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Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall vs SonicWall NSa comparison

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Comparison Buyer's Guide
Executive Summary

We performed a comparison between Cisco Firepower NGFW 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 Firepower NGFW Firewall vs. SonicWall NSa report (Updated: August 2022).
632,779 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
"One of the nice things about Firepower is that you can set it to discover the environment. If that is happening, then Firepower is learning about every device, software operating system, and application running inside or across your environment. Then, you can leverage the discovery intelligence to get Firepower to select the most appropriate intrusion prevention rules to use for your environment rather than picking one of the base policies that might have 50,000 IPS rules in it, which can put a lot of overhead on your firewall. If you choose the recommendations, as long as you update them regularly, you might be able to get your rule set down to only 1,000 or 1,500, which is a significant reduction in a base rule set. This means that the firewall will give you better performance because there are less rules being checked unnecessarily. That is really useful.""You can also put everything into a nice, neat, little package, as far as configuration goes. I was formerly a command-line guy with the ASA, and I was a little nervous about dealing with a GUI interface versus a command line, but after I did my first deployment, I got a lot more comfortable with doing it GUI based.""The most valuable feature is stability.""The Adversity Malware Protection (AMP) feature is the most valuable. It is also very easy to use. Every technical user can operate this solution without any difficulty. The dashboard of Cisco Firepower has every tool that a security operator needs. You can find every resource that you need to operate through this dashboard.""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.""It's got the capabilities of amassing a lot of throughput with remote access and VPNs.""With Cisco, there are a lot of features such as the network map. Cisco builds the whole network map of the machines you have behind your firewall and gives you insight into the vulnerabilities and attributes that the host has. Checkpoint and Fortinet don't have that functionality directly on the firewall.""The most valuable feature would be ASDM. The ability to go in, visualize and see the world base in a clear and consistent manner is very powerful."

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"The most valuable feature is the sandbox.""We can do the hosting and security all under one box. The UTM is a good feature.""They offer good antivirus solutions.""SonicWall NSa's most valuable features are the ease of configuration and the GUI.""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.""SonicWall NSA is easy to deploy, easy to maintain, and easy to configure.""SonicWall has USCS and anti-virus at the gateway level. Everything is filtered, and if it detects an intruder, it drops the line.""The most valuable features of this solution are the GUI pre-filtering and the ATP (advanced threat protection)."

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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 change-deployment time can always be improved. Even at 50 seconds, it's longer than some of its competitors. I would challenge Cisco to continue to improve in that area.""The reporting and other features are nice, but there is an issue with applying the configuration. That part needs some improvement.""They could improve by having more skilled, high-level engineers that are available around the clock. I know that's an easy thing to say and a hard thing to do.""The ability to better integrate with other tools would be an improvement.""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.""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.""I would like it to have faster deployment times. A typical deployment could take two to three minutes. Sometimes, it depends on the situation. It is better than it was in the past, but it could always use improvement."

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"The content filter needs to be improved.""You can do zero-trust networking with them, but it's not easy.""They should consider upgrading the capabilities within the GUI.""It is not scalable. If your enterprise is growing hard then you have to buy another, bigger product. Maybe if you use it virtually it is more scalable.""The content ID needs to be improved.""We still get phishing emails that manage to come through from time to time.""It doesn't require much improvement. The only improvement area is that cloud reporting, assessment reporting, and other reporting features should be available with the subscription. They should provide reporting features with the subscription base, which is currently not there. We bought the reporting tool, but there are some complications. They have made some changes to the application, and now the reporting management is completely on the cloud.""The scalability is something that should be improved."

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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 →

  • "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 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: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 user-friendly. What Fortigate has which SonicWall doesn't, is the per rule… more »
    Ranking
    7th
    out of 48 in Firewalls
    Views
    46,314
    Comparisons
    30,118
    Reviews
    47
    Average Words per Review
    957
    Rating
    8.1
    15th
    out of 48 in Firewalls
    Views
    14,841
    Comparisons
    12,166
    Reviews
    33
    Average Words per Review
    476
    Rating
    7.9
    Comparisons
    Also Known As
    Cisco Firepower NGFW, Cisco Firepower Next-Generation Firewall, FirePOWER, Cisco NGFWv
    NSA 250M, NSA 2600, NSA 3600, NSA 4600, NSA 5600, Dell SonicWALL NSA
    Learn More
    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. "

    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 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
    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%
    Non Profit6%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company19%
    Comms Service Provider18%
    Government8%
    Educational Organization5%
    REVIEWERS
    Manufacturing Company19%
    Educational Organization11%
    Construction Company11%
    Healthcare Company8%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Comms Service Provider20%
    Computer Software Company19%
    Government6%
    Educational Organization5%
    Company Size
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business39%
    Midsize Enterprise26%
    Large Enterprise35%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business27%
    Midsize Enterprise19%
    Large Enterprise53%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business58%
    Midsize Enterprise19%
    Large Enterprise22%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business39%
    Midsize Enterprise19%
    Large Enterprise42%
    Buyer's Guide
    Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall vs. SonicWall NSa
    August 2022
    Find out what your peers are saying about Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall vs. SonicWall NSa and other solutions. Updated: August 2022.
    632,779 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall is ranked 7th in Firewalls with 52 reviews while SonicWall NSa is ranked 15th in Firewalls with 36 reviews. Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall is rated 8.2, while SonicWall NSa is rated 8.0. 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 SonicWall NSa writes "Easy to scale advanced threat protection solution with knowledgeable technical support, but has occasional bugs". Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall is most compared with Fortinet FortiGate, Cisco ASA Firewall, Meraki MX, Palo Alto Networks WildFire and WatchGuard Firebox, whereas SonicWall NSa is most compared with Fortinet FortiGate, Meraki MX, SonicWall TZ, Sophos XG and Palo Alto Networks NG Firewalls. See our Cisco Firepower NGFW 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.