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DW
President at a tech services company with 1-10 employees
Reseller
Top 10
A reliable firewall but other options should be considered

Pros and Cons

  • "It's very flexible and meets our customer's needs."
  • "You can do zero-trust networking with them, but it's not easy."

What is our primary use case?

Mainly our customers use this solution as a general firewall. 

Currently, our most popular firewall is Fortinet FortiGate 40F. We do have all the way up to 100's, but most of our customers are small, medium-sized businesses.

We have a FortiAnalyzer that resides on Azure and we're getting a FortiManager because of the new capability to roll them out based on the serial number

With FortiManager and FortiAnalyzer, you have many more capabilities than you do with SonicWall.

How has it helped my organization?

I wouldn't say that. If it has no impact on them, it's doing its job correctly.

What is most valuable?

There are no specific features that you can say are better than anything else. It's very flexible and it meets our customer's needs.

What needs improvement?

The Fortinet Firewall is not the easiest firewall to maintain, nor is to set up and configure. Checkpoint and Sonos are much easier.

SonicWall, from my point of view is the same category as Fortinet. Checkpoint and Sonos are easier to use, but they don't have as many features as SonicWall.

You can do zero-trust networking with SonicWall, but it's not easy. Also, their desktop anti-virus sucks.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using SonicWall since it was Netscreen — which was years ago.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?


What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

When you buy it based on the load that you expect to use, there are no scalability issues, unless you swap them out.

How are customer service and technical support?

SonicWall has exceptional tech support. I would rate checkpoint support best, SonicWall next, and Fortinet would be third. I would give SonicWall's tech support a rating of 7.5 to eight.

The structure of dealing with them is good. Once you get through to a support person, the support is very good. But getting through, getting to the point where you have someone on the line can be difficult. 

Overall, they're good at their job and they speak English.

The level of tech support varies: sometimes you get lucky and they're exceptional, and sometimes it's somebody that isn't that good.

How was the initial setup?

If you don't set it up correctly, you are putting your customer's network at risk. They still haven't fixed a lot of the little issues that Dell introduced into the product line, but they're trying.

There are settings that if you don't set them correctly, you could potentially jeopardize your customer's network. 

SonicWall is probably easier to set up than Fortinet.

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

The pricing of SonicWall is still in line with Fortinet and Checkpoint. Personally, if I were presented with a decision between SonicWall, Checkpoint, or Fortinet, it would be a no-brainer.

What other advice do I have?

If you're interested in SonicWall, consider checkpoint or Fortinet first.

On a scale from one to ten, I would give this solution a rating of seven.

They don't have independent testing. They haven't been independently rated — or another way to put it: Gardner rates them poorly. Because of this, we can't sell SonicWall to customers as easily as we can sell Fortinet or Checkpoint.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Reseller
ML
IT Head at a construction company with 51-200 employees
Real User
Top 20
It's a user-friendly solution, so I don't experience any problems with the device

Pros and Cons

  • "We have utilized all the features. The most valuable are the URL filtering by category, DMZ zoning, load balancing and site-to-site VPN."
  • "We also need to increase the throughput because the other devices are slower. The throughput will become slow. Since we're using VoIP, it tends to affect the voice quality. Even if you're using a quality service, it tends to decrease."

What is our primary use case?

In the main office we have set up a SonicWall TZ device, and then from the branches, we have set up a lower branch model, the SonicWall, and then created site-to-site VPN. We then deployed the VoIP between those branches to the main office. We also deployed the firewall and the URL filtering between sites and the main office. So, we just enabled and created the different DMZ zones from the devices.

What is most valuable?

We have utilized all the features. The most valuable are the:

  • URL filtering by category,
  • DMZ zoning
  • Load balancing
  • The site-to-site VPN.

What needs improvement?

Because this is an old device, the throughput needs to improve. Right now, the only problem is that since it eight years devices had to keep up with the latest technology. Most of the devices are now linked to the plants. That is one thing that can be improved. 

We also need to increase the throughput because the other devices are slower. The throughput will become slow. Since we're using VoIP, it tends to affect the voice quality. Even if you're using a quality service, it tends to decrease.

We're going to replace them. Since this is already eight years old, so we're going to replace the hardware but with a different brand.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using this solution for ten years. 

It's deployed from the main office to the site office. So, we're using site-to-site VPN between project sites since we are a construction company.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

There is no problem with the stability. Since the very start, I have not experienced any problem yet until recently during the quarantine, but the problem is now resolved. Since the requirement is to have a voice quality, we're using a platform like MS Team, Zoom, and it does not perform well when using those applications.

