Future of v17 and v18

Hey AlanT,

Hope you can update us on the future of v17 and future of v18? 

Since v17 is released i'm sure alot of new improvements are in the pipeline. 

  • In reply to rfcat_vk:

    Thanks Ian.


    Can anybody tell if the update also addresses the slow WiFi performance? I know there is a workaround through CLI but I'd like to see this addressed by an update.

  • In reply to Jelle:


    upgrade tested and ok on a xg105 and virtual.

    Major issue since 17.5 about the impossiblitie to restore a backup is still not resolved...

    This is a shame to release a product without being able to backup/restore a configuration !

  • In reply to Jelle:

    For what it’s worth, I too have installed it on 210 and 105 hardware appliances.


    Backups before and after, both local and via emails were also done flawlessly. In minutes.  

    But I believe this update was that quick because it did not have to play much with local database and had not much conversion to perform from 17.5.x

    Paul Jr

  • In reply to rfcat_vk:

    It took forever to upgrade on my XG home setup, but did eventually complete and come back up on its own.  I'd say it took between 10-15 minutes which is very unusual, but it does seem to be working ok so far. 

  • In reply to Bill Roland:

    Hi Bill,

    I was thinking about this after I restarted and posted my result that I might not have waited long enough.

    Tank you for the explanation.


  • In reply to guillaume bottollier:

    If you read the error message the backup issue appears to be something very specific to your configuration.

    Do you have auto update and install enabled on your pattern configuration?


  • In reply to Big_Buck:


    2017 and 2018 were dedicated to bug fixes and stability almost exclusively.  Seems to me the real improvement this year was the MTA.


    Apart from the bits they've now broken. DKIM message body hashes for example - workaround is to bypass outbound scanning of internal mail servers that perform DKIM signing.

  • In reply to ChrisKnight:

    I did not know DKIM was busted on Sophos.

    But that said for $900 a year, I have the much much more powerful and flawless Symantec Brigthmail MTA appliance.  With every functions you can imagine.

    If you toast a single day debugging Sophos Mail Gateway, or Sophos MTA, you already blew up that amount of money.  It is pointless to persist with mail on any Sophos products.  Unless you have more than 500 Users I would say.

    Paul Jr

  • In reply to Big_Buck:

    Well the MTA in XG 17.5 doesn't do DKIM, but it's modifying messages beyond just whitespace changes such that the message body hashes are broken.

    This is probably why others are also seeing MIME message headers in their mail clients - the MTA is modifying the messages sufficiently that the mail client is no longer capable of displaying them as intended.

    Will be looking at options this year for better mail filtering and IPv6 support - the current and expected feature set just isn't there.

  • In reply to ChrisKnight:

    What I wished was a single yearly renewal.  But whatever I wish, there is no such thing as a UTM.  Because there is no such thing as unified thread management.  Soon or later, a component on the suite fails to bring the minimum.  That is true with Sophos, Sonic Wall, or whatever else.

    So, since I am stuck with two renewals, I will also move to Symantec EndPoint Protection.  Flawless set it and forget it solution.  One reason I moved away from it was the disappearance of their Enterprise suite.  But I hear it is back.  Sophos SEC requires the same maintenance as anything else from Sophos. Chronophagus.

    Not set for the firewall yet, but very basic features I require are not even on the radar.  I cannot live without a full DHCP or NTP anymore.  I hate to maintain a VM per subnet (DMZ, Production, et.c.) just for those roles.  And I cannot live without a workable log.

    As for IPv6, I won't even try to implement this on XG since it REALLY means maintaining TWO firewalls.  As you now, rules, objects, and everything in IPv4 are totally separated with IPv6.

    I do not save times with Sophos.  Everything is much longer and much harder to the Symantec/Checkpoint combination I had before.

  • In reply to Big_Buck:

    By the way, the published set of new features for the next XG 17.5.x, probably in April 2019 since it is schedule in March 2019, is "better centralized Backups" ...

