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Check Point CloudGuard Network Security vs pfSense comparison

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Comparison Buyer's Guide
Executive Summary

We performed a comparison between Check Point CloudGuard Network Security and pfSense based on real PeerSpot user reviews.

Find out in this report how the two Firewalls solutions compare in terms of features, pricing, service and support, easy of deployment, and ROI.

To learn more, read our detailed Check Point CloudGuard Network Security vs. pfSense report (Updated: August 2022).
633,952 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
"The features I've found most valuable are the packet captures and packet traces because they help me debug connections. I like the logs because they help me see what's going on.""It is one of the fastest solutions, if not the fastest, in the security technology space. This gives us peace of mind knowing that as soon as a new attack comes online that we will be protected in short order. From that perspective, no one really comes close now to Firepower, which is hugely valuable to us from an upcoming new attack prevention perspective.""If you compare the ASA and the FirePOWER, the best feature with FirePOWER is easy to use GUI. It has most of the same functionality in the Next-Generation FirePOWER, such as IPS, IPS policies, security intelligence, and integration and identification of all the devices or hardware you have in your network. Additionally, this solution is user-friendly.""You can also put everything into a nice, neat, little package, as far as configuration goes. I was formerly a command-line guy with the ASA, and I was a little nervous about dealing with a GUI interface versus a command line, but after I did my first deployment, I got a lot more comfortable with doing it GUI based.""The most valuable feature would be ASDM. The ability to go in, visualize and see the world base in a clear and consistent manner is very powerful.""Feature-wise, we mostly use IPS because it is a security requirement to protect against attacks from outside and inside. This is where IPS helps us out a bunch.""With Cisco, there are a lot of features such as the network map. Cisco builds the whole network map of the machines you have behind your firewall and gives you insight into the vulnerabilities and attributes that the host has. Checkpoint and Fortinet don't have that functionality directly on the firewall.""The deep packet inspection is useful, but the most useful feature is application awareness. You can filter on the app rather than on a static TCP port."

More Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall Pros →

"Check Point is one of the few solutions that pay attention to cloud security. Many others mostly focus on providing on-premises solutions.""Check Point CloudGuard is quick to deploy and easy for the customer to use.""It is dynamic and agile, and its features and utilities continuously improve and evolve.""The most valuable feature is that we can use the same manager server that we use on our own Check Point firewalls. We integrated CloudGuard on that manager and we can use the same kind of protections that we use on the on-prem firewalls, like the IPS and antivirus policy. We can have the same kind of protection on the Cloud environment that we have on-premise.""The most valuable feature is the centralized dashboard, which is used for managing all of the Check Point Security Gateways.""We have complete visibility of attacks originating from email including spear-phishing, spoofing, etc.""The main benefit of the Check Point Virtual Systems solution is its ability to split up the hardware appliances that we have into several logical, virtual devices with separate traffic handling policies, as well as the switching and routing.""The most valuable feature of Check Point CloudGuard Network Security is the increased mail protection including spam."

More Check Point CloudGuard Network Security Pros →

"We like the fact that the product is open-source. It's free to use. There are no costs associated with it.""We've found the stability to be very good overall.""It is a better firewall than others and it has better features.""Some of the terminologies were more familiar to me than it was when I first encountered Cisco.""It's a good solution for end-users. It's pretty easy to work with.""The main features of this solution are customization and ease to use.""I have found the firewall portion for the blocking most valuable.""I mostly like all of it. Whatever we use is valuable."

More pfSense Pros →

Cons
"Most of the features don't work well, and some features are missing as well.""Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall can be more secure.""Cisco makes horrible UIs, so the interface is something that should be improved.""The reporting and other features are nice, but there is an issue with applying the configuration. That part needs some improvement.""On the VPN side, Firepower could be better. It needs more monitoring on VPNs. Right now, it's not that good. You can set up a VPN in Firepower, but you can't monitor it.""It's mainly the UI and the management parts that need improvement. The most impactful feature when you're using it is the user interface and the user experience.""The configuration in Firepower Management Center is very slow. Deployment takes two to three minutes. You spend a lot of time on modifications. Whereas, in FortiGate, you press a button, and it takes one second.""FlexConfig is there as a bridge for features that are not yet natively integrated into Firepower. It is a way of allowing you to be able to configure things that wouldn't otherwise be possible until the development team can add them into Firepower's native capability. There is still some work that needs to be done around FlexConfig. There are still quite a few complex things, like policy-based routing, that have to be done in FlexConfig, and it doesn't always work perfectly. Sometimes, there are some glitches. It is recommended that you configure FlexConfig policies with Cisco TAC. It would be good to see Cisco accelerate some of those configurations that you can only do in FlexConfig into the platform, so that they are there natively."

More Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall Cons →

"The API integration is complex, which is an area that should be improved.""CheckPoint CloudGuard could be better at solving cases.""Check Point Virtual Systems is a complete solution, but pricing can be better.""Check Point CloudGuard Network Security could improve by making it easier to configure.""It is somewhat problematic in the area of the cloud.""In case the device is inaccessible due to some issue such as CPU or memory, there is no separate port or hardware partition provided for troubleshooting purposes.""Lacks the ability to integrate with other security solutions.""CloudGuard functions just like any other firewall. It functions very well. The only thing that could maybe be improved would be to integrate some tools that are not integrated with the SmartConsole, like the SmartView Monitor that we need to open on a different application to access."

More Check Point CloudGuard Network Security Cons →

"I would like to see pfSense integrate WireGuard. Currently, pfSense uses OpenVPN, and there's nothing wrong with it, but WireGuard is a lot leaner and meaner.""Their support could be better in terms of the response time.""Could be simplified for new users.""More documentation would be great, especially on new features because sometimes, when new features come out, you don't get to understand them right off the bat. You have to really spend a lot of time understanding them. So, more documentation would be awesome.""Ultimately, we'd like something stronger, and something that can handle threats better in real-time.""The router monitoring needs improvement when compared with Sonicwall.""Web interface could be enhanced and more user friendly.""The stability could be improved."

More pfSense Cons →

Pricing and Cost Advice
  • "Cisco, as we all know, is expensive, but for the money you are paying, you know that you are also getting top-notch documentation as well as support if needed."
  • "This product requires licenses for advanced features including Snort, IPS, and malware detection."
  • "This product is expensive."
  • "For me, personally, as an individual, Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall is expensive."
  • "The price of Firepower is not bad compared to other products."
  • "The solution was chosen because of its price compared to other similar solutions."
  • "The price is comparable."
  • "It definitely competes with the other vendors in the market."
  • More Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "Pricing of CloudGuard is pretty fair when you have a single account. It's comparable with other cloud providers. But for our use case, it got really pricey when we had to deploy multiple CloudGuards on multiple accounts in different regions, because you can't have CloudGuard protecting multiple regions. That's the big thing."
  • "The pricing and licensing have been good. We just had to do a license increase for our portion of it. We had that done within a couple of days. Given the fact that it's purely a software-based license, it ends up being even quicker than doing it for an on-prem firewall."
  • "It is not expensive, but it is a little bit above the middle range. There are other solutions that are a little more expensive than this, but they also have some interesting features."
  • "The price could be better."
  • "You get charged only for what resources you choose and how much traffic actually passes through the firewall, which in turn saves a lot of money."
  • "Although I don't have specifics for pricing, based on my overall experience, I can conclude that Check Point provides the best pricing when comparing to other vendors."
  • "Licensing is available on a monthly or yearly basis."
  • "The cost is on the higher side, as it is based on workload, hence we need to decide which VPC or workload needs to be part of CloudGuard."
  • More Check Point CloudGuard Network Security Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "We are using the open-source version, not the commercial one."
  • "It has almost zero cost, and it is open to us. It runs on a small appliance just for a couple of 100 bucks, and I've never had an appliance burn out on me yet."
  • "It is open source."
  • "I spent a couple of $1,000 on hardware, and the OS was free. A comparable firewall would cost me probably 20 grand. It saved a lot of money."
  • "I like the fact that it is open-source."
  • "The pricing is lower than some of its competitors."
  • "pfSense is open-source."
  • "We are using the open-source version which is free. We are testing the solution to see if we are going to go to the enterprise version which requires a license and is not free."
  • More pfSense Pricing and Cost Advice →

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    Questions from the Community
    Top Answer: When you compare these firewalls you can identify them with different features, advantages, practices and… more »
    Top Answer: The Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall is a very powerful and very complex piece of anti-viral software. When one considers… more »
    Top Answer:It is easy to integrate Cisco ASA with other Cisco products and also other NAC solutions. When you understand the Cisco… more »
    Top Answer:Check Point has pretty simple solutions, like the virtual appliance which you just download and it is imported into… more »
    Top Answer:The cost is on the higher side, as it is based on workload, hence we need to decide which VPC or workload needs to be… more »
    Top Answer:In terms of what could be improved, we have no support with the current Check Point environment. It ended maybe three or… more »
    Top Answer:You don't really specify what type of router you are looking for but if you are talking about a gateway router I… more »
    Top Answer:Fortinet’s Fortigate is a firewall solution we use and are very much satisfied with its performance. We find Fortigate… more »
    Top Answer:Two of the most common and well recognized firewalls, PfSense and OPNsense both support site-to-site IPsec VPN and… more »
    Comparisons
    Also Known As
    Cisco Firepower NGFW, Cisco Firepower Next-Generation Firewall, FirePOWER, Cisco NGFWv
    CloudGuard IaaS, Check Point vSEC, CloudGuard IaaS, Check Point Virtual Systems, Check Point CloudGuard Network Security
    Learn More
    Netgate
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    Overview

    Cisco Firepower Next-Generation Firewall (NGFW) is a firewall that provides capabilities beyond those of a standard firewall and delivers comprehensive, unified policy management of firewall functions, application control, threat prevention, and advanced malware protection from the network to the endpoint.

