems to always run and be easy to make changes to, as long as you know what you want to do. There is plenty of documentation online to how to do what you need to do.

It simplifies my job because I can make any changes all in one location. I can login at the user-friendly site versus trying to do it in a programming or networking level site.

What needs improvement?

There is always room to get better, which is why I gave the solution a nine out of 10.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is great. I have only had one go out on me, and it was because of my issue. 

We have one IT person for deployment and maintenance.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is very scalable. I don't see an issue with scaling. I could always add another system by buying a new box and adding the connection. It would be easy.

I would assume anybody connected to the Internet is using WatchGuard, because they are using their block sites, etc. Everybody in our company is using the Internet, which is around 60 to 70 people. However, the people who are really using it are the people that work at different remote locations and login either via the tunnel or VPN. That is roughly around 15 to 20 people who do data entry and processing.

We do not have plans to increase usage for a couple years.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support was good. Last year, I had an issue with one of the Fireboxes going down. It was overheated, because my server room became overheated and this fried it. However, the technical support was excellent. They got me a Firebox out as soon as possible, which helped me resolve the problem, getting it back up and running. They were great.

How was the initial setup?

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.

What about the implementation team?

We set it up ourselves.

What was our ROI?

The solution saves us about an hour a month.

What other advice do I have?

Read up about it. Understand what each of the settings are doing and use the resources that you have to get the best knowledge before implementing.

It's pretty simple to use. It's pretty simple to understand, and there's plenty of documentation. It does a pretty good job of what it is meant to do.

We are not using the solution’s Cloud Visibility feature.

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.
JL
Information Technology Specialist at a healthcare company with 51-200 employees
Real User
Productivity has increased because the time that we used to spend on each machine can now be spent on the network level

Pros and Cons

  • "One of the most valuable features is the Geolocation. Because we aren't a multinational corporation, it allows me to look at things which might be suspicious to make sure that they are legitimate transactions rather than people sniffing around the network."
  • "The drawbacks are just sometimes not having the technical information that we need in order to easily make connections with all of our Internet-based clients."

What is our primary use case?

The primary use case is it is a firewall solution. One of the major selling points was that WatchGuard does adapt in real-time as new threats are discovered, and they push out fixes in real-time.

A lot of our servers have been migrated to the cloud, so it is really our primary solution right now.

How has it helped my organization?

One of the things that it has done is we have been able to start cutting down on extraneous web traffic. We make sure that our bandwidth is being used for business functions rather than for downloading or streaming media files.

It very much simplifies my job. Before we got the WatchGuard solution, I was doing everything on a per machine basis. All of the security, firewall, and port security had to be done on the front-end before anything could go out. This could take hours to days depending on the system being used, and then it would have to be in the IT department getting provisioned. Now, the provisioning goes more toward what types of software are needed. We have it completely unified across locations with a security standard through the WatchGuard systems due to the roles that we've set up for the organization. We just set the same roles in place, then we are able to ensure that everything is uniform across all locations.

Productivity, especially within the IT department, has increased due to the time that we used to spend on each machine can now be spent on the network level. This allows us to turn our attention to other tasks, such as creating in-house systems, so we can roll out changes faster and be more responsive to the needs of our business.

What is most valuable?

One of the most valuable features is the Geolocation. Because we aren't a multinational corporation, it allows me to look at things which might be suspicious to make sure that they are legitimate transactions rather than people sniffing around the network.

I have found the reporting and management to be pretty useful a lot of times. When the reporting did come up short, it was due to a configuration error on my part. Anytime that I've had to look up historical information, I found that everything I have needed has been there and it has allowed me to piece together what happened.

What needs improvement?

We do a lot of work with cloud-based and Internet-based vendors. A lot of times when we are on the phone with them, I find that it is a bit more technical than they are used to when we are trying to set up specific exceptions to the firewall. We ask for the ports that it's going to use or the block of addresses that they're going to be going from. A lot of times the only thing that they have for us is the web address that they want me to whitelist. Unless I'm missing that functionality, it seems like it is looking more for those technical data points, essentially. A lot of times, I'm running into a problem where there's a lack of give and take between WatchGuard and me. We get it figured out eventually, but it would just be nice if there was a way to say, "We just want to whitelist this address."

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using the solution for six and a half months now.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is a very stable solution. 

Once we had it set up the way we wanted, it seemed to be running extremely well.

For deployment and management, it's just me along with the reselling group (POA).

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have not reached any scalability issues, so far. We have used it in clinics as small as a few practitioners and ones that have more than 30 providers. We have never experienced any issues with the product slowing down or failing in any way.

There are five different users, I'm the main power user of it, and I essentially set up the rule sets and work to ensure that the system is delivering what is needed. The other users are more of administrative users who are viewing the web traffic within their own departments.

How are customer service and technical support?

So far, I haven't needed to go to the solution's technical support.

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

We were just using on system firewalls. We were getting to the point where we needed to consider a network-based solution of a physical firewall. WatchGuard came highly recommended from our consultants when we partnered with POA.

How was the initial setup?

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.

What about the implementation team?

We used Pacific Office Automation. We had a very good experience with them. With the few bumps in the road that we had following the setup, we called them. We let them know what was going on and they helped us resolve the issues quickly.

What was our ROI?

It saves a lot of time. On a weekly basis, without having to do a per machine basis, it probably saves me about three and a half to four hours a week.

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

I think we might be subscribed to one or two of the premium features.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We were evaluating a Cisco solution as well. 

What other advice do I have?

Take a look at the needs of your business and how reactive you need to have your firewall solution be. One of the major selling points for our corporate board was: As new threats come up, WatchGuard is constantly taking the information coming in and looking for a solution, then pushing it out. That was one of the major selling points for us. The field that we're in takes security very seriously. We wanted to make sure that we were protecting our client's information. When it came down to it, that was a major selling point for us.

There was a bit of a learning curve. Once I was in it for about a week or two, I found it simple and intuitive to use.

With the throughput, the only issues that we found were at the very beginning, and that was due to a misconfiguration on my part. There hasn't been a noticeable change in slow down from the throughput the way that some firewall solutions might cause. Now, my end users don't even realize that it is there.

We are not using the solution's cloud visibility feature.

Right now, we are on the base usage. It's a firewall solution for us and we haven't really had the chance to dig into the advanced features that much. I plan to expand how we use it in the future, as time allows.

I'm very happy with it so far. I need some more data points to really firm that up. However, at this time, what I'm basing the eight (out of 10) off of is the ease of use, the ease of setup, and its learning curve. Once you learn how to use the system, it is very well-organized. It does save us so much time. The drawbacks are just sometimes not having the technical information that we need in order to easily make connections with all of our Internet-based clients, but we can put the work in and still get it done.

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.
JB
IT Manager at a engineering company
Real User
Geolocation allows us to lock down certain policies to only U.S. IPs

Pros and Cons

  • "One of my favorite features is the Geolocation service, where you can actually block specific activity or IP addresses registered to certain countries. For example, I don't want any web traffic from Russia or North Korea. I may even lock down certain policies down to 'I only want U.S. IP addresses.' I find that very useful."
  • "They've done a lot of work with their SD-WAN, which we do use, to have our old internet service with our new internet service. If anything goes down on a particular interface, I can have different rules applied. Most of my users don't even know when our primary internet goes down anymore... I don't have to be here to do anything to switch it to our backup internet or to switch it back."
  • "Reporting is something you've got to set up separately. It's one of those things that you've got to put some time into. One of the options is to set up a local report server, which is what I did. It's not great. It's okay... Some of the stuff is a little complicated to get up and running. Once you do, it becomes very user-friendly and easy to work with, but I find there are some implementation headaches with some of their stuff."

What is our primary use case?

It's our primary firewall. It's also our UTM device, so we have multiple security layers enabled on it.

We're using an M270 firewall with version 12.5.

How has it helped my organization?

With WatchGuard, I've got a lot of WebBlocker rules set up which help quite a bit, blocking a lot of suspicious and parked domains. Between WebBlocker, the Botnet Detection, the website reputation filters going, and IPS - which is one that is essential, but nobody really talks about a whole lot; between all those things working together, and even the antivirus, I feel our network is pretty clean. And if there is some suspicious activity, I think I have a better chance of being alerted to it. I've even been able to set up Application Control rules, so that something like Windows Update doesn't deplete too much bandwidth. There are whole bandwidth controls you can set up which aren't necessarily security-related, but they can help make sure that one particular function doesn't take up so much bandwidth that the users are affected. WatchGuard has layered security, but I also have other layers beyond that.

