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Kerio Control vs pfSense comparison

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Buyer's Guide
Kerio Control vs. pfSense
May 2022
Find out what your peers are saying about Kerio Control vs. pfSense and other solutions. Updated: May 2022.
609,272 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Quotes From Members
We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use.
Here are some excerpts of what they said:
Pros
"I have integrated it for incidence response. If there is a security event, the Cisco firewall will automatically block the traffic, which is valuable.""The most valuable feature is the Intrusion Prevention System.""Its Snort 3 IPS has better flexibility as far as being able to write rules. This gives me better granularity.""The most important feature is the intensive way you can troubleshoot Cisco Firepower Firewalls. You can go to the bit level to see why traffic is not handled in the correct way, and the majority of the time it's a networking issue and not a firewall issue. You can solve any problem without Cisco TAC help, because you can go very deeply under the hood to find out how traffic is flowing and whether it is not flowing as expected. That is something I have never seen with other brands.""I like the firewall features, Snort, and the Intrusion Prevention System (IPS).""The solution offers very easy configurations.""The most valuable features of this solution are advanced malware protection, IPS, and IDS.""It has a good security level. It is a next-generation firewall. It can protect from different types of attacks. We have enabled IPS and IDS."

More Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall Pros →

"The initial setup is a breeze.""When one of the employees of my customers is using the VPN Client, I have created for them that they will always get a message. When the VPN Client connects to Kerio Control from the outside, they will get an email so they know when they are connected and when they are disconnected what is happening to their network.""The most valuable features of Kerio Control are the IPS and traffic rules. The traffic rules are very user-friendly and the IPS is working well. Additionally, the anti-virus is effective with quick options, such as filtering.""One very good thing about the Kerio device is its authentication. I don't have a Windows domain for authentication. Instead, I use the Kerio product because it can separate users by Mac addresses and give them IP addresses based on their usernames, automatically logging them in. This makes for a very simple authentication system.""The solution’s firewall and intrusion detection features are quite good because you can see exactly who is attacking you and who is getting blocked.""We also like the security. We can control what sites users can go to and we can make sure that where they're going is appropriate and that it's work-related.""It has saved a lot of time and it was a secure way of doing it too. We had a whole contact center that worked from home for a period of time and that's a 21 hour a day contact center that we moved, that was spread out across the greater Brisbane region and working on home internet connections. Surprisingly, we didn't have a lot of stability issues anyway on those connections, but Kerio didn't blink, so that was good.""The firewall and intrusion detection features are good. It has blocked certain things. We have a lot of blocked sites that the staff or anyone using it, the public, etc., can't go on. It works for that. I get quite a few messages every now and again, saying that a virus has been detected and I can go in and block the user who's causing the problem."

More Kerio Control Pros →

"Some of the terminologies were more familiar to me than it was when I first encountered Cisco.""At our peak time, we have reached more than 5,000 concurrent connections.""I like pfSense's security features.""pfSense is a nice product, and I find that there's a lot of information out there. There are some good tutorials on YouTube and other websites with helpful information.""One of the advantages of pfSense is that it is very easy to work with. It is a very good open-source solution, and it works really well. pfSense provides a complete package. For some features, it could be the first solution in the world. It is a very good alternative in the market for a firewall solution. You don't need to go to Cisco or other brands with expensive firewalls. pfSense also allows us to offer some support services.""The features I have found best are ease of use, GUI, and performance.""Is good at blocking IP addresses.""The flexibility of adding new kinds of services without spending any money can't be beaten."

