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Cisco ASA Firewall vs SonicWall NSa comparison

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Comparison Buyer's Guide
Executive Summary

We performed a comparison between Cisco ASA Firewall and SonicWall NSa based on real PeerSpot user reviews.

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

To learn more, read our detailed Cisco ASA Firewall vs. SonicWall NSa report (Updated: August 2022).
633,952 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Featured Review
Quotes From Members
We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use.
Here are some excerpts of what they said:
Pros
"I like the firewall features, Snort, and the Intrusion Prevention System (IPS).""Its Snort 3 IPS has better flexibility as far as being able to write rules. This gives me better granularity.""This solution helped us to identify the key areas where we need to focus to block traffic that is malicious to our organization.""The most valuable feature that Cisco Firepower NGFW provides for us is the Intrusion policy.""There are no issues that we are aware of. It does its job silently in the background.""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 have integrated it for incidence response. If there is a security event, the Cisco firewall will automatically block the traffic, which is valuable.""IPS and Snort are very important because they also differentiate Cisco from other vendors and competitors."

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"The VPN feature is the most valuable to us because it accomplishes the task well. We're able to do everything we need to do.""All the rules are secure and we haven't had a significant malware attack in the five years that we've been using ASA Firewall. It has been a tremendous improvement for our network. However, I can't quantify the benefits in monetary terms.""Its security and filtering are most valuable. Every layer of data that comes into the organization goes through it. After setting up the criteria, it automatically filters the traffic. We don't have to check it often.""It is a very user-friendly product.""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.""The command line is the same as it is on the Cisco iOS router.""Cisco ASA works very nicely from an administration perspective. The management of the device is very nice. The ASDM (Adaptive Security Device Manager) is the software that we use and it is very easy to configure using the GUI.""VPN and firewall are good features."

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"It is a brilliant product. It is a Unified Threat Management (UTM) system. It has got about 11 security services that take care of your perimeter security. It takes care of any kind of cyber threats that could come in. It takes care of creating VPNs between two SonicWalls instantly and very easily. It has got spyware in it as well as a firewall. It has also got a gateway antivirus and an application firewall that can block things from outside.""Easy to setup and implement""Deep packet inspection and intelligent application control are the most valuable features. It is a very updated solution. It is very current as compared to other brands and vendors.""SonicWall has USCS and anti-virus at the gateway level. Everything is filtered, and if it detects an intruder, it drops the line.""SonicWall NSA is easy to deploy, easy to maintain, and easy to configure.""SonicWall has all the usual functions, like LAN configurations, security features, word filters, etc., but it also has the CFS agent, which isn't available in any other firewall. Reporting port support is also there.""The DPI-SSL is the solution's most valuable aspect. It's handy.""The features that I have found most valuable are the firewalling, which is very good and the GUI which is very intuitive. It is easy to use, and provides great security."

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Cons
"Maybe the dashboard could be a bit better.""Licensing is complex, and I'd like it to be simplified. This is an area for improvement.""My team tells me that other solutions such as Fortinet and Palo Alto are easier to implement.""We cannot have virtual domains, which we can create with FortiGate. This is something they should add in the future. Additionally, there is a connection limit and the FMC could improve.""Deploying configurations takes longer than it should.""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.""The reporting and other features are nice, but there is an issue with applying the configuration. That part needs some improvement.""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."

More Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall Cons →

"The solution has not had any layer upgrades. It does not have layer five and upwards, it only has up to layer four. This has caused some problems for us.""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.""I don't have to see all the object groups that have been created on that firewall. That's just something that I would really appreciate on the CLA, even though it already exists on the GUI.""This solution could be more granular and user-friendly.""Cisco is not cheap, however, it is worth investing in these technologies.""One of the challenges we've had with the Cisco ASA is the lack of a strong controller or central management console that is dependable and reliable all the time.""One area that could be improved is its logging functionality. Your logs are usually displayed on the screen, but if you want to go back one or two days, then you need another solution in place because those logs are overwritten within minutes.""The access layer of this solution could be improved in terms of the way the devices interconnect with our network. We need to be able to analyze the traffic between the different interconnection in these areas."

