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Cisco ASA Firewall vs Palo Alto Networks NG Firewalls comparison

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Comparison Summary
Question: What are the main differences between Palo Alto and Cisco firewalls ?
Answer: Palo Alto has more visibilities and control instead of Cisco Firewall.
Featured Review
Find out what your peers are saying about Cisco ASA Firewall vs. Palo Alto Networks NG Firewalls and other solutions. Updated: January 2022.
565,304 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
"The dashboard is the most important thing. It provides good visibility and makes management easy. Firepower also provides us with good application visibility and control.""I like the firewall features, Snort, and the Intrusion Prevention System (IPS).""The most important features are the intrusion prevention engine and the application visibility and control. The Snort feature in Firepower is also valuable.""The most valuable feature is the access control list (ACL).""I have integrated it for incidence response. If there is a security event, the Cisco firewall will automatically block the traffic, which is valuable.""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.""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.""The Firepower+ISE+AMP for endpoint integration is something that really stands it out with other vendor solutions. They have something called pxGrid and i think it is already endorsed by IETF. This allows all devices on the network to communicate."

More Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall Pros →

"If you have a solution that is creating a script and you need to deploy many implementations, you can create a script in the device and it will be the same for all. After that, you just have to do the fine tuning.""The user interface, the UI, is excellent on the solution.""It is a very user-friendly product.""It is extremely stable I would say — at least after you deploy it.""The command line is the same as it is on the Cisco iOS router.""The remote VPN and IPsec VPN or site-to-site VPN features are valuable. The clustering feature is also valuable. We have two ISP links. Whenever there is a failover, users don't even get to know. The transition is very smooth, and the users don't notice any latency. So, remote VPN, site-to-site VPN, and failover are three very powerful features of Cisco ASA.""The interface is user-friendly.""On the network side, where you create your rules for allowing traffic — what can come inside and what can go out — that works perfectly, if you know what you want to achieve. It protects you."

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"The App-ID feature is the coolest feature because you don't need to open a new port. Apps are directly linked to the port. It provides one of the best ways to lock down the additional port switch.""Mechanically, all firewalls work in a similar fashion, but what makes Palo Alto different is that it also has some of the threat hunt capabilities. It is a little bit better than other vendors.""Innovative, advanced threat protection is the most valuable feature.""It worked fine normally.""URL filtering and WildFire features are most valuable. It is very user-friendly. It is a very solid product, and it definitely works.""It is pretty important to have embedded machine learning in the core of the firewall to provide inline, real-time attack prevention, because all these different attacks and threats are constantly evolving. So, you want to have something beyond just hard pass rules. You want it to learn as it is going along. Its machine learning seems pretty good. It seems like it is catching quite a few things.""The technology's very good. We have had a lot of good experience with this solution.""The best features of this solution are URL filtering and traffic visibility."

More Palo Alto Networks NG Firewalls Pros →

Cons
"I would like to see improvement when you create policies on Snort 3 IPS on Cisco Firepower. On Snort 2, it was more like a UI page where you had some multiple choices where you could tweak your config. On Snort 3, the idea is more to build some rules on the text file or JSON file, then push it. So, I would like to see a lot of improvements here.""Its interface is sometimes is a little bit slow, and it can be improved. When you need to put your appliance in failover mode, it is a little difficult to do it remotely because you need to turn off the appliance in Cisco mode. In terms of new features, it would be good to have AnyConnect VPN with Firepower. I am not sure if it is available at the moment.""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.""The price and SD-WAN capabilities are the areas that need improvement.""An area of improvement for this solution is the console visualization.""This product is managed using the Firepower Management Center (FMC), but it would be better if it also supported the command-line interface (CLI).""The initial setup can be a bit complex for those unfamiliar with the solution.""The initial setup was a bit complex. It wasn't a major challenge, but due to our requirements and network, it was not very straightforward but still easy enough."

More Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall Cons →

"You need to have a little bit of knowledge to be able to configure it. Otherwise, it would be very difficult to configure because there is no GUI. The latest software available in the market has a GUI and probably zero-touch provisioning and auto-configuration. All these things are not available in our version. You need to manually go and configure everything in the switch. In terms of new features, we would definitely want to have URL-based filtering, traffic steering, and probably a little bit steering in the bandwidth based on the per-user level and per-user group. We will definitely need some of these features in the near future.""It can probably provide a holistic view of different appliances because many customers do not have only one brand, besides the traditional SNMP protocols, to cover all their devices. There are some specific requirements in terms of configurations or actions that sometimes have to be done in a very manual way because of the different versions or brands in a customer's infrastructure. It could also have some additional analytics capabilities. It has some very interesting ways to monitor the traffic and identify false positives from the architecture and the environment. It would be good if there is a way to patch with some other industry-specific solutions and synchronize some of the information, such as what other customers experience in their operations and probably share some additional information that could be leveraged or shared among the industry. Such information would be something interesting to see. It could have AI capabilities related to how the appliances could benefit from learning the current environment and different exposures.""We don't have any serious problems. The firewall models that we have are quite legacy, and they have slower performance. We are currently investigating the possibility of migrating to next-generation firewalls.""They should improve their interface.""If the implementation was easier, it would be a lot better for us.""The graphical interface could be improved. From what I have seen, Fortinet, for example, has a nicer GUI.""Cisco ASA is not a next-generation firewall product.""Comparing Cisco solution to others, it is expensive, it would be better for it to be cheaper."

