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Cisco Firepower NGFW 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 Firepower NGFW Firewall vs. Palo Alto Networks NG Firewalls and other solutions. Updated: January 2022.
563,148 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Quotes From Members
We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use.
Here are some excerpts of what they said:
Pros
"Provides good integrations and reporting.""Being able to determine our active users vs inactive users has led us to increased productivity through visibility. Also, if an issue was happening with our throughput, then we wouldn't know without research. Now, notifications are more proactively happening.""There are no issues that we are aware of. It does its job silently in the background.""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.""If you compare the ASA and the FirePOWER, the best feature with FirePOWER is easy to use GUI. It has most of the same functionality in the Next-Generation FirePOWER, such as IPS, IPS policies, security intelligence, and integration and identification of all the devices or hardware you have in your network. Additionally, this solution is user-friendly.""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.""We get the Security Intelligence Feeds refreshed every hour from Talos, which from my understanding is that they're the largest intelligence Security Intelligence Group outside of the government.""The most valuable feature is stability."

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"Operationally, it is easier, and the manageability and their security features are good.""Palo Alto NGFW provides a unified platform that natively integrates all security capabilities, which is very useful. This prevents us from having to go to a lot of different systems, and in some cases, many different systems in many different regions, because we are a global company with 60 remote offices around the world in 30 different countries. Its centralized platform is really what we look for in all services, whether it be security or otherwise.""The ease of use and the ease of configuration of our policies are the most valuable features.""Its flexibility is the most valuable.""Innovative, advanced threat protection is the most valuable feature.""I like that they are more stable than the previous ones, and they allow a lot of other features.""Palo Alto NGFW’s unified platform has helped our customers eliminate security holes. With a unified platform, customers can deploy the NG Firewall both in the data center edge, inside the data center, and in the product/public cloud environments. They have the same user interfaces and platform, so they can be maintained by a single unified platform called Panorama. Customers can use Palo Alto Network NG Firewalls in all the places where they need to protect their environments. This helps to decrease security holes.""When we put it on the border, it was blocking everything that we were getting ahead of time, and we weren't getting any hits. This includes URL filtering, spam prevention, and anti-virus."

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Cons
"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.""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.""Report generation is an area that should be improved.""Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall can be more secure.""Implementations require the use of a console. It would help if the console was embedded.""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.""This product is managed using the Firepower Management Center (FMC), but it would be better if it also supported the command-line interface (CLI).""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."

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"It would be better to have more tools to control Palo Alto Networks NG Firewalls. We don't have too many tools to access Palo Alto. For example, the IT team doesn't have access to it. We can see it physically and see if it's running or not. We need to contact a special team to receive that information. I would also like to see more reporting in the next release.""There is a bit of limitation with its next-generation capabilities. They could be better. In terms of logs, I feel like I am a bit limited as an administrator. While I see a lot of logs, and that is good, it could be better.""The whole performance takes a long time. It takes a long time to configure.""The solution has normal authentication, but does not have two-factor or multi-factor authentication. There is room for development there.""Its stability can be better. Their technical response from the support side can also be better.""This is a difficult product to manage, so the administrator needs to have a good knowledge of it, otherwise, they will not be able to handle it properly.""Its scalability for on-prem deployments can be better. For an on-prem deployment, the hardware has to be replaced if the volume goes up to a certain level.""The VPN connectors should be better. We had some challenges in terms of the VPN with Palo Alto Networks NG Firewall, and that's one of the main reasons why we moved to Sophos. Its load handling can also be improved. There were challenges when traffic was high. During peak business hours, it did not function very well. There was a lot of slowness, and the users used to complain, especially when they were connecting from outside. We even reported this to the support team. Their support should also be improved. Technical support was a bit of a concern while using this solution. We didn't get very good support from the Palo Alto team."

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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 →

  • "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
    Top Answer: 
    When you compare these firewalls you can identify them with different features, advantages, practices and usage at large. In my opinion, Fortinet would be the best option and l use… more »
    Top Answer: 
    The Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall is a very powerful and very complex piece of anti-viral software. When one considers that fact, it is all the more impressive that the setup is a fairly… more »
    Top Answer: 
    It is easy to integrate Cisco ASA with other Cisco products and also other NAC solutions. When you understand the Cisco ecosystem, it is very simple to handle. This solution has traffic inspection and… more »
    Top Answer: 
    Azure Firewall Vs. Palo Alto Network NG Firewalls Both solutions provide stellar stability and security. Azure Firewall is easy to use and provides excellent support. Valuable features include… more »
    Top Answer: 
    In the best tradition of these questions, Feature-wise both are quite similar, but each has things it's better at, it kind of depends what you value most. PA is good at app control, web filtering… more »
    Top Answer: 
    Palo Alto Networks NG Firewalls have both great features and performance. I like that Palo Alto has regular threat signatures and updates. I also appreciate that I can just import addresses and URL… more »
    Ranking
    4th
    out of 47 in Firewalls
    Views
    43,768
    Comparisons
    30,942
    Reviews
    38
    Average Words per Review
    1,045
    Rating
    8.4
    7th
    out of 47 in Firewalls
    Views
    23,526
    Comparisons
    18,108
    Reviews
    59
    Average Words per Review
    596
    Rating
    8.5
    Comparisons
    Also Known As
    Cisco Firepower NGFW, Cisco Firepower Next-Generation Firewall, FirePOWER, Cisco NGFWv
    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.

    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 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
    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
    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 Enterprise66%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business38%
    Midsize Enterprise30%
    Large Enterprise31%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business36%
    Midsize Enterprise14%
    Large Enterprise50%
    Find out what your peers are saying about Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall vs. Palo Alto Networks NG Firewalls and other solutions. Updated: January 2022.
    563,148 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall is ranked 4th in Firewalls with 41 reviews while Palo Alto Networks NG Firewalls is ranked 7th in Firewalls with 71 reviews. Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall is rated 8.4, while Palo Alto Networks NG Firewalls is rated 8.6. The top reviewer of Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall writes "The ability to implement dynamic policies for dynamic environments is important, given the fluidity in the world of security". 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 Firepower NGFW Firewall is most compared with Fortinet FortiGate, Cisco ASA Firewall, Palo Alto Networks WildFire, Meraki MX and Check Point NGFW, whereas Palo Alto Networks NG Firewalls is most compared with Fortinet FortiGate, Azure Firewall, Sophos XG, Meraki MX and Check Point CloudGuard Network Security. See our Cisco Firepower NGFW 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.