I wouldn't necessarily say it has simplified my job but I am very happy to have it. I'm very glad we went with WatchGuard. I was impressed with WatchGuard for a lot of other reasons like their education and training videos. They do a lot of little security announcements about what's going on with other companies in the industry, so that part has made my job easier. I wouldn't say it's made my job more difficult either. It has definitely made me feel more comfortable about the security here, but I wouldn't say it simplified things. We had a very simple firewall which was almost a small-business router. It had a little firewall screen with four settings on it that really didn't do a whole lot. So, I can't say WatchGuard simplified things for me. It's just we're much more secure and it hasn't overly complicated things.

What is most valuable?

One of my favorite features is the Geolocation service, where you can actually block specific activity or IP addresses registered to certain countries. For example, I don't want any web traffic from Russia or North Korea. I may even lock down certain policies down to "I only want U.S. IP addresses." I find that very useful. That was not a feature that was initially there for us. It was something WatchGuard released after we bought our first device with them and it is one I am very happy with.

I may want to only allow U.S. IPs onto a specific interface that I share files with, for security reasons, or I may know of a security issue in a particular country. I can just block that whole country for all my users. Or maybe I'm seeing a lot of malicious links coming out of South Korea, even, and I just say, "We don't go on a lot of websites there, let me just block that country completely," and if we do need to get on a website, I'll just make an exception. It improves security and helps block malicious links.

There's a little bit of a learning curve in getting everything working. But once you understand how all the pieces work, and the fact that you're using physical hardware with a web interface alongside a piece of software installed on your computer, and you learn what to do in each location, it's very user-friendly.

I like the management. There are some nice dashboards and other things to keep an eye on things. There are email alerts, once you get those configured. Once again, they're a little complicated to get set up, but once they work, they work well. Management is pretty easy. 

The version I'm on, 12.5, came out last week. I try to stay pretty current and they do add features and improve usability and functionality often. It's one thing I've been happy with. It's not like they say, "Here are the modules you bought with it four years ago and that's all you have." They're constantly adding, developing, improving. 

They've done a lot of work with their SD-WAN, which we do use, to have our old internet service with our new internet service. If anything goes down on a particular interface, I can have different rules applied. Most of my users don't even know when our primary internet goes down anymore. It does run slower on our backup, but they don't know the difference unless they're doing some kind of bandwidth-intensive function or streaming. I don't have to be here to do anything to switch it to our backup internet or to switch it back. They've developed that feature even more, to allow you to have different rules for different policies or different interfaces to behave differently, depending on what happens with either packet-loss or latency, with multiple internet sources. That is pretty helpful.

What needs improvement?

Reporting is something you've got to set up separately. It's one of those things that you've got to put some time into. One of the options is to set up a local report server, which is what I did. It's not great. It's okay. I've heard their Dimension control reporting virtual machine is supposed to be a lot better, but I haven't had the time our resources to set that up. Some of the stuff is a little complicated to get up and running. Once you do, it becomes very user-friendly and easy to work with, but I find there are some implementation headaches with some of their stuff.

I wish I had a contact at WatchGuard because there are a few things I'm not using. I'm not doing packet inspection because I know it's pretty intensive to install certificates on all my computers and have it actually analyze the encrypted traffic. That's something I'd like to do but I'd really like to talk to somebody at WatchGuard about it. Is that recommended with my number of users with my piece of hardware, or is that going to overload everything? I'm not using Dimension control. I'm not using cloud. If I had a sales rep or a support person that I could just check in with, that would help. Maybe they could do yearly account reviews where somebody calls me to say, "What are you using? What are you not using? What would you like more information about?" That sort of thing could go a long way.

They do a lot of education, but it's sent out to the masses. They have really good emails they send out which I find very valuable, talking about the industry, security events, and other things to be aware of. But there's not too much personal reaching out that I've seen where they're say, "Hey, how can we help your company use this device better? What do you feel you need from us?" That's my main recommendation: There should be somebody reaching out to check in with us and help us get more out of our device.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using WatchGuard for over four years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's very stable.

I've only even had one update that I applied that caused problems, that I had to roll back. I don't recall any kind of issue where I had to reboot the device to fix something. Somewhere along the line, WatchGuard, with their free training and free training videos, had recommended setting up an automatic reboot once a week just to keep everything clean, fresh, and healthy. I set that up during to reboot every week during off-hours on the weekend and I've had almost zero problems with it. Even with the updates, as I said, I can only think of one instance where there was a problem. I had to roll the update back, which was very easy to do, and then wait until the update patch came out and fixed the problem. That only happened once.

I've been very happy with the stability and reliability of not just the device and the software, but WatchGuard as a company.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

With my needs and my network, I feel we could add bandwidth and add users for a while, before we would run into any issues. It's scalable for my needs with my device.

How are customer service and technical support?

I don't think I have used WatchGuard's technical support. If I did, it might have been once.

I haven't really needed it too much. As I said, they have some good YouTube videos that they put out themselves on setting up stuff. That's my first resource when I want to get into a new feature I'm not using. They've got pretty good notes in there, so when I update software on the device itself, I go through their installation guide or their admin guide for that version of the software and it's all pretty straightforward. It lays out the new stuff they changed and what you need to be aware of, so I haven't needed to bug them.

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

We didn't have anything like this before, so it's not necessarily saving me time, but it did add a whole other level of security to our network, which we really appreciate.

We had a small-business Cisco basic solution. They called it a security router, but it was just a small device that sat on the shelf and which mostly provided internet access. It had very simple firewall controls: two or three check-boxes to do basic filtering. So we did have something, but it was nowhere near the level of the WatchGuard.

We switched to WatchGuard because we did not have a UTM device like we do with WatchGuard. We needed to upgrade the old device because it wasn't performing well anyway. I suggested that we needed something more appropriate, or with more layers of security than what our other small, entry-level device was offering. We did review solutions from a few other firewall vendors and WatchGuard offered, in my opinion, the best protection for the cost.

How was the initial setup?

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.

What about the implementation team?

I did it myself.

What was our ROI?

I believe there has been ROI, with the level of protection and things that are being blocked that we're aware of. And there is just the peace of mind of knowing certain things.

Some of this I'm simplifying a little bit because, again, a lot of these things have been implemented over the last four-and-a-half years. I'm thinking now of other features I've implemented that I'm very proud of, like locking down remote access software so people can't just come and use any remote access software to get in or out of our office. There's a sense of security because I only allow the remote-access software that we pay for and use. I don't allow any other protocols to get through. It is making sure we don't have people who work here doing weird things, but it also makes it harder for other people to break in. Just that peace of mind and all the other layers we have working is worth the money, in my opinion.

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

We had a trade-in offer at the end of our first three-year term. As a result, we pretty much got a free device by buying the three-year subscription. It was around $3,000 for the three-years.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We probably looked at SonicWall and ForcePoint, but it's been a number of years so I don't recall much of that process.

What other advice do I have?

Do your research. It's not impossible. Do things in a logical order and make sure you understand what you're doing and how you're going to do it. Once you understand it and get everything working the way you want, it does get very easy to use and work with from there. Once you get over the learning curve of how all the pieces work together, it's very easy, very user-friendly, very easy to update, and very easy to make changes and document those changes - all that good stuff.

I tend to buy the hardware platform that's like one level above where we think we absolutely have to be at a minimum, so the performance has been adequate or good. I've yet to hit an issue where I feel the device is slowing us down or causing any issues because of the performance of the device, itself. We're usually limited more by our actual bandwidth. It's been great as far as our network and needs go.

In terms of the extent to which we're using the product, six months ago when I renewed the second three-year term, the subscriptions had changed quite a bit from when I had my first three-year term. Now, I have a whole list of new subscription services or modules or layers that I have not started implementing. I got a couple of the new ones implemented, to get some of the benefit, when I first got this new device. But there are a few more I want to implement. One of them, is packet inspection, which is difficult because that can really bog down your device. I'd like to have Dimension control to get better reporting. There are a couple of other ones that I have not implemented because they're new for me and I just haven't had the time to work on them. Threat Detection and Response is one I'm interested in which I haven't time to implement yet. It involves me setting up a client in each one of my endpoints and it keeps track of unusual activity there. That's probably where I want to go next. Maybe even the Access Portal could be useful for me, to have a place for vendors or customers go to access things inside our network.

