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Check Point NGFW vs pfSense comparison

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Featured Review
Find out what your peers are saying about Check Point NGFW vs. pfSense and other solutions. Updated: January 2022.
566,121 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
"I have experience with URL filtering, and it is very good for URL filtering. You can filter URLs based on the categories, and it does a good job. It can also do deep packet inspection.""One of the most valuable features is the AMP. It's very good and very reliable when it comes to malicious activities, websites, and viruses.""The feature set is fine and is rarely a problem.""The most valuable feature is stability.""Web filtering is a big improvement for us. The previous version we used, the AC520, did not have that feature included. It was not very easy for us, especially because the environment had to be isolated and we needed to get updates from outside, such as Windows patches. That feature has really helped us when we are going outside to pull those patches.""It has a good security level. It is a next-generation firewall. It can protect from different types of attacks. We have enabled IPS and IDS.""The most important feature is the intensive way you can troubleshoot Cisco Firepower Firewalls. You can go to the bit level to see why traffic is not handled in the correct way, and the majority of the time it's a networking issue and not a firewall issue. You can solve any problem without Cisco TAC help, because you can go very deeply under the hood to find out how traffic is flowing and whether it is not flowing as expected. That is something I have never seen with other brands.""The most valuable feature that Cisco Firepower NGFW provides for us is the Intrusion policy."

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"We have all the features we want or need in this appliance. It's been good so far.""The Check Point API let me make 100 net rules in just 10 minutes, which saved us time.""The Next Generation Firewalls, the 64000 and 44000 series, provide us with support for large data centers and telco environments. They're quite reliable and provide great performance.""In R80.10 and above, you can view logs in SmartConsole. You don't have to open another smart tracker to view logs. That is the improvement Check Point has done which makes it better because it is much easier to find logs. This saves time, approximately 40 to 50 a day in one shift.""It's quite a stable solution.""The ease of configuring VPNs can be very useful especially for companies with lots of remote locations.""The central management makes it easier, and is a time-saver, when implementing changes.""Check Point is very administrator-friendly and the SmartDashboard is easy to use."

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"I'm the expert when it comes to Linux systems, however, with the pfSense, due to the web interface, the rest of the staff can actually make changes to it as required without me worrying about whether they've opened up ports incorrectly or not. The ease of use for non-expert staff is very good.""Sophos Intercept X is scalable. Currently, we have almost 30 people using it in our company.""The built-in open VPN and the VPN Client Export are the solution's most valuable aspects.""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. Some people may think you're taking a risk with using Opensource. I think it just provides the end user, specifically for us small, medium business providers of services, the flexibility we need at the right cost to provide them a higher end, almost enterprise type service.""We've found the stability to be very good overall.""What I like about pfSense is that it works well and runs on an inexpensive appliance.""The solution is very robust.""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. Did you forget a printer port? Most attacks at the moment are happening through printers, and they can tell you immediately that you forgot to close the port of the printer. There are more than one million printers that are in danger, and everybody knows that hackers are using them to enter the network. So, you can download plugins to protect your network."

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Cons
"FirePOWER does a good job when it comes to providing us with visibility into threats, but I would like to see a more proactive stance to it.""The change-deployment time can always be improved. Even at 50 seconds, it's longer than some of its competitors. I would challenge Cisco to continue to improve in that area.""Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall can be more secure.""The intelligence has room for improvement. There are some hackers that we haven't seen before and its ability to detect those types of attacks needs to be improved.""The price and SD-WAN capabilities are the areas that need improvement.""The central management tool is not comfortable to use. You need to have a specific skill set. This is an important improvement for management because I would like to log into Firepower, see the dashboard, and generate a real-time report, then I question my team.""I believe that the current feature set of the device is very good and the only thing that Cisco should work on is improving the user experience with the device.""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."

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"Third-party integration could be improved.""I would like there to be a way to run packets that capture more easily in the GUI environment. Right now, if we want to read packet captures, we have to do so from the command line.""They could make the licensing a bit easier to deal with, especially for enterprise-level options.""One of the biggest disappointments is the GUI.""I'd like to see more use of applications and URLs in security policies moving forwards.""The firewall should be easily deployable and scalable in any major cloud environment and enable an organization’s security team to manage all of its security settings from a single console.""One thing to improve is the VSX gateway. It is quite complex to work with VSX and they are quite easy to break if you aren't familiar with them.""When I was creating the VPN on it and the client side through the portal, that feature was very annoying. I could not use it. It was much more usable after downloading it to the laptop. That was very good compared to using it directly from the browser."

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"pfSense could improve by having a sandboxing feature that I have seen in SonicWall. However, maybe it is available I am not aware of it.""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.""I'd like to find something in pfSense that is more specific to URL filtering. We have customers who would like to filter their web traffic. They would like to be able to say to their employees, "You can surf the web, but you cannot get access to Facebook or other social media," or "You can surf the web, but you're not allowed to gamble or watch porn on the web." My technicians say that doing this kind of stuff with pfSense nowadays is not easy. They can implement some filters using IP addresses but not by using the names of the domains and categories. So, we are not able to exclude some categories from the allowed traffic, such as porn, gambling, etc. To do that, we have to use another product and another web filter that uses DNS. I know that there are some third-party products that could work with pfSense, but I'd like the native pfSense solution to do that.""It would be great to add more to security.""It's just not listed as FIPS compliant for where we're at now in government, which is an issue.""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.""Ease of use is a problem for a user who is unfamiliar with this product because, in the interface, everything has to be set manually.""Also, simplifying the rules for the GeoIP. Making it simpler to understand would be an improvement."