More pfSense Pros →

Cons
"I would like it to have faster deployment times. A typical deployment could take two to three minutes. Sometimes, it depends on the situation. It is better than it was in the past, but it could always use improvement.""I believe that the current feature set of the device is very good and the only thing that Cisco should work on is improving the user experience with the device.""One of my colleagues is using the firewall as an IPS, but he is worried about Firepower's performance... With the 10 Gb devices, when it gets to 5 Gbps, the CPU usage goes up a lot and he cannot manage the IPS.""They need a VTI. I know it's going to be available in the next software version, which is the 6.7 version. However, the problem with that is that the 6.7 is going to deprecate all the older IKEv1 deployment tunnels. Therefore, the problem is that we have a lot of customers which are using older encryptions. If I do that, update it, it's not going to work for me.""Web filtering needs improvement because sometimes the URL is miscategorized.""In a future release, it would be ideal if they could offer an open interface to other security products so that we could easily connect to our own open industry standard.""When you make any changes, irrespective of whether they are big or small, Firepower takes too much time. It is very time-consuming. Even for small changes, you have to wait for 60 seconds or maybe more, which is not good. Similarly, when you have many IPS rules and policies, it slows down, and there is an impact on its performance.""Implementations require the use of a console. It would help if the console was embedded."

More Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall Cons →

"There isn't a lot to be improved. It works well as it is, but they can maybe improve the reporting side.""I can no longer renew my subscription directly with GFI but we have to go through third-party resellers like CDW. The first time I did it with CDW. I went to CDW and it was almost like they didn't even know anything. They didn't know what package I was supposed to get. Then after I got it, it took almost five days to get everything working.""The one thing that did put me off of the solution was that, after they were taken over by GFI, the licensing and a few other items have gotten very complicated.""One of the problems we do have causes problems with the VPN. The software slows the throughput down too much. You could have a one-gigabit connection from the internet, and it slows it down to the area of upload and download is extremely slow. There's too much content filtering at that point.""The reporting needs to be improved. It is hard to get a domain.""My experience with the solutions technical support is fine but they could be faster in responding.""I would like to be able to automatically send email from Kerio Control and have it tell me what my external IPs are, because on one of my lines I have a fixed IP address and on the other it is variable. If there were a permanent way for me to figure out, "Okay, my current external VPN and my firm IP is this," it would help. I need to know the IP address to connect with the VPN and, at the moment, one of the lines sometimes changes its IP address without me knowing it. It's a hassle to figure out what it is.""I find it a bit costly to pay for the products that I am not using. They need to change their model in such a way that you don't have to pay for the products that you are not using. Its local support and scalability are also not good. I am looking forward to a more scalable product that will be able to grow with time and technology."

More Kerio Control Cons →

"Also, simplifying the rules for the GeoIP. Making it simpler to understand would be an improvement.""Web interface could be enhanced and more user friendly.""The technical support needs to be improved.""The main problem with pfSense is that we have to use proxy solutions.""The VPN feature of the solution could improve by adding better functionality and providing easier configure ability.""ClamAV AntiVirus can cause some crashes. That service should be improved.""The usage reports can be better.""The solution could always work at being more secure. It's a good idea to continue to work on security features and capabilities in order to ensure they can keep clients safe."