More Cisco ASA Firewall Cons →

"They could improve their support and pricing and maybe integration. It's a little more expensive that Check Point but the quality is better. Integration with firewall endpoints could be better. Palo Alto does have very good malware or antivirus protection. I think they could improve on that front.""The solution is not straightforward.""They can improve the handling and management of User-ID. They should also improve its price. Their technical support can also be improved.""The cost of the device is very high.""Lacks mobility between on-prem and cloud based.""The only real drawback to this product is that it is expensive. But you get what you pay for and there is no way to put a price on top-notch security.""Its reporting can definitely be improved. I would like to have better graphical dashboards and more widgets for more clarity in the reporting area. In a third-generation firewall, you can generate some dashboards. It provides the information that we need, but from the C-level or a higher-level perspective, it is kind of rough and incomplete. Its data loss prevention (DLP) feature is not good enough. Currently, this feature is very basic and not suitable for enterprises. It would be nice if they can include a better DLP feature like Fortinet. We would like to have a local depot of Palo Alto in Latin America. Competitors such as Cisco and Check Point have a local depot here. If there is an issue with their hardware, you can go to the depot, and in about four hours, you can get a replacement device, but that's not the case with Palo Alto Networks because we need to import from Miami. It takes about two to three weeks.""For an upcoming release, they could improve on the way to build security rules per user."

More Palo Alto Networks NG Firewalls Cons →

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 →

  • "In terms of costs, other solutions are more expensive than Cisco. Palo Alto is more expensive than Cisco."
  • "There is room for improvement in the pricing when compared to the market. Although, when you compare the benefits of support from Cisco, you can adjust the value and it becomes comparable, because you usually need very good support. So you gain value there with this device."
  • "When it comes to Cisco, the price of everything is higher. Cisco firewalls are expensive, but we get support from Cisco, and that support is very active."
  • "Cisco is expensive, but you do get benefits for the price."
  • "It's a brilliant firewall, and the fact that it comes with a perpetual license really does go far in terms of helping the organization in not having to deal with those costs on an annual basis. That is a pain point when it comes to services like the ones we have on Fortigate. That's where we really give Cisco firewalls the thumbs up."
  • "The licensing is a bit off because the physical firewall is cheaper than the virtual one. We only have the physical ones as they are cheaper than the virtual ones. We only use the physical firewalls because of the price difference."
  • "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."
  • More Cisco ASA Firewall Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "The price of this product should be reduced."
  • "The pricing is competitive in the market."
  • "This is an expensive product, which is why some of our customers don't adopt it."
  • "The product is expensive compared to competing products but uses a similar type of pricing model based on hardware, software and maintenance."
  • "It is a little bit expensive than other firewalls, but it is worth every penny. There are different licenses for the kinds of services you want to use. When we buy a new product, we go for a three-year subscription."
  • "It is a little bit expensive."
  • "The NG firewall is an expensive solution."
  • "This is an expensive product and there is a subscription cost."
  • More Palo Alto Networks NG Firewalls Pricing and Cost Advice →

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    Answers from the Community
    Fedayi Uzun
    author avatarreviewer1461459 (Team Lead Network Infrastructure at a tech services company with 1-10 employees)
    Real User

    There are some major differentiators that make Palo Alto more preferable. First of all Palo Alto's Hardware is FPGA based, which has no parallel. Due to this capability it supports SP3 technology which provides single pass parallel processing architecture. This means PA processes traffic through all the engines i.e. application, IPS and others simultaneously. This improves resiliency and provides exactly the same throughput which committed in PA data sheet. PA has been in the leaders magic quadrant of Gartner for the 7th consecutive time in a row, which shows its block capability is above power. Moreover, it is very user friendly and easy for configure. Palo  Alto provides all routing features plus IPsec tunnels without any license - license subscriptions are only required for security bundles. Palo Alto has on-box (without any additional license or cost) reporting capability that no other firewall has at the moment.


    On the contrary, Cisco Firewall and its management center is not stable and lacks user friendly operations.

    author avatarPhilippe Panardie
    Real User

    Well they are two leaders, one from US, another from Israel.


    Checkpoint is the first well known firm to launch firewalls.


    Palo Alto is certainly now the leader, but could be expensive in strong configurations. It supports virtualization very well and is number one for reporting.

    Checkpoint NGFW is strong but under competition for high volumes when compared referred to a comparable appliance (Fortinet for instance). It needs perhaps more technical knowledge to administrate, in spite of an amazing choice of blades in the NGFW offering.