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Pricing and Cost Advice
  • "Cisco pricing is premium. However, they gave us a 50 to 60 percent discount."
  • "There are additional implementation and validation costs."
  • "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."
  • More Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "Maybe the pricing is a bit high but you get the durability and the duration."
  • "Licensing issues may be confusing at times."
  • "It is quite an expensive product, although security is a top priority."
  • "This product is not cheap and there are additional costs that depend on what model or package that you buy."
  • "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."
  • More Check Point NGFW Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "This solution provides enterprise-level features at a fraction of the cost of an enterprise firewall."
  • "It is an open source firewall."
  • "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."
  • More pfSense Pricing and Cost Advice →

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    Questions from the Community
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    Azure Firewall is easy to use and provides excellent support. Valuable features include integration into the overall… more »
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    The central management console has helped with segregation, where planned interventions with management consoles do not… more »
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    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: 
    pfSense allows us to spread the hours of connection and do the filtering on the pfSense site.
    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 NGFW firewalls deliver advanced threat defense capabilities to meet diverse needs, from
    small/branch offices to high performance data centers and service providers. Available in a wide
    range of models, Cisco NGFW can be deployed as a physical or virtual appliance. Advanced threat
    defense capabilities include Next-generation IPS (NGIPS), Security Intelligence (SI), Advanced
    Malware Protection (AMP), URL filtering, Application Visibility and Control (AVC), and flexible VPN
    features. Inspect encrypted traffic and enjoy automated risk ranking and impact flags to reduce event
    volume so you can quickly prioritize threats. Cisco NGFW firewalls are also available with clustering
    for increased performance, high availability configurations, and more.
    Cisco Firepower NGFWv is the virtualized version of Cisco's Firepower NGFW firewall. Widely
    deployed in leading private and public clouds, Cisco NGFWv automatically scales up/down to meet
    the needs of dynamic cloud environments and high availability provides resilience. Also, Cisco NGFWv
    can deliver micro-segmentation to protect east-west network traffic.
    Cisco firewalls provide consistent security policies, enforcement, and protection across all your
    environments. Unified management for Cisco ASA and FTD/NGFW physical and virtual firewalls is
    delivered by Cisco Defense Orchestrator (CDO), with cloud logging also available. And with Cisco
    SecureX included with every Cisco firewall, you gain a cloud-native platform experience that enables
    greater simplicity, visibility, and efficiency.
    Learn more about Cisco’s firewall solutions, including virtual appliances for public and private cloud.

    Offered via the Check Point Infinity architecture, Check Point’s NGFW includes 23 Firewall models optimized for running all threat prevention technologies simultaneously, including full SSL traffic inspection, without compromising on security or performance. Learn More about Next Generation Firewall and What is Firewall?

    Providing comprehensive network security solutions for the enterprise, large business and SOHO, pfSense solutions bring together the most advanced technology available to make protecting your network easier than ever before. Our products are built on the most reliable platforms and are engineered to provide the highest levels of performance, stability and confidence.
    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 Provider22%
    Financial Services Firm16%
    Manufacturing Company8%
    Non Profit8%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Comms Service Provider33%
    Computer Software Company21%
    Government7%
    Manufacturing Company4%
    REVIEWERS
    Financial Services Firm27%
    Computer Software Company14%
    Comms Service Provider8%
    Retailer6%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Comms Service Provider33%
    Computer Software Company23%
    Government6%
    Financial Services Firm6%
    REVIEWERS
    University10%
    Comms Service Provider10%
    Marketing Services Firm8%
    Energy/Utilities Company6%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Comms Service Provider44%
    Computer Software Company15%
    Government6%
    Media Company4%
    Company Size
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business43%
    Midsize Enterprise28%
    Large Enterprise29%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business21%
    Midsize Enterprise13%
    Large Enterprise66%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business24%
    Midsize Enterprise19%
    Large Enterprise57%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business20%
    Midsize Enterprise24%
    Large Enterprise56%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business70%
    Midsize Enterprise17%
    Large Enterprise13%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business56%
    Midsize Enterprise14%
    Large Enterprise30%
    Find out what your peers are saying about Check Point NGFW vs. pfSense and other solutions. Updated: January 2022.
    566,121 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    Check Point NGFW is ranked 2nd in Firewalls with 162 reviews while pfSense is ranked 3rd in Firewalls with 60 reviews. Check Point NGFW is rated 8.8, while pfSense is rated 8.6. 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, Azure Firewall, Palo Alto Networks NG Firewalls, Meraki MX and OPNsense, whereas pfSense is most compared with OPNsense, Fortinet FortiGate, Sophos UTM, Sophos XG and Zyxel Unified Security Gateway. 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.