We have around 100 to 200-people using it. Most of them are users. It's on around 10 projects or 10 branches.

We only require one staff member for the deployment and maintenance. 

How are customer service and technical support?

I have never called support. I only called when we first purchased it, if I had a question. I have not found any difficulties when contacting them, or just because I contacted only lower support. Then since it is a user-friendly solution, I didn't experience any problems with the device.

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

We used Fortinet and Juniper NetScreen, but we already replaced them.

After seven years or five years, the performance degraded. Then we sourced from our local suppliers and got a recommendation from them and er also checked IT Central Station to compare each product. 

How was the initial setup?

It's not hard to configure, it's user-friendly. It's very user-friendly. It's just the performance that's an issue because it has already aged out. It is already old.

What other advice do I have?

The quality and security support should be improved in the next release.

I would rate SonicWall NSA an eight out of ten. 

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Learn what your peers think about SonicWall NSa. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: November 2021.
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Flavio Soares
Senior Systems Administrator at a manufacturing company with 51-200 employees
Real User
Top 5
A very intuitive solution with very user friendly graphic interface

Pros and Cons

  • "User friendly and intuitive."
  • "Needs a more detailed reporting feature."

What is our primary use case?

We are end users of this solution and I'm a senior systems administrator.

What is most valuable?

At the end of the day, all the solutions in this category are more or less alike. They all do the same thing in different ways. I've found the best features of NSA are the graphic interface which is very user friendly and I also find the solution to be very intuitive. The product has more features than I can use. 

What needs improvement?

The reporting solution from SonicWall is not the greatest. We have more than two firewalls and I expected we'd get more information from the reporting than we actually do. That area could definitely be improved. I've seen a couple of features on the firewall that I don't have use for because we're not a huge company, we're a 200-user company. The reporting feature is there, it would be nice if it was more detailed. 

The firewall itself has the reporting tool. Obviously, it's not as complete as the solution that they want to sell because they provide it for free. It means that you need to get the software separately in order to get a better understanding of what's going on in your firewall. A good additional feature would be improvement on the firewall reporting feature without needing extra software or extra expense.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using this solution for five years. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The firmware is very stable and I've never had issues with the stability of the operating system and I was several versions behind until recently. There were some minor bugs but that's because the firmware was not updated. 

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is great. I've never had an issue where I've needed to wait more than a few minutes for them to fix it.

How was the initial setup?

At this office, the firewall was already configured when I started working here, so I only needed to make some adjustments. We have another office that we acquired recently, and I implemented the firewall there. The configuration was pretty straightforward. The graphical interface is very intuitive and that helps. 

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

Our licensing fees are paid annually. It's on par with whatever is on the market. They are all the same, so it's not high or low. It's on the same level as any other hardware in the same category.

What other advice do I have?

If I knew what I know today and I was starting from scratch with a SonicWall firewall, I'd get a consultant in for some advice. There are a couple of tricks that for me it would have been nice to know from the beginning because there are some rules in the defaults that I would've been happy to have known before. I would recommend getting a consultant to explain how the thing works, even if it's for a couple of hours.

I would rate this solution an eight out of 10. 

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.
LW
Cybersecurity Engineer at a comms service provider with 51-200 employees
Real User
Top 10
Stable with good security features but needs better GUI

Pros and Cons

  • "The antivirus and items of that nature were quite helpful to have."
  • "Sometimes I found the GUI and some of the features a little bit hard to navigate, as opposed to Fortigate, which is much more user-friendly."

What is our primary use case?

At the organization I used to work for, this solution was used as the primary perimeter firewall. We had 11 sites. Each site had a firewall that sat behind a router and did all the filtering.

What is most valuable?

The security features we pretty good. The antivirus and items of that nature were quite helpful to have.

The web sourcing was very good. 

The stability was very good.

We found the installation to be pretty straightforward.

What needs improvement?

Sometimes I found the GUI and some of the features a little bit hard to navigate, as opposed to Fortigate, which is much more user-friendly. 

What Fortigate has which SonicWall doesn't, is the per rule natting. SonicWall only does the central mapping. If they could include something like per rule natting it would be better.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used the solution for about three years or so.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution was very stable. There were no bugs or glitches. It didn't crash or freeze. It was reliable. There were no breaches.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution was quite scalable. If a company needed to expand it, it could do so.

We had 300 or so users at our organization using the product.

I do not work for the company anymore. I can't speak to their plans for the solution and if they plan to increase usage or not. 