    Other than that, I see nothing of any interest this year mentioned anywhere.

    Paul Jr

  • In reply to Big_Buck:

    Have you tried the SG product line (aka UTM)? Its much better than XG (IMHO).  I recently switched a customer from SG to XG and let me tell you, its been a painful transition.  (The reason for the switch was the integration between Intercept X and the XG firewall.)

    Your right about DHCP and NTP, and don't forget about trying to make sense of the log files, either from the GUI or the command line...  My biggest complaint about XG is the logging.
    That and the damn CSS (or whatever) that limits the width of the "viewing portal" on the web pages...
    One last thing, SG supports getting certificates from Let's Encrypt automatically.  That means no more forgetting to renew and upload/install/waste 10s of minutes on a certificate.  I'm not sure what is worse, trying to remember what to do with certificate(s) and private key(s) after 1 or more years, or having to do it every 90 days or less...
    Almost forgot about the ability to search the interface that SG has...  
    I will to get off my soapbox now.


    But, Symantec, seriously?  I honestly think your better off with Windows Defender.  I mean, lets face it, who has a more vested interest in protecting Windows than Microsoft?
    To be honest, Sophos AV is the only 3rd party AV product I feel comfortable recommending anymore.  I only sell Sophos products because I understand what it is that they are trying to do and I believe that they are doing it well, (OK, XG has a long way to go...) and they are doing things that no one else is doing (at least I'm not aware of any other company doing it...)

    Maybe your unaware of Symantec's  follies somewhat recently?

    From above link: "...they were using code derived from open source libraries like libmspack and unrarsrc, but hadn't updated them in at least seven years."
    Meaning that the exploit was available for at least 7 years before 2016.  True it was a while ago, but seriously?  How about them as a Certificate Authority?

  • In reply to JamieBah1:

    They used Symantec enterprise endpoint security in a prior job I was at and it was the worst software I've ever encountered.  

  • In reply to JamieBah1:

    SG have become technically outdated.  No IKEv2 is more than enough to turn around.  BTW, IKEv3 is knocking at the door ...  Took me 18 months to migrate to XG.  I read your pain.

    Let's talk about Symantec.  I know about what ZDNET posted in 2016.  But, I do not base my judgement only on "isolated" bad news.  I'm concerned mostly on consistency over the years.  Symantec had a very serious performance problem around 10 years ago.  But that is resolved.

    1. Symantec's console is ligthyears ahead of Sophos.
    2. Much easier to implement.  Hours versus weeks.
    3. On all AntiVirus web sites, they are top rated consistently years after years.  Sophos varies a lot.  Mid 2017, they were rated below Microsoft Defender.  Ouch.


    One of many sites I consult, showing some results.  https://www.av-test.org/en/, https://www.av-comparatives.org/, et.c.  Some players are almost always 100% catch rate. F-Secure, Bitdefender, Symantec, and Trend Micro.  Karpersky had some glitches last year, but are on top almost always.  What I do, I compile statistics for two, or three years.  When I can.  On many web sites.  I focus first on protection.  Then on performance.  Since four products are always there, I select one of them.  When I bought Sophos, it was there. Early 2017.  But then it felt drastically at the end of 2017. Based on my selection arguments, consistency over the years, I would not select Sophos or Kaspersky today.

    One can think what he wants on Symantec, when many experts - which I consider i'm not - reports it is on the top 4 every single years ...

    That said, according to my own arguments, I should select Bitdefender.  But since I have been using Symantec for so long, I found the little extra from Bitdefender is not worth the extra hassle.

    Paul Jr

  • In reply to Big_Buck:

    I am in the same situation with regards to Sophos and what to choose. I have an XG Firewall (Love / Hate relationship) and use Webroot AV.

    The Webroot expires soon and I was considering a change to Sophos but I cannot justify the additional spend and not many people speak good of it. So do I want all my eggs in that basket or branch out and look at others such as Crowdstrike, ESET or remain with Webroot.

    The clock is ticking.... hmmmmm