    The reliability depends on your partner or integrator and a good definition of needs to have a proper sizing of your equipment.

    author avatarVirendra Vishnu
    Real User

    Ease of Use


    - GUI familiarities  and adoption level can differ from user to user.


    - Personally I found CISCO  ASA interface is hard to comprehend compare to Palo Alto


    - Command line interface is good, only challenge is past experience and correctness of commands to get error free results! 


    Performance of the Appliance


    - Palo Alto VS CISCO - Palo Alto is better performing appliance.


    author avatarUmesh Wadhwa
    Real User

    Palo Alto is the market leader and a company with a very holistic approach to security. Firewalls are its mainstream business, whereas Cisco basically known as a networking company is trying to be one of the major players in providing security solutions. Things like advantages, disadvantages, usage and practices is a very vast topic. Generally companies already having Cisco infrastructure tend to choose Cisco firewalls from the integration point of view. Palo Alto firewalls could be more expensive. 

    author avatarSandeepKumar13
    Real User

    Pick a product model for both vendors: Cisco & Palo Alto (refer to technical data sheets and whitepapers --)  See the key differences on your target or specific needs).


    Practical evaluation by a person who has both products under the belt and can share their experiences... 


    Anyone inputs, please?

    Questions from the Community
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    When you compare these firewalls you can identify them with different features, advantages, practices and… more »
    Top Answer: 
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    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 »
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    Top Answer: 
    In the best tradition of these questions, Feature-wise both are quite similar, but each has things it's better at, it… more »
    Top Answer: 
    Palo Alto Networks NG Firewalls have both great features and performance. I like that Palo Alto has regular threat… 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
    Palo Alto NGFW, Palo Alto Networks Next-Generation Firewall, Palo Alto Networks PA-Series
    Learn More
    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.

    Cisco ASA firewalls deliver enterprise-class firewall functionality with highly scalable and flexible VPN 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 ASA can be deployed as a physical or virtual appliance. Flexible VPN capabilities include support for remote access, site-to-site, and clientless VPN. Also, select appliances support clustering for increased performance, VPN load balancing to optimize available resources, advanced high availability configurations, and more.

    Cisco ASAv is the virtualized version of the Cisco ASA firewall. Widely deployed in leading private and public clouds, Cisco ASAv is ideal for remote worker and multi-tenant environments. The solution scales up/down to meet performance requirements and high availability provides resilience. Also, Cisco ASAv 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.

    Palo Alto Networks' next-generation firewalls secure your business with a prevention-focused architecture and integrated innovations that are easy to deploy and use. Now, you can accelerate growth and eliminate risks at the same time.

    Offer
    Learn more about Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall
    Learn more about Cisco ASA Firewall
    Learn more about Palo Alto Networks NG Firewalls
    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.
    SkiStar AB, Ada County, Global IT Services PSF, Southern Cross Hospitals, Verge Health, University of Portsmouth, Austrian Airlines, The Heinz Endowments
    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 Firm17%
    Comms Service Provider13%
    Manufacturing Company10%
    Computer Software Company7%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Comms Service Provider35%
    Computer Software Company21%
    Government5%
    Educational Organization4%
    REVIEWERS
    Comms Service Provider20%
    Computer Software Company17%
    Financial Services Firm13%
    Healthcare Company7%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Comms Service Provider26%
    Computer Software Company24%
    Government6%
    Energy/Utilities Company4%
    Company Size
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business43%
    Midsize Enterprise28%
    Large Enterprise29%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business21%
    Midsize Enterprise13%
    Large Enterprise65%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business35%
    Midsize Enterprise26%
    Large Enterprise39%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business28%
    Midsize Enterprise16%
    Large Enterprise56%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business38%
    Midsize Enterprise31%
    Large Enterprise31%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business34%
    Midsize Enterprise14%
    Large Enterprise52%
    Find out what your peers are saying about Cisco ASA Firewall vs. Palo Alto Networks NG Firewalls and other solutions. Updated: January 2022.
    565,304 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    Cisco ASA Firewall is ranked 6th in Firewalls with 62 reviews while Palo Alto Networks NG Firewalls is ranked 7th in Firewalls with 72 reviews. Cisco ASA Firewall is rated 8.0, while Palo Alto Networks NG Firewalls is rated 8.6. The top reviewer of Cisco ASA Firewall writes "Robust solution that integrates well with both Cisco products and products from other vendors". On the other hand, the top reviewer of Palo Alto Networks NG Firewalls writes "The product stability and level of security are second to none in the industry". Cisco ASA Firewall is most compared with Fortinet FortiGate, Palo Alto Networks WildFire, Meraki MX, Juniper SRX and pfSense, whereas Palo Alto Networks NG Firewalls is most compared with Fortinet FortiGate, Azure Firewall, Sophos XG, Meraki MX and Palo Alto Networks VM-Series. See our Cisco ASA Firewall vs. Palo Alto Networks NG Firewalls 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.