AWS WAF vs F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM) comparison

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Executive Summary
Updated on Oct 30, 2022

We performed a comparison between AWS WAF and F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager LTM based on our users’ reviews in five categories. After reading all of the collected data, you can find our conclusion below.

  • Ease of Deployment: Some AWS WAF users consider the setup to be simple while others find it complex. The majority of F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager LTM find the deployment to be complex.
  • Features: Users of both products are happy with their stability and scalability.

    AWS WAF users like the solution’s access instructions feature, its flexibility, and that it doesn’t require hardware resources because it’s in the cloud. Reviewers mention the documentation could be improved, as could the solution’s UI.

    F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager LTM users like that the solution is easy to use and has good load balancing features. Users say they would like to see fewer false positives and better reporting. Like AWS WAF, they mention that the UI needs improvement.
  • Pricing: AWS WAF users consider the pricing to be affordable. In contrast, F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager LTM users say the pricing is very expensive.
  • Service and Support: AWS WAF users feel the support could be better. In contrast, F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager LTM users find the support to be very good.
  • ROI: Users of AWS WAF do not mention ROI. In contrast, F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager LTM users report a positive one.

Comparison Results: AWS WAF's  pricing is more affordable, but users find that technical support for F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager LTM is better, and mention a positive ROI.

To learn more, read our detailed AWS WAF vs. F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM) Report (Updated: September 2020).
656,862 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Featured Review
Quotes From Members
We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use.
Here are some excerpts of what they said:
Pros
"AWS WAF has a lot of integrated features and services. For example, there are security services that can be integrated very well for our customers.""Stable and scalable web application firewall. Setting it up is straightforward.""The customizable features are good.""As a basic WAF, it's better than nothing. So if you need something simple out of the box with default features, AWS WAF is good.""Their technical support has been quite good.""I believe the most impressive features are integration and ease of use. The best part of AWS WAF is the cloud-native WAF integration. There aren't any hidden deployments or hidden infrastructure which we have to maintain to have AWS WAF. AWS maintains everything; all we have to do is click the button, and WAF will be activated. Any packet coming through the internet will be filtered through.""The agility is great for us in terms of cloud services in general.""The most valuable features of AWS WAF are its cloud-native and on-demand."

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"There is a lot of documentation available.""I think F5's tech support may be better than Citrix's because they mainly focus on the ADC product, but Citrix support covers Hypervisor, XenMobile, FAS, and ADC. And from my experience, sometimes, we face some issues that Citrix cannot handle.""The main reason that we suggest this product to our clients is the great integration with other security tools, such as IBM Guardium.""The solution has good load balancing capabilities.""I have found F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM) to be stable.""F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM) is very easy to use, from SSL Management to enabling, disabling loads, applications, systems, and monitoring. Overall the solution keeps our application functional from a client's perspective 24 hours a day, seven days a week.""The solution is very easy to use and easy to understand. It's quite an intuitive system.""The solution is easy to install. It's a straightforward process."

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Cons
"On the UI side, I would like it if they could bring back the geolocation view on the corner.""I would like to see it more tightly integrated with other AWS services.""The product could be improved by expanding the weightage units of rules.""The solution could improve by having better rules, they are very basic at the moment. There are more attacks coming and we have to use third-party solutions, such as FIA. The features are not sufficient to prevent all the attacks, such as DDoS. Overall the solution should be more secure.""It would be better if AWS WAF were more flexible. For example, if you take a third-party WAF like Imperva, they maintain the rule set, and these rule sets are constantly updated. They push security insights or new rules into the firewall. However, when it comes to AWS, it has a standard set of rules, and only those sets of rules in the application firewalls trigger alerts, block, and manage traffic. Alternative WAFs have something like bot mitigation or bot control within the WAF, but you don't have such things in AWS WAF. I will say there could have been better bot mitigation plans, there could have been better dealer mitigation plans, and there could be better-updated rule sets for every security issue which arises in web applications. In the next release, I would like to see if AWS WAF could take on DDoS protection within itself rather than being in a stand-alone solution like AWS Shield. I would also like a solution like a bot mitigation.""The serverless product from AWS WAF could be improved. For example, they have only one serverless series, Lambda, but they should extend and improve it. Additionally, the firewall rules are not very easy to configure.""Technical support for AWS WAF needs improvement.""This solution could be improved if the configuration steps were more specific to WAF, compared to other cloud services."

