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Cisco ASA Firewall vs OPNsense comparison

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Buyer's Guide
Cisco ASA Firewall vs. OPNsense
May 2022
Find out what your peers are saying about Cisco ASA Firewall vs. OPNsense and other solutions. Updated: May 2022.
607,127 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
"Provides good integrations and reporting.""Since the product is stable, we do not have to spend additional money to buy other firewalls. Once deployed, we can use the product for a long time. Thus, it is cost effective.""The most valuable feature is the Intrusion Prevention System.""If configured, Firepower provides us with application visibility and control.""The feature set is fine and is rarely a problem.""Its Snort 3 IPS has better flexibility as far as being able to write rules. This gives me better granularity.""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.""We have not had to deal with stability issues."

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"The configuration capabilities and the integration with other tools are the most valuable features. I really like this product. Cisco is one of my favorite brands, and I always think Cisco solutions are very reliable, easy to configure, and very secure.""It is very stable compared to other firewall products.""The command line is the same as it is on the Cisco iOS router.""Even in very big environments, Cisco comes in handy with configuration and offers reliability when it comes to managing multiple items on one platform.""Netting is one of the best features. We can modify it in different ways. Site-to-site VPN is also an awesome feature of Cisco ASA. The biggest advantage of Cisco products is technical support. They provide the best technical support.""The most valuable feature we have found to be the VPN because we use it often.""I like all of the features.""The features that are most valuable within the firewall are the IPS as well as the Unified Communications. We also really like the dynamic grouping."

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"The most valuable features are reporting, the Sensei plugin, and firewall capabilities.""The IDS and IPS features are valuable. From the usability perspective, there is a lot of good documentation. As IT professionals, we found it very easy to configure the firewall. It was easy to configure and use.""The system in general is quite flexible.""OPNsense is easy to scale when running on the hardware.""We have found pretty much all the features of the solution to be valuable.""The VPN server feature is the most valuable. It is integrated with Radius and AAA for doing accounting and authentication. Insight view is also an important feature for me at this time. It allows me to assess our network traffic. I also like the firewall feature. The BSD kernel has a packet filter. It is one of the most solid frameworks for firewalls. Its user interface is one of the best interfaces I have used.""I have found the solution has some great features overall, such as guest access capabilities, dashboards, and ease of use. There is plenty of documentation and support and it has the plugins that I needed.""The most valuable features in OPNsense are reporting and visibility."

More OPNsense Pros →

Cons
"The initial setup could be simplified, as it can be complex for new users.""Report generation is an area that should be improved.""The solution could offer better control that would allow the ability to restrictions certain features from a website.""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 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.""The Firepower FTD code is missing some old ASA firewalls codes. It's a small thing. But Firepower software isn't missing things that are essential, anymore.""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.""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."

More Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall Cons →

"The solution is overcomplicated in some senses. Simplifying it would be an improvement.""This is an older product and has reached end-of-life.""The content filtering on an application level is not as good as other solutions such as Palo Alto.""It is my understanding that they are in the process of discontinuing this device.""An area for improvement is the graphical user interface. That is something that is coming up now. They could make the product more user-friendly. A better GUI is something that would make life much easier.""In the future, I would like to be able to use an IP phone over a VPN connection.""We wanted to integrate Firepower with our solution, but it didn't have the capability to accommodate our bandwidth since they only had two 10 gig interfaces on the box. We run way more than that through our network because we are a service provider, providing Internet to our customers.""The virtual firewalls don't work very well with Cisco AnyConnect."

More Cisco ASA Firewall Cons →

"The interface isn't so friendly user. But we have some technicians here who are quite confident with this tool. OPNSense could maybe add sets of rules so it's simpler to manage different groups with particular needs.""We did not like the fact that you have to configure everything with the graphic user interface. We have used other firewalls, such as FortiGate, that you can configure via code. OPNsense is not easy to integrate. When you are deploying via GitHub or another source repository, this is not possible. That's one thing we didn't like much.""While they do have paid options that actually gives better features, for most of the clients, if they tend to take a paid option will instead opt for Fortinet.""The only thing that I would like to see improved is the Insight or the NetFlow analysis part. It would be good to have the possibility to dig down on the Insight platform. Right now, we can easily do only a few analyses. If this page becomes more powerful, it surely will be a well-adopted platform.""The logging could improve in OPNsense.""The solution could be more secure.""The interface needs to be simplified. It is not user-friendly.""There are issues with stability and reliability."