We've gotten more features for our money because there's a new security package which wasn't available when I first subscribed, and that included pretty much everything. I had paid separately for APT, Advanced Persistent Threat protection, on my old subscription. To get that now, it was cheaper to bundle it with their total threat package. That included a lot of things like DNSWatch, which I did set up to look for malicious DNS access requests throughout my network. It gave me intelligent antivirus. I believe there's some kind of DLP module, which is one I haven't spent any time on. Network Discovery is another one I haven't spent time on that I need to work on. All of those came as new features with the new hardware and with that new subscription. The Threat Detection Response is definitely something I didn't have access to before. For sure, in this second three-year term, we got a lot more value for the money with what WatchGuard offered us.

I would give WatchGuard an eight out of ten. There's a little bit of room for improvement but I'm very happy with WatchGuard. I think it's a good fit for me. I won't often give a ten, just on principle, unless I feel they deserve a 12. That's when I give a ten.

I've definitely said positive things about WatchGuard to other people in the industry, people I talk to or know. I'm a promoter of WatchGuard, to be honest. I haven't seen anything I like better, but I haven't had a lot of experience with other devices. I've said good things to people on a regular basis, especially about WatchGuard's education, the emails and videos and other stuff they put out to try and help people, even when it's not related to WatchGuard products.

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.
AlanRogers
Owner at Thermioninc.com
Real User
You can control how you want things to go in and out of it

Pros and Cons

  • "If there is any conflict, the reporting feature will kick out all types of information, which is great."
  • "The software in it could be a bit more friendly for an amateur user. I look at it and don't understand what half the stuff is. Looking at the interface, it is all mumbo-jumbo to me. It's not a simple interface. You have to be an IT guy to understand it. It is not for your average person to use, then walk away from it. It is much more entailed."

What is our primary use case?

I use it as my firewall. 

We are using it to filter our email.

How has it helped my organization?

It roadblocks most everything, as far as viruses and stuff like that, from getting into my network and does a good job of that.

If there is any conflict, the reporting feature will kick out all types of information, which is great.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is if I need to control spam. I can control everything with it, anything coming in or out of my network. The controllability is phenomenal.

You can control how you want things to go in and out of it. So, it is great for that.

What needs improvement?

The software in it could be a bit more friendly for an amateur user. I look at it and don't understand what half the stuff is. Looking at the interface, it is all mumbo-jumbo to me. It's not a simple interface. You have to be an IT guy to understand it. It is not for your average person to use, then walk away from it. It is much more entailed. It could be a bit more user-friendly, but my IT guy knows what he's doing with it. I just let him do most everything.

They need to make it so you have a step-by-step guide which goes through and sets it all up for you. However, they don't have that. You have to know what you're doing with it.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using the M200 for a year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It seems to be stable.

There are always updates for it. So, they are always improving it. We are always putting updates into it all the time. They do a good job of trying to keep up on everything.

I just have a consultant who comes in every so often to do deployment and maintenance.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I haven't seen any restrictions as far as the scalability is concerned, so it seems to be just fine.

All of our users are just office workers. 

How are customer service and technical support?

Our IT guy talks highly of the technical support, saying that they are pretty knowledgeable. He never complains about them. 

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

I've had WatchGuard ever since I put my network together. All I've used is WatchGuard.

They were discontinuing support for the last one that I had. Therefore, I had to upgrade to the M200.

How was the initial setup?

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.

What about the implementation team?

I just used an integrator for the deployment, who was good. I have worked with him for years.

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

There is an additional cost for support on top of licensing. When I bought my new unit, I received additional time added to my support. 

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I just went by what my IT guy recommended, so I didn't really evaluate any others because he's very knowledgeable on all of these type of things. I just went off of his recommendation.

What other advice do I have?

The functionality of the unit is great. However, you have to be pretty knowledgeable on how to work with its interface.

I don't any plans to increase usage. The product is always on and always being used.

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.
JR
Woodworker at Creative Woodworking NW
Real User
Protects my network and I don't have to deal with downtime

Pros and Cons

  • "It protects me against malicious websites, as well as malicious downloads, as a perimeter anti-virus. I've also seen it blocking a lot of pings and different probes."
  • "I would like to see more simplified management of the firewall... It's a complicated system to use."

What is our primary use case?

I use it for protecting my network and for routing. Also, if my network connection goes down with CenturyLink, it automatically switches over to my Verizon cellular.

How has it helped my organization?

It protects me against malicious websites, as well as malicious downloads, as a perimeter anti-virus. I've also seen it blocking a lot of pings and different probes. 

A file wasn't opening on one of our mobile devices, so the owner said, "Hey, open it on your computer," and WatchGuard stopped it. I didn't have to try to remove a virus from my accountant's computer because WatchGuard stopped it. 

It has also saved me time by not having to rebuild because of damage to the network due to nefarious situations. Since I installed WatchGuard, it has probably saved me 20 hours a year thanks to increased uptime as well as not having any issues with viruses on computers. It's protecting my network and I don't have to deal with downtime.

It has increased productivity in security management.

I've also had very good uptake time. I would have to reboot my previous routers once a month or so or try to figure out what was wrong with them. With WatchGuard I've had zero problems. If I ever have an issue with connecting to the internet, it's always due to my internet provider.

As the person who manages IT for the business, it saves me thousands of dollars.

What is most valuable?

  • Safety
  • Uptime

The solution's reporting and management features are good.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see more simplified management of the firewall. It's something that I've had to bring in outside support for - for setting up the firewall - because I don't fully understand it yet. I've been learning it. Some of that is my fault, but it's a complicated system to use. I don't know if it can be simplified much, because of the nature of what it's doing. But it's very complicated.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using it for about three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's very stable. I haven't ever had a product that is this stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It appears to be scalable. Scalability doesn't apply to me very much. I did have to buy a new router since the last one wasn't powerful enough. But it was not too bad because I was able to upload all my previous settings to this new one. It handles our entire network, but I don't have any plans on increasing usage.

We have 15 employees and everyone uses it for some sort of connection, whether it be for their phones to connect to our server for our time-tracking system, or for our office computers. I'm the only person who takes care of its maintenance.

How are customer service and technical support?

I would rate their technical support very highly. They are very knowledgeable.

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

I used Ubiquity. I switched because it was not stable and it would not provide a lot of the services that I needed.

How was the initial setup?

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.

What about the implementation team?

I purchased it through Last Mile Gear, a reseller. One of their techs assisted me in installing it. He was pretty helpful. I also called WatchGuard's helpline and they were very helpful.

What was our ROI?

The service seemed fairly expensive, but when I saw it stopped a malicious file and saved our computer from having to be rebuilt, I upped it to their Security Suite. It definitely showed itself to be useful, and I'm glad that I have it.

It's prevented network intrusions, which is invaluable. Having 100 percent uptime so far has made it a great value.

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

The cost three years ago was about $800. There were no additional costs beyond the initial purchase.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

The reseller recommended WatchGuard, so that's what I went with.

What other advice do I have?

If you can understand the way the firewall works, the logic of the firewall, it will serve you really well. It's a very stable, great product.

I started with a T10. I ended up needing a more powerful version, so I bought the T30 about two years ago. I've been very happy with it. The usability is difficult but it's a complicated system. It's a professional solution. I wouldn't recommend it to my friends for their homes, but for business, I think it's a fantastic solution.

I'm happy with the throughput on the T30. The T10 was definitely lacking. It was definitely slow.

I would rate it a nine out of ten. The way to make it a ten would be to make it easier to use for a novice.

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.
Joseph Jansen
IT Specialist at Art Students League
Real User
Easily understood and managed and it's simple to do network diagnostics

Pros and Cons

  • "It's pretty simple to understand when you want to do any diagnostics on your network. If you want to go in and see what packages are having trouble getting through, what's being held, stalled, etc., it's very easy to use in that way."
  • "One other shortcoming is that there is no backup for it. We really haven't figured out how we might solve that problem. We may want to put a duplicate in... With WatchGuard, we just have the one box. If that were to fail, we'd probably be really hurting."

