Cisco Secure Firewall vs SonicWall NSa comparison

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Comparison Buyer's Guide
Executive Summary

We performed a comparison between Cisco Secure 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 Secure Firewall vs. SonicWall NSa Report (Updated: January 2023).
672,411 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
"For our very specific use case, for remote access for VPN, ASAs are very good.""The most valuable feature is the Intrusion Prevention System.""It brings us the ability to work from anywhere and has allowed us to work remotely without having to incur a lot of other costs. If we didn't have this type of solution, since we have so many on-prem services that are required, we would have likely lost money and been unable to deliver. We have a video services team who helped build the content for our sporting events. When you are watching a Leaf game and those swipes come by as well as the clips and things, those are all generated in-house. Without the ability to access our on-premise resources, we would have been dead in the water. So, the return on that is pretty impressive.""I have found the most valuable feature to be the access control and IPsec VPN.""They are easy to maintain.""The remote access, VPN, and ACL features are valuable. We are using role-based access for individuals.""Its security and filtering are most valuable. Every layer of data that comes into the organization goes through it. After setting up the criteria, it automatically filters the traffic. We don't have to check it often.""The Inline Mode configuration works really well, and ASA works very impressively."

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"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.""Easy to scale solution that provides advanced threat protection. Their technical support is very good, very knowledgeable, and easy to reach.""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.""The DPI-SSL is the solution's most valuable aspect. It's handy.""SonicWall has USCS and anti-virus at the gateway level. Everything is filtered, and if it detects an intruder, it drops the line.""The prices are similar to other vendors and the support is good.""It is a brilliant product. It is a Unified Threat Management (UTM) system. It has got about 11 security services that take care of your perimeter security. It takes care of any kind of cyber threats that could come in. It takes care of creating VPNs between two SonicWalls instantly and very easily. It has got spyware in it as well as a firewall. It has also got a gateway antivirus and an application firewall that can block things from outside.""The functionality is the same whether it is on hardware or a virtual appliance. The interface is the same. It's nice that it's standardized."

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Cons
"There is huge scope for improvement in URL filtering. The database that they have is not accurate. Their content awareness and categorization for URL filtering are not that great. We faced many challenges with their categorization and content awareness. They should improve these categorization issues.""Nowadays, nobody is in the office, so I need to figure out how to put the firewall outside. If I could have a centralized firewall that also receives information from external locations, like peoples' home offices, that would help us consolidate everything into one appliance.""Sometimes my customers say that Cisco Firewalls are a bit more difficult compared to Fortigate or Palo Alto. There is complexity in the configuration and the GUI could be improved.""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.""Its user interface is good, but it could be better. Currently, you have to know what to do before you can manage a device. If you don't know what to do, you can mess things up. There are some devices that are easier, such as FortiGate. The user interface of FortiGate is more intuitive. It is very easy to log in and configure things.""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.""Maybe the dashboard could be a bit better.""We wanted to integrate Firepower with our solution, but it didn't have the capability to accommodate our bandwidth since they only had two 10 gig interfaces on the box. We run way more than that through our network because we are a service provider, providing Internet to our customers."

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"It only has a single power interface, which has limitations in terms of high availability.""When it comes to security I think all of the features are currently open to improvement.""The security standards for space and point of view should be improved so that the solution deploys in critical areas.""The product likely isn't a good fit for a large organization.""Potential improvement around the associated VPN cost""The dynamics needs to be improved. The solution is not very compatible compared to the market products.""SonicWall NSa has occasional bugs, particularly during upgrades, and that's an area for improvement.""I'd like to see integration with Microsoft 365 for authentication."

