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Cisco ASA Firewall vs WatchGuard Firebox comparison

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Featured Review
Find out what your peers are saying about Cisco ASA Firewall vs. WatchGuard Firebox and other solutions. Updated: March 2020.
564,322 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 integration of network and workload micro-segmentation helps a lot to provide unified segmentation policies across east-west and north-south traffic. One concrete example is with Cisco ACI for the data center. Not only are we doing what is called a service graph on the ACI to make sure that we can filter traffic east-west between two endpoints in the same network, but when we go north-south or east-west, we can then leverage what we have on the network with SGTs on Cisco ISE. Once you build your matrix, it is very easy to filter in and out on east-west or north-south traffic.""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.""There are no issues that we are aware of. It does its job silently in the background.""The most valuable features of this solution are advanced malware protection, IPS, and IDS.""Feature-wise, we mostly use IPS because it is a security requirement to protect against attacks from outside and inside. This is where IPS helps us out a bunch.""The customer service/technical support is very good with this solution.""The most valuable feature that Cisco Firepower NGFW provides for us is the Intrusion policy.""The solution offers very easy configurations."

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"It is a very stable product. I've not had any issues with it. It is a super product, and I won't need to change it anytime soon.""The initial setup was not complex.""The most valuable feature must be AnyConnect. We have quite a few customers who use it. It is easy to use and the stablest thing that we have. We have experienced some issues on all our VPN clients, but AnyConnect has been the stablest one.""The best features are stability and scalability.""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 whole firewall functionality, including firewall policies and IPS policies, is valuable. It has all kinds of functionalities. It has IPS, VPN, and other features. They are doing quite a lot of stuff with their devices.""The configuration support is very good. You can find a lot of configuration samples and troubleshooting tips on the internet, which is very good.""It's a flexible solution and is well-known in the community."

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"Policy VPN, site-to-site VPN, traffic monitoring, anti-spam filters, and all other advanced features are valuable.""Regarding the reporting, I was in the Dimension server earlier today. It's very powerful. I like it. And the management features are easy to use. I like the fact that I can open up the System Manager client or I can just do it through the web if I'm making a quick change.""It saves us time in the respect that we now have the template built for it so we can get in and get it done. We've had much less problem supporting Voice over IP technologies from different companies. Because our client base has grown over the years, we're probably saving 20 to 30 man-hours a month now that we've got this on a good stable level.""Their support is excellent, and the stability is very good.""There are no problems with the technical support. If a problem occurs it gets resolved immediately with our technical support partners.""The solution simplifies my business. Normally, for administration, we are using NetApp System Manager on Window since it's easy to create new policies. In a short amount of time, you can create new policies based on new requirements. For example, in the last few months, many requirements changed due to the coronavirus, adding the use of new services, like Office 365, and eLearning tools, like Zoom.""Among the most valuable features is the ease of use — love the interface — of both the web interface and of the WatchGuard System Manager.""All of the features have been valuable. There's nothing on my M270 that I'm not using. If you have remote access, you can see how many users are coming from the outside world to be connected to the systems, through the virus systems that we have behind the firewall, in order to gain access to their files and do their work. We can also see how long they stay online and whether these connections are closed forcefully or for any other reasons, such as a glitch or some kind of misbehavior, to see if internet traffic is optimized and if that particular traffic is under company policies, concerning which websites were visited."

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Cons
"An area of improvement for this solution is the console visualization.""The initial setup could be simplified, as it can be complex for new users.""I believe that the current feature set of the device is very good and the only thing that Cisco should work on is improving the user experience with the device.""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.""We're getting support but there's a big delay until we get a response from their technical team. They're in the USA and we're in Africa, so that's the difficulty. When they're in the office, they respond.""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.""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.""Report generation is an area that should be improved."

More Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall Cons →

"Comparing Cisco solution to others, it is expensive, it would be better for it to be cheaper.""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 lacks management. For me, it still doesn't have a proper management tool or GUI for configuration, logging, and visualization. Its management is not that easy. It is also not very flexible and easy to configure. They used to have a product called CSM, but it is no longer being developed. FortiGate is better than this solution in terms of GUI, flexibility, and user-friendliness.""One area where the ASA could be improved is that it doesn't have AMP. When you get an ASA with the Firepower model, ASA with FTD, then you have advanced malware protection.""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.""It doesn't have Layer 7 security.""The annual subscription cost is a bit high. They should try to make it comparable to other offerings. We have a number of Chinese products here in Pakistan, which are already, very cheap and have less annual maintenance costs compared to Cisco.""I have used Fortinet, Palo Alto, and Check Point previously and I prefer the process of everything working together."

