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Check Point NGFW vs pfSense comparison

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Buyer's Guide
Check Point NGFW vs. pfSense
May 2022
Find out what your peers are saying about Check Point NGFW vs. pfSense and other solutions. Updated: May 2022.
610,190 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Quotes From Members
We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use.
Here are some excerpts of what they said:
Pros
"It's got the capabilities of amassing a lot of throughput with remote access and VPNs.""Its Snort 3 IPS has better flexibility as far as being able to write rules. This gives me better granularity.""One of the nice things about Firepower is that you can set it to discover the environment. If that is happening, then Firepower is learning about every device, software operating system, and application running inside or across your environment. Then, you can leverage the discovery intelligence to get Firepower to select the most appropriate intrusion prevention rules to use for your environment rather than picking one of the base policies that might have 50,000 IPS rules in it, which can put a lot of overhead on your firewall. If you choose the recommendations, as long as you update them regularly, you might be able to get your rule set down to only 1,000 or 1,500, which is a significant reduction in a base rule set. This means that the firewall will give you better performance because there are less rules being checked unnecessarily. That is really useful.""The integration of network and workload micro-segmentation helps a lot to provide unified segmentation policies across east-west and north-south traffic. One concrete example is with Cisco ACI for the data center. Not only are we doing what is called a service graph on the ACI to make sure that we can filter traffic east-west between two endpoints in the same network, but when we go north-south or east-west, we can then leverage what we have on the network with SGTs on Cisco ISE. Once you build your matrix, it is very easy to filter in and out on east-west or north-south traffic.""I have access to the web version of Cisco Talos to see the reputation of IP addresses. I find this very helpful. It provides important information for my company to obtain the reputation of IP addresses. The information in Talos is quite complete.""There are no issues that we are aware of. It does its job silently in the background.""The most valuable feature is the access control list (ACL).""We have not had to deal with stability issues."

More Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall Pros →

"The way in which a computer is immediately isolated if it starts behaving badly and I get a notification of an infected computer is also extremely nice and a great feature.""The Smart Dashboard allows for rule creation and administration and management and is user-friendly.""We have not had any issues with the firewall.""The uncomplicated configuration ensures that mistakes are avoided and rules are easily audited.""We have found the solution to be scalable.""The level of security is excellent. It protects our organization well.""The packet inspections have been a strong point.""The QoS blade is very good for controlling traffic such as Windows patches, mail traffic and other stuff."

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"The features I have found best are ease of use, GUI, and performance.""pfSense is easy to use, has user-friendly dashboards, and useful blocking features.""The VPN is my favorite feature.""The intrusion detection feature is the most valuable. It is an open-source firewall, so there is a lot of material on it. I also find the open VPN capability very nice. It is pretty customizable. The clustering and the high availability are the two biggest things to be able to get out of a firewall.""The initial setup is not complex.""A valuable feature is that the solution is open source.""We like the fact that the product is open-source. It's free to use. There are no costs associated with it.""The most valuable features of pfSense are the reports, monitoring, filtration, and blocking incoming and outgoing traffic."

More pfSense Pros →

Cons
"The performance should be improved.""An area of improvement for this solution is the console visualization.""One of the few things that are brought up is that for the overall management, it would be great to have a cloud instance of that. And not only just a cloud instance, but one of the areas that we've looked at is using an HA type of cloud. To have the ability to have a device file within a cloud. If we had an issue with one, the other one would pick up automatically.""Web filtering needs improvement because sometimes the URL is miscategorized.""When you make any changes, irrespective of whether they are big or small, Firepower takes too much time. It is very time-consuming. Even for small changes, you have to wait for 60 seconds or maybe more, which is not good. Similarly, when you have many IPS rules and policies, it slows down, and there is an impact on its performance.""Cisco Firepower is not completely integrated with Active Directory. We are trying to use Active Directory to restrict users by using some security groups that are not integrated within the Cisco Firepower module. This is the main issue that we are facing.""In a future release, it would be ideal if they could offer an open interface to other security products so that we could easily connect to our own open industry standard.""Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall can be more secure."

More Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall Cons →

"We find the GUI to be wrong and the CLI doesn't always show all of the connections.""It could be more stable and scalable. Check Point price and support could be better.""Check Point can scale but at times we have experienced some issues.""The antivirus is less effective than its competitors' antivirus. The antivirus is good, but in other firewalls, such as Palo Alto, it's quite effective. Check Point should provide more output. Sometimes it provides comprehensive information and sometimes it doesn't.""Check Point products have many places that need to be improved, but they are constantly upgrading.""I would like to see Check Point add more cloud management features and better integration with LAN software-defined networking.""Geo-blocking would be very useful. There are too many attempts to infiltrate by non-country users. I can block access by IP address or IP network, however, a country-level blocking would be more useful and much quicker to implement.""I would like less CPU-intensive features to be introduced to replace the existing heavy-duty processes."

More Check Point NGFW Cons →

"They could improve their commercial stance and be more agile when it comes to the commercial pricing of enterprise deals.""The solution could always work at being more secure. It's a good idea to continue to work on security features and capabilities in order to ensure they can keep clients safe.""It needs to be more secure.""In terms of areas of improvement, the interface seemed like it had a lot. The GUI interface that I had gotten into was rather elaborate. I don't know if they could zero in on some markets and potentially for small, medium businesses specifically, give them a stripped-down version of the GUI for pfSense.""In an upcoming release, the reporting could be more user-friendly. For example, the reporting in graphs and charts for the host can be cumbersome.""The interface is not very shiny and attractive.""We had training from an advisor for the configuring of this solution and it was not difficult. However, if we were not trained it would have been not as easy.""The solution could improve by having centralized management and API support online."

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 →

  • "Palo Alto is somehow not as good as Check Point, budget-wise and performance-wise. Palo Alto is more costly than Check Point."
  • "Comparatively, Check Point pricing is a little high. However, if you have that budget, I would recommend anybody to go with Check Point."
  • "The pricing and licensing are expensive. If you compare it with Fortinet, then it is cheaper on a yearly basis. However, Check Point is the most expensive firewall right now in terms of licenses and its appliance. My recommendation is if you want a long-term investment, then you should use an open server. If you use an open server, then the latency is really low. If you pay for a full appliance, it's more expensive."
  • "Use the basic sizing tool to do the correct sizing so you don't waste too much money, because it's not a very cheap solution when compared to other vendors."
  • "The prices are good for its features. The benefit of its license is we get timely security prevention updates. The price is good for the technology that we get."
  • "Pricing is a little high compared to competitive firewalls, but it is easy to go through the licensing steps."
  • "One of the main reasons that we went with Check Point is that they provide a good solution for a firewall but at an affordable price. As a state agency, we can't afford Cisco Firepower. It's just out of our budget to be able to pay for something where licensing and hardware are so expensive. Check Point has really met our needs for a budget-friendly solution."
  • "For the firewall, there is a limitation on the license. We are facing some problems with mobile access. We have a license for 450 licenses of VPN users. We would like Check Point to have more than that, e.g., if the organization gets bigger and there are more users, then that will be a problem."
  • More Check Point NGFW 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."
  • "pfSense is open-source, but the support is something that the customer pays for."
  • "The pricing is lower than some of its competitors."
  • "pfSense is open-source."
  • 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:I have experience on both from Disti and channel experience. Please find below my comments (nothing new as such)… more »
    Top Answer:Azure Firewall is easy to use and provides excellent support. Valuable features include integration into the overall… more »
    Top Answer:Weaknesses:  CP NGFW can't create redundant IPsec tunnel with other OEM firewalls. Log size is too high I believe… 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 »
    Top Answer:It is very easy to use. The interface is quite understandable. There is a good community, and I can take over at any… more »
    Comparisons
    Also Known As
    Cisco Firepower NGFW, Cisco Firepower Next-Generation Firewall, FirePOWER, Cisco NGFWv
    Check Point NG Firewall, Check Point Next Generation Firewall
    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 NGFW is a next generation firewall that enables safe usage of internet applications by blocking malicious applications and unblocking safe applications. Check Point NGFW, which uses deep packet inspection to identify and control applications, has features such as application and user control and integrated intrusion prevention (IPS), as well as more advanced malware prevention capabilities like sandboxing.

