Cisco Secure Firewall vs OPNsense comparison

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Fortinet Logo
120,425 views|88,209 comparisons
90% willing to recommend
Cisco Logo
56,401 views|31,700 comparisons
83% willing to recommend
OPNsense Logo
105,864 views|93,109 comparisons
96% willing to recommend
Comparison Buyer's Guide
Executive Summary
Updated on Jul 11, 2023

We performed a comparison between Cisco Secure Firewall and OPNsense based on our users’ reviews in five categories. After reading all of the collected data, you can find our conclusion below.

Features: Cisco Secure Firewall is highly regarded for its robust threat defense, comprehensive application visibility, effective troubleshooting capabilities, seamless integration with other Cisco products, and reliable high-availability capabilities. OPNsense is praised for its impressive scalability, excellent guest access capabilities, impressive flexibility, unwavering stability, and commendable IDS/IPS features.

Secure Firewall could benefit from enhancements in network performance, policy administration, customization options, and rule creation. It also requires better licensing flexibility, support for standard interfaces, and advanced features like web filtering. The management interface, deployment times, reporting, and logging functionalities should be enhanced as well. OPNsense needs improvements in its user-friendly interface, bandwidth management, multi-provider internet protection, high availability feature, logging, IPS solution, peer-blocking features, installation and deployment process, reporting capabilities, SSL inspection, and learning curve.

Service and Support: The feedback on customer service for Cisco Secure Firewall varies, with certain customers appreciating their technical assistance while others encountered delays and challenges. OPNsense's support has received both positive and negative assessments, with some customers finding it outstanding while others believe there is room for improvement.

Ease of Deployment: The setup process for Cisco Secure Firewall can be complex, relying on the user's knowledge and environment. OPNsense's initial setup is straightforward and does not present major challenges.

Pricing: Cisco Secure Firewall has a costly setup, involving additional expenses for licensing, support, and hardware. OPNsense is more budget-friendly, as the software itself is free, with expenses primarily related to hardware and deployment choices. Additionally, OPNsense provides a free version, whereas Cisco necessitates licensing.

ROI: Cisco Secure Firewall offers varying ROI depending on the use case and organization's architecture. It brings reduced operational costs and enhanced security, leading to positive ROI. OPNsense delivers ROI in under three months by eliminating recurring fees and recouping savings within that timeframe.

Comparison Results: Cisco Secure Firewall is the preferred choice when comparing it to OPNsense. The initial setup for Cisco Secure Firewall was generally considered straightforward and easy, thanks to the availability of Cisco's resources and documentation. Cisco Secure Firewall offers more valuable features such as threat defense, intensive troubleshooting capabilities, integration with other Cisco products, and advanced features like IPS and web filtering.

To learn more, read our detailed Cisco Secure Firewall vs. OPNsense Report (Updated: May 2024).
772,422 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
"Fortinet FortiGate appears to be scalable.""We use the FortiGate Sandbox to detect zero-day vulnerabilities, such as anomalies or malware, that are unknown and have not yet been discovered.""The most important feature, normally for small business customers, is link load balancing.""The most valuable features are simplicity, management, and that it's constantly evolving.""The base firewall features are quite valuable to us.""Overall, the pricing of the solution is very good. The product offers good value.""The features that I have found most valuable are that it is good to use, and most importantly, the pricing. The customer especially likes the discount when they trade up or something like that.""Fortinet FortiGate is easy to use."

More Fortinet FortiGate Pros →

"Manageability of Cisco ASA. It has a GUI interface, unlike the most of Cisco IOS. For beginners they can "sneak in" and apply the command and see the actual commands that the GUI launches. In addition, Cisco has the reputation regarding security.""I am used to the ASA syntax, therefore it is quite easy to make up new rules. I have found that DNS doctoring rules are useful.""The most valuable features of this solution are the integrations and IPS throughput.""We use the solution for deep packet inspection, Internet Edge functionality, IDS, and IDP.""The initial setup was not complex.""ASDM provides GUI for configurations. The ASDM has made configuring ASA easy. No need to memorize CLI commands.""Unfortunately in Cisco, only the hardware was good.""It allowed us to consolidating multiple security devices into a single appliance."

