Case Study - Ronald McDonald House

Ronald McDonald House Keeps Web Browsing Safe for Staff and Residents


Serving Perth, Australia since 1990, Ronald McDonald House (RMH) Perth has provided a home away from home to thousands of families with a child undergoing treatment at the neighboring Princess Margaret Hospital. RMH Perth aims to provide a comfortable environment for families to stay and thrive at during the duration of their child’s treatment, whether it be for a few days or years at a time.

In keeping with the goal to nurture an atmosphere that truly feels like home, RMH Perth facilities provide all of the creature comforts that guests may need, including a fully equipped laundry and kitchen, gym facilities, quiet lounges, a learning center, and even a “teen den,” a space just for teens that contains X-box, Play Station, and Wii gaming consoles. Naturally, web access is a must when ensuring that all of the elements of home are accounted for, as well as a necessity for the 24 members of staff and 219 volunteers on hand at RMH Perth to maintain daily operations. Essential though it may be, guaranteeing that web usage is safe was equally important to RMH Perth, a point of special relevance when considering the many children and teens that call the facilities home. Additionally, RMH Perth wanted to implement a secure VoIP phone system that would allow staff and residents to place calls reliably, and with privacy guaranteed.


When looking for a firewall that would meet the demands of their network, RMH Perth saw WatchGuard as the only option. “WatchGuard was the incumbent,” reflected Peter King, CEO at Ronald McDonald House Perth, “there was no need to consider changing.”

Deploying a Firebox M400 and an XTM 330 at their two sites, RMH Perth chose to enable both appliances with WatchGuard security subscriptions, including Application Control, spamBlocker, and WebBlocker. To provide granular insight into their network, RMH Perth took advantage of Dimension - WatchGuard’s flagship network visibility solution that comes standard with all WatchGuard UTM appliances. Equipped with a collection of reporting tools and dashboards, Dimension would help Ronald McDonald House Perth to instantly recognize any potential threats that emerged on their network, allowing them to take action as necessary. Additionally, Dimension would also provide valuable insight into web and bandwidth usage among staff and guests.

All VoIP traffic - a new platform for Ronald McDonald House Perth - would be securely passed through the M400 and XTM 330 boxes, supported by a 10Mbps fibre connection to their ISP.


The clear voice quality and overall reliability produced by running their phone lines through the new network has Ronald McDonald House Perth seeing benefits in a big way. “VoIP was a new technology to Ronald McDonald House Perth, and it’s performing perfectly alongside two levels of replication to the ‘back-up’ house,” noted Peter. WebBlocker and Application Control have provided a granular level of control over Internet access, ensuring that visitors and guests can use and enjoy the web, without being subject to potentially harmful content. Peter has also been impressed with the ease of management and overall performance of their WatchGuard solution. “It took some tweaking to get the just QoS right, but once that was done, everything has performed brilliantly.”

With WatchGuard securing the network, Ronald McDonald House Perth can focus their attention where it matters most - providing comfort and support to their residents.

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