    Cisco NGFW Firewalls include advanced threat defense capabilities to meet diverse needs, from small offices to high-performance data centers and service providers, and are deployed in leading private and public clouds. Available in a wide range of models, Cisco NGFW can be deployed as a physical or virtual appliance. Cisco NGFW firewalls are also available with clustering for increased performance, high availability configurations, and more.

    Key Features of Cisco NGFW Firewalls

    • Breach prevention and advanced security: Prevent attacks before they get inside. Cisco provides its firewalls with the latest intelligence to stop emerging threats and employs filtering to enforce policies on hundreds of millions of URLs. Cisco NGFW offers built-in sandboxing and advanced malware protection that continuously analyzes file behavior to quickly detect and eliminate threats.

    • Comprehensive network visibility: Constantly monitor your network so you can rapidly spot and stop bad behavior. Cisco NGFW provides a holistic view of all activity and provides a clear picture of threat activity across users, hosts, networks, and devices, as well as information on threats and website, application, and VM activities.

    • Flexible management and deployment options: Centrally deploy, customize, and manage all your appliances.

    • Fast detection: Detect threats in seconds and detect the presence of a successful breach within hours or minutes. Cisco NGFW allows you to deploy consistent policy that's easy to maintain, with automatic enforcement across all the different parts of your organization.

    • Automation and product integrations: Seamlessly integrate with Cisco tools and automatically share threat information, event data, policy, and contextual information with email, web, endpoint, and network security tools. Cisco NGFW automates security tasks like impact assessment, policy management and tuning, and user identification.

    Reviews from Real Users

    Cisco NGFW stands out among its competitors for a number of reasons. Two major ones are its extensive discovery abilities that enable you to constantly see what is happening on your network and take action when necessary, and the high level of protection it provides.

    Mike B., a director of IT security at a wellness & fitness company, writes, "It is one of the fastest solutions, if not the fastest, in the security technology space. This gives us peace of mind knowing that as soon as a new attack comes online that we will be protected in short order. From that perspective, no one really comes close now to Firepower, which is hugely valuable to us from an upcoming new attack prevention perspective."

    Zhulien K., the lead network security engineer at TechnoCore LTD, notes, " The most valuable feature that Cisco Firepower NGFW provides for us is the Intrusion policy. Again, with that being said, I cannot shy away from giving kudos to all of the other features such as AVC (Application Visibility and Control), SSL Decryption, Identity policy, Correlation policy, REST API, and more. All of the features that are incorporated in the Cisco Firepower NGFW are awesome and easy to configure if you know what you are doing. Things almost always work, unless you hit a bug, which is fixed with a simple software update. "

    Check Point CloudGuard provides unified cloud native security for all your assets and workloads, giving you the confidence to automate security, prevent threats, and manage posture – everywhere – across your multi-cloud environment.

    pfSense is a free and open-source operating system for routers and firewalls, and is typically configured as DHCP server, DNS server, WiFi access point, VPN server, all running on the same hardware device. It is operated through a user-friendly web interface, making administration easy even for users with limited networking knowledge.

    In addition, pfSense is feature-rich, has a mature platform, is customizable, is flexible by design, and can be used on a small home router as well as run the entire network of a large corporation. pfSense puts you in control of your networking, is regularly updated, and works to promptly patch security issues. pfSense has recently become the favored alternative to the industry leader, Cisco.

    pfSense is:

    • Robust
    • Powerful
    • Easy to use
    • Secure
    • Scalable

    pfSense Key Features

    pfSense has many key features and capabilities, including:

    • Strength and accuracy: pfSense is able to always follow either default or custom rules, making it a stronger firewall than some of its competitors. It also filters traffic separately, whether it’s coming from your internal network of devices or the open internet, allowing you to set different rules and policies for each.

    • Flexibility: pfSense can work both as a basic firewall and as a complete security system because it gives you the flexibility to integrate additional features as code where necessary.

    • Open-source: Because it is open-source, not only is pfSense free to use, but community members can contribute to the code to make it a better software.

    • User-friendly: Usually firewall products are not user-friendly because they often include complex settings, options, and features that require fine-tuning. pfSense’s interface is simple, direct, and easy to use.

    • WireGuard Support: Instead of building your own VPN using pfSense, or settling for a commercial VPN provider, you can directly integrate WireGuard with the pfSense firewall.

    • Speed Management and Fault Tolerance: pfSense’s multi-WAN feature allows your system to continue operating in case components fail.

