Cisco Secure Firewall vs WatchGuard Firebox comparison

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Comparison Buyer's Guide
Executive Summary
Updated on Nov 23, 2022

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

  • Ease of Deployment: Users of Cisco Secure Firewall share mixed reviews on deployment. Some find it easy while others say the setup is not straightforward. Users of WatchGuard Firebox say deployment is straightforward.
  • Features: Users of both solutions are happy with the products’ stability and scalability.

    Cisco Secure Firewall users like that the solution has good security and filtering and good application visibility and control. Users say they would like to see an improved interface and better logging functionality, and that it would be nice if the solution had a policy-based routing feature.

    Users of WatchGuard Firebox like that the solution is user-friendly, reliable, and has good performance in addition to good management features, and good site-to-site VPN. Users would like to see the web blocker feature and the reporting be improved.
  • Pricing: Users of Cisco Secure Firewall have mixed opinions on the pricing. Some consider it to be expensive. Others say it is comparable to other solutions. Users of WatchGuard Firebox say the solution is expensive.
  • Service and Support: Users of both solutions are satisfied with the technical support they receive.
  • ROI: Users of both solutions report a good ROI.

Comparison Results: The two solutions are very comparable. WatchGuard Firebox received slightly better ratings because it is easier to deploy than Cisco Secure Firewall.

To learn more, read our detailed Cisco Secure Firewall vs. WatchGuard Firebox 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
"Cybersecurity resilience has been paramount. Because there is a threat of losing everything if ransomware or another sort of attack were to happen, the cybersecurity resilience has been top-notch.""I love the ASDM (Adaptive Security Device Manager) which is the management suite. It's a GUI and you're able to see everything at a glance without using the command line. There are those who love the CLI, but with ASDM it is easier to see where everything is going and where the problems are.""For our very specific use case, for remote access for VPN, ASAs are very good.""Another benefit has been user integration. We try to integrate our policies so that we can create policies based on active users. We can create policies based on who is accessing a resource instead of just IP addresses and ports.""This solution made our organization more secure and gave us better control.""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.""It's quite a capable box for UTM.""Since the product is stable, we do not have to spend additional money to buy other firewalls. Once deployed, we can use the product for a long time. Thus, it is cost effective."

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"The most valuable feature of WatchGuard Firebox is the VPN. It's easy to connect to the VPN.""I like that this product has very few issues.""What I found most valuable in WatchGuard Firebox is that it's a functional platform that works, and each of its features works well. The solution also has good reporting and dashboard capabilities. I also find the overall performance of WatchGuard Firebox great.""The most valuable features are the VPN and web blocker security.""I like intrusion detection the most.""There are many fantastic features.""It has everything we need in terms of functionality.""The features that I have found most valuable are the FireWall features. The management side of WatchGuard is quite easy because it supports two ways to manage it - by the web and the other one they call WatchGuard systems manager. I used to be familiar with WSM only, but they improved their GUI in the web browser and now it is much easier to do it within the web browser."

More WatchGuard Firebox Pros →

Cons
"Cisco is not cheap, however, it is worth investing in these technologies.""Third-party integrations could be improved.""I would like to see them add more next-generation features so that you don't need a lot of appliances to do just one task. It should be a single solution.""The Firepower FTD code is missing some old ASA firewalls codes. It's a small thing. But Firepower software isn't missing things that are essential, anymore.""We cannot have virtual domains, which we can create with FortiGate. This is something they should add in the future. Additionally, there is a connection limit and the FMC could improve.""I think they need to review their whole UI because it feels like it was created by a whole bunch of different teams of developers who didn't fully talk to each other. The net policy screen is just a mess. It should look like the firewall policy screen, and they should both act the same, but they don't. I feel like it's two different buildings or programming, who don't talk to each other, and that really annoys me.""I would like to see them update the GUI so that it doesn't look like it was made in 1995.""There are some limitations with SSL. Regarding the security assessment for the ISO 27000 standard, there are certain features that Cisco needs to scale up. Not all products support it, so you need to be slightly careful, especially on the site track."

