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Cisco ASA Firewall vs SonicWall NSa comparison

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Buyer's Guide
Cisco ASA Firewall vs. SonicWall NSa
July 2022
Find out what your peers are saying about Cisco ASA Firewall vs. SonicWall NSa and other solutions. Updated: July 2022.
620,600 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
"Its Snort 3 IPS has better flexibility as far as being able to write rules. This gives me better granularity.""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.""The content filtering is good.""Firepower has been used for quite a few enterprise clients. Most of our clients are Fortune 500 and Firepower is used to improve their end to end firewall functionality.""The implementation is pretty straightforward.""It's got the capabilities of amassing a lot of throughput with remote access and VPNs.""When it comes to the integration among Cisco tools, we find it easy. It's a very practical integration with other components as well.""The main thing that I love the most is its policy and objects. Whenever I try to give access to a user, I can create an object via group creation in the object fields. This way, I am not able to enter a user in the policy repeatedly."

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"The initial setup is easy.""The best features are stability and scalability.""AnyConnect has been very helpful, along with the ability to use LDAP for authentication.""The most valuable feature is the anti-malware protection. It protects the endpoints on my network.""It's very stable and mature.""Everything is all documented in the file or in the command line script that gets uploaded to the device. It gives us great visibility.""The Packet Tracer is a really good tool. If someone calls because they're having problems, you can easily create fake traffic without having to do an extended packet capture. You can see, straight away, if there's a firewall rule allowing that traffic in the direction you're trying to troubleshoot.""The initial setup was not complex."

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"The solution has many useful features, such as content management, user management, user filtering, and domain controller connectivity mapping.""It has excellent stability.""SonicWall NS has a lot of valuable features. One of the best SonicWall NSa features is the ability to collect mini routers and get only one user connection.""The technical support is very good.""The most valuable features of this solution are the GUI pre-filtering and the ATP (advanced threat protection).""They offer good antivirus solutions.""The functionality is the same whether it is on hardware or a virtual appliance. The interface is the same. It's nice that it's standardized.""It's very simple to use and the support is great."

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Cons
"A major area of improvement would be to have more functionality in public clouds, especially in terms of simplifying it. The high availability doesn't work right now because of the limitations in the cloud.""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.""Report generation is an area that should be improved.""One issue with Firepower Management Center is deployment time. It takes seven to 10 minutes and that's a long time for deployment. In that amount of time, management or someone else can ask me to change something or to provide permissions, but during that time, doing so is not possible. It's a drawback with Cisco. Other vendors, like Palo Alto or Fortinet do not have this deployment time issue.""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 main problem we have is that things work okay until we upgrade the firmware, at which point, everything changes, and the net stops working.""One of my colleagues is using the firewall as an IPS, but he is worried about Firepower's performance... With the 10 Gb devices, when it gets to 5 Gbps, the CPU usage goes up a lot and he cannot manage the IPS.""The application detection feature of this solution could be improved as well as its integration with other solutions."

More Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall Cons →

"The solution is overcomplicated in some senses. Simplifying it would be an improvement.""If the implementation was easier, it would be a lot better for us.""In the next release, I would like to see the VPN and UTM features included.""I would say that in inexperienced hands, the interface can be kind of overwhelming. There are just a lot of options. Too much, if you don't know what you are looking for or trying to do.""They should improve their interface.""This is an older product and has reached end-of-life.""The price can be better.""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."

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"You can do zero-trust networking with them, but it's not easy.""We're not particularly fond of the way it generally performs. We are finding ourselves rebooting often. There are freeze-ups and that kind of thing. The stability needs to improve exponentially.""The ongoing service fees are high.""We still get phishing emails that manage to come through from time to time.""Overall, Im satisfied with SonicWall NSa, but it would be better if they could add a small terminal to each device. This would help me deal with certain issues by running a small bot onto any PC.""The detection of malware can improve in SonicWall NSa.""There are a few areas that need improvement including the VPN, user management, and reporting.""They should consider upgrading the capabilities within the GUI."

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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 →

  • "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."
  • "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."
  • More Cisco ASA Firewall Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "SonicWall is a one-time purchase and there is no renewal license."
  • "The pricing and value are good."
  • "The pricing is good and we are satisfied with the cost of this solution."
  • "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."
  • 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 Provider29%
    Computer Software Company20%
    Government7%
    Manufacturing Company4%
    REVIEWERS
    Financial Services Firm15%
    Comms Service Provider12%
    Computer Software Company9%
    Manufacturing Company8%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Comms Service Provider35%
    Computer Software Company19%
    Government6%
    Manufacturing Company4%
    REVIEWERS
    Manufacturing Company19%
    Educational Organization11%
    Construction Company11%
    Healthcare Company8%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Comms Service Provider25%
    Computer Software Company19%
    Government6%
    Educational Organization5%
    Company Size
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business40%
    Midsize Enterprise25%
    Large Enterprise35%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business26%
    Midsize Enterprise20%
    Large Enterprise55%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business35%
    Midsize Enterprise23%
    Large Enterprise42%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business27%
    Midsize Enterprise22%
    Large Enterprise51%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business59%
    Midsize Enterprise18%
    Large Enterprise23%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business38%
    Midsize Enterprise19%
    Large Enterprise42%
    Buyer's Guide
    Cisco ASA Firewall vs. SonicWall NSa
    July 2022
    Find out what your peers are saying about Cisco ASA Firewall vs. SonicWall NSa and other solutions. Updated: July 2022.
    620,600 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    Cisco ASA Firewall is ranked 4th in Firewalls with 90 reviews while SonicWall NSa is ranked 15th in Firewalls with 40 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 Sophos UTM, 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.