More Cisco Secure Firewall Pros →

"I find the solution to be user-friendly. It has a lot of reports and easy settings.""The IDS and IPS features are valuable. From the usability perspective, there is a lot of good documentation. As IT professionals, we found it very easy to configure the firewall. It was easy to configure and use.""The solution has high availability.""What I like best about OPNsense is that, as a firewall, it's pretty good. I'm quite impressed with it. I had an excellent experience with OPNsense, which helped me achieve the targets I wanted.""The initial setup is easy. It only takes 15-30 minutes to deploy.""OPNsense is easy to use and open source.""I feel that its valuable features are that it is simple and free.""We have found pretty much all the features of the solution to be valuable."

More OPNsense Pros →

Cons
"The search tool needs improvement. It's very difficult to search for policies right now.""The stability could be a bit better.""Fortinet FortiGate could improve by having more storage in the hardware for log data.""There are some complex administration tasks in their administration portal. That needs to be improved.""In the balance between links feature normally you can just choose one option to balance. It would be better for the solution to have more than one option, preferably three.""Vulnerability scanning could be improved.""Its reporting can be improved. Sometimes, I don't get proper reports.""Lacks sufficient security options."

More Fortinet FortiGate Cons →

"The cost is very high. Most organizations cannot afford it.""Usually, the customers are satisfied, but I am going to recommend that all clients upgrade to FirePOWER management. I want Cisco to improve the feature called anti-spam. We use a Cisco only email solution, that's why we need the anti-spam on email facility.""We are looking for software taxi capabilities.""Also, they have a Firepower source file that I can work on the ASA device and on Firepower devices. A problem here lies in the way that you manage these devices. Some devices do not support the FMC, and some devices have to be managed through ASDM, and others have to be managed through FMC.""I would like to see them update the GUI so that it doesn't look like it was made in 1995.""We have more than one Cisco firewall and it is difficult for me to integrate both on the single UI.""The user interface isn't as good as it could be. They should work to improve it. It would make it easier for customer management if it was easier to use.""You shouldn't have to use the ASDM to help manage the client."

More Cisco Secure Firewall Cons →

"I think the most important thing is that it should be easily accessible, but currently, that doesn't seem to be the case. We need a hardware platform that's based on common standards and open computing principles, which would be like a commodity and benefit us greatly.""I would like to see better SD-WAN performance.""The interface needs to be simplified. It is not user-friendly.""On the customer-side, because I'm a small business, I need a cheaper or free solution option.""The logging could improve in OPNsense.""The scalability needs improvement.""OPNsense could improve by making the configuration more web-based rather than shell or command-line-based.""The ability to set the VPN IP address would be a welcome addition."

More OPNsense Cons →

Pricing and Cost Advice
  • "Fortinet has one or two license types, and the VPN numbers are only limited by the hardware chassis make."
  • "These boxes are not that expensive compared to what they can do, their functionality, and the reporting you receive. Fortinet licensing is straightforward and less confusing compared to Cisco."
  • "Go for long term pricing negotiated at the time of purchase."
  • "Work through partners for the best pricing."
  • "The value is the capability of having multiple services with one unique license, not having the limitation per user licensing schema, like other vendors."
  • "Easy to understand licensing requirements."
  • "​We saved a bundle by not needing all the past appliances from an NGFW.​"
  • "The cost is too high... They have to focus on more features with less cost for the customer. If you see the market, where it's going, there are a lot of players offering more features for less cost."
  • More Fortinet FortiGate Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "Always plan ahead for three years. In other words, do not buy a firewall on what your needs are today, but try to predict where you will be three years from now in terms of bandwidth, security requirements, and changes in organizational design."
  • "I have to admit that the price is high. But I think it's worth it if the stability of your solution counts for you."
  • "It has a great performance-to-price value, compared to competitive solutions."
  • "Spec the right hardware model and choose the right license for your needs."
  • "Everything with Cisco is expensive. My advice is that there are a lot better options out in the market now."
  • "To discuss with Cisco Systems or their partners to gain the optimal price and to not consider, without verifying, the false information that Cisco ASA is very expensive."
  • "Cisco devices are for sure costly and budget could be an important constrain on selecting them as our security solution."
  • "​Price point is too high for features and throughput available.​"
  • More Cisco Secure Firewall Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "We are not paying any licensing fees. OPNsense is completely free for us."
  • "It costs about $1000."
  • "There are no licensing costs for OPNsence."
  • "OPNsense is open source software so at this time it is free for us to use."
  • "OPNsense is a well known open-source tool."
  • "It is not an expensive product. Basically, I deployed it because it was the fastest solution to satisfy our needs in open source."
  • "OPNsense is an open-source solution and it is free to use."
  • "The solution is not expensive."
  • More OPNsense Pricing and Cost Advice →