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Pricing and Cost Advice
  • "The price for Firepower is more expensive than FortiGate. The licensing is very complex. We usually ask for help from Solutel because of its complexity. I have a Cisco account where I can download the VPN client, then connect. Instead, I create an issue with Solutel, then Solutel solves the case."
  • "I know that licensing for some of the advanced solutions, like Intrusion Prevention and Secure Malware Analytics, are nominal costs."
  • "It is affordable. The hardware is not that expensive anymore. It is a matter of licensing these days."
  • "Cisco is not for a small mom-and-pop shop because of the cost, but if you're in a regulated industry where a breach could cost you a million dollars, it's a bargain."
  • "I like the Smart Licensing, because it is more dynamic and easier to keep track of where you are at. If we have a high availability firewall pair and they are deployed in active/standby rather than active/active, I would expect that we would only pay for one set of licenses because you are using only one firewall at any one time. The other is there just for resiliency. The licensing, from a Firepower perspective, still requires you to have two licenses, even if the firewalls are in active/standby, which means that you pay for the two licenses, even though you might only be using one firewall any one time. This is probably not the best way to do it and doesn't represent the best value for money. This could be looked at to see if it could be done in a fairer way."
  • "We are happy with its price. Licensing is on a yearly basis for technical support. There is one license for technical support. There is another license for IP Version 2 VPN and IPS."
  • "I am happy with the product in general, including the pricing."
  • "Their pricing is very aggressive and good. Even a small company can afford it. I am happy with its pricing. Its licensing is on a yearly basis."
  • More Cisco Secure Firewall Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "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."
  • "While I don't know the exact amount off the top of my head, I would estimate the licensing package was about $15,000 to $20,000 a year."
  • "We are on a three-year license for the solution. The price is inexpensive compared to other solutions."
  • "They do have the option to purchase yearly, or two years, and three years renewal."
  • "There is a license required for this solution and you can purchase a one, two, or three year term. Typically businesses choose the one year subscription and then later choose the three year licensing option if they are satisfied."
  • "SonicWall NSa has two types of license. The advanced license is a bit expensive when compared to the comprehensive license, but when you compare the advanced license to the licensing cost of other brands or competitors, it is expensive."
  • 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:One of our favorite things about Fortinet Fortigate is that you can deploy on the cloud or on premises. Fortinet Fortigate is very stable, reliable, and consistent. We like that we can manage the… 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
    2nd
    out of 48 in Firewalls
    Views
    96,842
    Comparisons
    63,474
    Reviews
    90
    Average Words per Review
    860
    Rating
    8.3
    15th
    out of 48 in Firewalls
    Views
    13,690
    Comparisons
    11,085
    Reviews
    31
    Average Words per Review
    449
    Rating
    7.9
    Comparisons
    Also Known As
    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
    NSA 250M, NSA 2600, NSA 3600, NSA 4600, NSA 5600, Dell SonicWALL NSA
    Learn More
    Overview

    The Cisco Secure Firewall portfolio delivers greater protections for your network against an increasingly evolving and complex set of threats. With Cisco, you’re investing in a foundation for security that is both agile and integrated- leading to the strongest security posture available today and tomorrow.

      From your data center, branch offices, cloud environments, and everywhere in between, you can leverage the power of Cisco to turn your existing network infrastructure into an extension of your firewall solution, resulting in world class security controls everywhere you need them.

      Investing in a Secure Firewall appliance today gives you robust protections against even the most sophisticated threats without compromising performance when inspecting encrypted traffic. Further, integrations with other Cisco and 3rd party solutions provides you with a broad and deep portfolio of security products, all working together to correlate previously disconnected events, eliminate noise, and stop threats faster.

      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 Secure Firewall
      Learn more about SonicWall NSa
      Sample Customers
      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.
      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
      Financial Services Firm16%
      Comms Service Provider13%
      Computer Software Company9%
      Government8%
      VISITORS READING REVIEWS
      Computer Software Company20%
      Comms Service Provider17%
      Government8%
      Educational Organization5%
      REVIEWERS
      Manufacturing Company21%
      Educational Organization9%
      Construction Company9%
      Computer Software Company7%
      VISITORS READING REVIEWS
      Computer Software Company19%
      Comms Service Provider13%
      Government7%
      Retailer6%
      Company Size
      REVIEWERS
      Small Business35%
      Midsize Enterprise25%
      Large Enterprise40%
      VISITORS READING REVIEWS
      Small Business28%
      Midsize Enterprise18%
      Large Enterprise53%
      REVIEWERS
      Small Business57%
      Midsize Enterprise21%
      Large Enterprise22%
      VISITORS READING REVIEWS
      Small Business40%
      Midsize Enterprise17%
      Large Enterprise43%
      Buyer's Guide
      Cisco Secure Firewall vs. SonicWall NSa
      January 2023
      Find out what your peers are saying about Cisco Secure Firewall vs. SonicWall NSa and other solutions. Updated: January 2023.
      672,411 professionals have used our research since 2012.

      Cisco Secure Firewall is ranked 2nd in Firewalls with 91 reviews while SonicWall NSa is ranked 15th in Firewalls with 37 reviews. Cisco Secure Firewall is rated 8.2, while SonicWall NSa is rated 7.8. The top reviewer of Cisco Secure 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 Secure Firewall is most compared with Fortinet FortiGate, Meraki MX, Palo Alto Networks WildFire, pfSense and OPNsense, whereas SonicWall NSa is most compared with Fortinet FortiGate, SonicWall TZ, Meraki MX, Sophos XG and WatchGuard Firebox. See our Cisco Secure Firewall vs. SonicWall NSa 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.