Cisco Umbrella vs Zscaler Internet Access comparison

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Comparison Buyer's Guide
Executive Summary
Updated on Jul 12, 2022

We performed a comparison between Cisco Umbrella Zscaler Internet Access 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 both solutions say that their initial setup is straightforward.
  • Features: Users of both products are happy with their stability, scalability, and ease of use. Cisco Umbrella users say it is robust, flexible, and has good reporting tools. Several Cisco Umbrella users note that they would like better integration options. Zscaler Internet Access users say that it is very secure and lightweight but its reporting features need improvement.
  • Pricing: Most Cisco Umbrella reviewers feel that it is an expensive product. In contrast, Zscaler Internet Access reviewers feel that its price is fair.
  • ROI: Reviewers of both solutions report seeing an ROI.
  • Service and Support: Users of both solutions report being very satisfied with the level of support they receive.

Comparison Results: Both solutions received high marks from reviewers. Zscaler Internet Access has a slight edge over Cisco Umbrella since it is the less expensive product.

To learn more, read our detailed Cisco Umbrella vs. Zscaler Internet Access Report (Updated: November 2022).
656,474 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
"Its simplicity is most valuable. I can install it and get it up and running, and it can be pervasive across my business within a business day. It is pretty simple and straightforward to install and configure. Its remit is reasonably clearly defined. When you look at solutions like Darktrace and Carbon Black, the mission objective isn't as clearly defined. Cisco Umbrella, Sophos Central, or some of the other solutions have a more standardized approach to antivirus, which includes enhanced response from the machine learning or deep learning perspective.""It has improved our organization from a security posture perspective. We feel more confident now knowing that we can block phishing attempts or any type of malware that is DNS-related. This is a very nice feature that provides peace of mind.""I was able to implement it myself. It was really easy to install. You could install it on a server locally if you want to. If you have the biggest site, you would do that, but for my site, it was just directing all the traffic out through the Cisco Umbrella DNS. It was really handy. When the owners of the company went overseas, I knew that they would be secure because even if they were not on the company network, they would still go through the Cisco Umbrella servers. It was a complete solution for protecting the company with outgoing data.""The most valuable features of this solution are the Web Filtering and the APT.""It is user-friendly. It is easy to manage the solution.""The single-pane-of-glass management is really important. In today's era, administration costs and operational expenses will cost you a lot, and it reduces that as well. You don't need extra resources to manage all your parameter firewalls, looking at every single device to allow resources internal access. By just introducing the single-pane-of-glass management, it has lifted the burden off of management, especially the network management.""Cisco Umbrella is such a solution and can be implemented very fast and easy. All that we must do is redirect the DNS registers in their routers, or the active directory service of the enterprise that are going to use in Umbrella services. If you buy the service now, in two hours you are protected by the service because it's very fast to put in service.""We like Cisco Umbrella because of DNS security. It's one step ahead of whatever we are using for regular web filtering. In that way, it's more secure than other web filtering products."

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"Zscaler Internet Access's best feature is the granular policy controls.""The URL filtering has been the most valuable feature.""The users are at different locations, and Zscaler helps us to put the organization's central security controls on these roaming users.""We don't have to buy equipment to use it. And when our engineers set it up on our side, we just configured a few settings and we were in.""The solution is scalable and stable.""There is no lag in service when accessing the internet.""For our needs, the cloud-native proxy architecture is a very good solution. We are moving away from on-prem appliances and moving more toward cloud-based solutions. Zscaler is a good fit for our strategy. This architecture helps with cyber threats because we inspect most of the traffic and we can see that a lot of threats are stopped directly in the secure web gateway.""The most valuable features I found in Zscaler Internet Access are the restriction of users for a particular URL, the security feature related to stopping DDoS, and the VPN."

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Cons
"I think it's a very basic solution, and because of that, Cisco Umbrella would not be a suitable solution for large companies.""The pricing could always be a little bit better.""If a hardware platform were provided for Umbrella, that would definitely improve the market for it... Especially when we are addressing governmental customers, they hesitate to connect to the cloud. That is where we need a hardware platform so that the solution can be used on-premises as well.""We would like them to add more features to Cisco Umbrella.""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.""It's a very new product, so it's quite immature at the moment. It can be more user friendly.""It should have more integrations with multiple end user OEMs.""We would like to see the enhancements made to the EDR, as we see features that are running endpoint management."

More Cisco Umbrella Cons →

"If they can also integrate with the multi-factor authentication to prompt users to do another, second-factor authentication, that would be ideal.""Sometimes, support isn't available.""The main issue with Zscaler Internet Access is proxy IP detection, which sometimes makes sites inaccessible.""The performance needs improvement. Some areas create performance issues and, depending on the use cases, require reconfiguration to perform again.""The interface for administration could be better. They should upgrade the management portal.""Sometimes it's not easy to use during large deployments of workstations.""They block Zscaler IPs when the traffic origin is from Zscaler IPs. They've been blocked by certain government organizations so the end users are not able to visit those websites unless we ask them to unblock those IP. This is a bit problematic.""In terms of user experience, it could be better."

