Firebox Provides Reliability to SMBs

By Andrew Garcia  |  Posted 2004-11-08 Print this article Print

WatchGuard's Firebox X50 small-business firewall offers flexible security.

After spending a couple of months nursing along a flaky router on one segment of eWEEK Labs test network, I decided to take the plunge and upgrade to something that offered a little more security and a lot more reliability. So I deployed WatchGuards $1,049 Firebox X50 small-business firewall.

All WatchGuards Firebox Edge products (including the X5, X15 and the top-of-the-line X50) are based on the same expandable hardware platform.

Within the product line, customers can upgrade to better throughput and connection performance simply by purchasing a license key.

A firmware rev for the Firebox X50 was released last month.

Although small-business firewalls are common nowadays, I must admit I liked the X50s flexibility. The X50 includes a seven-port switch, a WAN failover port to support multiple WAN connections and an optional port that can be used to protect a second network.

The X50 is individually manageable from the SSL-protected Web interface or can be centrally managed from WatchGuards overly complicated System Manager. I found the Web interface easier to use, and the device was up and protecting the network within minutes.

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Andrew cut his teeth as a systems administrator at the University of California, learning the ins and outs of server migration, Windows desktop management, Unix and Novell administration. After a tour of duty as a team leader for PC Magazine's Labs, Andrew turned to system integration - providing network, server, and desktop consulting services for small businesses throughout the Bay Area. With eWEEK Labs since 2003, Andrew concentrates on wireless networking technologies while moonlighting with Microsoft Windows, mobile devices and management, and unified communications. He produces product reviews, technology analysis and opinion pieces for, eWEEK magazine, and the Labs' Release Notes blog. Follow Andrew on Twitter at andrewrgarcia, or reach him by email at

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