More Cisco ASA Firewall Cons →

"Potential improvement around the associated VPN cost""The detection of malware can improve in SonicWall NSa.""It only has a single power interface, which has limitations in terms of high availability.""An area for improvement would be SonicWall NSa's integration with antiviruses.""We have security as a service, and they make recommendations about adding to the denylist and other things. That part could be more accessible and more user-friendly. I'd like to see SonicWall add a user-friendly interface where our internal team can drag and drop everything.""We also use the Sophos Firewall for web configuration, which we don't have in SonicWall. Only Sophos has those options. If SonicWall included that feature, that would be a benefit for us.""The reporting feature could be better because most of the companies want to have the analytics included, which is something that you have to buy separately.""The product likely isn't a good fit for a large organization."

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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 →

  • "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."
  • "They seem to be at the top end in terms of pricing, but they are worth the price. They are probably a little bit lower than Palo Alto. If the customers are relying on Cisco products and they are thinking more in terms of scaling to another layer in a year, it is pretty much in a good price range."
  • "We're using the smart license for this firewall. The models that we have require licensing for remote access."
  • "There are licensing costs."
  • "I just bought it off the shelf, and I'm using it with my previous one, so I have not spent that much."
  • More Cisco ASA Firewall Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "SonicWall is not an expensive solution."
  • "The price is reasonable for what it does."
  • "When implemented properly, the total cost of operation is very low."
  • "Licensing fees are paid on a yearly basis, and we are happy with the pricing."
  • "Its price is okay."
  • "Normally, when we buy any product, we buy it with a five-year service built into it. Later on, depending on the growth of the organization, we go for a new one or an upgrade."
  • "It would be better if it has a better price, but its price is okay considering the benefits that you receive."
  • "SonicWall still is only a dollar or Euro per gigabit. This means, of the IPsec, it's the cheapest solution."
  • More SonicWall NSa 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:The antivirus and items of that nature were quite helpful to have.
    Top Answer:Our organization would pay for a license every two to three years.
    Top Answer:Sometimes I found the GUI and some of the features a little bit hard to navigate, as opposed to Fortigate, which is much… 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
    NSA 250M, NSA 2600, NSA 3600, NSA 4600, NSA 5600, Dell SonicWALL NSA
    Learn More
    Cisco
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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. "

    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."

    SonicWall NSa dispenses advanced threat protection using a high-performance security platform. The NSa series implements intuitive deep learning technologies in the SonicWall Capture Cloud Platform to dispatch the automated real-time threat detection and deterrence enterprise organizations need today. SonicWall Network Security appliance (NSa) series is best for mid-sized organizations to distributed enterprises and data centers.

    SonicWall NSa series next-generation firewalls (NFGWS) combine two very robust security ideologies to deliver advanced threat protection to keep users’ networks safe. Boosting SonicWall’s multi-engine advanced threat protection (ATP) is their Real-time Deep Memory Inspection (RTDMI™). The RTDMI intuitively identifies and stops aggressive zero-day threats and vicious malware by investigating memory directly. This real-time process allows SonicWall RTDMI to be accurate, lessen false positives and discover and alleviate malicious threats and attacks. SonicWall’s single-pass Reassembly-Free Deep Packet Inspection (RFDPI) will audit every byte of each and every packet by investigating both outbound and inbound traffic on the firewall. By combining the SonicWall Capture Cloud Platform along with on-box offerings such as intrusion prevention, web/URL filtering, and anti-malware, the NSa series is able to block the most malicious and dangerous threats at the gateway.

    Additionally, SonicWall firewalls supply absolute protection by executing complete inspection and decryption of SSH and TLS/SSL encryption connections - no matter the port or protocol. The firewall takes a deep dive into each and every packet (the header and data) routing out any anomalies, zero-day intrusions, threats, and protocol non-compliance. Users can also define unique criteria specific to their organization to ensure their networks remain safe. This aggressive deep packet inspection is able to identify and block malicious attacks, stop dangerous malware downloads, prevent the spread of infections, and defeat command and control (C&C) communications and data exfiltration. Protocols involving inclusion and exclusion allow users complete control to decide, based on specific governance policies, organizational policies, or government or legal compliance, which traffic is to be investigated for decryption or inspection.