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    772,422 professionals have used our research since 2012.
    Comparison Review
    Anonymous User
    Cisco ASA vs. Palo Alto: Management Goodies You often have comparisons of both firewalls concerning security components. Of course, a firewall must block attacks, scan for viruses, build VPNs, etc. However, in this post I am discussing the advantages and disadvantages from both vendors concerning the management options: How to add and rename objects. How to update a device. How to find log entries. Etc. Cisco ASA Fast Management Suite: The ASDM GUI is really fast. You do not have to wait for the next window if you click on a certain button. It simply appears directly. On the Palo, each entry to add, e.g., an application inside a security rule, takes a few seconds. Better “Preview CLI Commands”: I am always checking the CLI commands before I send them to the firewall. On the Cisco ASA, they are quite easy to understand. I know, Palo Alto also offers the “Preview Changes”, but it takes a bit more time to recognize all XML paths. Better CLI Commands at all: For Cisco admins it is very easy to parse a “show run” and to paste some commands into another device. This is not that easy on a Palo Alto firewall. First, you must change the config-output format, and second, you cannot simply paste many lines into another device, since the ordering of these lines is NOT correct by default. That is, it simply doesn’t work. ACL Hit Count: I like the hit counts per access list entry in the GUI. It quickly reveals which entries are used very often and which ones are never used. On the… Read more →
    Questions from the Community
    Top Answer: When you compare these firewalls you can identify them with different features, advantages, practices and usage at… more »
    Top Answer:From my experience regarding both the Sophos and FortiGate firewalls, I personally would rather use FortiGate. I know… more »
    Top Answer:As a solution, Sophos UTM offers a lot of functionality, it scales well, and the stability and performance are quite… 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:It is easy to integrate Cisco ASA with other Cisco products and also other NAC solutions. When you understand the Cisco… more »
    Top Answer: Cisco Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA) software is the operating software for the Cisco ASA suite. It supports… more »
    Top Answer:Two of the most common and well recognized firewalls, PfSense and OPNsense both support site-to-site IPsec VPN and… more »
    Top Answer:What I like the most about OPNsense is that it offers an easy-to-use dashboard for device management and control.
    Comparisons
    Also Known As
    FortiGate 60b, FortiGate 60c, FortiGate 80c, FortiGate 50b, FortiGate 200b, FortiGate 110c, FortiGate
    Cisco ASA Firewall, Cisco Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA) Firewall, Cisco ASA NGFW, Cisco ASA, Adaptive Security Appliance, ASA, Cisco Sourcefire Firewalls, Cisco ASAv, Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall
    Learn More
    OPNsense
    Video Not Available
    Overview

    Fortinet FortiGate enhances network security, prevents unauthorized access, and offers robust firewall protection. Valued features include advanced threat protection, reliable performance, and a user-friendly interface. It improves efficiency, streamlines processes, and boosts collaboration, providing valuable insights for informed decision-making and growth.

    Cisco Secure Firewall stands as a robust and adaptable security solution, catering to organizations of all sizes. It's designed to shield networks from a diverse array of cyber threats, such as ransomware, malware, and phishing attacks. Beyond mere protection, it also offers secure access to corporate resources, beneficial for employees, partners, and customers alike. One of its key functions includes network segmentation, which serves to isolate critical assets and minimize the risk of lateral movement within the network.