More pfSense Cons →

Pricing and Cost Advice
  • "Cisco, as we all know, is expensive, but for the money you are paying, you know that you are also getting top-notch documentation as well as support if needed."
  • "This product requires licenses for advanced features including Snort, IPS, and malware detection."
  • "This product is expensive."
  • "For me, personally, as an individual, Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall is expensive."
  • "The price of Firepower is not bad compared to other products."
  • "The solution was chosen because of its price compared to other similar solutions."
  • "The price is comparable."
  • "It definitely competes with the other vendors in the market."
  • More Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "It is a good fit for SMBs because of its maintainability. When you want to keep your costs low, then Kerio Control is a very good solution. It's not an expensive product that is well integrated. It has a complete set of features within it that make it a very strong product."
  • "GFI has made a stupid decision regarding small office licensing. For offices where there are only three to five employees and had five years towards a five user product, they now force these customers to a 10-year user license. I really don't understand it. It's a stupid decision for the small offices who want a good solution for security because they'll probably decide to go to another product. Why should they buy something that they don't use?"
  • "The fixed model of users and devices is a bit of a problem for us. We want to be able to expand it fast and not have to contact our supplier first to get a license... If they had a larger fixed price with unlimited users or devices, that would help. Now, it's five users each time. A pack of 100 or 200 users for a certain price would make it more dynamic and user-scalable."
  • "The yearly maintenance fee is a bit high for the Kerio Control Boxes. The end of life for the devices is kind of short. It seems like they're making you upgrade within a short period of time. They should at least allow five years, but it seems like they are changing their end of life to be shorter to generate revenue."
  • "It gives us a lot. It does prove to be a very robust product for the cost."
  • "I think it is a bit on the pricey side, but it's okay. I've got 50 licenses which I think is $250 a year or something like that."
  • "On the low-end device that I use, it has unlimited IP addresses. So, they have a subscription model where, on the higher models, you pay X dollars for 10 IP addresses. Then, if you want any more, you have to pay more on the model. On the low-end model, it has unlimited IP addresses, because if you have too many users, the thing will just slow you down and stop working. At some point, you need to say, "Okay, I've grown to a point where performance is impacted. I need to get some bigger hardware." If I get to that stage, I will possibly look at using one of the virtual appliances and putting it on some bigger hardware."
  • "It gets expensive pretty quickly if you need to purchase license packs."
  • More Kerio Control Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "We are using the open-source version, not the commercial one."
  • "It has almost zero cost, and it is open to us. It runs on a small appliance just for a couple of 100 bucks, and I've never had an appliance burn out on me yet."
  • "It is open source."
  • "I spent a couple of $1,000 on hardware, and the OS was free. A comparable firewall would cost me probably 20 grand. It saved a lot of money."
  • "I like the fact that it is open-source."
  • "pfSense is open-source, but the support is something that the customer pays for."
  • "The pricing is lower than some of its competitors."
  • "pfSense is open-source."
  • More pfSense Pricing and Cost Advice →

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    609,272 professionals have used our research since 2012.
    Questions from the Community
    Top Answer: When you compare these firewalls you can identify them with different features, advantages, practices and… more »
    Top Answer: The Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall is a very powerful and very complex piece of anti-viral software. When one considers… 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:The firewall and the content filtering options are valuable.
    Top Answer:Its licensing is yearly. You renew every year. Its price is all-inclusive.
    Top Answer:There isn't a lot to be improved. It works well as it is, but they can maybe improve the reporting side.
    Top Answer:Fortinet’s Fortigate is a firewall solution we use and are very much satisfied with its performance. We find Fortigate… 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:It is very easy to use. The interface is quite understandable. There is a good community, and I can take over at any… more »
    Comparisons
    Also Known As
    Cisco Firepower NGFW, Cisco Firepower Next-Generation Firewall, FirePOWER, Cisco NGFWv
    Learn More
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    Overview

    Cisco Firepower Next-Generation Firewall (NGFW) is a firewall that provides capabilities beyond those of a standard firewall and delivers comprehensive, unified policy management of firewall functions, application control, threat prevention, and advanced malware protection from the network to the endpoint.

    Cisco NGFW Firewalls include advanced threat defense capabilities to meet diverse needs, from small offices to high-performance data centers and service providers, and are deployed in leading private and public clouds. Available in a wide range of models, Cisco NGFW can be deployed as a physical or virtual appliance. Cisco NGFW firewalls are also available with clustering for increased performance, high availability configurations, and more.

    Key Features of Cisco NGFW Firewalls

    • Breach prevention and advanced security: Prevent attacks before they get inside. Cisco provides its firewalls with the latest intelligence to stop emerging threats and employs filtering to enforce policies on hundreds of millions of URLs. Cisco NGFW offers built-in sandboxing and advanced malware protection that continuously analyzes file behavior to quickly detect and eliminate threats.

    • Comprehensive network visibility: Constantly monitor your network so you can rapidly spot and stop bad behavior. Cisco NGFW provides a holistic view of all activity and provides a clear picture of threat activity across users, hosts, networks, and devices, as well as information on threats and website, application, and VM activities.

    • Flexible management and deployment options: Centrally deploy, customize, and manage all your appliances.

    • Fast detection: Detect threats in seconds and detect the presence of a successful breach within hours or minutes. Cisco NGFW allows you to deploy consistent policy that's easy to maintain, with automatic enforcement across all the different parts of your organization.