More Zscaler Internet Access Cons →

Pricing and Cost Advice
  • "There is a subscription cost."
  • "The price could be lower."
  • "The price is quite good."
  • "Pricing depends on the automation requirements of the organization."
  • "It has a reasonable price. It is certainly not as expensive as it used to be. It is in line with other offerings on the market. There are a number of different flavors of Umbrella. They could bring Umbrella SIG down a bit because its price is a little bit high for what it does, but I also understand why its price is high."
  • "Cisco Umbrella is expensive and could be cheaper."
  • "When talking about Cisco solutions in general there pricing model is horrible. For example, you can sell a Meraki-based solution, but if the customer starts shopping around, someone is going to have access to the pricing at a level that you cannot compete because they do not have uniform pricing. Not everybody gets fair pricing. Unless you are one of the real major corporations selling the solution your ability to compete is impossible. Cisco will acknowledge the situation and assure you next time it will be in your favor but it never becomes favorable for you. Cisco is not very good in this regard. However, Umbrella is good."
  • "The licensing fee is paid on a yearly basis."
  • More Cisco Umbrella Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "The pricing is fair based on its competitive market."
  • "The price is competitive. It's not cheap and it's not expensive."
  • "The pricing for Zscaler Internet Access could be made cheaper."
  • "The price of Zscaler Internet Access should improve, it is expensive."
  • "We have found the solution to be expensive."
  • "Licenses are available on a per-host basis. Some features like sandboxing require an additional fee, but most standard features are included in the license."
  • "We pay around 6,500 INR per user per year, which is very expensive. I would rate Zscaler's pricing one out of five."
  • "Because it's a cloud solution, we pay on a yearly basis. It is affordable and includes tech support and all features."
  • More Zscaler Internet Access Pricing and Cost Advice →

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    Answers from the Community
    Netanya Carmi
    reviewer1535313 - PeerSpot reviewerreviewer1535313 (Executive at a computer software company with 11-50 employees)
    Reseller

    I would widen my options to include Netskope. 


    Tech support is far better should or if you require it, deployment is much faster, and integrations with API's is better than either of the other two.

    John Okunade - PeerSpot reviewerJohn Okunade
    Real User

    Fantastic points you have highlighted Leah. The DNS functionality of the Umbrella. 


    I think the functionality I love about Umbrella is that it's an enterprise solution providing web security for both on-prem and mobile users. Being a cloud solution centralized management of the solution is made easy. Thank you, Cisco.

    Questions from the Community
    Top Answer: Cisco Umbrella and Zscaler Internet Access are two broad-spectrum Internet security solutions that I have tried. Zscaler Internet Access is a good option for carrying out multiple security… more »
    Top Answer:Cisco Umbrella is an integral component of the Cisco SASE architecture. It integrates security in a single, cloud-native solution, unifying multiple features like DNS-layer security, threat… more »
    Top Answer:The single-pane-of-glass management is really important. In today's era, administration costs and operational expenses will cost you a lot, and it reduces that as well. You don't need extra resources… more »
    Top Answer:We researched Netskope but ultimately chose Zscaler. Netskope is a cloud access security broker that helps identify and manage cloud applications, protecting your sensitive data from exfiltration.… more »
    Top Answer:There is no lag in service when accessing the internet.
    Top Answer:The solution is quite expensive. It's around double what others are offering. The price we pay includes everything. It comes as a bundle. I'd rate the affordability of the solution at a two or three… more »
    Ranking
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    Also Known As
    OpenDNS
    ZIA
    Learn More
    Overview

    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?

    • Simplify security management: Cisco Umbrella is the fastest and easiest way to protect all users within minutes and reduces the number of infections and alerts sent from other security products by stopping threats at the earliest point. With no hardware to install and no software to manually update, ongoing management is simple

    • Reliable reporting: Cisco Umbrella reports show activity for each device or network in the system. Users gain a more complete picture of the security risks facing their organization and can take action to remedy them.

    • Manage and control cloud apps: Umbrella provides visibility into sanctioned and unsanctioned cloud services in use across the enterprise. Users can uncover new services being used, see who is using them, identify potential risk, and block specific applications easily.

    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.”

    Zscaler Internet Access is a cloud-native security service edge (SSE) platform. Its main purpose is to provide AI-powered protection for all users, all applications, and all locations. The solution replaces other legacy network security solutions to stop advanced attacks and prevent data loss by using a comprehensive zero trust approach.