    Check Point NGFW includes 23 firewall models optimized for running all threat prevention technologies simultaneously, including full SSL traffic inspection, without compromising on security or performance.

    Benefits of Check Point's Next Generation Firewall

    • Robust security: Check Point NGFW delivers the best possible threat prevention with SandBlast Zero Day protection. The SandBlast protection agent constantly inspects passing network traffic for exploits and vulnerabilities. Suspicious files are then emulated in a virtual sandbox in order to detect and report malicious behavior.

    • Security at hyperscale: On-demand hyperscale threat prevention performance provides cloud level expansion and resiliency on premises.

    • Unified management: Check Point's SmartConsole makes it easy to manage and configure network security environments and policies. With the SmartConsole, users can manage all the firewall gateways and access logs and install databases from one location. Unified management control across the network increases the efficiency of security operations and reduces IT costs.
    • Continuous logging: Check Point NGFW’s Threat Management feature detects vulnerabilities and logs them. Using the logged data, users can easily create and implement efficient security policies.

    • Remote access: The remote access VPN provides a seamless connection for remote users.

    Check Point NGFW is suitable for organizations of all sizes, from small businesses to larger enterprises.

    Reviews from Real Users

    Check Point NGFW stands out among its competitors for a number of reasons. Two major ones are its intrusion prevention feature as well as its centralized management, which makes it very easy to deploy firewall policies to many firewalls with one click.

    Shivani J., a network security administrator, writes, "Check Point has a lot of features. The ones I love are the antivirus, intrusion prevention, and data loss prevention."

    G., a network administrator at Secretaría de Finanzas de Aguascalientes, writes, “Within the organization, the inspection of packages has given us great help in detecting traffic that may be a threat to the institution. The configuration of policies has allowed us to maintain control of access and users for each institution that is incorporated into our headquarters.”

    Arun J., a senior network engineer, notes, “The nicest feature is the centralized management of multiple firewalls. With the centralized management, we can easily use and operate multiple firewalls as well as create a diagram of them.”

    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 NGFW
    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
    Control Southern, Optimal Media
    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 Provider28%
    Computer Software Company21%
    Government7%
    Manufacturing Company4%
    REVIEWERS
    Financial Services Firm25%
    Computer Software Company15%
    Comms Service Provider8%
    Government6%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Comms Service Provider26%
    Computer Software Company22%
    Government7%
    Financial Services Firm6%
    REVIEWERS
    University12%
    Comms Service Provider10%
    Marketing Services Firm10%
    Computer Software Company6%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Comms Service Provider40%
    Computer Software Company15%
    Government7%
    Educational Organization4%
    Company Size
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business40%
    Midsize Enterprise26%
    Large Enterprise34%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business26%
    Midsize Enterprise20%
    Large Enterprise55%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business26%
    Midsize Enterprise19%
    Large Enterprise54%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business22%
    Midsize Enterprise23%
    Large Enterprise55%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business70%
    Midsize Enterprise17%
    Large Enterprise13%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business27%
    Midsize Enterprise24%
    Large Enterprise48%
    Buyer's Guide
    Check Point NGFW vs. pfSense
    May 2022
    Find out what your peers are saying about Check Point NGFW vs. pfSense and other solutions. Updated: May 2022.
    610,190 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    Check Point NGFW is ranked 2nd in Firewalls with 184 reviews while pfSense is ranked 3rd in Firewalls with 61 reviews. Check Point NGFW is rated 8.8, while pfSense is rated 8.4. The top reviewer of Check Point NGFW writes "Central architecture means we can see an end-to-end picture of attacks". On the other hand, the top reviewer of pfSense writes "Feature-rich, well documented, and there is good support available online". Check Point NGFW is most compared with Fortinet FortiGate, Palo Alto Networks NG Firewalls, Azure Firewall, Cisco ASA Firewall and Juniper SRX, whereas pfSense is most compared with OPNsense, Fortinet FortiGate, Sophos XG and Untangle NG Firewall. See our Check Point NGFW 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.