What is our primary use case?

We really don't use the firewall too much, we use it more as a VPN. We've got several different networks that we're joining through WatchGuard.

How has it helped my organization?

It has made firewall configuration really simple. It doesn't take years of training or certificates to go in and manage it. That's a big deal. We set up our firewall, operating as a VPN. It's bringing several networks together and it made that process easy.

In terms of my job, it's taken so little of my attention. I have worked with Cisco firewalls and they were complex. WatchGuard is easily understood and managed. It's easy to watch traffic go through the network, to look for ports that are closed or open, and to see what's actually moving through the network and what's not. It has made it easy to understand network traffic.

The learning curve is very small in comparison to the Cisco firewall. Within two hours, I was managing WatchGuard, whereas with Cisco it might have taken a month to accomplish that same level of proficiency. As far as the control of traffic is concerned, I spend one or two hours a week on WatchGuard, as compared to about eight hours with the Cisco firewall. It has freed up my time to do other things.

What is most valuable?

What I like most is the analytical side. It's pretty simple to understand when you want to do any diagnostics on your network. If you want to go in and see what packages are having trouble getting through, what's being held, stalled, etc., it's very easy to use in that way.

In terms of the usability overall, it's pretty simple but, at the same time, it's pretty full-featured in terms of what it can do. We only use part of it, only because that's where we're at right now. But for a small network, for a small organization, especially, it's a complete solution to your firewall needs. It's relatively simple for me to get into and to work with when I need to; if I need to set up an ARP table or to create different reports. For a smaller network with lesser-trained IT people - if they're lucky, they've got one IT guy trying to do it all - it's an excellent size. Whether you've got a few machines or several hundred, it's pretty simple.

What needs improvement?

One of the things that is always valuable is workshops. It's really hard to get away and do webinars, but what I would like is a selection of webinars. I see WatchGuard comes forward with a webinar where they're going to introduce this or that. I'd like to see a lot more of those and a lot shorter.

On lynda.com I can just point to a video to show me something I need to know how to do; for example, how to merge contacts in Outlook. But it is a ten-minute video. I would like to see more of that kind of learning. I'm sure WatchGuard has got all these videos, has got the webinars and the training sessions. But when I need to know something, I need to be able to get to it quickly. I want an indexed learning system very close to what lynda.com might use. I also want to be able to put questions forward either in a "frequently-asked-questions" forum or by sending them up to the support team for quick reply. 

I want to be able to go to a portal and put in my problem and have WatchGuard bounce back to me with, "Well, this is how we can do it," or "We don't have a solution for that." And then I can go to other vendors to look for a solution.

The more targeted learning system I can have, the better. If I have to schedule a webinar that might take 30 minutes, there's a good chance I'll miss it. I sign up for webinars and it happens that I'm not available because I've got other fires going. The learning has to be there almost at my whim: "I've got a fire burning, I've got to figure out how to put it out. I need a ten-minute video to show me." Those learning sessions have to be available and easily found, when I need them. I have so little control over my schedule on a daily basis, and I'm sure I'm like many others.

One other shortcoming is that there is no backup for it. We really haven't figured out how we might solve that problem. We may want to put a duplicate in. With Cisco, it's not uncommon to have dual firewalls with something our size. That way, if one were to fail, we've always got the other. With WatchGuard, we just have the one box. If that were to fail, we'd probably be really hurting.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using it for about 14 or 15 months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I haven't had to look at it in nine months. It just works pretty painlessly. It's very stable. It's kind of invisible.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We haven't hit a limit. We have the wireless running through it, a camera system running through it. There are 50 workstations running through it, as well as servers. I don't have any problems with it whatsoever. 

How are customer service and technical support?

Tech support is everything for any product. WatchGuard's technical support is up there at eight or nine out of ten. That's really what you're looking for in a product; more than the product itself, it's that support. If it's not there, you can just frustrate yourself to death on solutions. WatchGuard is support is easily available and know what they are talking about.

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

We were looking for a solution. The engineer that I had knew of WatchGuard and thought it was probably a good idea, and that was the whole strategy. He had worked with it before and he was the lead engineer when we implemented it. He was right about WatchGuard, it is a good product.

We were using Ciscos. They were aged and out of date. They were pretty well done. Our options were to get new Ciscos and get them configured. Of course the deployment and hardware were expensive. And the maintenance or the management, in the long run, was much more expensive.

With the WatchGuard, the initial hardware was less expensive. And the implementation, because it didn't require as much training, was much less expensive. And the management is much less. When I say "much less," I'm talking about 25 percent of the cost of what the similar Cisco would be.

How was the initial setup?

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.

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

There are no costs in addition to the standard licensing fees. It was pretty much, "Get the license and you're good to go for the year."

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We looked at Cisco in addition to WatchGuard. We didn't look at anything else.

What other advice do I have?

I wouldn't hesitate to implement this solution. Particularly if you're down to an IT staff of one, this is a really good solution. If you're that small and your IT staff is very limited, then you're probably lacking the onsite expertise to move to a more expensive solution anyway. I would strongly recommend it.

We've got three people who sign in to WatchGuard, me and two others. Beyond that, everybody else is just an end-user. I'm the only full-time IT person we have on staff. We do have a vendor that we use for a lot of our engineering solutions and design. They spend about 12 hours a week on our network.

As for increasing our usage of it, I don't know what all its capabilities are. I deal with problems all the time and I have to come up with solutions for them. I don't foresee any expanded use of WatchGuard. However, it may be that it can solve some of my problems much more simply than some of the other solutions I'm thinking about. But I don't really know how it could at this point, so I'm not seeing us using more of it than we are now.

I would give WatchGuard a ten out of ten. It's simple, easily managed, and it has good tech support compared to other products out there. Because it is a full-functioning firewall, it does everything with full support. You're not buying a cheaper quality of firewall at all. It's full quality, fully functional and has good support.

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.
JimWarren
IT Manager at Horizon Forest Products
Real User
Allows us to self-manage our network and branch office VPNs while saving money

Pros and Cons

  • "The firewall aspect and the branch office VPNs are the most valuable features... We don't have any issues with it. We don't have to spend a lot of time maintaining it."
  • "We use WatchGuard to manage our failover for internet. If a primary internet goes down, it does a failover to the secondary the internet. However, what it doesn't do so well is that if the primary internet has a lot of latency but it's not completely down, it doesn't do a failover to the backup in a timely manner."

What is our primary use case?

We use it for our firewall as well as for our branch office VPNs.

How has it helped my organization?

The WatchGuard devices allow us to self-manage our network and our branch office VPNs. As a result, we've saved ourselves a lot of money, without compromising our security. It provides a much more economical and effective solution. We used to have an MPLS network which was a cloud-based firewall system and it cost us a small fortune every month. But when we implemented all these firewalls and got it all configured, up and running, we literally saved ourselves $10,000 a month.

It makes managing the network a lot easier. It takes care of our network for us.

Once it was set up and running, it began to save us time. It works, and we spend very little time managing it. We have very few issues with it. We might spend an hour a month managing it, if that.

What is most valuable?

The firewall aspect and the branch office VPNs are the most valuable features. They just plain work. We don't have any issues with it. We don't have to spend a lot of time maintaining it. You set it up and, for the most part, you can forget about it.

In terms of the usability:

  • It's user-friendly with an easy user interface.
  • It has a lot of features.

The throughput the solution provides is good.

In addition, WatchGuard provides our business with layered security. It certainly protects our network, blocks unwanted incoming traffic and, at the same time, can manage outbound traffic too.

What needs improvement?

We use WatchGuard to manage our failover for internet. If a primary internet goes down, it does a failover to the secondary the internet. However, what it doesn't do so well is that if the primary internet has a lot of latency but it's not completely down, it doesn't do a failover to the backup in a timely manner.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using WatchGuard for about three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is great. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We don't really have any experience with the scalability. We implemented the appropriate devices for our size and we haven't really grown to the point that we've had to upgrade devices. The scalability is fine in the sense that we have some locations with more people, and WatchGuard has a slightly beefier device than we use at some of our smaller locations. All in all, it works well.