How are customer service and technical support?

I had experience with support in the past and I found them to be helpful and responsive. I was very pleased with their level of assistance.

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

I'm currently using Fortigate now. I switched companies and this company uses Fortigate.

How was the initial setup?

The installation process isn't too difficult. It's pretty easy and rather straightforward. A company shouldn't have any trouble with the initial setup.

The time it takes to deploy depends on the company, however, I recall it only took about an hour or so at our organization. Physically, you might need help with the actual setup, however, for the most part, a person could handle it alone.

What about the implementation team?

I was able to handle the process myself. I did not need the assistance of a consultant or integrator. 

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

Our organization would pay for a license every two to three years.

What other advice do I have?

I was a customer and an end-user. I never had a professional relationship with SonicWall.

I would recommend the product to other organizations.

I'd rate the solution overall at a seven 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.
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Shaik Parveez
Network Engineer at commit
MSP
Top 5
Good support and the different VPN capabilities work well

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable features are the VPN, SSL VPN, and IPSec VPN."
  • "SonicWall does not support DynDNS, yet this is an important feature for smaller companies that do not have a static IP address."

What is our primary use case?

We are a solution provider and SonicWall NSA is one of the firewalls that we implement for our clients. I have implemented it for many companies and currently, I have four or five clients that we are supporting.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features are the VPN, SSL VPN, and IPSec VPN.

The port forwarding functionality works well.

What needs improvement?

The number of concurrent VPN users is too limited.

SonicWall does not support DynDNS, yet this is an important feature for smaller companies that do not have a static IP address. It means that if the IP address changes then it would automatically be picked up by the firewall and it will assist with site-to-site VPN connections.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been working with SonicWall NSA for two years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

SonicWall NSA is a stable firewall.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I have set up SonicWall NSA for smaller companies in Dubai. Most of my customers are small to medium-sized with between 20 and 100 users. I would say that it is scalable.

How are customer service and technical support?

The support offered by SonicWall is good. I would rate them a six or seven out of ten.

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

I also have more than five years of experience with Fortinet FortiGate. I have worked with models such as the 30E, 50E, 60E, 100E, and 60D. I also have experience with the Meraki Firewall.

The VPN limitations are better with FortiGate. Even with the lower versions, such as the 30E, it supports 100 tunnels and 100 users. With SonicWall, you are limited to five IPSec VPN connections at one time.

FortiGate also supports DynDNS, which is an important feature for smaller companies.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is okay and I don't have any issues with it. When you configure any UTM box, whether it's new or if you are configuring it for the first time, it will take some time to complete. Once you get through it for the first time, it is much easier from then on.

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

If you want to connect more than five concurrent users by VPN then you have to pay an additional fee.

What other advice do I have?

Overall, this is a good firewall and they would do much better in the market if they included support for DynDNS and additional VPN connections for free.

At this point, because of the restrictions with the VPN, we are recommending Fortinet rather than SonicWall. If in the future these concerns are dealt with, then I will recommend SonicWall.

I would rate this solution an eight out of ten.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: partner
SK
IT Manager at a educational organization with 51-200 employees
Real User
Top 5
A stable solution that meets our requirements and has good support

Pros and Cons

  • "It is able to fulfill my requirements. It protects our network environment. It has control over IPS, signatures, and it can also manage bandwidth and mapping. It is also stable and has good support."
  • "It doesn't require much improvement. The only improvement area is that cloud reporting, assessment reporting, and other reporting features should be available with the subscription. They should provide reporting features with the subscription base, which is currently not there. We bought the reporting tool, but there are some complications. They have made some changes to the application, and now the reporting management is completely on the cloud."

What is our primary use case?

We are using SonicWall NSA 2600 for firewall purposes. We have its latest version.

What is most valuable?

It is able to fulfill my requirements. It protects our network environment. It has control over IPS, signatures, and it can also manage bandwidth and mapping. It is also stable and has good support.

What needs improvement?

It doesn't require much improvement. The only improvement area is that cloud reporting, assessment reporting, and other reporting features should be available with the subscription. They should provide reporting features with the subscription base, which is currently not there. We bought the reporting tool, but there are some complications. They have made some changes to the application, and now the reporting management is completely on the cloud. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for four years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It has been stable. There are no issues with its stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is not scalable. We can upgrade to a new box depending on the subscription. We have a three-year subscription, so we will continue with it for three years. After that, we would look for an alternative tool based on our requirements. Currently, we have approximately 250 plus users.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have a license for support. We can raise a ticket if we need any assistance from their support. They are good, and I am satisfied with their support. They always take care of customer satisfaction. There might be a delay or something, but at the end of the day, they resolve the issues.