    • Automation and product integrations: Seamlessly integrate with Cisco tools and automatically share threat information, event data, policy, and contextual information with email, web, endpoint, and network security tools. Cisco NGFW automates security tasks like impact assessment, policy management and tuning, and user identification.

    Reviews from Real Users

    Cisco NGFW stands out among its competitors for a number of reasons. Two major ones are its extensive discovery abilities that enable you to constantly see what is happening on your network and take action when necessary, and the high level of protection it provides.

    Mike B., a director of IT security at a wellness & fitness company, writes, "It is one of the fastest solutions, if not the fastest, in the security technology space. This gives us peace of mind knowing that as soon as a new attack comes online that we will be protected in short order. From that perspective, no one really comes close now to Firepower, which is hugely valuable to us from an upcoming new attack prevention perspective."

    Zhulien K., the lead network security engineer at TechnoCore LTD, notes, " The most valuable feature that Cisco Firepower NGFW provides for us is the Intrusion policy. Again, with that being said, I cannot shy away from giving kudos to all of the other features such as AVC (Application Visibility and Control), SSL Decryption, Identity policy, Correlation policy, REST API, and more. All of the features that are incorporated in the Cisco Firepower NGFW are awesome and easy to configure if you know what you are doing. Things almost always work, unless you hit a bug, which is fixed with a simple software update. "

    Kerio Control is a popular security product for small and medium-sized businesses. It is a next-generation firewall that provides unified threat management without complexity. Kerio Control provides advanced anti-virus protection and industry-leading web and content application filtering, and has a secure VPN.

    With Kerio Control you can:

    • Preserve the integrity of your network.
    • Manage bandwidth to streamline traffic flows.
    • Improve productivity with filtering capabilities.

    Kerio Control Features

    Some of Kerio Control’s most valuable features include:

    High availability, deployment flexibility, deep packet inspection, advanced routing, usage reporting, quick administering, intrusion detection and prevention (IPS), gateway anti-virus, VPN, web and content application filtering, and centralized administration with MyKerio.

    Kerio Control Benefits

    • Eliminate downtime risks: Because Kerio Control offers high availability and failover protection, you can eliminate the risk and cost of connectivity or threat protection downtime.

    • Detailed reports: Kerio Control makes it easy to view individual users’ internet activity through detailed reports.

    • Traffic monitoring: Traffic monitoring allows you to manage bandwidth and makes it possible for you to control access to streaming video and peer-to-peer networks.

    • Server protection: Using Kerio Control’s advanced networking routing and deep packet inspection, you can protect servers.

    • Easily create policies: With Kerio Control, you can create both inbound and outbound traffic policies, and can also restrict communication by specific URLs, applications, traffic type, content category, or even time of day.

    • Snort-based analysis: Kerio Control gives you the ability to add a transparent layer of intrusion prevention with snort-based analysis along with a database of rule and blacklisted IP addresses that is regularly refreshed.

    • Optionally integrated anti-virus: WIth this feature, you can prevent viruses, Trojans, or spyware from entering your networks.

    Reviews from Real Users

    Here is some feedback from some of our users who are currently using the solution:

    PeerSpot user Brian C., Senior Technology Specialist, VP at Unified Technology Solutions, writes "It is very comprehensive and simple. It has all the active protections. It's updated. We love that you can set how often it is updated so you can work on what is right for you. A large company with a lot of bandwidth can update the virus definitions and security definitions hourly, if they want. A smaller site that's remote, where maybe updating the definitions will eat into the bandwidth, we can schedule those more to go later at night. It's very flexible and works for us in all types of situations. This is great because then we don't have to learn seven different products to be able to work with seven different scenarios."