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"In terms of what could be improved, I would say their web blocker feature. It is still quite a confusing setup, especially when you want to filter out a particular category for granularity. For example, you do not want to filter Facebook but you do want to filter Facebook games only. It can be done, but the process to do it is very confusing.""There's always room for improvement, especially if the threats are getting more sophisticated and the IT department cannot sufficiently meet this kind of sophistication with their own knowledge and experience. Knowing that this solution can get up to the level of addressing a lot of these threats is something that everybody wishes for. If we look at the dark web and the lawful web, they are two opposites, and if these two good and bad collide in the world of the internet, you want the best possible product—especially if you cannot get to that point of knowledge. I am just an individual and end user, with limited knowledge of usage. That's why I say there's always room for improvement, from their side and also from mine, because by knowing exactly what they can achieve and the knowledge that they can get on an everyday basis, and the portion that is understandable to me, it's an improvement for them as well.""The way Secure Sign-On authentication is happening needs to be improved. When the Secure Sign-On portal is turned on, anybody who comes into the campus, whether he or she is a staff member or a guest, has to go past the initial portal. One of the shortcomings is the username. It shouldn't allow permutations or combinations with upper or lower cases. For example, when there is a username abc, it shouldn't allow ABC or Abc. It should not allow the same username, but currently, two separate people can go in. Therefore, its authentication or validation should be improved, and the case sensitiveness should be picked up. If I have restricted someone to two devices, they shouldn't be able to use different combinations of the same username and get into the third or fourth device. It shouldn't allow different combinations of alphabets to be used to log in.""The usability could be better, but it is definitely manageable. If we have to go to a backup internet connection, that could be a little bit easier.""I don't think I can get a full-blown DNS client from it. I've been trying to have DNS services. It has forwarding, but I don't get the services of a full DNS client. My main difficulty with it is that I can't run a complete service. I need NTP. I need DNS. I need DHCP for my domain, but I only get forwarding. As far as I can tell, I don't get caching and the kinds of reporting and registration needed to host a DNS for a domain. I have to have a separate solution for that.""I'm not really impressed with the reporting side of it. It may be something I just haven't figured out very well, but it's hard to filter down on reporting of the actual valuable information that you would want. There is a lot of information out there so you have to have some kind of tool capture it and then filter through. So far, I haven't found the reporting side of the WatchGuard to be that user-friendly.""I would like to see the devices made more flexible by adding modules to increase the ports that we can use.""If they could make the traffic monitoring easier that would be great. I don't use it that frequently, but I would like to see some improvements in the ease of use of that component, so it makes more sense. I know it's a technical component so there's going to be some difficulty trying to make that easier."

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Pricing and Cost Advice
  • "Cisco pricing is premium. However, they gave us a 50 to 60 percent discount."
  • "There are additional implementation and validation costs."
  • "Cisco, as we all know, is expensive, but for the money you are paying, you know that you are also getting top-notch documentation as well as support if needed."
  • "This product requires licenses for advanced features including Snort, IPS, and malware detection."
  • "This product is expensive."
  • "For me, personally, as an individual, Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall is expensive."
  • "The price of Firepower is not bad compared to other products."
  • "The solution was chosen because of its price compared to other similar solutions."
  • More Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "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 →

  • "We don't have any other costs other than the licensing stuff."
  • "I usually tell people that it's really affordable as well, particularly compared to Cisco."
  • "The pricing of WatchGuard is probably a little higher than the SonicWall, but it makes up for it in dependability. It's worth it to me, especially since it's not much higher. For just a little bit higher price you get the dependability of the firewall with the WatchGuard brand."
  • "The pricing was in line with everyone else; maybe slightly higher."
  • "I think the larger firewall packages are much better because a normal firewall is not enough for these times. You need IPS, APT, and all the security features of a firewall that you can buy."
  • "WatchGuard had a very competitive price. It was only 10 to 20 percent more than a single instance device but with that extra cost it provided a second load balancing device... unlike other brands whose method of hardware and software licensing would have doubled our cost."
  • "They license it. When we buy it, we buy it with a three-year license. That's the most cost-effective way to do it. So, if you're going to buy it, then buy it with the three-year licensing."
  • "I spent $600 or $800 on this product and I'm paying a couple of hundred dollars a year in a subscription service to keep the lights on, on it... It works out to $100 or $200 a year if you buy several years at once. It's fair."
  • More WatchGuard Firebox 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: 
    We are providing our services to all WatchGuard customers in the region. 
    Top Answer: 
    We just use it as a secondary WiFi device. We're a small office and we needed to set up a WiFi device for a few of our… more »
    Top Answer: 
    We're a hospital and we use it for developing our incoming and outgoing policies, and we also use it for VPN.
    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
    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.

    WatchGuard's approach to network security focuses on bringing best-in-class, enterprise-grade security to any organization, regardless of size or technical expertise. Ideal for SMBs and distributed enterprise organizations, our award-winning Unified Threat Management (UTM) appliances are designed from the ground up to focus on ease of deployment, use, and ongoing management, in addition to providing the strongest security possible.

    Offer
    Learn more about Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall
    Learn more about Cisco ASA Firewall
    Learn more about WatchGuard Firebox
    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.
    Ellips, Diecutstickers.com, Clarke Energy, NCR, Wrest Park, Homeslice Pizza, Fortessa Tableware Solutions, The Phoenix Residence
    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
    Manufacturing Company17%
    Construction Company14%
    Healthcare Company8%
    Retailer6%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Comms Service Provider35%
    Computer Software Company17%
    Government6%
    Wholesaler/Distributor4%
    Company Size
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business43%
    Midsize Enterprise28%
    Large Enterprise29%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business22%
    Midsize Enterprise13%
    Large Enterprise66%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business35%
    Midsize Enterprise26%
    Large Enterprise39%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business28%
    Midsize Enterprise16%
    Large Enterprise56%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business65%
    Midsize Enterprise24%
    Large Enterprise11%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business85%
    Midsize Enterprise3%
    Large Enterprise13%
    Find out what your peers are saying about Cisco ASA Firewall vs. WatchGuard Firebox and other solutions. Updated: March 2020.
    564,322 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    Cisco ASA Firewall is ranked 6th in Firewalls with 62 reviews while WatchGuard Firebox is ranked 3rd in Unified Threat Management (UTM) with 27 reviews. Cisco ASA Firewall is rated 8.0, while WatchGuard Firebox 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 WatchGuard Firebox writes "Competent, basic front-end; the ports that I have assigned appear to be unattainable to outsiders". Cisco ASA Firewall is most compared with Fortinet FortiGate, Palo Alto Networks WildFire, Meraki MX, Juniper SRX and SonicWall NSa, whereas WatchGuard Firebox is most compared with Fortinet FortiGate, Sophos XG, pfSense, SonicWall NSa and Azure Firewall. See our Cisco ASA Firewall vs. WatchGuard Firebox report.

    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.