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Thinking about Purchasing a Watchguard Firebox x550e- have questions

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Last Modified: 2013-11-16
I am looking at replacing our current firewall will something else. We are a small business with about 40 computers. I would like to do AV/IPS at the border and must do web filtering. We also use VPN and SSL VPN would be preferred for those that travel as we seem to have less issues with hotel firewalls. Other corporate locations are possible in the next 3 years.

I have homed in on the x550e from Watchguard. It seems very powerful, has the feature set I am looking for and the subscription pricing is much less than an equivalent Checkpoint. I have tried Sonicwall recently and still was not a fan, Netscreen was way too much and so on...

On to my questions:

How is the administration. Pretty straight forward? I have many years in the industry but every manufacturer is different.
Has it been a solid product for those on here that use it?
I am a little fuzzy for SSO. I must use their agent yes? What do I additionally get from the client being installed.
How bad is the latency with WebBLocker?

I guess that is it for now.

TIA

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Top Expert 2007

Commented:
WG configuration and management for X550e is done through software called Watchguard System Manager (WSM), which you can install on any windows machine. The GUI is simplified however you would need to go through the manual or seek some help to know where is what.

Yes, WG is a stable box and I have not seen many crashes.

SSO gives you flexibility of not putting passwords again and again as the client interacts with with server and eliminating the need.

There is no latency with webblocker as the database resides on one the local machines.

Please let know if you need more details.

Thank you.

Author

Commented:
Does the Gateway AV/IPS have any impact on throughput or performance?
Well, I have had allot of experience with these. If your users are going to vpn in through it, make sure they are not on Vista 32 or 64. Watchguard SSL VPN is still not completely compatible. You have to go though allot of back doors to get it to work. Other than that issue, it's a pretty good firewall. I would just say, in my humble opinion, that allot of these companies try to make their firewalls do multiple services that are outside of what a firewall is meant for. Once you start using a firewall for other things like antivirus, client vpn, intrusion detection, etc., they tend to have allot more problems and downtime. The firewall is probably your most important piece of equipment, because when it goes down no one can work and all the pressure is on. I would suggest, if possible, using the firewall with just its basic services. I would use another solution for VPN access and keep your network as simple and strait forward as possible to avoid those late nights of troubleshooting with support. I understand that small businesses do not have the luxury of large budgets, but there is also the case of how much down time is acceptable and what do you really need to get so that you can accomplish the companies goals. Good luck with whatever solution you come up with.
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Top Expert 2007
Commented:
This one is on us!
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Commented:
A couple of years ago we started moving away from the Watchguard deivces and have started using the Fortigates. We have seen our costs go down and improved uptime.

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