WatchGuard Secure Wi‑Fi OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

WatchGuard Secure Wi‑Fi is the #20 ranked solution in top Wireless LAN tools. PeerSpot users give WatchGuard Secure Wi‑Fi an average rating of 8.0 out of 10. WatchGuard Secure Wi‑Fi is most commonly compared to Ubiquiti WLAN: WatchGuard Secure Wi‑Fi vs Ubiquiti WLAN. WatchGuard Secure Wi‑Fi is popular among the small business segment, accounting for 48% of users researching this solution on PeerSpot. The top industry researching this solution are professionals from a computer software company, accounting for 25% of all views.
Buyer's Guide

Download the Wireless LAN Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: November 2022

What is WatchGuard Secure Wi‑Fi?

WatchGuard is a global leader in network security, secure Wi-Fi, and network intelligence products and services for SMBs and Distributed Enterprises worldwide. Our mission is to make enterprise-grade security accessible to companies of all types and sizes through simplicity, making WatchGuard an ideal solution for distributed enterprises and SMBs. WatchGuard is headquartered in Seattle, Washington, with offices throughout North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Latin America.

WatchGuard Secure Wi‑Fi Customers

Portsmouth Grammar School, HILOTEC

WatchGuard Secure Wi‑Fi Video

Archived WatchGuard Secure Wi‑Fi Reviews (more than two years old)

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IT & Telecommunications at BAA
Real User
Cloud analytics has simplified our operation; easily manageable for multiple locations
Pros and Cons
  • "Cloud analytics that provide all its attributes."
  • "Inability to import a user with one click."

What is our primary use case?

I use this solution at an airport, where I work in IT and telecommunications as an end user. 

What is most valuable?

The cloud analytics are a key feature of this solution. Once you create your profile, you plug the AP in and it gets all its attributes. You can reset an AP without having to pull out a ladder. If you need to push an update to it, you can do so. You can roll it back, you can see where users are in your facility and what they're having trouble trying to connect to. In addition, it puts all the users into their own VPN, which gives you security. All the security functions are built into it. You can take one AP from WatchGuard, and install it on a Cisco, Ruckus, or Aruba Networks AP, and turn it on as a WIPS and protect those clients.

It's all cloud controller based. I can have several sites and still see them all in that one pane of glass. All you have to do is take it out of the box, plug it in and you're ready to go. That's the beauty. So if you have multiple locations, it's easily managed. When you log into your console, you can sort by date and see what's coming up, you don't have to guess. If you want to check a budget report, you can see it all without having to look for it. They have an interface setting on their firewall and you can virtually plug any AP into it and be off, whereas other solutions are proprietary. 

What needs improvement?

In terms of improvement, one issue I have is that I can't import a user with one click. There are occasional times where people have a new laptop or a new phone, and they're not able to connect. I would love to just be able to click, boom, and import them all, just yank them all into the system, or take them out of the system if necessary. That would be one great feature. Secondly, I don't want to have two APs on the same channel at the same power level fighting one another. One should drop power or change channel automatically. That's something that could be included in the next update. 

The ideal would be if I would click on T-Mobile, Verizon, AT&T, or TracFone Wireless and they would populate that because it would simply get the IMEI number and the carrier ID number from a phone that's on that network. Then users wouldn't even have to look for the SSID, they'd just be on WiFi and secure. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using this solution for four years. 

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Wireless LAN
November 2022
Find out what your peers are saying about WatchGuard, Ubiquiti Networks, Aruba Networks and others in Wireless LAN. Updated: November 2022.
655,711 professionals have used our research since 2012.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We had a few bugs in the early days. They did an update nine months ago, where we had to roll back to the previous revision so they could work out the bugs. That happens with almost anything. On a day-to-day basis, their stability is beyond acceptable. It's great. 

WatchGuard has been pushing for a trusted wireless environment, meaning that you can connect to it with competence to stop a loss of data. Right now companies are making huge profits by selling everybody a portable hotspot on 4G or 5G, which would mean you never need Wi-Fi.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

This is a scalable solution. 

How are customer service and support?

The technical support is awesome, really great. When I open a ticket, I either get a response back on that ticket or a call back to say, here's what we found, this is what we know, we've seen this before, or whatever. They'll do everything possible to get to the bottom of any issue. They've got some sharp people.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is easy - it's easy to monitor, and it provides you with alerts on what's going on, throughout your entire system. You just log in, and it's there.

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

When I buy my APs ,it's a three-year license.

What other advice do I have?