All of our networks are managed by WatchGuard. If we add locations we'll be using it for them as well in the future, although we don't have new locations on the horizon. We use it every day because it manages our network. Because all of our network traffic runs through WatchGuard, everybody uses it. But they're not using it for a specific function, other than to communicate between locations.

How are customer service and technical support?

The customer service is good. If we have an occasional issue there are helpful. They help us resolve problems. Overall, I'm pleased.

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

We had a third-party MPLS network that managed all of the cloud-based software but it was very expensive. It was similar in effect, but it was a third-party, as opposed to WatchGuard which is self-managed. The main reason we switched was the pricing.

How was the initial setup?

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.

What about the implementation team?

We were helped by an authorized WatchGuard reseller on the initial setup. Once we got through the first one, we took over from them internally. The reseller was NetSmart. Our overall experience with them was very good.

We still have a relationship with them. We do a lot of our stuff in-house, but if we have something that we need a little bit of help with, we do reach out to them from time to time. But doing so, for us, is pretty rare at this point.

What was our ROI?

We have absolutely seen return on investment. We saved a small fortune switching over. It paid for itself, literally, within the first couple months.

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

When we bought them we got a three-year license for each device. The two larger devices are about $1,000 each and the smaller ones are about $500 or $600 each. 

There are some additional software features that you can add on and pay for, but we don't use them. 

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We didn't evaluate other options. The WatchGuard reseller was a company we had done business with before and they recommended it right out of the gate. We went with that.

What other advice do I have?

It's worth it, depending on your current network environment. If you are in the same situation we were in, it's really a no-brainer going from the MPLS network to self-managing it with simple broadband internet. It works great. To be honest, you'd be crazy not to do it. The advantages of WatchGuard over MPLS are that it's cheaper and you have more control because it's self-managed. The only con is that it does require a little bit of maintenance that you wouldn't otherwise have to do, but it's minimal.

In terms of distributed locations, we have a firewall at all of our locations. Once we got it set up we'd visit a branch, install it, test it, and implement it.

As for maintenance, it requires just one person, a network administrator. We manage it ourselves and there's not a whole lot to it.

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.
Rick Phillips
IT Manager at IDI Distributors Inc.
Real User
VPN and proxy features enable us to connect all our branches to headquarters with excellent throughput

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable are the VPN and proxy features."
  • "It's very hard to get information from their website, for exactly what I need to do. Sometimes I end up having to open a lot of support tickets... It's a navigational issue which makes it hard to find what I'm looking for and it's just so broad."

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case is VPN connectivity between 50 locations and our headquarters.

How has it helped my organization?

It saves us a lot of money over MPLS connections, about $125,000 per year.

WatchGuard provides us with one of our layers of security. The HTTPS proxy is where a lot of things get trapped.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable are the VPN and proxy features. We have all the sites we have to connect and that's how we do it.

I've been using it for so long so I'm pretty used to it. But I think it's fairly simple to use and understand. It helps if you're an IT expert. There isn't much of a learning curve if someone has an understanding of connectivity and firewalling. If they don't, there is certainly a learning curve.

The throughput is excellent. It's only limited to our bandwidth. We haven't had any trouble with throughput. The throughput of the firewall, in all cases, seems to be better than the bandwidth available. It's not the bottleneck.

I don't use the reporting features a whole lot, but Dimension is pretty good.

What needs improvement?

It's very hard to get information from their website, for exactly what I need to do. Sometimes I end up having to open a lot of support tickets. It's either too detailed or not. I never have good luck with their online tools. It's a navigational issue which makes it hard to find what I'm looking for and it's just so broad.

In addition, I have had a ticket in for an awful long time regarding a bug that they should address. If you're using a firewall as a DHCP server, it doesn't keep a good record of the leases. I opened a ticket on this about two years ago, and every couple of months I get an email back that it's still under engineering review.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using WatchGuard for 15 or 16 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

They're very stable. I've had one firewall fail at 50 locations in the last ten years.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability for me would mean, as we add more branch locations, the firewall here can support all of those VPN connections, and I'm not even scratching the service of what it can hit. It's very scalable.

How are customer service and technical support?

Tech support has been good. It's gotten a lot better the past few years; it's very much improved. Twelve years ago it was the worst. Now, it's very good. They get back to me in a day if it's nothing critical. And I don't ever really have to escalate. They're pretty resourceful and understand their product.

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

Previously, I built a Linux box.

How was the initial setup?

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.

What was our ROI?

ROI is very abstract for a security tool. As far as being able to create VPN tunnels versus having it managed by another vendor, as I said, it saves us about $125,000 a year, maybe a little more. Even comparing it so an SDYN solution from an outside vendor, it's a lot less expensive.

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

We only license our corporate one and the one we have at our DR site, we don't worry about the branches. It doesn't pay for us to license the ones at the branches. What they charge for what they call basic maintenance is extremely high for those little fireboxes. So we don't bother with them.

What other advice do I have?

They're good machines. They're fairly easy to configure and they're stable.

We mostly use the M400 at corporate and at our branch offices we use T35s, T30s, and XTM25s. In terms of additional usage, I'm looking at the management console and, possibly, the drag-and-drop VPNs.

I would rate it at nine out of ten. The documentation makes it a little hard to find what I need sometimes.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
GH
I.T. Manager at a construction company with 201-500 employees
Real User
A global map allows us to block an IP based on the country it's coming from

Pros and Cons

  • "The Dimension control, the one-spot reporting and control, has been nice. It's been easy to go in and make sure people are doing what they're supposed to be doing and that only the right stuff is getting in."
  • "A 12-hour power outage... got our batteries."

What is our primary use case?

We use them as our firewall in every location. It's extensively used and our locations for it are ever-expanding. Right now, we have 14 locations with them. We have everything from the M300 to the T50-W to the T30-W.

How has it helped my organization?

Like any other firewall, if it goes down, it's going to cause problems but these don't go down.

If I had to spend half my day fighting the stuff that it's keeping out, in that sense, it's increasing productivity. But if I was having to do that, I would find something else.

What is most valuable?

There are a lot of features I really like.

One of them is that the interface is more intuitive for us. And the success rate has been very good for us. It's easier to use than a SonicWall. There's a learning curve with every firewall, but this one is a lot more intuitive than some of the other ones I've used.

We've been very happy with the throughput and the performance the solution provides.

The Dimension control, the one-spot reporting and control, has been nice. It's been easy to go in and make sure people are doing what they're supposed to be doing and that only the right stuff is getting in.

It provides us with layered security.

It's got a global map where you can block IP based on which country it's coming from. I haven't seen that on anything else.

For how long have I used the solution?

I started here in 2009 and they already had the WatchGuard at that time. So I've been using it for about ten years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

They work. We don't have to boot them. 

The only time they get booted is if there is a major, extended loss of power. Otherwise, they just stay up and running. The location I'm at has been up for 90 days and the only reason it went down 90 days ago was that we had about a 12-hour power outage. It got our batteries. It got everything. But like I said, they're reliable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

There is scalability because they have different models to choose from, as long as you buy right.

We have 500 employees and about 150 users. I'm sure we have plans to increase usage. In terms of how extensively it is being used, it's filtering every piece of internet traffic we have.

How are customer service and technical support?

I haven't had to use their technical support in about seven years.

How was the initial setup?

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.

What about the implementation team?

We used a third-party integrator when we did our mass upgrade in 2017. At that time, all of our other ones had become end-of-life. They were Firebox Edges. We bought the boxes, dumped the configs on them, between us and the third-party, and either I or the third-party would deliver and install. Onsite downtime was as little as ten minutes.

Deploying it to distributed locations was super-simple.

What was our ROI?

We haven't had anything get through it. It's hard to say what your return on investment is when you're saving problems. You can't quantify how many possible threats you're saving in a day.

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

We bought ours bundled with two or three years at the time we bought them. I haven't seen the pricing since 2017, but it was competitive. SonicWall, Barracuda, and WatchGuard were all about the same price when we did our last pricing.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We investigated SonicWall back in about 2016 and decided to stay with WatchGuard because we felt the interface was a lot better. It's also easier to manage, easier to keep an eye on. We really despised the SonicWall. The support for it was awful. Dell already had it and it was bad. I had experience with SonicWall in the past, before it was a Dell company. The SonicWalls were pretty good then.