    The core features of Cisco Secure Firewall are multifaceted:

    • Advanced threat protection is achieved through a combination of intrusion prevention, malware detection, and URL filtering technologies.
    • For secure access, the firewall presents multiple options, including VPN, remote access, and single sign-on.
    • Its network segmentation capability is vital in creating barriers within the network to safeguard critical assets.
    • The firewall is scalable, effectively serving small businesses to large enterprises.
    • Management is streamlined through Cisco DNA Center, a central management system.

    The benefits of deploying Cisco Secure Firewall are substantial. It significantly reduces the risk of cyberattacks, thereby enhancing the security posture of an organization. This security also translates into increased productivity, as secure access means uninterrupted work. Compliance with industry regulations is another advantage, as secure access and network segmentation align with many regulatory standards. Additionally, it helps in reducing IT costs by automating security tasks and simplifying management processes.

    In practical scenarios, Cisco Secure Firewall finds diverse applications. It's instrumental in protecting branch offices from cyberattacks, securing remote access for various stakeholders, safeguarding cloud workloads, and segmenting networks to isolate sensitive areas.

    User reviews from PeerSpot reflect an overall positive experience with the Cisco Secure Firewall. Users appreciate its ease of configuration, good management capabilities, robust protection, user-friendly interface, and scalability. However, some areas for improvement include better integration capabilities with other vendors, maturity, control over bandwidth for end-users, and addressing software bugs.

    In summary, Cisco Secure Firewall is a comprehensive, versatile, and reliable security solution that effectively meets the security needs of various organizations. It offers a balance of advanced protection, user-friendly management, and scalability, making it a valuable asset in the realm of network security.

    OPNsense is a user-friendly, fast-track, open-source FreeBSD-based firewall and routing platform. This software offers features that are generally available from costly commercial firewalls, with the added benefit of open and verifiable sources. The firewall provides users, developers, and organizations with an advantageous environment through transparency. The development of this project is driven by a strong focus on security and code quality.

    The solution offers a variety of components, such as:

    • Weekly security updates. These updates provide the user with the ability to reach new emerging threats in a timely manner through small increments.

    • Two major releases every year. These yearly releases are on a fixed release cycle and provide organizations with the ability to plan ahead of an upcoming upgrade.

    • A roadmap of instructions. Each major release provides a guide and a set of clear goals.

    A team of professionals developed OPNsense. Other professional and experienced software architects, engineers, and developers are encouraged to join in the development of the solution to make it as successful as possible. OPNsense offers a variety of rich features with each release. Each upgrade is based on FreeBSD for continual, long-term support and utilizes a freshly advanced MVC framework based on Phalcon. OPNsense is committed to helping businesses, school networks, remote offices, hotels, and other markets in keeping their data protected.

    OPNsense Core Features

    OPNsense continually offers a free, complete, high-end security platform with new releases and features. With each release, OPNsense focuses on providing more unique and better security features in a timely manner. These features include:

    • Captive Portal
    • Built-in reporting and monitoring tools including RRD Graphs
    • Network Flow Monitoring
    • Traffic Shaper
    • Support for Plugins
    • Granular Control Over State Table
    • Dynamic DNS
    • Two-factor authentication throughout the system
    • Netflow Exporter
    • Encrypted Configuration Backup to Google Drive
    • Forward Caching Proxy (transparent) with Blacklist Support
    • Stateful inspection firewall
    • DNS Server & DNS Forwarder
    • High Availability & Hardware Failover (with configuration synchronization & synchronized state tables)
    • DHCP Server and Relay
    • Virtual Private Network (site to site & road warrior, IPsec, OpenVPN & legacy PPTP support)
    • Intrusion Detection and Prevention
    • 802.1Q VLAN support

    Reviews from Real Users

    OPNsense is a favorite security solution among reviewers for a number of reasons. Two of those reasons include the user-friendliness of the solution, which makes it easy to use, and its ability to easily scale.

    For many, a user-friendly solution is essential. FiorindoDi A., a system administration specialist at a tech vendor, says, "The graphic user interface is very good and it is user-friendly, which makes the product easy-to-use."

