Why watchguard

Watchguard wifi review.

Back then:
I started using Watchguard wifi back in 2010-11.
Had a Watchguard firewall so thought it would make sense.
It was not the best product in the world but they had some good ideas and the ap went nicely together with their firewall and their dimension door server.
Their hardware for ap was cheap and it felt that way.
But since it was cheap and there was no yearly subscription service it was all good.
It also had loads of features to work well together with a windows environment.

Now:
WatchGuard is trying very hard to push their cloud solution over to people. Price has tripled for 1 ap and you are now paying a yearly subscription service to WatchGuard. What have you gotten for this price.

Good:
1) The hardware of the ap is been approved you can feel it in your hand already that’s its not some cheap thing build for the least amount of money.
2) A lot of cool new features is implemented in the cloud wifi.
Bad:
1) Support remains the same. One should think with cloud there would be somewhere you could allow WatchGuard to access your solution to troubleshoot instead of them asking you to do all the starting work.
2) Old wifi that was bound to the firewall are being overlooked. ‘
3) Some of the things that worked well with a windows environment is either none existing or the ease of setting it up has gone.

Conclusion:
I do not think WatchGuard is worth their heavy price increase. One would have hoped, that the support had gone up quite a bit, with the heavy price increase. Its not a bad support, its just very standard where they ask you a lot of question and wants you to do test things. (its fair to do so, but it should be better)
Look into UBIQUITI/Unifi I am now and I don’t think its much difference then from watchguard only a lot cheaper and no yearly subscription. (maybe they will start one day too)

Anyone else feel the same ?

Comments

  • James_CarsonJames_Carson Moderator, WatchGuard Representative

    Hi @Lars

    WatchGuard Support, as a policy, must ask and gain permission to do anything with you via the WiFi cloud, or via your firewall -- this is for your protection, and helps prevent anyone from having a backdoor into your system. Any changes made are made by you, with support's guidance. There are no changes that you don't know about.

    WatchGuard offers both Basic Wi-Fi for customers that wish to use the built-in Gateway Wireless Controller option, and Secure/Total Wifi for customers that want to use the cloud option that has the enhanced analytic/WIPS features. As part of the support subscription/renewal, the APs are covered via warranty, which includes 24/7 phone or online support and hardware replacement. Ubiquiti's support is mostly forum/community based and their hardware warranty is tied to when you purchase their product.

    As I mentioned, our entire line of APs is able to be managed via the Gateway Wireless Controller via the Basic WiFi option. Older APs, like the AP100,102, 200, and 300 have reached their end of life, and are no longer supported, but will still work if you wish to pair them. Device end of life is announced years before a product isn't supported anymore, and upgrade options are offered to customers that have older products.
    (End of Life Policy)
    https://www.watchguard.com/wgrd-resource-center/end-of-life-policy

    As far as I'm aware, the current line of APs work with the Windows OS in the same way as any of the previous APs. If you're running into a specific issue, I'd suggest opening a support case to get the issue looked into.

    Ubiquiti certainly does provide a lower cost, but that lower cost is at the sacrifice of nearly every other part of their product.

    -James Carson
    WatchGuard Customer Support

  • @James_Carson said:
    Hi @Lars

    WatchGuard Support, as a policy, must ask and gain permission to do anything with you via the WiFi cloud, or via your firewall -- this is for your protection, and helps prevent anyone from having a backdoor into your system. Any changes made are made by you, with support's guidance. There are no changes that you don't know about.

    WatchGuard offers both Basic Wi-Fi for customers that wish to use the built-in Gateway Wireless Controller option, and Secure/Total Wifi for customers that want to use the cloud option that has the enhanced analytic/WIPS features. As part of the support subscription/renewal, the APs are covered via warranty, which includes 24/7 phone or online support and hardware replacement. Ubiquiti's support is mostly forum/community based and their hardware warranty is tied to when you purchase their product.

    As I mentioned, our entire line of APs is able to be managed via the Gateway Wireless Controller via the Basic WiFi option. Older APs, like the AP100,102, 200, and 300 have reached their end of life, and are no longer supported, but will still work if you wish to pair them. Device end of life is announced years before a product isn't supported anymore, and upgrade options are offered to customers that have older products.
    (End of Life Policy)
    https://www.watchguard.com/wgrd-resource-center/end-of-life-policy

    As far as I'm aware, the current line of APs work with the Windows OS in the same way as any of the previous APs. If you're running into a specific issue, I'd suggest opening a support case to get the issue looked into.

    Ubiquiti certainly does provide a lower cost, but that lower cost is at the sacrifice of nearly every other part of their product.

    James, would you please elaborate on your "Ubiquiti certainly does provide a lower cost, but that lower cost is at the sacrifice of nearly every other part of their product" comment so that we know what WatchGuard does that UniFi APs and controller cannot do?

    Gregg Hill

  • James_CarsonJames_Carson Moderator, WatchGuard Representative

    Hi @Greggmh123

    If you'd like a competitive analysis, I'd suggest talking to your WatchGuard sales representative.

    -James Carson
    WatchGuard Customer Support

  • That info is on the WG Partner portal.

  • @James_Carson said:
    Hi @Greggmh123

    If you'd like a competitive analysis, I'd suggest talking to your WatchGuard sales representative.

    Hmm, I thought these forums were supposed to be an interactive place to get information from other users and from WatchGuard. My mistake!

    I use UniFi access points only. I thought maybe you had some information to tell me what I am missing, but obviously it must not be a whole lot, so I will stick with what works.

    Gregg Hill

  • @Bruce_Briggs said:
    That info is on the WG Partner portal.

    Thank you, Bruce! I downloaded the PDF.

    Gregg Hill

  • James_CarsonJames_Carson Moderator, WatchGuard Representative

    @Greggmh123 it's a place to get information, not start an argument. I've already provided that information above -- you're welcome to use whatever solution you feel is best.

    -James Carson
    WatchGuard Customer Support

  • @James_Carson said:
    @Greggmh123 it's a place to get information, not start an argument. I've already provided that information above -- you're welcome to use whatever solution you feel is best.

    James,

    I am not trying to argue, but when you suggested "talking to your WatchGuard sales representative", it kind of sounded like you were dodging the direct question I asked about a comparison.

    Bruce told me about the PDF. That was the best reply.

    Gregg Hill

  • edited December 2020

    @Greggmh123 said:

    @James_Carson said:
    @Greggmh123 it's a place to get information, not start an argument. I've already provided that information above -- you're welcome to use whatever solution you feel is best.

    James,

    I am not trying to argue, but when you suggested "talking to your WatchGuard sales representative", it kind of sounded like you were dodging the direct question I asked about a comparison.

    Bruce told me about the PDF. That was the best reply.

    In all fairness James appears to be from the Technical side not a sales person, and there are a myriad of reasons to get a WG WAP over Unifi (First of witch being how it is cloud controlled)... and he may not have all of the sales pitches dialed in or know fully where to get the brochures that our Sales Partner at WG points us to... (I also doubt sales people access these forums)

    What we tend to do is use GWC for WAPs and if we have a client that needs something more advanced like a splash page we use the cloud WAP services.

    All of which means we don't have to maintain a server for updates, and we get the rogue-AccessPoint-Detection that we have had a hard time with on the Ubiquiti models.

    We have actually began using Unifi WAPs as a budget solution while getting a couple WG WAPs to switch to dedicated WIPS sensors for the Unifi network which gives the client the affordability of the Unifi WAPs and the security of the WG WAPs.

    I personally would prefer if all clients went all WG WAPs but the price is a bit difficult to sell clients on especially if they already have Unifi devices behind a WG Firewall.

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