I recently integrated the Watchguard X55e-W into my home network as I wanted more functionality then the typical Linksys or DLink home router could offer me. The reason I went with the Watchguard X55e-W is that the price was right and it had a rich set of features. There is more to the world of network infrastructure then Cisco . Installation of the X55e-W itself was a breeze. From the time I started the install till I was done, only ten minutes had gone by. Once you are done the initial install you are then able to get to the main menu as seen below.
You can see from the screenshot that the Watchguard X55e-W also comes with built-in VPN capability. This is a must have if you are running a business from home such as myself. The ability to VPN into my home network when I am on the road is crucial for me. Installing the VPN client itself was pain free. After I was done with those configurations I went on to setting up the wireless settings. This was done easily, and more importantly quickly. Shown below is the interface you have when tweaking the wireless network settings.
In the space of another couple of minutes my wireless network was up and running. All told at this point only 15 minutes had elapsed from the time I took the router out of the box. The firewall interface of any router is important. This is an area where a lot of vendors fail horribly. I was glad to confirm what I had earlier heard about Watchguard network security appliances in that it was a clean, and intuitive interface. Take a look at the screenshot below.
All in all, a rather nice layout that is not overwhelmed with data. Too often you will find interfaces that are presenting far too much information on one screen. Instead of that Watchguard has the column on the left of the screenshot that breaks down the areas into categories that you can then navigate to. There is far more to the configuration options as seen via the left hand column. A rather nice feature is that you can get WebBlocker which is nice to have for a corporate setting, no matter the size of it.
It has been a little while now since I integrated the Watchguard X55e-W into my home network. Since then I have had no complaints at all. The installation, configuration, and maintenance of it has been painless, and quick. If you are looking for an alternative to Cisco or other high priced appliance, I would definitely recommend taking a look at the Watchguard offerings.