We looked into Barracuda. We didn't actually test it. We used some other Barracuda stuff, but we didn't actually even test their firewall. I don't remember why we didn't go with them. That was a decision made three years ago. We use their backup appliance and couldn't be happier with it, so it wasn't a support issue or a reputation issue. I don't know if there was a little difference in pricing which was the reason that we didn't try it.

We investigated the other one, we actually put the test box in, and Firebox was far superior to what we tested.

What other advice do I have?

Give Firebox a good, strong look. Give it a test run and I'm sure you'll be happy with it. We've always had it. Our opinion of it is that it flat-out works and we're very satisfied with it.

I'm sure there are better ones out there for somebody who has more time to manage it. But if you're looking for something so that you don't need a dedicated staff to manage it, I'd say this is a pretty good one. I give it a nine out of ten.

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.
RM
Sr. Systems Administrator at a individual & family service with 201-500 employees
Real User
They are great, functional and useful devices.

Pros and Cons

  • "I like the High Availability features of the newest ones I'm using because they allow a firewall to fail and still be up and running."
  • "I like their management features a lot. Their System Manager server as well the System Manager software make managing them, and tracking changes, very easy and complete."
  • "The documentation for the System Manager/Dimension configuration, could be a little bit clearer... The use case where you have multiple sites with multiple firewalls, and one site that has the System Manager server and the Dimension server, wasn't really well defined. It took me a little bit of digging to get that to actually work."

What is our primary use case?

Production business use at multiple interconnected locations.

How has it helped my organization?

It is one of the layers of our security and it definitely does protect us from many attack vectors. Between the antivirus scanning, the blocking, and DNSWatch, it is protecting us from a number of attack vectors. It is also provides useful diagnostic tools for identifying and troubleshooting issues. A recent example was when a few LOB network devices were having issues which was affecting operations. ZazaThe ability to search the realtime and historical logs helped me to navigate, zone in, and identify the ultimate issue. It ended up not being the firewall, but fast access to the logs helped me determine and prove that to be the case.

Because of the way it's organized and the user-friendliness of the device, it does make my job managing the firewall profiles and security a lot easier. There's nothing you have to do through the command line. Being able to definitively know what the configuration is, visually, being able to edit it offline without affecting production have all been big time-savers for me. When I had to do two firewalls which had similar configurations it saved me at least 20 hours of setup work. Templates allowed me to create and define a bunch of objects once and use them in both places.

Overall, per month, Firebox will save me four to five hours, depending on if there's something I have to investigate.

What is most valuable?

The Application Control and web blocker have been very valuable because they let me control the outgoing traffic of my users and keep them off of both productivity wasters and sources of vulnerabilities in my environment. 

I like the High Availability feature because it allows a firewall to fail while keeping the environment up and running.

In terms of its usability, it's very straightforward to use, once you understand the way they look at a firewall and the design choices they made.

The throughput the solution provides is excellent. I have not had any performance-related issues with any of the fireboxes I've used.

I like their management features a lot. Their System Manager server as well the System Manager software make managing them, and tracking changes, very easy and complete. In terms of the reporting, I am just starting to look at the reports in Dimension and they look pretty well-organized and useful.

What needs improvement?

The product could have some more predefined service protocols in the list, which don't have to manually be defined. But that's very low hanging fruit.

The documentation for the System Manager/Dimension configuration, could be a little bit clearer. The use case where you have multiple sites with multiple firewalls, and one site that has the System Manager server and the Dimension server, wasn't really well defined. It took me a little bit of digging to get that to actually work.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using WatchGuard Fireboxes for about six to seven years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's pretty rock-solid. I've never had to reboot one because it was acting in an unstable manner and have some that I ran through their entire usable lives without issue.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is good, assuming you buy the right model. They make it easy to trade up to a bigger model without having a big, financial impact, giving you a discount to trade up. 

How are customer service and technical support?

The times I've used technical support it was excellent.

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

I moved from FortiGate. The reasons i switched include price - WatchGuard is a lot more cost-effective than FortiGate - and complexity. FortiGate is very complicated, had little documentation which relied heavily on cookbooks, and a lot of command-line required to get some common things to work. WatchGuard is very well-documented and everything fits within their configuration. Nothing that I've encountered has to be done through the command line. And when your subscription expires on the WatchGuard, it will still pass traffic, if you configure it to. FortiGate will only allow one connection out. 

How was the initial setup?

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.

What about the implementation team?

In-house.

What was our ROI?


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

They are well priced for the market and offer discounts for competitor trades and model upgrades which are definitely worth taking advantage of.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

FortiGate and WatchGuard were the only two I've evaluated recently.

What other advice do I have?

I would definitely recommend using WatchGuard.

I would also recommend taking one of the courses that goes through all the features of the device and the way it is organized. Every firewall vendor looks at things differently. If you don't understand the way WatchGuard is structured, you may make a strategic mistake in setting it up and you'll have to tear some of it down and redo which is true of any firewall. Leanr and use the tools Watchguard  provides.

I used to do everything in WatchGuard through their Web UI but I now use the System Manager software because it is very valuable. It provides a lot of features that I had not realized I was missing. The System Manager Server is able to store previous versions of the configuration, and to force people to enter comments regarding what they changed when they save one. Being able to compare the configurations side-by-side, and have it tell you the differences are great tools that you should know about if you're going to start implementing a WatchGuard.

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.
HA
IT Manager at Yamazen Inc
Real User
GUI makes setup easy and provides us with graphical, real-time bandwidth usage

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable feature is the GUI, especially the real-time bandwidth usage report. Also, its integration with WiFi access points is nice."
  • "We bought Firebox four or five years ago, and with the first version I had to reboot it every two or three months for no apparent reason. We upgraded last year to the M370 and it's been running, but it is rebooting from time to time. I don't know why."

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case is for firewalls.

How has it helped my organization?

We were using Websense before, for website filtering, and we had to configure the device to block and monitor. Then we would go to Cisco to configure the firewall ports and then we used antivirus software to protect that the gateway from viruses. So we were using three or four different security products. WatchGuard integrated into everything in one place, so it's much easier to configure.

It has simplified my job. Before WatchGuard, we needed one person inside and two people outside to set up our network. Now I can do it by myself.

The solution has saved us 30 minutes to an hour every day. In terms of productivity, before WatchGuard we had given up checking the logs because there was so much information. But now, with its graphical interface, it's much easier to get the information that I need: the violations and sever errors are easier to pull out.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the GUI, especially the real-time bandwidth usage report. Also, its integration with WiFi access points is nice.

The product's usability is very good. We were using Cisco products before, and that was terrible. The difference is in integration. With Cisco we had to go into the command line to configure devices. With WatchGuard we can do everything from the GUI, so it's much easier to set up and to make sure everything is working the way we want.

The throughput of the solution is good. It's also very good at reporting. I can see things graphically so I don't have to read through all the log text files.

The solution provides our business with layered security. In terms of the attack vectors it secures, we have a firewall set up and it gives me reports. It also has an integrated web filtering solution. I can set up a website filter and it's all filtered in one place. I don't have to go to another solution.

What needs improvement?

I don't know if it's just my version, but the WiFi access point integration has just started. It's getting better but if there were more reporting of the devices that are connected to WiFi access points that would be great. Right now I can see the MAC address and bandwidth usage for each device but that's about it. If I could see which sites the devices are visiting and what kind of traffic is generated from each device, that would be great.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using Firebox for four or five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We bought Firebox four or five years ago, and with the first version I had to reboot it every two or three months for no apparent reason. We upgraded last year to the M370 and it's been running, but it is rebooting from time to time. I don't know why.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Since everything is integrated, when there is really high user traffic, especially to the different locations, including email and everything coming in at one time, I see very high CPUs. It may not be as scalable as having three or four different devices running, one for each task.

The bandwidth is good but we only have a 15 meg fibre to this location and I see high CPU usage, so I wonder how far it can go up. It's working well for us but if you are trying to go to 200 or 300 meg of bandwidth you may need to get a bigger WatchGuard.

We don't have any plans to increase usage in the future. It has a hotspot client access which we're somewhat interested in, but we don't have many guests coming into our offices. That's the one area where we might spend some time.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is really good. That's one of the best parts of this product. With Cisco, you have to transfer all over the place, but with WatchGuard there's a ticket system. When you open up a ticket, they are really responsive.