More Cisco Secure Firewall Cons →

"There could also be better reporting. For example, there should be more out-of-the-box management reports.""There should be better integration and a way to configure multiple vendors into the same data center in order to offer more flexibility.""An area for improvement is that when we use a web administration link, there is no security.""I would like to see more training become available for us.""The area where I think this product can be improved is the user interface and the reporting. It can be quite difficult to find the correct logs and to actually find out what is going on. The digging can be time-consuming.""The UI and web view aren't nice.""What could use some significant improvement in WatchGuard Firebox would be its interface and policy management. An additional feature I'd like to see in the next release of WatchGuard Firebox is the ability to modify an existing policy instead of having to recreate a policy when changes are necessary. At the moment, there's no possibility to modify the policy. You have to delete the policy and recreate it.""There's always room for improvement, especially if the threats are getting more sophisticated and the IT department cannot sufficiently meet this kind of sophistication with their own knowledge and experience. Knowing that this solution can get up to the level of addressing a lot of these threats is something that everybody wishes for. If we look at the dark web and the lawful web, they are two opposites, and if these two good and bad collide in the world of the internet, you want the best possible product—especially if you cannot get to that point of knowledge. I am just an individual and end user, with limited knowledge of usage. That's why I say there's always room for improvement, from their side and also from mine, because by knowing exactly what they can achieve and the knowledge that they can get on an everyday basis, and the portion that is understandable to me, it's an improvement for them as well."

More WatchGuard Firebox Cons →

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 →

  • "I find the solution to be very affordable."
  • "It's fair pricing, but it could always be reduced."
  • "It has a very good price. It is not the most expensive one, and it is also not the cheapest one. It is just spot-on in terms of price."
  • "They have an annual subscription license. Initially, we had opted for three years. After that, we went for another three years, and after that, we have been doing it yearly. They also have a license for five years."
  • "The licensing contract we have is on a three-year basis. There aren't any costs in addition to the standard licensing fees—usually, every three years, we just purchase or renew the same license and we are okay. Every six years, we completely change the firewall, but that's the usual schema. So after three years, we just renew the licenses for another three years, and then after that particular period of time, we just purchase another firewall equivalent to the ones that we currently use."
  • "The licensing costs are comparatively lower than other providers, and I would rate the pricing as five out of five."
  • "The price of the WatchGuard Firebox is reasonable."
  • "It is an entry-level product, so the price is cheap."
  • More WatchGuard Firebox Pricing and Cost Advice →

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    Questions from the Community
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    Top Answer:We are providing our services to all WatchGuard customers in the region. 
    Top Answer:We just use it as a secondary WiFi device. We're a small office and we needed to set up a WiFi device for a few of our employees.
    Top Answer:We're a hospital and we use it for developing our incoming and outgoing policies, and we also use it for VPN.
    Ranking
    2nd
    out of 48 in Firewalls
    Views
    96,842
    Comparisons
    63,474
    Reviews
    90
    Average Words per Review
    860
    Rating
    8.3
    Views
    22,887
    Comparisons
    18,995
    Reviews
    20
    Average Words per Review
    445
    Rating
    8.2
    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
    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.

      WatchGuard Firebox is a unified security platform that offers organizations protection from cyber threats through a powerful network security device that controls all traffic between an external network and a trusted network. The solution is ideal for small and midsize businesses as well as for distributed enterprises. WatchGuard Firebox protects the entire network from intrusions, phishing attempts, malware, and ransomware by using cloud and virtual firewalls, AI-powered malware protection, and enhanced network visibility.