    SonicWall Nsa offers enterprise organizations the network control and fluid flexibility they desire using an intrusion prevention system (IPS), VPN, real-time visualization, and other advanced powerful security features, making it a popular firewall solution in today's marketplace.

    Reviews from Real Users

    “The features that I have found most valuable are the firewalling, which is very good, and the GUI which is very intuitive. It is easy to use and provides great security.” - Network Engineer at a maritime company

    “What's valuable in SonicWall NSa is the ATP (advanced threat protection). It can protect users from malicious links. SonicWall NSa also has a Sandboxing service that is very helpful for us, especially when end users accidentally click on malicious links. Another valuable feature of this solution is that it is very useful for site-to-site VPN connectivity issues. SonicWall NSa has very good hardware. I also love that SonicWall has very good technical support, who are very knowledgeable, provide good suggestions, and they're easy to reach.” - Mohammed M., Network Administrator at Transgulf Readymix

    Offer
    Learn more about Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall
    Learn more about Cisco ASA Firewall
    Learn more about SonicWall NSa
    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.
    Orange County Rescue Mission, First Source, Michaels & Taylor, Green Clinic Health System, Aspire Chiltern Skills and Enterprise Centre, UnitedStack, Faith Lutheran College Redlands, Celtic Manor Resort, Star Kay White, Air Works, Unimat Life, NHS Yorkshire and Humber Commissioning Support (YHCS), Hutt City Council, Mato Grosso do Sul, Nspyre
    Top Industries
    REVIEWERS
    Comms Service Provider19%
    Financial Services Firm17%
    Government13%
    Manufacturing Company6%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Comms Service Provider19%
    Computer Software Company19%
    Government8%
    Educational Organization5%
    REVIEWERS
    Financial Services Firm15%
    Comms Service Provider12%
    Computer Software Company9%
    Manufacturing Company8%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Comms Service Provider33%
    Computer Software Company18%
    Government6%
    Manufacturing Company4%
    REVIEWERS
    Manufacturing Company19%
    Educational Organization11%
    Construction Company11%
    Healthcare Company8%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Comms Service Provider21%
    Computer Software Company19%
    Government6%
    Educational Organization5%
    Company Size
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business39%
    Midsize Enterprise26%
    Large Enterprise35%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business28%
    Midsize Enterprise18%
    Large Enterprise55%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business35%
    Midsize Enterprise23%
    Large Enterprise42%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business27%
    Midsize Enterprise22%
    Large Enterprise51%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business58%
    Midsize Enterprise19%
    Large Enterprise22%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business39%
    Midsize Enterprise18%
    Large Enterprise42%
    Buyer's Guide
    Cisco ASA Firewall vs. SonicWall NSa
    August 2022
    Find out what your peers are saying about Cisco ASA Firewall vs. SonicWall NSa and other solutions. Updated: August 2022.
    633,952 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    Cisco ASA Firewall is ranked 4th in Firewalls with 87 reviews while SonicWall NSa is ranked 15th in Firewalls with 36 reviews. Cisco ASA Firewall is rated 8.4, while SonicWall NSa is rated 8.0. The top reviewer of Cisco ASA Firewall writes "Includes multiple tools that help manage and troubleshoot, but needs SD-WAN for load balancing". On the other hand, the top reviewer of SonicWall NSa writes "Easy to scale advanced threat protection solution with knowledgeable technical support, but has occasional bugs". Cisco ASA Firewall is most compared with Fortinet FortiGate, Palo Alto Networks WildFire, Meraki MX, pfSense and Palo Alto Networks NG Firewalls, whereas SonicWall NSa is most compared with Fortinet FortiGate, Meraki MX, SonicWall TZ, Sophos XG and Palo Alto Networks NG Firewalls. See our Cisco ASA Firewall vs. SonicWall NSa report.

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    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.