Their response time is within a few hours. If you just log a ticket through the website, you get a response back within one to two hours. But if you call up, they respond really fast. And it's a real tech guy responding back. You go through all your details and you get answers right away.

At times I have made an additional feature request and even I have forgotten that I requested it, but they keep following up. I have to say, "It's okay now, forget it."

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

We were using Cisco Professional Services whenever we had to tweak our IP forms or QoS and those advanced types of changes. The outside consultants were costing us money. With WatchGuard we can do the setup by ourselves. We tried it and found we could do it.

How was the initial setup?

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.

What about the implementation team?

We purchased the solution from a local distributor, Jensen IT, and they had a support line. We called up two or three times. Our experience with them was very reasonable.

What was our ROI?

From a pure cost standpoint, we cut our fees in half by moving to WatchGuard. And in terms of time, we are spending one-third or even one-fifth of the time we were spending on Cisco devices. Those are substantial savings.

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

The price is so small that I don't pay attention to it anymore. I think we pay a few thousand dollars for two to three years, so about $100 per month. That's for all of our users.

There is an additional cost if we want to go with a deeper licensing model, but we just pay for antivirus, IPS, and main product support.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

At the time we made the switch to WatchGuard we were also using two or three different solutions to manage security and our internet connection. We were using Symantec Gateway for antivirus protection, Websense for web filtering, Symantec IPS reporting, and Cisco.

The integration of all of those with our system was cumbersome and there were maintenance fees and license fees being paid to four or five companies. All licensing terms were different and it was really cumbersome to manage. With WatchGuard, everything is really in one place.

However, for one of our new locations we started using Meraki, which has cloud capabilities so I can remotely manage the setup of the firewall for remote offices. For ease-of-setup, Meraki is a little bit easier. If you want an easy solution in terms of setup, Meraki might be a better solution. But there is a lack of depth of setup on the Meraki, while WatchGuard is a real firewall solution. In the new office, we only have a five people, so the WatchGuard features may be a little bit too much that size of office.

Firebox has a very small model for personal use, a home-use product, but we did not test it out. That might be a good fit, but the value for a very small office may be a little bit of overkill.

What other advice do I have?

If you have a small IT staff and want an easy-to-set-up solution, I would one hundred percent recommend WatchGuard. If you have a very serious, big IT department and a big business, you might want to test out the throughput and the stability.

In each of our ten remote offices, we have about ten to 15 people using it. At our corporate office we have 70 to 80 people. We require two people for deployment and one person for maintenance of the solution, including me, the IT manager and, our systems administrator.

I would rate the solution at nine out of the. It's just missing that stability point.

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.
Shaun Sheng
Technical Support at Dataworld Computer Center
Real User
Detailed reporting and Active Directory Integration make this solution easy to configure and use

Pros and Cons

  • "The reports are detailed."
  • "This solution needs the option to add an external hard drive."

What is our primary use case?

We are not currently using this solution. Rather, we are reselling, and I have implemented these systems.

The most recent one I implemented was an M200 model that was being used as a gateway firewall to control their internet usage, primarily for URL filtering.

How has it helped my organization?

The reports are detailed. Rather than showing the IP address for a query, such as "who is the most active internet user", it will show their name and the specific activities that he or she is browsing on the internet.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the Active Directory integration. WatchGuard is very easy to integrate with. The URL filtering is ok, but instead of filtering by IP addresses I usually set up filtering through Active Directory user profiles.

I can import the users directly from Active Directory and create a space for a certain user or a certain group. This is something that is great because I have a lot of trouble setting this up with other products.

I also liked a new feature, the WatchGuard TDR (Threat Detection and Response). This reports malware activity to the cloud.

What needs improvement?

This solution needs the option to add an external hard drive. The competitors have this. With WatchGuard, you have to get another server, set it up, and then point it to WatchGuard. That is where the logs will be stored.

Some find this tedious because they have to get another server, although I find it advantageous because there is no hard drive needed. It removes another point of failure. In any case, if the customer wants an external hard drive then it would give them the option.

I saw a feature in Cisco that was a historical trajectory of the files, or sets, moving in the network. I would like to see them include this feature in the next release of the TDR.

For how long have I used the solution?

Less than one year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

So far, the solution is stable.

I have two customers who have experienced problems due to a storm. An electrical surge came through the internet line and caused damage to the port. This had nothing to do with the stability of the product itself.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

In terms of updates, it is one of the easiest firewalls to update. I just download the latest one and let it work until it reboots.

In the company where the M200 was implemented, they have fifty users.  

How are customer service and technical support?

Whenever I have a problem I contact the technical support and I normally have to wait at least a day for them to respond. I have opened approximately twenty tickets, and so far, all of them have been resolved.

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

We used an older model of the WatchGuard solution, the T50 e-series, but we have replaced it. We received a discount on a bigger unit from Fortinet. However, we recently sold a WatchGuard M200 and I had the opportunity to use the product. Comparing what I see now to what it was before, there are a lot of good changes. Not so many in the GUI, so there is familiarity there, but I think that it is faster now.

My customer for this solution did not previously have a firewall. It was just an open internet router.

How was the initial setup?

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.

What about the implementation team?

I took care of the deployment for our customer.

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

The subscription that was purchased is for three years but it is usually for one year at a time. There are no costs in addition to the standard licensing fees.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

My customer was looking into Sohpos, but because the budget was drained they opted for WatchGuard. It was a cheaper solution.

What other advice do I have?

Based on the reactions from people who I have implemented this solution for, some of them find it difficult to use before they get used to the interface. At the same time, if they later move to another product then they say that WatchGuard is simpler.

I keep hearing that WatchGuard is quite marginal because it is not listed as a leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant. It is listed under Visionary. For a firewall product, I do think that it's a leader. It doesn't cost a lot compared to Cisco, Palo Alto, or others. I think that WatchGuard is good enough.

I would rate this product eight and a half out of ten.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Reseller.
RL
Technical Consultant at Rainbow Security
Consultant
Protects us from daily attacks against our IT forum and email server

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable feature for small and medium businesses is the support for various protocol proxies."
  • "It would be wonderful if the WatchGuard team develops nice products for threat intelligence."

What is our primary use case?

This device is for Unified Threat Management (UTM). Our primary uses for this solution are as a firewall, antivirus, anti-spyware, web-blocker, and APT blocker.

How has it helped my organization?

I can say that it has been defending our organization. There are from ten to one hundred attacks per day to our IT forum and our email server.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature for small and medium businesses is the support for various protocol proxies. Without any subscription, they can realize an IDS/IPS solution.

What needs improvement?

It would be wonderful if the WatchGuard team develops nice products for threat intelligence. They have a subscription service called DNSWatch, but this needs to be improved.

For how long have I used the solution?

Twelve years personally, but the company has had it running since early 2000.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This product is very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

There is no problem with the scalability. If I need a more powerful appliance then I can buy it, but I can also use less powerful devices. Overall, scalability is ok with this solution.

We have about fifty people using this solution. There are two IT specialists, and all of the rest are salespeople, office support, etc.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is very good. I know only of one company whose tech support is better than WatchGuard's.

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

I have experience with Check Point UTM, and I find that this application has approximately the same functionality, but it is cheaper.

How was the initial setup?

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.

What about the implementation team?

We handled the deployment ourselves.

What was our ROI?

I can see ROI within several months.

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

The cheapest configuration, for maybe five people, is approximately $500.

There are several other license steps that vary based on the number of security services that are included in the subscription.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We had considered several other solutions such as pfSense, MikroTik, and Fortinet. However, we became a WatchGuard distributor for the territory of the Russian Federation, so we are using only WatchGuard solutions.

What other advice do I have?

It is a very reliable and very easy solution. I think it is the best solution in the world, judging by its price and quality.

I would rate this solution a ten out of ten.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Ryan Baskharoon
Operations Manager at DLL Technologies
Real User
They have some of the best customer service in the industry

What is our primary use case?

At a specific client location, we are using the WatchGuard Firebox M470 to control all of the security protocols, routing, VLANs, and traffic. We have a 1GB internet circuit coming into the M470 firewall, and SFPs going out to the Netgear M4300-96X modular switch. From this switch, it goes out to the Netgear GS110 devices through SFPs.

How has it helped my organization?