      WatchGuard Firebox Features

      WatchGuard Firebox has many valuable key features, including:

      • Policy management
      • Strong security
      • High performance
      • Network configuration for multiple clients
      • Built-in SD-WAN
      • Application control
      • Threat detection and response
      • Network discovery
      • Intuitive interface

      WatchGuard Firebox Benefits

      Some of the benefits of using WatchGuard Firebox include:

      • IT administrators can create and implement policies for content filtering, VPNs, and network inspections.
      • The solution is easy to set up, manage, and maintain.

      Reviews from Real Users

      Below are some reviews and helpful feedback written by WatchGuard Firebox users.

      PeerSpot user Kelly C., IT Manager at a hospitality company, mentions, “One of the most valuable features is the Gateway AntiVirus. We scan all traffic as it's coming through. We also use spamBlocker to scrub spam. We use content filtering, which is critical in any corporate environment to make sure that people don't surf things they're not supposed to. WatchGuard has a very easy VPN and branch office VPN setup, so we use those pretty extensively too.It's very easy to use. In terms of performance, WatchGuard has always worked well for us. Regarding the reporting, I was in the Dimension server earlier today. It's very powerful. I like it. And the management features are easy to use. I like the fact that I can open up the System Manager client or I can just do it through the web if I'm making a quick change.”

      A Director of Information Technology at a retailer says, “Among the most valuable features is the ease of use — love the interface — of both the web interface and of the WatchGuard System Manager. It's a stable platform. The devices are pretty rock-solid.”

      Jason M., IT Director at a healthcare company, explains, “The policy monitoring and allowing different traffic flows are the most useful features for us; regulating which traffic comes in and out. In terms of the throughput and performance, we don't have a problem or any bottleneck there. We downgraded the size of our appliance because we're a small facility, and what we had before was actually too big. The one we are now going with seems to be doing a great job.” He also adds, “The management feature is pretty nice.”

      Steve R., President and Owner at Peak Communication Systems, Inc., comments, "It saves us time in the respect that we now have the template built for it so we can get in and get it done. We've had much less problems supporting Voice over IP technologies from different companies. Because our client base has grown over the years, we're probably saving 20 to 30 man-hours a month now that we've got this on a good stable level."

      Offer
      Learn more about Cisco Secure Firewall
      Learn more about WatchGuard Firebox
      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.
      Ellips, Diecutstickers.com, Clarke Energy, NCR, Wrest Park, Homeslice Pizza, Fortessa Tableware Solutions, The Phoenix Residence
      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 Company17%
      Construction Company11%
      Computer Software Company9%
      Real Estate/Law Firm6%
      VISITORS READING REVIEWS
      Computer Software Company18%
      Comms Service Provider18%
      Government6%
      Retailer5%
      Company Size
      REVIEWERS
      Small Business35%
      Midsize Enterprise25%
      Large Enterprise40%
      VISITORS READING REVIEWS
      Small Business28%
      Midsize Enterprise18%
      Large Enterprise53%
      REVIEWERS
      Small Business64%
      Midsize Enterprise25%
      Large Enterprise10%
      VISITORS READING REVIEWS
      Small Business39%
      Midsize Enterprise20%
      Large Enterprise42%
      Buyer's Guide
      Cisco Secure Firewall vs. WatchGuard Firebox
      January 2023
      Find out what your peers are saying about Cisco Secure Firewall vs. WatchGuard Firebox 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 WatchGuard Firebox is ranked 4th in Unified Threat Management (UTM) with 23 reviews. Cisco Secure Firewall is rated 8.2, while WatchGuard Firebox is rated 8.2. 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 WatchGuard Firebox writes "Easy to deploy and it provides useful data on threats ". Cisco Secure Firewall is most compared with Fortinet FortiGate, Meraki MX, Palo Alto Networks WildFire, pfSense and SonicWall NSa, whereas WatchGuard Firebox is most compared with Fortinet FortiGate, pfSense, Sophos XG, Meraki MX and Sophos UTM. See our Cisco Secure Firewall vs. WatchGuard Firebox report.

      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.