    Peerspot reviewers speak of the scalability of the solution. For example, an anonymous cloud and infrastructure manager at a venture capital and private equity firm reviewer notes, "OPNsense is easy to scale when running on the hardware."

    Sample Customers
    1. Amazon Web Services 2. Microsoft 3. IBM 4. Cisco 5. Dell 6. HP 7. Oracle 8. Verizon 9. AT&T 10. T-Mobile 11. Sprint 12. Vodafone 13. Orange 14. BT Group 15. Telstra 16. Deutsche Telekom 17. Comcast 18. Time Warner Cable 19. CenturyLink 20. NTT Communications 21. Tata Communications 22. SoftBank 23. China Mobile 24. Singtel 25. Telus 26. Rogers Communications 27. Bell Canada 28. Telkom Indonesia 29. Telkom South Africa 30. Telmex 31. Telia Company 32. Telkom Kenya
    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.
    1. Deciso B.V. 2. iXsystems, Inc.  3. EuroBSDCon  4. Netgate  5. Claranet  6. Voleatech  7. Open Systems AG  8. Securebit AG  9. Proxmox Server Solutions GmbH  10. AVM Computersysteme Vertriebs GmbH  Additional customers include: T-Systems International GmbH, Deutsche Telekom AG, Vodafone GmbH, 1&1 IONOS SE, OVHcloud, Hetzner Online GmbH, Strato AG, PlusServer GmbH, Host Europe GmbH, United Internet AG, 1&1 Versatel Deutschland GmbH, QSC AG, Bechtle AG, Cancom SE, Computacenter AG & Co. oHG, T-Systems Multimedia Solutions GmbH, Atos SE, Capgemini SE, Accenture plc, IBM Corporation, Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company, Cisco Systems, Inc.
    Top Industries
    REVIEWERS
    Comms Service Provider16%
    Computer Software Company9%
    Financial Services Firm8%
    Manufacturing Company7%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Educational Organization20%
    Computer Software Company15%
    Comms Service Provider8%
    Manufacturing Company6%
    REVIEWERS
    Financial Services Firm14%
    Computer Software Company12%
    Comms Service Provider12%
    Manufacturing Company8%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Educational Organization22%
    Computer Software Company16%
    Comms Service Provider8%
    Government6%
    REVIEWERS
    Comms Service Provider24%
    Financial Services Firm18%
    Logistics Company12%
    Aerospace/Defense Firm6%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company15%
    Comms Service Provider14%
    Government9%
    Educational Organization6%
    Company Size
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business48%
    Midsize Enterprise23%
    Large Enterprise30%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business28%
    Midsize Enterprise32%
    Large Enterprise40%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business34%
    Midsize Enterprise24%
    Large Enterprise42%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business24%
    Midsize Enterprise32%
    Large Enterprise44%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business71%
    Midsize Enterprise12%
    Large Enterprise18%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business34%
    Midsize Enterprise19%
    Large Enterprise48%
    Buyer's Guide
    Cisco Secure Firewall vs. OPNsense
    May 2024
    Find out what your peers are saying about Cisco Secure Firewall vs. OPNsense and other solutions. Updated: May 2024.
    772,422 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    Cisco Secure Firewall is ranked 4th in Firewalls with 404 reviews while OPNsense is ranked 3rd in Firewalls with 36 reviews. Cisco Secure Firewall is rated 8.2, while OPNsense is rated 8.4. The top reviewer of Cisco Secure Firewall writes "Highlights and helps us catch Zero-day vulnerabilities traveling across our network". On the other hand, the top reviewer of OPNsense writes "Robust network security and management offering a user-friendly interface, open-source flexibility, and cost-effectiveness, with challenges regarding initial setup and the absence of official support". Cisco Secure Firewall is most compared with Palo Alto Networks WildFire, Netgate pfSense, Meraki MX, Sophos XG and SonicWall TZ, whereas OPNsense is most compared with Netgate pfSense, Sophos XG, Untangle NG Firewall, Sophos UTM and Palo Alto Networks NG Firewalls. See our Cisco Secure Firewall vs. OPNsense 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.