More OPNsense 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 →

  • "Always consider what you might need to reduce your wasted time and invest it in other solutions."
  • "Cisco is considered to be an expensive solution."
  • "It's very competitive with other products."
  • "We pay about $200 yearly and we have two firewalls."
  • "I'd say it's probably well-priced."
  • "The product cost is a little high. It is a little bit on the high side, and it should be a little bit cost-friendly."
  • "We pay about €2,000 ($2,400 USD) per year for licensing."
  • "If we compare it with FortiGate and the co-existing ASA, FortiGate is better in price."
  • More Cisco ASA Firewall Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "OPNsense is a well known open-source tool."
  • "It is not an expensive product. Basically, I deployed it because it was the fastest solution to satisfy our needs in open source."
  • "OPNsense is an open-source solution and it is free to use."
  • "The solution is not expensive."
  • "As an appliance, it's in the medium price range."
  • "Its pricing is unbeatable in comparison to other firewalls. You can have a small instance that could be €80 a month with the hardware underneath. Azure Firewall and FortiGate are out of the question at this price. If you are on a public cloud, you need the underlying infrastructure. Other than that, there is no additional cost. If you have it on-prem, you have to buy the server or the appliance. The hardware cost is replaced with the infrastructure cost in the cloud. You also have costs for the public IPs and underlying VMs, but that's not related to OPNsense. It would be the same for a FortiGate deployment on Azure. You need a FortiGate license, and you need the underlying infrastructure that scales up depending on your needs."
  • More OPNsense 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:One of our favorite things about Fortinet Fortigate is that you can deploy on the cloud or on premises. Fortinet… more »
    Top Answer: Cisco Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA) software is the operating software for the Cisco ASA suite. It supports… more »
    Top Answer:When looking to change our ASA Firewall, we looked into Palo Alto’s WildFire. It works especially in preventing advanced… 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:The IDS and IPS features are valuable. From the usability perspective, there is a lot of good documentation. As IT… more »
    Top Answer:Its pricing is unbeatable in comparison to other firewalls. You can have a small instance that could be €80 a month with… more »
    Comparisons
    Also Known As
    Cisco Firepower NGFW, Cisco Firepower Next-Generation Firewall, FirePOWER, Cisco NGFWv
    Cisco Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA) Firewall, Cisco ASA NGFW, Cisco ASA, Adaptive Security Appliance, ASA, Cisco Sourcefire Firewalls, Cisco ASAv
    Learn More
    Cisco
    Video Not Available
    OPNsense
    Video Not Available
    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. "

    Cisco ASA Firewall is a security device that combines firewall, intrusion prevention, virtual private network (VPN), and antivirus capabilities. Its main purpose is to provide proactive threat defense to stop attacks before they spread through the network.

    Cisco ASA Firewall Features

    Cisco ASA Firewall has many valuable key features, including:

    • Intrusion prevention system (IPS): Cisco ASA Firewall’s IPS provides contextual awareness.
    • Advanced threat protection: Gain protection against zero day threats (based on using global threat intelligence) .
    • Rapid threat containment: With Cisco ASA Firewall, you can proactively mitigate risks. If a threat is detected, additional security policies are applied to other network devices for increased protection.
    • High availability: Cisco ASA Firewall offers high availability for high resiliency applications
    • Integrated IPS, VPN, and unified communications capabilities
    • Multi-node clustering
    • Multi-site
    • High performance

    Cisco ASA Firewall Benefits

    Some of the benefits of using Cisco ASA Firewall include:

    • Superior protection from threats through CSC, IPS, and the like.
    • Better pricing means that TCO is reduced. 
    • High performance levels that can be scaled to achieve 10+ Gbps.
    • You can deploy new applications easily over secured layers.
    • Identity-based access helps you access business resources.
    • Identity-based access can be integrated with other services, such as LDAP and Microsoft Active Directory.
    • By implementing Cisco ASA Firewall, IT resources are freed up.
    • Because Cisco ASA Firewall offers effective prevention, your spyware cleanup costs decrease.

    Reviews from Real Users

    Below are some reviews and helpful feedback written by Cisco ASA Firewall users.

    A Cisco Security Specialist at a tech services company says, “All the features are very valuable. Among them is the integration for remote users, with AnyConnect, to the infrastructure. All the security through that is wonderful and it's very easy. You connect and you are inside your company network via VPN. Everything is encrypted and it's a very good solution.” He goes on to add, “The intrusion prevention system, the intrusion detection, is perfect. But you can also integrate Cisco with an IPS solution from another vendor, and just use the ASA with AnyConnect and as a firewall. Cisco ASA also provides application control. You can block or prevent people from going to certain applications or certain content.”

    Jonathan M., Head of Information Communication Technology at National Building Society, comments, "The benefits we see from the ASA are connected to teleworking as well as, of course, having the basic functionality of a firewall in place and the prevention of attacks. The standard reports allow us to constantly monitor our environment and take corrective steps.

    Eric H., CEO at NPI Technology Management, explains, “The command-line interface is really useful for us. We script basic installations and modifications through the command-line, which is considered sort of old school, and yet it allows us to fully document the changes that we're making due to the fact that we can save the exact script that was applied and say, "Here are the changes that we made."

    OPNsense is a user-friendly, fast-track, open-source FreeBSD-based firewall and routing platform. This software offers features that are generally available from costly commercial firewalls, with the added benefit of open and verifiable sources. The firewall provides users, developers, and organizations with an advantageous environment through transparency. The development of this project is driven by a strong focus on security and code quality.