    Zscaler Internet Access Features

    Zscaler Internet Access has many valuable key features. Some of the most useful ones include:

    • Proxy (native SSL)
    • IPS and advanced protection
    • Cloud sandbox
    • DNS security
    • Cloud firewall
    • URL filtering
    • Bandwidth control
    • DNS filtering
    • Cloud DLP w/EDM and IDM
    • Cloud access security broker (CASB)
    • Cloud security posture management (CSPM)
    • CloudBrowser isolation
    • Cloud secure web gateway (SWG)
    • Zero trust network access (ZTNA)
    • Digital experience monitoring

    Zscaler Internet Access Benefits

    There are several benefits to implementing Zscaler Internet Access. Some of the biggest advantages the solution offers include:

    • Fast access with zero infrastructure: Zscaler Internet Access creates a fast, seamless user experience because of its direct-to-cloud architecture. With no infrastructure, Zscaler Internet Access helps you eliminate backhauling, which improves performance and simplifies network administration.
    • Threat intelligence: By using threat intelligence, Zscaler Internet Access can stop ransomware, zero-day malware, and advanced attacks via Inline inspection of all internet traffic, including SSL decryption, and a suite of AI-powered cloud security services. 
    • Consistent security: With Zscaler Internet Access, your security policy goes everywhere your users go. When you move security to the cloud, all users, applications, devices, and locations remain protected and secure based on identity and context.
    • Hybrid workforce: Zscaler Internet Access enables secure access to all external and internal apps from anywhere, so remote work is not an issue. You can also enforce business policies that follow the user, making security identical regardless of location.

    Reviews from Real Users

    Below are some reviews and helpful feedback written by Zscaler Internet Access users.

    A Service Manager at a construction company says, "There are a bunch of different capabilities that are valuable within the platform. We use quite a lot of them, but not everything. The ones that are most important to us are the URL Filtering and the application control. For our needs, the cloud-native proxy architecture is a very good solution. This architecture helps with cyber threats because we inspect most of the traffic and we can see that a lot of threats are stopped directly in the secure web gateway."

    Owen N., Security Architect at Claro Enterprise Solutions, explains that the solution’s most valuable features include “The integration of the gateway that inspects all ports and protocols. So, there is threat prevention; The cloud sandbox; VNS security; Access control that will protect URL filtering and the cloud firewall; Data protection that will protect your gateway, like your CASB or your cloud DLP; The capabilities of this will point your traffic to Zscaler Cloud.”

    An Architecture Senior Manager at an insurance company mentions, "The data loss prevention feature is the most valuable. It stops our users from inadvertently leaking our customers' data to the Internet or anywhere else it shouldn't go." He also adds, “The solution provides quick access to cloud services, securing our data and allowing us to inspect all our traffic.”

    Offer
    Learn more about Cisco Umbrella
    Learn more about Zscaler Internet Access
    Sample Customers
    Chart Industries, City of Aspen, Eastern Mountain Sports, FLEXcon, George Washington University, Jackson Municipal Airport Authority, Ohio Public Library Information Network, PTC, Richland Community College, Smart Motors, Tulane University, VeriClaim
    Ulster-Greene ARC, BanRegio, HDFC, Ralcorp Holdings Inc., British American Tobacco, Med America Billing Services Inc., Lanco Group, Aquafil, Telefonica, Swisscom, Brigade Group
    Top Industries
    REVIEWERS
    Financial Services Firm16%
    Educational Organization9%
    Comms Service Provider9%
    Computer Software Company7%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company21%
    Comms Service Provider14%
    Financial Services Firm8%
    Government6%
    REVIEWERS
    Comms Service Provider25%
    Computer Software Company15%
    Pharma/Biotech Company10%
    Financial Services Firm10%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company21%
    Comms Service Provider14%
    Financial Services Firm9%
    Manufacturing Company6%
    Company Size
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business39%
    Midsize Enterprise25%
    Large Enterprise36%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business21%
    Midsize Enterprise15%
    Large Enterprise64%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business31%
    Midsize Enterprise10%
    Large Enterprise59%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business20%
    Midsize Enterprise14%
    Large Enterprise66%
    Buyer's Guide
    Cisco Umbrella vs. Zscaler Internet Access
    November 2022
    Find out what your peers are saying about Cisco Umbrella vs. Zscaler Internet Access and other solutions. Updated: November 2022.
    656,474 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    Cisco Umbrella is ranked 1st in Secure Web Gateways (SWG) with 38 reviews while Zscaler Internet Access is ranked 2nd in Secure Web Gateways (SWG) with 23 reviews. Cisco Umbrella is rated 8.6, while Zscaler Internet Access is rated 8.6. 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 Zscaler Internet Access writes " AI decision-making on quarantined documents reduces manual work". Cisco Umbrella is most compared with Microsoft Defender for Cloud Apps, Palo Alto Networks DNS Security, Fortinet FortiGate SWG, Infoblox Advanced DNS Protection and Prisma Access by Palo Alto Networks, whereas Zscaler Internet Access is most compared with Netskope CASB, Microsoft Defender for Cloud Apps, Forcepoint Secure Web Gateway, Palo Alto Networks WildFire and Appgate SDP. See our Cisco Umbrella vs. Zscaler Internet Access report.

    See our list of best Secure Web Gateways (SWG) vendors and best Internet Security 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.