    • Well-supported: pfSense regularly has security and feature updates. It also has a documentation site and a well-informed and knowledgeable support forum.

    Reviews from Real Users

    Below is some feedback from PeerSpot Users who are currently using the solution.

    Bojan O., CEO at In.sist d.o.o., says, “The classic features, such as content inspection, content protection, and the application-level firewall, are the most important."

    Another PeerSpot user, a chef at a media company, explains what he finds most valuable about pfSense: "The plugins or add-ons are most valuable. Sometimes, they are free of charge, and sometimes, you have to pay for them, but you can purchase or download very valuable plugins or add-ons to perform internal testing of your network and simulate a denial-of-service attack or whichever attack you want to simulate. You can also remote and monitor your network and see where the gap is."

    T.O., a VP of Business Development at a tech services company, mentions, "What I found most valuable is the cost of the platform, the flexibility of the platform, and the fact that the ongoing fees are not there as they are with the competitor."



    Offer
    Learn more about Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall
    Learn more about Check Point CloudGuard Network Security
    Learn more about pfSense
    Sample Customers
    Rackspace, The French Laundry, Downer Group, Lewisville School District, Shawnee Mission School District, Lower Austria Firefighters Administration, Oxford Hospital, SugarCreek, Westfield
    Physicians Choice Laboratory Services, Helvetica Insurance
    Nerds On Site Inc., RKC Development Inc., Expertech, Fisher's Technology, Ncisive, Consulting, CPURX, Vaughn's Computer House Calls, Imeretech LLC, Digital Crisis, Carolina Digital Phone, Technigogo Technology Services, The Simple Solution, SwiftecITInc, Rocky Mountain Tech Team, Free Range Geeks, Alaska Computer Geeks, Lark Information Technology, Renaissance Systems Inc., Cutting Edge Computers, Caretech LLC, GoVanguard, Network Touch Ltd, P.C. Solutions.Net, Vision Voice and Data Systems LLC, Montgomery Technologies, Techforce, Concero Networks, ASONInc, CPS Electronics and Consulting, Darkwire.net LLC, IT Specialists, MBS-Net Inc., VOICE1 LLC, Advantage Networking Inc., Powerhouse Systems, Doxa Multimedia Inc., Pro Computer Service, Virtual IT Services, A&J Computers Inc., Envision IT LLC, CommunicaONE Inc., Bone Computer Inc., Amax Engineering Corporation, QPG Ltd. Co., IT 101 Inc., Perfect Cloud Solutions, Applied Technology Group Inc., The Digital Sun Group LLC, Firespring
    Top Industries
    REVIEWERS
    Comms Service Provider19%
    Financial Services Firm17%
    Government13%
    Computer Software Company6%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Comms Service Provider19%
    Computer Software Company19%
    Government8%
    Educational Organization5%
    REVIEWERS
    Financial Services Firm18%
    Computer Software Company18%
    Government12%
    Healthcare Company9%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Comms Service Provider25%
    Computer Software Company21%
    Government6%
    Financial Services Firm6%
    REVIEWERS
    University12%
    Comms Service Provider10%
    Marketing Services Firm10%
    Energy/Utilities Company6%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Comms Service Provider31%
    Computer Software Company15%
    Government7%
    Educational Organization5%
    Company Size
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business39%
    Midsize Enterprise26%
    Large Enterprise35%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business28%
    Midsize Enterprise18%
    Large Enterprise55%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business37%
    Midsize Enterprise31%
    Large Enterprise32%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business24%
    Midsize Enterprise21%
    Large Enterprise55%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business70%
    Midsize Enterprise17%
    Large Enterprise13%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business27%
    Midsize Enterprise21%
    Large Enterprise51%
    Buyer's Guide
    Check Point CloudGuard Network Security vs. pfSense
    August 2022
    Find out what your peers are saying about Check Point CloudGuard Network Security vs. pfSense and other solutions. Updated: August 2022.
    633,952 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    Check Point CloudGuard Network Security is ranked 8th in Firewalls with 31 reviews while pfSense is ranked 2nd in Firewalls with 58 reviews. Check Point CloudGuard Network Security is rated 8.4, while pfSense is rated 8.6. The top reviewer of Check Point CloudGuard Network Security writes "You can have everything under a single pane of glass". On the other hand, the top reviewer of pfSense writes "Feature-rich, well documented, and there is good support available online". Check Point CloudGuard Network Security is most compared with Azure Firewall, VMware NSX, Fortinet FortiGate, Palo Alto Networks VM-Series and Barracuda CloudGen Firewall, whereas pfSense is most compared with OPNsense, Fortinet FortiGate, Sophos XG, Untangle NG Firewall and Check Point NGFW. See our Check Point CloudGuard Network Security vs. pfSense report.

    See our list of best Firewalls vendors.

    We monitor all Firewalls 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.