    The solution offers a variety of components, such as:

    • Weekly security updates. These updates provide the user with the ability to reach new emerging threats in a timely manner through small increments.

    • Two major releases every year. These yearly releases are on a fixed release cycle and provide organizations with the ability to plan ahead of an upcoming upgrade.

    • A roadmap of instructions. Each major release provides a guide and a set of clear goals.

    A team of professionals developed OPNsense. Other professional and experienced software architects, engineers, and developers are encouraged to join in the development of the solution to make it as successful as possible. OPNsense offers a variety of rich features with each release. Each upgrade is based on FreeBSD for continual, long-term support and utilizes a freshly advanced MVC framework based on Phalcon. OPNsense is committed to helping businesses, school networks, remote offices, hotels, and other markets in keeping their data protected.

    OPNsense Core Features

    OPNsense continually offers a free, complete, high-end security platform with new releases and features. With each release, OPNsense focuses on providing more unique and better security features in a timely manner. These features include:

    • Captive Portal
    • Built-in reporting and monitoring tools including RRD Graphs
    • Network Flow Monitoring
    • Traffic Shaper
    • Support for Plugins
    • Granular Control Over State Table
    • Dynamic DNS
    • Two-factor authentication throughout the system
    • Netflow Exporter
    • Encrypted Configuration Backup to Google Drive
    • Forward Caching Proxy (transparent) with Blacklist Support
    • Stateful inspection firewall
    • DNS Server & DNS Forwarder
    • High Availability & Hardware Failover (with configuration synchronization & synchronized state tables)
    • DHCP Server and Relay
    • Virtual Private Network (site to site & road warrior, IPsec, OpenVPN & legacy PPTP support)
    • Intrusion Detection and Prevention
    • 802.1Q VLAN support

    Reviews from Real Users

    OPNsense is a favorite security solution among reviewers for a number of reasons. Two of those reasons include the user-friendliness of the solution, which makes it easy to use, and its ability to easily scale.

    For many, a user-friendly solution is essential. FiorindoDi A., a system administration specialist at a tech vendor, says, "The graphic user interface is very good and it is user-friendly, which makes the product easy-to-use."

    Peerspot reviewers speak of the scalability of the solution. For example, an anonymous cloud and infrastructure manager at a venture capital and private equity firm reviewer notes, "OPNsense is easy to scale when running on the hardware."

    Offer
    Learn more about Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall
    Learn more about Cisco ASA Firewall
    Learn more about OPNsense
    Sample Customers
    Rackspace, The French Laundry, Downer Group, Lewisville School District, Shawnee Mission School District, Lower Austria Firefighters Administration, Oxford Hospital, SugarCreek, Westfield
    There are more than one million Adaptive Security Appliances deployed globally. Top customers include First American Financial Corp., Genzyme, Frankfurt Airport, Hansgrohe SE, Rio Olympics, The French Laundry, Rackspace, and City of Tomorrow.
    CompuNet Systems GmbH,
    Top Industries
    REVIEWERS
    Comms Service Provider20%
    Financial Services Firm18%
    Government11%
    Manufacturing Company7%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Comms Service Provider28%
    Computer Software Company21%
    Government7%
    Manufacturing Company4%
    REVIEWERS
    Financial Services Firm17%
    Comms Service Provider12%
    Manufacturing Company8%
    Government7%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Comms Service Provider35%
    Computer Software Company20%
    Government5%
    Manufacturing Company4%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Comms Service Provider43%
    Computer Software Company15%
    Government8%
    Educational Organization4%
    Company Size
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business41%
    Midsize Enterprise27%
    Large Enterprise32%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business26%
    Midsize Enterprise20%
    Large Enterprise55%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business35%
    Midsize Enterprise25%
    Large Enterprise40%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business27%
    Midsize Enterprise22%
    Large Enterprise51%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business71%
    Midsize Enterprise14%
    Large Enterprise14%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business24%
    Midsize Enterprise24%
    Large Enterprise52%
    Buyer's Guide
    Cisco ASA Firewall vs. OPNsense
    May 2022
    Find out what your peers are saying about Cisco ASA Firewall vs. OPNsense and other solutions. Updated: May 2022.
    607,127 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    Cisco ASA Firewall is ranked 6th in Firewalls with 65 reviews while OPNsense is ranked 16th in Firewalls with 9 reviews. Cisco ASA Firewall is rated 8.0, while OPNsense is rated 7.8. The top reviewer of Cisco ASA Firewall writes "Packet inspection with ASDM works well, but upgrading requires notable planning and effort". On the other hand, the top reviewer of OPNsense writes "Unbeatable pricing and easy to configure and use, but it can be configured only through the GUI, and the integration with Azure cloud is difficult". Cisco ASA Firewall is most compared with Fortinet FortiGate, Palo Alto Networks WildFire, Meraki MX, pfSense and Palo Alto Networks VM-Series, whereas OPNsense is most compared with pfSense, Untangle NG Firewall, Sophos XG, Fortinet FortiGate and WatchGuard Firebox. See our Cisco ASA Firewall vs. OPNsense 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.