We performed a comparison between Cisco Umbrella and Cisco Web Security Appliance based on our users’ reviews in five categories. After reading all of the collected data, you can find our conclusion below.
Comparison Results: In this comparison, users provided similar ratings for each category. The main difference is that Cisco Umbrella offers a free version.
"It is user-friendly. It is easy to manage the solution."
"The most valuable feature is the ability to block users from reaching places that they should not even try to reach has been a boon."
"It enables us to go granular in the customization of blocking some categories on the DNS."
"The most valuable features for us include tenant lock, content filtering, and DLP solutions, looking for PII and information being exfiltrated."
"I also think that the dashboard view is really helpful. Whenever sites get blocked, we get the details and the users who are connecting to them."
"The most valuable thing is how easy it is to deploy. We did it with 9,000 users at my last job, and it took a week to get to all the endpoints. Doing that without having to physically touch all those endpoints was very simple."
"I like the DNS layer security."
"Umbrella, being one pane for managing, being all-encompassing, allows us to quickly go in, make a change, and it applies to either every location, if we want it to, or we can have policies in place that only apply to certain users or certain computers."
"It also allows you to decrypt SSL traffic, and that's a really important feature as well, which is something I also configured."
"Great for assisting with connections to networks or apps."
"The solution provides good web reputation and anti-malware protection."
"It's a scalable product."
"The most valuable feature of Cisco Web Security Appliance is the provided anti-malware functionality and URL categorization. I can block access to malicious websites. 99 percent of the cases are related to a malicious website. If I cannot browse those malicious websites, then we are 99 percent protected."
"The initial setup is straightforward."
"The best feature of Cisco Web Security Appliance is its policy framing. It also has a good UI and it can handle traffic well. Cisco Web Security Appliance is a good product."
"I would recommend this solution to others."
"The only thing I can think of is that I'd like to see a little more flexibility in policy creation. The way that policy is currently structured is like a "first hit succeeds" kind of policy. It would be nice if it were more hierarchical."
"The firewall capabilities could be better. Cisco is starting to introduce some layer 7 capabilities now, but there's still some room to grow. They should continue with the development of Umbrella so that it is a full-blown cloud-managed firewall solution."
"Network connectivity was a bit of a challenge at the beginning, but we were able to get the right help from Cisco."
"I would like to see Cisco enable us to get objects from the internet. I would also like to be able to choose groups."
"Its on-prem rollout is quite challenging. It needs better coordination with the Internet Service Provider. It is a cloud-based solution, and any endpoint that connects to it has to go through all the gateway ISPs, but some of the ISPs block HTTPS-based DNS. That's where the challenge occurs with Umbrella."
"In my experience with Umbrella support, sometimes the response times take a bit more time than we would like... sometimes, if you go through email, it can take quite a while to get a response."
"It would be better if there was a little bit of flexibility for organizations that don't have SD One in their environment. Because of the complexity of the environment, it's not easy to actually turn on the feature of the secure internet gateway for our users. We have not been able to explore that option yet."
"The integration with other solutions is a little complex. If you want to integrate with something like ArcSight or LogRhythm or Splunk, you need to do a lot of configuration. There are no easy ways to implement it."
"This solution could be more secure."
"Setting up Cisco Web Security Appliance is highly complex and it takes about a week. We have to connect it to the Active Directory and configure all the policies for end users. It takes a long time to configure rules for our company data like port forwarding and separating the public and local components."
"I would like more automation."
"The solution could improve the graphical user interface. It is not up to the regular standard of what we would expect from Cisco. Additionally, they need to improve the categorization when blocking in the settings. The CLI could have a better view than the graphical user interface but I did not investigate further."
"The support for this solution could be improved. We have experienced issues with their SMARTnet support system."
"The transparent proxy is quite difficult to enforce on smartphones and tablets."
"It should have a user-based quota, per-user quota, that can be defined on the appliance."
"As Cisco Web Security Appliance is eight years old, though it's simple to access its UI, the UI needs a little bit of updating. If it could be more interactive similar to the latest gen solutions, that would improve the product. Adding a few more integrations would also make Cisco Web Security Appliance better."
Cisco Umbrella offers flexible, cloud-delivered security according to users’ requirements Cisco Umbrella includes secure web gateway, firewall, and cloud access security broker (CASB) functionality all delivered from a single cloud security service. Cisco Umbrella’s protection is extended to devices, remote users, and distributed locations anywhere. As company employees work from many locations and devices, Cisco Umbrella is the easiest way to effectively protect users everywhere in minutes.
Cisco Umbrella uses machine learning to search for, identify, and even predict malicious domains. By learning from internet activity patterns, this DNS-layer security solution can automatically identify attacker infrastructure being staged for the next threat. These domains are then proactively blocked, protecting networks from potential compromise. Cisco Umbrella analyzes terabytes of data in real time across all markets, geographies, and protocols.
Cisco Umbrella works with leading IT companies to integrate its security enforcement and intelligence. Built with a bidirectional API, Cisco Umbrella makes it easy to extend protection from on-premises security appliances to cloud controlled devices and sites.
Cisco Umbrella is suitable for small businesses without dedicated security professionals, as well as for multinational enterprises with complex environments.
Why use Cisco Umbrella?
Reviews from Real Users
Cisco Umbrella stands out among its competitors for a number of reasons. Some of the major ones are its DNS-based protection, ability to protect users no matter where they are located, stability, and high performance.
Daniel B., a network specialist at Syswind Kft, writes, “We primarily use the solution as cloud security for our branches. It protects us from direct internet outbreaks. It makes for good flexibility. The solution is very easy to manage. We found the initial setup, for example, to be quite simple. Efficient protection on the DNS level and even higher. The sandboxing feature analyses and handles the complicated security risks.”
Victor M., SOC & Security Services Director at BEST, notes, “It provides security for the remote workers and it helps to improve enterprise security in a very easy way. We mainly enjoy web software protection capabilities. It prevents the end-users from getting into bad sites or sites that potentially could have malware or could be phishing. It helps end-users avoid the wrong sites. The solution works very smoothly. The user interface is good.”
For security, your network needs malware protection, application visibility and control, acceptable use policy controls, insightful reporting and secure mobility. Cisco offers this protection, all on a single platform: the Cisco Web Security Appliance (WSA).
Cisco Umbrella is ranked 1st in Secure Web Gateways (SWG) with 39 reviews while Cisco Web Security Appliance is ranked 8th in Secure Web Gateways (SWG) with 12 reviews. Cisco Umbrella is rated 8.8, while Cisco Web Security Appliance is rated 8.0. The top reviewer of Cisco Umbrella writes "We can see all of our locations in one place and only have to make changes once for all our locations". On the other hand, the top reviewer of Cisco Web Security Appliance writes "Flexible, robust, easy to install, and the technical support is helpful". Cisco Umbrella is most compared with Zscaler Internet Access, Microsoft Defender for Cloud Apps, Palo Alto Networks DNS Security, Fortinet FortiGate SWG and Netskope CASB, whereas Cisco Web Security Appliance is most compared with Zscaler Internet Access, Symantec Proxy, McAfee Web Gateway, Fortinet FortiProxy and Forcepoint Secure Web Gateway. See our Cisco Umbrella vs. Cisco Web Security Appliance report.
See our list of best Secure Web Gateways (SWG) vendors.
We monitor all Secure Web Gateways (SWG) 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.