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WatchGuard Application Control OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

What is WatchGuard Application Control?

Organizations of all sizes rely on various applications for daily business operations, but how do you ensure only sanctioned applications are being used on your network? With WatchGuard Application Control, you have the power to limit application usage, and keep unproductive, inappropriate, and dangerous applications off your network.

WatchGuard Application Control Customers
Chester School District, Kensington Close Hotel
WatchGuard Application Control Video

Archived WatchGuard Application Control Reviews (more than two years old)

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CIO at a healthcare company with 201-500 employees
Real User
Feature rich, easy to manage, and the category blocking is helpful
Pros and Cons
  • "The most valuable feature is the category control."
  • "There should be more reports available on different subjects."

What is our primary use case?

We were primarily using WatchGuard to control applications that were trying to access offsite network locations.

I am no longer using this solution because it was in my previous job.

What is most valuable?

This is a feature-rich product.

The most valuable feature is the category control.

This is an easy product to manage.

What needs improvement?

There should be more reports available on different subjects. There is a set of predefined Dimension reports but there needs to be more available on aspects like security and Wi-Fi.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been working with WatchGuard for more than eight years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is a stable solution.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We only had a single site, albeit a large one. Scalability was not something that I had to test beyond the one location, but it was good for our environment.

How are customer service and support?

I was in contact with the WatchGuard technical support three or four times. I was satisfied with them and their responses. We had a WatchGuard Gold Support package.

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

I have also used Sophos Application Control and from my experience, WatchGuard is the better solution. With Sophos, it is not as easy to block categories, and creating firewall rules is much more difficult. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was generally straightforward. We had a little bit of difficulty with our second installation, which was virtualized. It took us two or three days to move from our on-premises deployment to the cloud. It was easy because we already had all of our rules in place. This included testing and not just the implementation.

What about the implementation team?

When we first implemented WatchGuard, we had the help of a solution provider. 

What other advice do I have?

For what we needed, WatchGuard was fine and generally covered our needs. It is easy to maintain and it is a product that I recommend. That said, there is always room for improvement.

I would rate this solution a nine out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
Scott Eastman - PeerSpot reviewer
Project Consultant at SysGroup PLC
MSP
Top 20
It does the job of what it says it does, we set it to what we want it to block and then it blocks it
Pros and Cons
  • "It does the job of what it says it does. We set it to what we want it to block and then it blocks it."
  • "They could expand the amount of applications that are on the list, but it's pretty intensive anyway, so it's pretty good."

What is our primary use case?

We use it internally and we are an MSP for lots of other companies that use it as well. Our primary use case is to block applications. 

What is most valuable?

It does the job of what it says it does. We set it to what we want it to block and then it blocks it. 

What needs improvement?

They could expand the amount of applications that are on the list, but it's pretty intensive anyway, so it's pretty good.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for five years. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We don't get any issues or bugs with it. The stability is good. 

There are two IT guys who use it in our company. 

How are customer service and technical support?

I have contacted their technical support and they were very, very good. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was reasonably simple. It took us a couple of hours to get it all set up and working with all of the firewalls set. Our own team did the setup. 

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

It comes in the main licensing costs from the WatchGuard if you buy the license. I don't know about the prices there.

What other advice do I have?

WatchGuard does what it says it does. Definitely use it. If you want to block applications, then definitely use it. 

I would rate it an eight out of ten. There's going to be newer apps that are probably not going to be blocked straight away, but then they are in time, so it's not really an issue.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
PeerSpot user
RainerAlbrecht - PeerSpot reviewer
General Manager at Gemakom
Real User
Leaderboard
Easy control for both site access and traffic management
Pros and Cons
  • "The most valuable feature of this solution is traffic management."
  • "There is no message displayed for the user on the desktop informing them that access to a web page has been blocked by Application Control."

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case for this solution is traffic management.

When the system recognizes that we are using something like VoIP, Skype, or Cisco Video Conference, then one can adjust the bandwidth. For example, we have it set so that VoIP has a limit of 120Kbps (Kilobits per second).

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature of this solution is traffic management.

We like the diversity of categories for blocking and allowing traffic.

This solution is very easy to manage.

What needs improvement?

There is no message displayed for the user on the desktop informing them that access to a web page has been blocked by Application Control. Because of this, the administrator has to check the logs to find out. It would be better if the user could call the administrator and explain that the page has been blocked by Application Control, and give the details, like the category and the reason, at that time. In the Web Blocker module, you can define a message that is sent to the user on their browser.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for eight years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This solution is very, very stable. We have never had a hardware failure, but the solution does require maintenance. You have to tune it because as more applications are developed and enhanced, there are new categories or applications that you have to allow or to block.