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"The deployment can take some time because you can do a lot of configuring to meet the needs of the use cases for clients.""Currently, the product offers everything we need. I can't recall any features that may be lacking.""The solution could improve the documentation.""The solution is scalable.""Right now, there are a lot of products within F5's portfolio. They acquired a couple of companies like NGINX and Volterra. Some features and technologies overlapped when this acquisition occurred. They need to refine it and come up with a single, proper solution. F5 should focus more on zero trust network access (ZTNA).They should be more focused on that framework because the industry is moving towards that. Everyone is talking about SASE and zero trust.""F5 BIG-IP LTM can improve on the SSL loading which includes the authentication of certificates. Although, most of these issues have been solved there are still some issue that persists.""A more intuitive interface would be helpful.""To improve the product, they could add more load balancing solutions in Kubernetes."

More F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM) Cons →

Pricing and Cost Advice
  • "It's quite affordable. It's in the middle."
  • "The pricing should be more affordable, especially as it pertains to small clients."
  • "It's cheap."
  • "AWS WAF is pay-as-you-go, I only pay for what I'm using. There is no subscription or any payment upfront, I can terminate use at any time. Which is an advantage."
  • "You need an additional AWS subscription for this product if you are buying a managed tool."
  • "The price of AWS WAF is reasonable, it is not expensive and it is not cheap."
  • "The price of AWS WAF is expensive if you do not know how to manage your software up or down. I price of the solution is average amongst the other competitors but it would be better if it was less expensive."
  • "For our infrastructure, we probably pay around $16,000 per month for AWS WAF. Because alternative WAF solutions provide even more features, I think the AWS WAF is a bit pricey"
  • More AWS WAF Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "F5 BIG-IP can be expensive, although there are trial versions available which are helpful to find out if the solution is right for your company."
  • "The price should be reduced because it is expensive when compared to the competition."
  • "The solution is quite expensive if we compare it with the competition."
  • "It is a bit expensive product. Kemp Loadmaster is much cheaper than F5. Its licensing is on a yearly basis. It can be for one year or three years."
  • "The price of the solution is sometimes expensive."
  • "You can buy it on a yearly basis, or you can go for a subscription. For on-premise boxes, it is just the RMA."
  • "Compared to using open-source products, the prices are not cheap."
  • "F5 is expensive."
  • More F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM) Pricing and Cost Advice →

    report
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    Questions from the Community
    Top Answer:Hi Varun, I have had experienced with several WAF deployments and deep technical assessments of the following: 1. Imperva WAF 2. F5 WAF 3. Polarisec Cloud WAF Typical limitations on cloud… more »
    Top Answer:Our organization ran comparison tests to determine whether Amazon’s Web Service Web Application Firewall or Microsoft Azure Application Gateway web application firewall software was the better fit for… more »
    Top Answer:Their technical support has been quite good.
    Top Answer:F5 BIG-IP LTM can improve on the SSL loading which includes the authentication of certificates. Although, most of these issues have been solved there are still some issue that persists. In a feature… more »
    Top Answer:F5 BIG-IP LTM is used for delivering applications and protecting the application from web attacks.
    Top Answer:Hello @Thameem Ansari, @SaurabhPal, @Rana Mohamed and @PradeepKumar11. Could you share your experience with @ASHUTOSH TORAWANE?
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    Comparisons
    Also Known As
    AWS Web Application Firewall
    F5 BIG-IP, BIG-IP LTM, F5 ASM, Viprion, F5 BIG-IP Virtual Edition , Crescendo Networks Application Delivery Controller, BIG IP
    Learn More
    Overview

    AWS Web Application Firewall (WAF) is a firewall security system that monitors incoming and outgoing traffic for applications and websites based on your pre-defined web security rules. AWS WAF defends applications and websites from common Web attacks that could otherwise damage application performance and availability and compromise security.

    You can create rules in AWS WAF that can include blocking specific HTTP headers, IP addresses, and URI strings. These rules prevent common web exploits, such as SQL injection or cross-site scripting. Once defined, new rules are deployed within seconds, and can easily be tracked so you can monitor their effectiveness via real-time insights. These saved metrics include URIs, IP addresses, and geo locations for each request.

    AWS WAF Features

    Some of the solution's top features include:

