Ultimate WatchGuard Firewall Buyers Guide

Our Ultimate WatchGuard Firewall Buyers Guide was designed to help small business owners, IT consultants, & network administrators understand the WatchGuard catalog so that buyers are confident in their network security decision. is committed to sharing plain-language product knowledge to our customers & partners.

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WatchGuard T-Series & M-Series Firebox are designed for small businesses & enterprises looking to extend simplified, comprehensive Unified Threat Management across their network. WatchGuard firewalls are cost-effective, advanced security powerhouses that use machine learning to deliver threat protection that never stops evolving. Recommends:

Shop the WatchGuard T Series to secure 1 to 50 Users

Shop the WatchGuard M Series to secure 50 or More Users

WatchGuard Firewalls


Recommended User Counts – The most important consideration when buying a WatchGuard next-gen firewall is the number of users your network must support. User counts means more than just the number of employees in your organization. A user is defined as any desktop, laptop, printer, phone, tablet, or other Internet-connected device operating on your organization’s network.

For optimal security, get an accurate count of every user in your system. recommends leaving extra room for additional users in case your business grows or if you need to accommodate guest users. This also ensures there’s plenty of bandwidth for resource-heavy applications.

Throughput Speeds – A firewall’s throughput is a measure of the volume of Internet traffic that can pass through the firewall at any one time, based on the processing power of the hardware. Throughput is measured in Mbps (megabits per second) & Gbps (gigabits per second). WatchGuard datasheets list a variety of throughput statistics based on the types of security services, traffic, & protocols that the firewall is handling.

Max Firewall Throughput – Max Firewall Throughput is the highest throughput statistic you will see on any datasheet because it denotes the maximum possible processing speed of the hardware when no additional services are deployed. This is the “out of the box” speed &, for most usage cases, does not reflect how a firewall will perform in a real-world scenario.

SSL VPN Throughput – Secure Socket Layer (SSL) & Virtual Private Networks (VPN) refer to communication protocols that govern how information is encrypted & transmitted between a source & its destination. Utilizing SSL VPN tunnels is the most secure means for remote workers, outposts, & branch offices to access resources from the primary database. Because a VPN is a private connection, throughput speeds are dependent on the kinds of data being transferred as well as the performance potential of the gateway encrypting & decrypting the traffic that passes through it.

IMIX Throughput – IMIX, or Internet Mix, refers to simulated traffic passing through a firewall to emulate how the hardware would perform in a real-world environment. IMIX throughputs represent the performance a firewall was able to achieve while handling a variety of packet sizes & traffic patterns. Internet Mix profiles are based on real-world samples captured by a selection of Internet routers & security sensors. This statistic will closely reflect the actual performance you can expect on your network. Recommends:

Business data is most secure when utilizing advanced scanning functions like Deep Packet Inspection & dedicated secure VPN tunnels. Shopping for firewalls based on Full DPI Throughput & SSL VPN Throughput guarantees your organization has plenty of performance potential to accommodate advanced services. When in doubt, assume your network will perform at 50%-70% of the throughput speeds listed on datasheets, leaving ample space for your network to grow.

Site-to-Site VPN Tunnels – Site-to-site VPN tunnels allow fixed-location Local Area Networks (LANs) to extend secure conduits to the main office intranet. DPI-SSL is included standard with any current generation WatchGuard firewall. WatchGuard datasheets outline the maximum number of tunnels that a firewall can accept from remote LANs. These system specification tables will also include the max number of IPSec VPN clients supported.

Form Factor – The form factor of an appliance is the size & shape of the hardware. Most firewalls will have either a desktop form factor or rackmount form factor. Desktop form factor indicates that the firewall is a compact appliance, small enough to comfortably sit atop a desktop, while rackmount form factor specifies that the appliance was designed to be secured in a standard 19-inch server rack. Rackmount-sized appliances will sometimes indicate how many rack units (RU) the device occupies.

Wireless Support – Some organizations prefer wireless firewall solutions in lieu of appliances that must be connected via Cat5E/Cat6 cabling. Wired networking solutions are generally considered more reliable & more stable, especially because signals are not influenced or impeding by other connections. Wired appliances are generally much faster with data transfer speeds constantly improving thanks to the introduction of Gigabit interfaces. Wireless solutions such as WatchGuard wireless firewalls, however, do carry the benefit of additional mobility & flexibility of deployment, being able to reach any location without the limitations of physical cables. Wireless environments can also be installed more easily as they require less equipment & planning. Recommends:

Before making your cybersecurity investment, take stock of all the physical attributes of your facilities. Are building materials conducive or unfavorable to wireless signal transmission? Are power outlets plentiful & easy to reach? Are there certain areas that should be off-limits for Internet connectivity? Physical security should be an important concern when laying out your network & may impact the final hardware details you select.

Learn More About Firewall Tech Specs

Saving Money with WatchGuard

WatchGuard bundles their best-selling solutions together in comprehensive bundles so that customers can save money. Offered in 1-year & 3-year terms, bundles are progressively discounted to shave dollars off your expenses when you plan for long-term security.

In almost all situations, buyers should be looking to bundle their firewall with additional services or support. Appliance only purchases are typically only advisable if the hardware is going to be added to an existing network & should never be used for primary firewall protection.

Basic Security Suite – Includes all of the traditional firewalling services that you expect like VPN, SD-WAN, & stateful inspection, plus the following services: IPS, App Control, WebBlocker, SpamBlocker, Gateway AV, RED, & Network Discovery.

