WatchGuard XTM 545
Strengths: Comprehensive security features with robust analysis capabilities.
Weaknesses: Documentation could have more screen shots and diagrams.
Verdict: Very good product, priced right and well worth considering.
The XTM 545 from WatchGuard provides an excellent mix of best-of-breed functions and an easy-to-manage platform for robust perimeter security. WatchGuard takes an interesting approach to the perimeter security problem. This product leverages solid protection from industry leaders across the various security categories, including Websense for web filtering, AVG for gateway anti-virus, CommTouch for spam protection, and Trend Micro for intrusion prevention. This combination of vendors ensures full-scale gateway protection from today's threats.
Initial setup was straightforward and only took a few minutes. The initial setup consisted of connecting to the appliance via a web browser and running through a short setup wizard, which helped us set network and licensing settings. After the setup wizard was complete, we were able to access the web-based administration interface. Overall, we found the management interface to be easy to navigate and to include intuitive configuration menus. The navigation structure was also well-organised and we found it easy to move around throughout the interface. We also found the appliance features and functions easy to manage and the device was active with just a few clicks of the mouse.
Beyond the best-of-breed security features included in the XTM appliance, WatchGuard has also included its new Dimension platform. This provides a comprehensive suite of visibility and reporting tools that allow for easy analysis of possible threats or security issues. This functionality is composed of a combination of dashboard views that include various threat assessment maps and visuals of data to quickly identify problems and deploy security policies. We found that the combination of these solid reporting and analysis tools and a highly configurable policy engine make this appliance an excellent contender for almost any environments needs.
The WatchGuard quick-start guide is just that: quick and to the point. However small, it quickly takes users through items included in the box. The WatchGuard website provides a robust admin guide. The web guide is well laid out - from the introduction to the XTM product to data loss prevention features. The admin guide uses a step-by-step method with screen shots to assist the user during configuration. For further assistance, along with the admin guide, the WatchGuard website includes configuration examples, FAQ, user forums, video tutorials and a knowledge base.
WatchGuard offers three support levels: Plus is basic no-cost assistance that includes a one year security bundle, phone and web support, software updates, new feature releases, advanced hardware replacement, customer portal access and the user forum. The gold and platinum levels are fee based and include priority upgrades, four-hour hardware replacement and remote installation.
At a price of almost £5,000 for the appliance fully loaded with a year subscription of security services, we find the WatchGuard XTM to be excellent value for the money for pretty much any environment. This appliance offers an affordable mix of solid security features that are easy to manage, along with a robust reporting and analysis platform.