    • Web traffic filtering: Get an extra layer of security by creating a centralized set of rules, easily deployable across multiple websites. These rules filter out web traffic based on conditions like HTTP headers, URIs, and IP addresses. This is very helpful for protection against exploits such as SQL injection and cross-site scripting as well as attacks from third-party applications.
    • Bot control: Malicious bot traffic can consume excessive resources and cause downtime. Gain visibility and control over bot traffic with a managed rule group. You can easily block harmful bots, such as scrapers and crawlers, and you can allow common bots, like search engines and status monitors.
    • Fraud prevention: Effectively defend your application against bot attacks by monitoring your application’s login page with a managed rule group that prevents hackers from accessing user accounts using compromised credentials. The managed rule group helps protect against credential stuffing attacks, brute-force login attempts, and other harmful login activities.
    • API for AWS WAF Management: Automatically create and maintain rules and integrate them into your development process.
    • Metrics for real-time visibility: Receive real-time metrics and captures of raw requests with details about geo-locations, IP addresses, URIs, user agents, and referrers. Integrate seamlessly with Amazon CloudWatch to set up custom alarms when events or attacks occur. These metrics provide valuable data intelligence that can be used to create new rules that significantly improve your application protections.
    • Firewall management: AWS Firewall Manager automatically scans and notifies the security team when there is a policy violation, so they can swiftly take action. When new resources are created, your security team can guarantee that they comply with your organization’s security rules.

    Reviews from Real Users

    AWS WAF stands out among its competitors for a number of reasons. Two major ones are its user-friendly interface and its integration capabilities.

    Kavin K., a security analyst at M2P Fintech, writes, “I believe the most impressive features are integration and ease of use. The best part of AWS WAF is the cloud-native WAF integration. There aren't any hidden deployments or hidden infrastructure which we have to maintain to have AWS WAF. AWS maintains everything; all we have to do is click the button, and WAF will be activated. Any packet coming through the internet will be filtered through.”

    F5 BIG-IP LTM optimizes the speed and reliability of your apps via both network and application layers. Using real-time protocol and traffic management decisions based on app and server and connection management conditions, and TCP and content offloading, BIG-IP LTM dramatically improves application and infrastructure responsiveness. BIG-IP LTM's architecture includes protocol awareness to control traffic for the most important applications. BIG-IP LTM tracks the dynamic performance levels of servers and delivers SSL performance and visibility for inbound and outbound traffic, to protect the user experience by encrypting everything from the client to the server.

    BIG-IP LTM provides enterprise-class Application Delivery Controller (ADC). You get granular layer 7 control, SSL offloading and acceleration capabilities, and advanced scaling technologies that deliver performance and reliability on-demand. The highly optimized TCP/IP stack combines TCP/IP techniques and improvements in the latest RFCs with extensions to minimize the effect of congestion and packet loss and recovery. Independent testing tools and customer experiences show LTM's TCP stack delivers up to a 2x performance gain for users and a 4x increase in bandwidth efficiency.

    Offer
    Learn more about AWS WAF
    Learn more about F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM)
    Sample Customers
    eVitamins, 9Splay, Senao International
    Riken, TransUnion, Tepco Systems Administration, Daejeon University, G&T Bank, Danamon, CyberAgent Inc.
    Top Industries
    REVIEWERS
    Media Company23%
    Energy/Utilities Company15%
    Financial Services Firm15%
    Transportation Company8%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company21%
    Financial Services Firm11%
    Comms Service Provider11%
    Media Company6%
    REVIEWERS
    Comms Service Provider23%
    Financial Services Firm15%
    Computer Software Company12%
    Manufacturing Company8%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company20%
    Comms Service Provider16%
    Financial Services Firm12%
    Government7%
    Company Size
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business21%
    Midsize Enterprise24%
    Large Enterprise55%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business19%
    Midsize Enterprise15%
    Large Enterprise65%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business32%
    Midsize Enterprise16%
    Large Enterprise52%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business19%
    Midsize Enterprise16%
    Large Enterprise65%
    Buyer's Guide
    AWS WAF vs. F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM)
    September 2020
    Find out what your peers are saying about AWS WAF vs. F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM) and other solutions. Updated: September 2020.
    656,862 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    AWS WAF is ranked 4th in Web Application Firewall (WAF) with 13 reviews while F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM) is ranked 1st in Application Delivery Controllers (ADC) with 44 reviews. AWS WAF is rated 7.8, while F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM) is rated 8.2. The top reviewer of AWS WAF writes "Easy to deploy, implement, and manage". On the other hand, the top reviewer of F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM) writes "Great support, helpful documentation, and is user-friendly". AWS WAF is most compared with Microsoft Azure Application Gateway, Cloudflare Web Application Firewall, Azure Web Application Firewall, Imperva Web Application Firewall and NGINX App Protect, whereas F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM) is most compared with Microsoft Azure Application Gateway, NGINX Plus, Citrix NetScaler, Fortinet FortiADC and Avi Networks Software Load Balancer. See our AWS WAF vs. F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM) report.

    We monitor all Web Application Firewall (WAF) reviews to prevent fraudulent reviews and keep review quality high. We do not post reviews by company employees or direct competitors. We validate each review for authenticity via cross-reference with LinkedIn, and personal follow-up with the reviewer when necessary.