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Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall vs Sophos XG comparison

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Q&A Highlights
Question: Which firewall to choose for an SMB to prevent malware damage: Cisco Firepower or Sophos XG?
Answer: I prefer Sophos. I find it easy to use and it has better features on malware and threat management.
Featured Review
Buyer's Guide
Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall vs. Sophos XG
May 2022
Find out what your peers are saying about Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall vs. Sophos XG and other solutions. Updated: May 2022.
607,127 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
"I have experience with URL filtering, and it is very good for URL filtering. You can filter URLs based on the categories, and it does a good job. It can also do deep packet inspection.""The most valuable feature is stability.""I like that Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall is reliable. Support is also good.""Its Snort 3 IPS has better flexibility as far as being able to write rules. This gives me better granularity.""The content filtering is good.""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.""The most important features are the intrusion prevention engine and the application visibility and control. The Snort feature in Firepower is also valuable.""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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"I like their firewall and the intrusion detection feature""The most valuable feature is web filtering.""I like the dashboard, the interface, the management console, and the remote login.""The most valuable features are the central management, the user VPN, and communications.""The solution has very good security features, is easy to use for administrators and users, and has informative reports.""Orchestration of the firewall is the most valuable feature. It is a fast and agile solution. It is good with protection. It is also very easy to deploy and manage, and its user interface is easy to use.""Sophos XG is very useful, it does many things.""The most valuable feature of this solution is that the license offers everything."

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Cons
"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.""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.""Its interface is sometimes is a little bit slow, and it can be improved. When you need to put your appliance in failover mode, it is a little difficult to do it remotely because you need to turn off the appliance in Cisco mode. In terms of new features, it would be good to have AnyConnect VPN with Firepower. I am not sure if it is available at the moment.""The only drawback of the user interface is when it comes to policies. When you open it and click on the policies, you have to move manually left and right if you want to see the whole field within the cell. Checkpoint has a very detailed user interface.""Deploying configurations takes longer than it should.""When you make any changes, irrespective of whether they are big or small, Firepower takes too much time. It is very time-consuming. Even for small changes, you have to wait for 60 seconds or maybe more, which is not good. Similarly, when you have many IPS rules and policies, it slows down, and there is an impact on its performance.""Most of the features don't work well, and some features are missing as well."

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"The first area that needs to be improved is customer support.""Everything is working as expected at this moment, but the anti-spam solution in Sophos XG needs to be improved. It needs more granular features and more stability. The anti-spam solution currently doesn't have many features, and we would like to have more features. At this moment, there is no expression filter for anti-spam. We need something to be able to filter subjects or attachments in emails based on the keyword. Sometimes, there is an issue with anti-spam, and Sophos XG suddenly stops processing incoming or outgoing emails. The only solution for this issue is to restart the appliance. Their support should be improved. It takes a long time to escalate a support case from level one to level two.""I would like to see in future releases a tool to scan for malicious packets and give the location of where they are coming from.""While it is possible to configure between two of the solution's devices in the same model, the high available usually fails.""Scalability could be improved. It could be better.""There are issues with electricity with this solution.""There should be web caching to improve bandwidth utilization. It should have a very good caching feature. That's because we are in a very poor continent, and the connectivity cost is very high. We have low bandwidth, and the intensive usage of bandwidth is not easy here in Africa. If they improve services for web caching, it would be better.""We are not very happy with the customer support they provide — it's quite slow."

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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 →

  • "We paid for our licensing for three years, upfront, and there are no costs in addition to the standard fees."
  • "The price is cheaper than that of some competing vendors."
  • "The pricing is flexible. Sophos looks at a country's economy and offers flexible pricing. This is how they have managed to penetrate the market."
  • "It's approximately $6,000 for each device."
  • "It is not expensive, it's a reasonable price,"
  • "The issue of a recurring license is a hassle because every year, we have to subscribe."
  • "It is not very expensive."
  • "We prepaid in advance to get the max discount."
  • More Sophos XG Pricing and Cost Advice →

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    Answers from the Community
    Steve Chiyenda
    Mike Parsons - PeerSpot reviewerMike Parsons
    Real User

    My preference is the Sophos XGS, particularly when you team it up with the Sophos Endpoint Protection client and configure it for synchronized security.  


    Both can be managed through Sophos Central and are available at a decent price for the power they offer the SMB.

    Carlos Roberto Da Silva - PeerSpot reviewerCarlos Roberto Da Silva
    User

    I recommend Sophos XGS firewall. It will offer the best solution for malware protection. 


    Also, I recomend Sophos CIXA with XDR (Sophos Endpoint), so you can use Syncronized Security.