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

I have used other solutions. Palo Alto and Sophos are good solutions. FortiGate is also good, and it allows you to see and manage everything from one control. Some of the features available in other solutions might not be available in SonicWall NSA, but it is fulfilling my requirements.

How was the initial setup?

We don't really need any support with the installation. There are a lot of knowledge documents. We also have a license for support, and if required, we can get support.

What about the implementation team?

We have only two people who have been managing it for the last three years or so. We didn't face any challenges.

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

Its price is okay.

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend this solution to others. I am satisfied with this solution.

I would rate SonicWall NSA an eight 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.
Jeremi Albrizio
Information Security Manager at a manufacturing company with 51-200 employees
Real User
Top 20
Less cumbersome than competitors

Pros and Cons

  • "Compared to Cisco, SonicWall NSa is much easier to configure."
  • "The implementation for VLANs is a little bit cumbersome. It would be good to make that a little bit easier."

What is our primary use case?

When it comes to securing VLANs, the primary use case for SonicWall NSa is VPNs. 

What is most valuable?

Compared to Cisco, SonicWall NSa is much easier to configure. Cisco tends to be cumbersome through the web interface. It's easy through the command line, but when you're troubleshooting something, you're usually not going through the command line. When you're digging through data trying to find if something happened, you're usually digging through the logs, through the web interface, because it should be much easier. In Cisco, the logs are odd and you have to be really particular on what you want. You have to look for specific details. 

This process is much easier SonicWall NSa. I want to know where the problem started and where it ended, that's it; and it's really clear in SonicWall NSa. Whereas in Cisco it's just not clear at all.

What needs improvement?

It would be amazing if all of the ports on the throughput devices were 10 gig or 100 gig. That would make it so much easier for me to designate 10 gigs throughout the whole network. Right now, with SonicWall NSa, I'm doing designations like "use 10 gigs through the whole network until you hit firewall." In that case, all of the traffic that has firewall enabled on it drops to one gig.

That causes issues with throughput, especially when you're talking about data stores and Ice Guzzy, or when you're splitting things out with VLANs. 

MAC address filtering on the VPN and on the firewall itself would be a good thing to add as well. If it's there, I don't know where it is.

Automation would also be good. 

The implementation for VLANs is a little bit cumbersome. It would be good to make that a little bit easier.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used SonicWall probably on and off for the last couple of years. It depends on which client I'm working with.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

SonicWall NSa is stable. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Just adding multiple sites is easy. Clustering them is pretty straightforward. But if I needed to expand them in series, that's a little bit more complicated.

How are customer service and technical support?

I've never used SonicWall tech support. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is pretty straightforward. 

What other advice do I have?

Hire a network guy or have a service that's going to monitor and manage SonicWall NSa for you.

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.
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Hector Lopez
IT and Project Manager at Network Secure El Salvador
Real User
Top 5
Affordable, easy to set up, and the sandbox capabilities are good

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable feature is the sandbox."
  • "The content filter needs to be improved."

What is our primary use case?

We use this firewall to protect our perimeter. We create NAT policies and have a DMZ set up.

It is also used to filter the internet for all of our users.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the sandbox.

What needs improvement?

The content filter needs to be improved. I would also like to see better application filtering.

When we are troubleshooting problems, we find that the logs we see are not sufficient. It makes it difficult to find out what the main issue is. It means that we have to search further or perform another test to see what happened.

Technical support is in need of improvement.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using SonicWall for approximately 15 years, and more specifically, SonicWall NSA for the past 10.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is fine and we don't have any issues. We have never needed to report a problem.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have about 20 people in the company who are protected by this product, and I think that the scalability is fine. However, I would say that it is best for small to medium-sized organizations.

How are customer service and technical support?

When we have gone to the vendor for support, I don't think that the quality was very good. I would rate the vendor support a six out of ten.

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

I used to work with Check Point, and they are very good when it comes to application filtering.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is easy and the deployment can be completed in between two and four hours. This includes installation and adjustments that need to be made.

What about the implementation team?

We have an in-house SonicWall specialist.

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

When implemented properly, the total cost of operation is very low.

What other advice do I have?

My advice for anybody who is looking into implementing SonicWall NSA is that they have to be very clear about what it is that they're looking for. It is a good solution for small and medium-sized businesses, and when you are very clear about what you need, you can implement a lot of other security services with a total cost of operation that is very low.

I would rate this solution an eight out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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