We use this solution on a daily basis.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

This solution is scalable but within the limits already set by WatchGuard. You can edit categories but you cannot add a new category by yourself. Rather, it is a feature request. I would say that the main categories that are available at the moment are enough, but if something is missing then you cannot add it.

Every department is using this application, and each of them has a different configuration. For example, the sales department configuration is different from the management department, which is different from the service department. The Marketing department has to have access to social media, but the service department may not need to, and it might not be allowed because it can lead to wasted time.

We have approximately fifty users.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support for this solution is prompt and very, very friendly.

The only issue that we have had is when a strange error happens that requires third-level support, we have to contact Seattle in the US from here in Germany. With the time difference, it means that it takes twenty-four hours to get a solution. That is just when we call. When we email, there is no problem with time difference because they have twenty-four-hour support that is not dependent on Seattle. It comes from India or Asia or somewhere else.

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

Prior to this solution, we used SonicWall, which was owned by Dell at the time. We switched to this solution because the configuration is more intuitive for the users. You can choose the GUI, or instead, as we prefer, you can use the WatchGuard client. With the client, you can do things like making an evaluation.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup of this solution is not complex because you can only choose certain options or categories. You have to mark the whole category, for example, business communication like Skype, Cisco Tandberg, or Microsoft Teams, or have it choose on its own. After the category has been chosen you mark the options that are allowed. You specify what is blocked and the traffic management options such as reserved or guaranteed bandwidth. At this point, it is only checkboxes and a start button.

It is very easy, but you have to tune it because sometimes things are blocked and they should not be.

Our deployment took approximately one hour and three people were involved.

What about the implementation team?

Own our team handled the deployment and configuration.

You need to have one technical specialist to enter the configuration, but you also have to involve the departments. Each department manager can specify which categories are allowed, which are blocked, and perhaps the level of bandwidth that is required for each category in their department.

One person is required to maintain this solution, although there should also be a spare.

What other advice do I have?

I would suggest that for mid-size companies of say one hundred users, you should choose different configurations. For example, Application Control group one, group two, group three. It could be a management group with more bandwidth and has fewer restrictions. Then ordinary users have more restrictions so you can give them a different configuration. You can specify the levels of restrictions, and in what categories. I feel this is something that is very important.

The only dynamic is increasing categories. If a department calls and says that they cannot access a particular webiste then the admin will check the logs to see why not. It will show the category, and the admin will have the choice to allow the whole category or just a single website. Social media might be a category where we do not allow sites like Facebook, but we do allow LinkedIn. In this case, the Social Media category is blocked but there is an exception checkbox for LinkedIn.

My advice for anybody researching this type of solution is to compare this with other products. The manageability in WatchGuard is very easy. I know other solutions and they are more complex and there is no traffic management capability included.

The biggest lesson that I have learned from using this solution is that things are dynamic. The internet is constantly growing, along with the categories. Startups like Zoom have a VoIP, so you would have to manage this application. The configuration is not static. It is dynamic, like everywhere in IT. You cannot just install it and leave it.

I would rate this solution a nine out of ten.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
PeerSpot user
Systems integrator at a comms service provider with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
A very good solution with great overall features, excellent stability, and a good pricing model
Pros and Cons
  • "The solution is very stable. We've never had any problems with stability. Once a year we do a reboot just as a precaution. The solution never stops running otherwise."
  • "The solution needs to improve the interface. I'm not able to easily find things using it."

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use the solution for protection.

What is most valuable?

All of the features in the current version of the solution are quite good.

What needs improvement?

The solution needs to improve the interface. I'm not able to easily find things using it. In the future, it would be nice if they could offer deadlock with an addition of desk geolocation. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for 20 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is very stable. We've never had any problems with stability. Once a year we do a reboot just as a precaution. The solution never stops running otherwise.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support has been very good from the start. We've been very satisfied with them over the years. 

A few years ago, when opening a case, there was a really long wait time. That has been reduced now. It may have been because we were in Belgium and the support was coming from America, so we would have to wait at least eight hours until we got a reply, due to the time difference. This isn't the case any longer.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward.

What about the implementation team?

I handled the implementation myself.

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

We're quite satisfied with the pricing model.

What other advice do I have?

We use the on-premises deployment model.

It's a great product. 

I have the capability to have control over multiple devices and play with it before putting it into live mode. For others, I would suggest they just make sure they have at least played with the solution for a few days so they know all the ins and outs of the product before putting it live themselves.

I would rate the solution nine out of ten.

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