    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: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 »
    Top Answer:Hi Arvind P ,  The Sophos XG firewall has a number of models right from XG86 to XG135w under the 1U Desktop Form Factor. The Sophos XG appliance that offers a direct competition to the Fortigate 80F… more »
    Top Answer:Sophos UTM is no longer being developed, according to our reseller. All the development effort is going into XG. So XG will be the only Sophos firewall going forward, UTM will eventually be end of… more »
    Ranking
    4th
    out of 48 in Firewalls
    Views
    44,892
    Comparisons
    30,405
    Reviews
    41
    Average Words per Review
    1,028
    Rating
    8.4
    5th
    out of 48 in Firewalls
    Views
    47,837
    Comparisons
    38,322
    Reviews
    126
    Average Words per Review
    461
    Rating
    8.1
    Comparisons
    Also Known As
    Cisco Firepower NGFW, Cisco Firepower Next-Generation Firewall, FirePOWER, Cisco NGFWv
    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. "

    Sophos XG Firewall is a complete firewall solution that provides all the real-time security and insights you need to protect your network from ransomware and advanced threats. Sophos XG Firewall provides visibility into suspicious users, unknown and unwanted apps, encrypted traffic, and other threats. With its advanced artificial intelligence capabilities, Sophos XG Firewall immediately identifies potential risks and intrusions on web servers and networks.

    Sophos XG Firewall Features

    Sophos XG Firewall offers a wide range of security features, including:

    • Application control: Prevent widespread infections with XG’s Security Heartbeat. XG Firewall automatically identifies the source of an infection on a network and automatically prevents it from accessing other network resources.

    • Synchronized user ID: Eliminate the need for client or server authentication agents by sharing user identification between the endpoint and the firewall through Security Heartbeat.

    • Centralized management: Easily manage all activities with Sophos Central. The XG cloud management platform allows users to easily set up, manage, and monitor XG firewalls along with other Sophos products. Some of Sophos Central’s features include alerting, backup management, one-click firmware updates, and rapid deployments of new firewalls.

    • Lateral movement protection: Automatically isolate compromised systems at every point in the network to stop attacks dead in their tracks.

    • Network protection: Protect networks from attacks and threats while providing secure network access.

    • Web protection: Gain clear visibility and control over all users’ web and application activity.

    • Web server protection: Solidify web servers and applications against hacking attacks while providing secure web access.

    • Email protection: Consolidate email protection with anti-spam, DLP, and encryption. XG’s Live Anti-Spam provides protection from the most recent spam campaigns, phishing attacks, and malicious attachments. Data Loss Prevention automatically triggers encryption on sensitive data in outgoing emails.

    Reviews from Real Users

    Sophos XG Firewall stands out among its competitors, among other reasons, for its intrusion detection capabilities, its user-friendly management platform, and in general, for being a complete and robust firewall solution.

    Niranjan P., a network & system support engineer, writes, “Sophos is a comprehensive solution which allows me to configure all the attendant products, such as Sophos's firewall, endpoint, and encryption features. A nice feature of Sophos is that it offers in sync and heartbeat security. When my clients have a perimeter involving Sophos firewall and endpoints with Sophos Endpoint, they can communicate with each other.”

    Antonio D., sales manager at INFOSEC, notes, “The product has a console that is based in the cloud for all their products. In this console, they have email security, firewall security, endpoint security, et cetera. All of the products on offer in the console are very useful for us. The solution is stable. The solution works well for enterprises and large-scale organizations.”

    Antony M., ICT/HMIS supervisor at a healthcare company, writes, “The VPN feature is the most valuable. It has come in handy during this period when people are working from home. The filtering feature is also valuable because you can easily filter the sites that you don't want to visit. You can also set timely surfing quotas”

    Offer
    Learn more about Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall
    Learn more about Sophos XG
    Sample Customers
    Rackspace, The French Laundry, Downer Group, Lewisville School District, Shawnee Mission School District, Lower Austria Firefighters Administration, Oxford Hospital, SugarCreek, Westfield
    Information Not Available
    Top Industries
    REVIEWERS
    Comms Service Provider20%
    Financial Services Firm18%
    Government11%
    Manufacturing Company7%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Comms Service Provider28%
    Computer Software Company21%
    Government7%
    Manufacturing Company4%
    REVIEWERS
    Manufacturing Company11%
    Financial Services Firm11%
    Healthcare Company8%
    Comms Service Provider8%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Comms Service Provider35%
    Computer Software Company18%
    Government8%
    Manufacturing Company3%
    Company Size
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business41%
    Midsize Enterprise27%
    Large Enterprise32%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business26%
    Midsize Enterprise20%
    Large Enterprise55%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business62%
    Midsize Enterprise24%
    Large Enterprise14%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business32%
    Midsize Enterprise24%
    Large Enterprise44%
    Buyer's Guide
    Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall vs. Sophos XG
    May 2022
    Find out what your peers are saying about Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall vs. Sophos XG and other solutions. Updated: May 2022.
    607,127 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall is ranked 4th in Firewalls with 47 reviews while Sophos XG is ranked 5th in Firewalls with 145 reviews. Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall is rated 8.2, while Sophos XG 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 Sophos XG writes "Light and stable with excellent real-time control ". Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall is most compared with Fortinet FortiGate, Cisco ASA Firewall, Meraki MX, Palo Alto Networks WildFire and Palo Alto Networks NG Firewalls, whereas Sophos XG is most compared with Fortinet FortiGate, pfSense, OPNsense, Meraki MX and Azure Firewall. See our Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall vs. Sophos XG 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.