Move from Sonicwall to... ?

I've had it with Sonicwall and am looking for recommendations for other firewalls that people have used with success that won't break the bank.

I currently have 15, 3 pro series (230 and 2040) and the rest a mix of tele's and tz's remote workers. VPN's to the main office from the rest, nothing fancy. Between 75 - 100 rules on the larger firewalls.

Let me first mention the things I hate about Sonicwall that I do not want to see from the next vendor.

- charges for firmware updates to fix broken features (i.e. features that are broke out of the box)

- support requests that are never answered and are forever "in process"

- live support that can't help you, or simply speak your language (idea: perhaps I should improve my Spanish - then perhaps I can get a native Spanish speaker on the phone when prompted)

Ever since they purchased MailFrontier, the support for that has basically disappeared. Here at my office we say they've been Sonicwalled.

I haven't worked with any other products in 5 or 6 years, but I do remember Cisco support being great and working with me over the phone (sometimes even logging in to the device when necessary) to get a problem resolved). If Cisco is the only company offering that level of support (is it still what it used to be?), I would consider going with them. Hopefully somebody else out there can provide reasonable support though.

Things I'd like to see -

- Reliable remote devices for home users (work well on cable/dsl lines)

- Reliable and full featured wireless support for above

- Phone and email/ticket support that answers promptly

- Free fixes and security updates during the life of the product (is this even an option anymore?)

- Solid web interface (command line interface not necessary but is a major plus)

- Reliable hardware based VPN connections - I don't need software VPN support on the firewall


I don't think I'm asking for much, I just need a company that does all of this well. No mroe headaches!

Cheers, Jesse

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Checkpoint or cisco PIX


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I use WatchGuard. It's severed me well. Tech Support there was no problem with them, as they remoted into the appliance and showed me what to do. I even had them call back a couple of times. I haven't changed the firmware, since the license expired over a year ago maybe more. I don't remember. They have low-end units at a reasonable price.

Duane :)

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Duane Arnold

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There's the commercial version of smoothwall. I only know the freeware product, but I think that the commercial version would give you the support level you need.


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Jeffrey Goldberg

I'm sure that the following companies would be willing and like to talk to you.

Cisco IBM BayNetworks SMC Lucent

Netgear or D-Link might have some higher end corporate stuff, though I don't know.

The larger companies will offer better support and have a broader product line and better know how to make it work their product(s) work with your other products.

Each company is going to have their own type of support / upgrade plan. I know that Cisco has support contacts that allow you to upgrade the firmware / software of devices free so long as the device is under a support contract. You may not see this a free, but hey. I know of MANY people that have higher levels of support on the central point and one of each different piece of equipment. This way they can get all software for all equipment (here in the U.S. it is illegal to sell a piece of equipment with out a software license. So that ideology can be stretched to copy the software from one piece of equipment to another) updated and supported. You can get your individual config at your secretary's aunt's dog's house supported by copying it's running config to your supported device and taking that supported device there and asking for help with the config. In short, work the system to get it to do what you want.

I would be REALLY tempted to contact SMC and / or Bay.

Grant. . . .

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Taylor, Grant

I've great support from Cisco in the handful of support calls I've made in the past few years to their firewall/VPN group.


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Cisco Pix doesn't do QoS.

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