I would say simply for most public facilities and schools there wouldn't be a budget for a Passpoint license. I would suggest taking a good look at WatchGuard, do a demo, check it out in your environment and I guarantee you'll want to keep it. With any wireless environment, you want to look at what's there already before you start applying APs. 

My system is set up to block a user. If they're using their own 4G or 5G, that's fine. But if you have a hotspot device and get on my WiFi with it instead of using your 4G and then you hook it up to your laptop on that same subnet, that's when my system sees a security violation. I need to protect my users to make sure that every client that connects is connecting to my AP on my WiFi and not connecting to a fake site. 

I would rate this solution an eight out of 10. 

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
IT & Telecommunications at BAA
Real User
High throughput, Easy to manage, and provides helpful cloud analytics
Pros and Cons
  • "It makes it easy to obtain all information about the client experience."
  • "If a client device had issues with authentication due to out of date browser or similar difficulties, it would be nice to have the ability to migrate the client onto the portal via one click."

What is our primary use case?

The Airport Authority is responsible for providing free WiFi at the Birmingham Shuttlesworth International Airport. There is no charge for the Free Public WiFi at the BHM airport. There are more than sixty APs and one hundred and twenty dual-band radios being used today, providing free WiFi to the traveling public. The WatchGuard Cloud WiFi system is easy to maintain and to make updates to the APs, with virtually no impact to the wireless users.

How has it helped my organization?

It is great to have a trusted wireless environment in a public free WiFi facility. WiFi is a must-have feature today at any airport. Some international travelers may not have activated cellular roaming for coverage with their cellular provider. So providing quality WiFi at an airport is paramount. Providing hi-speed trusted WiFi is great.

What is most valuable?

The cloud analytics are fantastic. Not having to reboot a physical wireless controller is great. It makes it easy to obtain all information about the client experience.

The WatchGuard cloud solution doesn’t need a physical controller, which would require two controllers if HA was required.

What needs improvement?

  1. If a client device had issues with authentication due to out of date browser or similar difficulties, it would be nice to have the ability to migrate the client onto the portal via one click.
  2. Improvement of dynamic auto channel selection is needed. The system should have a view of seeing the selections being made.

For how long have I used the solution?

About eleven months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Thus far it has been reliable, running for the past ten months. When a problem did occur with an auto-update that was buggy, the support team was very responsive and helped to resolve the problem.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Awesome! You can manage it all from one single portal.

How are customer service and technical support?

Support has always resolved every incident. Granted, some items required further research if it was intermittent in nature, but most problems were resolved on the first call.

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

We used Passpoint prior to this. However, the licensing cost to secure public WiFi via Passpoint was not practical or budget-friendly.

A fixed licensing model isn’t the best solution when the number of active users logged on can swing from a low of three hundred to a high of five thousand, depending on air traffic congestion or weather delays.

How was the initial setup?

On the scale of other similar systems, it is much simpler to set up and get up and running via the defaults if one was new to provisioning APs or similar.  

What about the implementation team?

We implemented this solution mostly in-house. I did consult with my managed security provider, JSCM Group, and they agreed it was a great fit for the product.

What was our ROI?

Less wasted man hours on supporting this product. The patrons enjoy it. I get good feedback often about the speed, and the ability to upload or download large files with ease. One jokingly told me that he should just leave his office locally and drive to the airport to upload and download large files from his iPad rather than wasting his time at his place of business.

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

Look at the details and the fine print on other solutions if security is important and you have an undefined number of simultaneous users. Also, check to see if other solutions preload HS 2.0 settings the way the WatchGuard Cloud WiFi system does.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

ADTRAN was one product that we evaluated because they are produced in my state and I have used many ADTRAN Telcom products in past years with high confidence. Aruba and Cisco solutions were also evaluated. The security features were on par but at a higher cost per AP with enterprise-grade security, due to licensing rather than the cost of the AP.

What other advice do I have?

If I were tasked to set up new WiFi at a single site, or at multiple locations for hundreds of sites, I would make this solution my first choice. You could evaluate another platform against it but a feature-to-feature comparison, coupled with the ease of deployment, should place WatchGuard ahead. It scales easily and you won’t need a team of specialists to configure it.

Your licensing and cost, as would be required for many other solutions, being considered for eighty to two hundred and eighty different physical locations, is just about the same amount per access point.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
Buyer's Guide
Download our free Wireless LAN Report and find out what your peers are saying about WatchGuard, Ubiquiti Networks, Aruba Networks, and more!
Updated: November 2022
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Buyer's Guide
Download our free Wireless LAN Report and find out what your peers are saying about WatchGuard, Ubiquiti Networks, Aruba Networks, and more!