WatchGuard Web GUI is one of the best consoles I have worked with. It makes each step very simple, while you can get granular too. It made the installation process extremely easy and simple for each step to program into the Firebox. The Firebox works well with other brands and also has the capabilities to use an SFP module to use fiber connections instead of Ethernet. We were able to remove over seven devices and replace them with two devices: Firebox M470 and Netgear M4300-96X. What a cost saving and less equipment to troubleshoot. 

What is most valuable?

Here are just some of the valuable features: 

  • WebGUI
  • Spam blocker
  • Website filtering
  • Internet security
  • Tech support is amazing.
  • Routing and setting up VLANs. 

These are just some; there are so many more to go over. Depending on the customer's budget, I would always recommend WatchGuard Firebox and their other security products. They have some of the best customer service in the industry.

What needs improvement?

I don't think that WatchGuard would need to improve on their product. They have some of the least expensive appliances and software out there. They are extremely easy to use, the GUI is great through the web and on the desktop. That's why I feel WatchGuard has outdone themselves on their security products. Hands down, it's one of the best firewalls I have ever worked with.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This Firebox M470 is a true workhorse and has been flawless. It has not crashed yet and has been on for over a year now.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

This product is very scalable: from the Total Security Suite to adding an extra module, to getting an extended tech support contract.

How are customer service and technical support?

Their customer service is one of the best and is extremely knowledgeable about their products. They are very responsive when calling and or if they need to call you back. They have been a key part of this major installation.

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

I used a Sophos firewall that was already installed when we took over the account. The Sophos Web GUI is not that easy to navigate and completely different from most of the other firewalls out there. We switched because I professionally feel that the WatchGuard security products are superior over most of the other brands out there and their Web GUI is extremely easy to navigate and use. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward, but there is always a learning curve on all devices.

What about the implementation team?

We used WatchGuard's team to help implement our programming into the firewall as our implementation was a one-off. 

What was our ROI?

Our ROI has been over 35% just on the equipment and the job.

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

The setup cost is extremely low for what you get with the Firebox M470. The cost of the Firebox M470 was a third of the cost of a Barracuda and a high-end SonicWall.

I loved that I could add an SFP module to the firewall and use both Ethernet and fiber connections. 

You will need licensing for the security features like Total Security Suite, etc.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated SonicWall, Sophos, Barracuda, and Fortinet for our firewall needs. WatchGuard not only was a great price point but also comes with so many great features without having to pay too much.

What other advice do I have?

If you want a robust firewall that has a great price point, this is the best way to go.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We are a reseller and an End user of their products.
MD
COO/CTO at a pharma/biotech company with 11-50 employees
Real User
I discovered that I could still keep the data rates really high, up near the 1 gigahertz data speed, without compromise on the security perimeters being active simultaneously. The setup is complex.

Pros and Cons

  • "I could still keep the data rates really high, up near the two gigahertz data speeds, without compromise on the security perimeters being acted simultaneously."
  • "Setup of this solution is complex, it's not plug and play."

What is our primary use case?

Intellectual Property protection for our and our clients' data.  We strategize for deployments of new products into Federal and State healthcare formularies.

How has it helped my organization?

I discovered the WatchGuard T-70 could still keep the data near the 1 gigahertz data speed, without compromise on the security perimeters being active simultaneously.  I got that information through my subscription with IT Central Station.  The WatchGuard T70 does not come with WiFi capabilities, offering flexibility for what WiFi devices you prefer.

What is most valuable?

Default set-ups found on the WatchGuard site and via YouTube are very helpful - the screen for set-up and adding additional features are lists with checkboxes.  Understand what you click before you do so.

What needs improvement?

The set-up and additional feature screens are old in design and very granular.  You have to know what you are doing.

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Stable - However, you need to add APC/UPC battery back-ups to avoid power outages/surges that will mitigate your time for trouble-shooting post-power outage.

How are customer service and technical support?

Yes, I had a positive experience with tech support.

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

I previously used FortiGate. I moved from the FortiGate brand on account of when you turn on all of the FortiGate capabilities (80-C & 90-D), the protection is active but your data speeds drop significantly.  We had a Verizon FiOS fiber optic true gigabit subscription.  I noticed data rate drops as our 3rd party support team also noticed.  Upon system review, the function of the reduced data speeds was the Fortigate capacity.  We were literally locking up where we couldn't communicate. So, I went with the WatchGuard XTM T-70.

How was the initial setup?

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. 

What about the implementation team?

No vendor team and no "in-house" beside myself.  We are a company of under 30 people, I am an IT dept/System Engineering staff of 1.

What was our ROI?

I have far less ( 50-75%) less admin time trying to figure out why our system is so slow.  That's gone.  The admin screens are informative, especially the Dimension application, reducing your search time for the information you need to assess what your users and network are doing.

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

If you are experienced, I can recommend the T70 set-up with minimal support and reference.  Since I am relatively new as a systems engineer/IT design, I have had to reference a lot of online sources and hire an expert familiar with the WatchGuard line of products to help shorten my learning curve and get the system up and running quickly.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Yes - SonicWall, Baracuda and Dell.

What other advice do I have?

When considering a solution like this:

> not only putting data security at the top of my list

> user convenience as the second consideration.

If there's anything extra that I have my users do, I have to really look seriously at those trade-offs.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
CM
Chief Technology Officer at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
Reseller
WebBlocker has the best URL category database

How has it helped my organization?

I’m a reseller. The solution is among the top-three solutions in our portfolio.

What is most valuable?

WebBlocker, because it has the best URL category database ever.

What needs improvement?

Make WatchGuard Firebox capable of integrating with third-party vendors like FireMon, Splunk, Tenable, etc.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No issues with stability.

How is customer service and technical support?

Excellent.

How was the initial setup?

Easy.

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

Cheap.

What other advice do I have?

I rate it 10 out of 10 because it is easy to deploy and use, the best of breed in the UTM firewall…

How has it helped my organization?

I’m a reseller. The solution is among the top-three solutions in our portfolio.

What is most valuable?

WebBlocker, because it has the best URL category database ever.

What needs improvement?

Make WatchGuard Firebox capable of integrating with third-party vendors like FireMon, Splunk, Tenable, etc.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No issues with stability.

How is customer service and technical support?

Excellent.

How was the initial setup?

Easy.

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

Cheap.

What other advice do I have?

I rate it 10 out of 10 because it is easy to deploy and use, the best of breed in the UTM firewall concept, creating the best UTM secure platform ever.

It's easy to use.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Reseller.
ITCS user
CFO at a tech vendor with 11-50 employees
Real User
The client is easy to use and stable. We would like cloud-based central administration of all devices from one point.

Pros and Cons

  • "The client is easy to use and stable"
  • "​Efficient to setup, run, and maintain. Saving man hours and cost in the process."
  • "Simple to move settings between WatchGuard boxes."
  • "The GUI is easy and intuitive."
  • "Cloud-based central administration of all devices from one point would be nice"

What is our primary use case?

This was an upgrade from WatchGuard XTM 505. We have and are using many different WatchGuards between locations for (among other things) VPN between firewalls. We are using this Watchguard as an endpoint firewall at an office location.

How has it helped my organization?

  • Efficient to setup, run, and maintain. Saving man hours and cost in the process.
  • The client is easy to use and stable.
  • Simple to backup settings.  
  • Simple to move settings between WatchGuard boxes.
  • The GUI is easy and intuitive.

What is most valuable?

Ease of setup. All WatchGuards are pretty much the same to setup and manage.
We experienced that WatchGuard is easy to setup regarding VPN compared to other firewalls of other brands.


What needs improvement?

Client-based administrative tool. Cloud-based central administration of all devices from one point would be nice (although there is always an added risk regarding this).

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No.

How are customer service and technical support?

The few times we have contacted Watchguard. They reply promptly without delays.

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

We previously used Juniper and SonicWall.

Switched at the time because we had IT personnel working for us with WatchGuard expertise and preference.

How was the initial setup?

The setup was straightforward with a simple GUI-based administrative tool.

What about the implementation team?

Used in-house experience.

What was our ROI?

Not measured.

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

Very competitive pricing regarding throughput compared to other alternatives.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated between WatchGuard and what we already had at the time.

The Juniper that we had at the time, which was fine, was complete overkill for our needs, but when realised it was already sunk cost.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.