Total Security Suite – This advanced securty package contains every cutting-edge tool available in the WatchGuard armory. Everything in the Basic Security Suite outlined above is included, plus APT Blocker, Threat Detection & Response, DNS Watch, Access Portal, IntelligentAV, 24x7 Gold Support, & 30 days of Cloud Visibility Data Retention.


WatchGuard offers a wide variety of security add-ons & upgrades to guarantee your business data is always safe. Offers may be either a one-time upgrade or a recurring subscription. Similar to bundled solutions, customers can save substantially by opting for 1-Year or 3-Year subscriptions. Below you will find brief overviews of the individual services offered by WatchGuard.

Intrusion Prevention Service - IPS shields your network from malicious traffic, preventing a wide range of threats

Application Control - Allow, block, or restrict access to applications based on a user’s department, job function, & time of day

WebBlocker - Granular content & URL filtering to block inappropriate content, conserve network bandwidth, & increase productivity

SpamBlocker - Real-time, continuous, & highly reliable protection from spam & phishing attempts

Gateway AntiVirus - Continuously updated signatures identify & block known spyware, viruses, trojans, worms, & rogueware

Reputation Enabled Defense - Cloud-based reputation service that combines data from multiple feeds for protection from malicious sites & botnets

Network Discovery - Subscription-based service to create visual maps of all nodes on your network

APT Blocker - Advanced next-gen sandbox that detects & stops ransomware, zero days, & elusive malware

Threat Detection & Response - Automatically detect threats & enable immediate action against attacks

DNSWatch - Reduce malware infections by detecting & blocking malicious DNS requests

IntelligentAV - Signature-less anti-malware solution that relies on AI to automate malware detection

WatchGuard Security Services

GETTING MORE OUT OF YOUR WATCHGUARD FIREWALL Standard & Advanced WatchGuard Configurations – Just say no to the set-up wizard. It’s time to take the guesswork out of network security.’s in-house team of certified & specialized network architects completes all configuration work at our Indianapolis Security Operation Center (SOC), where full-time administrators optimize your network performance & security. Our team will complete a comprehensive survey of your network needs & configure your appliance to get the most out of your investment. By the time your hardware is delivered, it is fully loaded with a personalized configuration for an intelligent plug-n-play experience.

The team will set up VPN tunnels, access points, co-location lockdowns, remote access & VoIP, configure granular content filtering, integrate the active directory, & establish purpose-built firewall policies, along with much more. Our proprietary 99-step configuration methodology leaves no stone unturned when it comes to transforming your network into a cyber fortress.

Learn More About Configurations Managed Security Service – For small businesses, maintaining a robust IT staff may be a challenge. employs a team of dedicated WatchGuard professionals that can monitor, report, & mitigate attacks on your network around the clock, allowing you to get back to doing what you do best: running your business. Stop worrying about firmware updates & network downtime. Our peace-of-mind security services ensure a rapid response to whatever the bad guys throw at you. MSS delivers unlimited personalized support, proactive firmware updates, configuration changes, alerts, proactive threat detection, Web-based activity reporting, & equipment repair/replace. Managed Security Service is a month-to-month subscription service with no long-term commitments. Your network receives quarterly health checks to ensure your firewall is constantly evolving to meet the challenges of the threat landscape.

Learn More About Managed Security Services

WatchGuard Gold Support – WatchGuard offers standalone 24x7 support contracts to extend technical support & firmware updates. Support is delivered via email, telephone, or web-based portal so that help is always within arm’s reach.

Learn More About WatchGuard Support

About WatchGuard

WatchGuard believes that network security should be simple, effective, & future proof. By focusing firewall products & services on intelligent protection capabilities, simplified management, & increased visibility, WatchGuard makes small business network security easy.




WatchGuard Dimension – Dimension is a unified, cloud-based network visibility solution that's included with all WatchGuard firewalls. This suite of reporting & visibility tools help network administrators instnatly identify netwok security threats in real time. With an executive dashboard, Dimension highlights abnormal bandwidth use. Threat maps help to isolate web traffic, and the Firewatch service automaticaly detects & stops unauthorized application usage. Take instant control of your network from end-to-end with integrated Dimension Command, a suite of management tools that works in tandem with Dimension's advanced visibility features.

WatchGuard AuthPoint - With so many businesses now securing remote workers & hybrid environments, authenticating the user behind the machine is more important than ever. Multifactor authentication, such as WatchGuard's AuthPoint service, means that even if threat actors compromise a user's login credentials, they'll still need a second, independent authentication factor to access network resources. AuthPoint is super simple to use with mobile push notifications, QR codes, and one-time passwords that make it quick & easy for users to connect, authenticate, & access.

Learn More About WatchGuard AuthPoint

Why Choose WatchGuard?

Why choose a WatchGuard firewall? Don’t take our word for it. Below you’ll find just a handful of the industry awards lavished upon WatchGuard products, services, & vision. We use words like "industry-leading" & "award-winning" when we talk about WatchGuard Next Generation Firewalls, & below you'll find the proof in the pudding we're putting out.


Let’s face it: cybersecurity is complicated. encourages you to make an informed decision when purchasing any firewall because when the bad guys lose, we all win. Our account executives provide a low-pressure experience that’s heavy on product expertise & backed by decades of experience. wants you to be 100% confident in your network security investment before any transactions begin.

I'm Ready to Buy a WatchGuard Firewall

Also check out the Blog where you’ll find the latest WatchGuard news, our Cyber Threat Dictionary, & product knowledge that equips you to take on the cyber threat landscape.