    Andy D., IT Manager at Flare Technologies, praises how easy it is to use and says, "One thing we use quite a lot, as well, is the DHCP Server, because we do a lot of work where all our devices need to have static IP addresses. Rather than going around and configuring every box, we do it all through DHCP reservations. It's easier. We've got a record of it. We can manipulate it if we need to change something or change some hardware. It's all easy. Even guys who are not used to using it can pick it up quite quickly."



    pfSense is a free and open-source operating system for routers and firewalls, and is typically configured as DHCP server, DNS server, WiFi access point, VPN server, all running on the same hardware device. It is operated through a user-friendly web interface, making administration easy even for users with limited networking knowledge.

    In addition, pfSense is feature-rich, has a mature platform, is customizable, is flexible by design, and can be used on a small home router as well as run the entire network of a large corporation. pfSense puts you in control of your networking, is regularly updated, and works to promptly patch security issues. pfSense has recently become the favored alternative to the industry leader, Cisco.

    pfSense is:

    • Robust
    • Powerful
    • Easy to use
    • Secure
    • Scalable

    pfSense Key Features

    pfSense has many key features and capabilities, including:

    • Strength and accuracy: pfSense is able to always follow either default or custom rules, making it a stronger firewall than some of its competitors. It also filters traffic separately, whether it’s coming from your internal network of devices or the open internet, allowing you to set different rules and policies for each.

    • Flexibility: pfSense can work both as a basic firewall and as a complete security system because it gives you the flexibility to integrate additional features as code where necessary.

    • Open-source: Because it is open-source, not only is pfSense free to use, but community members can contribute to the code to make it a better software.

    • User-friendly: Usually firewall products are not user-friendly because they often include complex settings, options, and features that require fine-tuning. pfSense’s interface is simple, direct, and easy to use.

    • WireGuard Support: Instead of building your own VPN using pfSense, or settling for a commercial VPN provider, you can directly integrate WireGuard with the pfSense firewall.

    • Speed Management and Fault Tolerance: pfSense’s multi-WAN feature allows your system to continue operating in case components fail.

    • Well-supported: pfSense regularly has security and feature updates. It also has a documentation site and a well-informed and knowledgeable support forum.

    Reviews from Real Users

    Below is some feedback from PeerSpot Users who are currently using the solution.

    Bojan O., CEO at In.sist d.o.o., says, “The classic features, such as content inspection, content protection, and the application-level firewall, are the most important."

    Another PeerSpot user, a chef at a media company, explains what he finds most valuable about pfSense: "The plugins or add-ons are most valuable. Sometimes, they are free of charge, and sometimes, you have to pay for them, but you can purchase or download very valuable plugins or add-ons to perform internal testing of your network and simulate a denial-of-service attack or whichever attack you want to simulate. You can also remote and monitor your network and see where the gap is."

    T.O., a VP of Business Development at a tech services company, mentions, "What I found most valuable is the cost of the platform, the flexibility of the platform, and the fact that the ongoing fees are not there as they are with the competitor."



    Offer
    Learn more about Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall
    Learn more about Kerio Control
    Learn more about pfSense
    Sample Customers
    Rackspace, The French Laundry, Downer Group, Lewisville School District, Shawnee Mission School District, Lower Austria Firefighters Administration, Oxford Hospital, SugarCreek, Westfield
    Triton Technical, McDonald's
    Nerds On Site Inc., RKC Development Inc., Expertech, Fisher's Technology, Ncisive, Consulting, CPURX, Vaughn's Computer House Calls, Imeretech LLC, Digital Crisis, Carolina Digital Phone, Technigogo Technology Services, The Simple Solution, SwiftecITInc, Rocky Mountain Tech Team, Free Range Geeks, Alaska Computer Geeks, Lark Information Technology, Renaissance Systems Inc., Cutting Edge Computers, Caretech LLC, GoVanguard, Network Touch Ltd, P.C. Solutions.Net, Vision Voice and Data Systems LLC, Montgomery Technologies, Techforce, Concero Networks, ASONInc, CPS Electronics and Consulting, Darkwire.net LLC, IT Specialists, MBS-Net Inc., VOICE1 LLC, Advantage Networking Inc., Powerhouse Systems, Doxa Multimedia Inc., Pro Computer Service, Virtual IT Services, A&J Computers Inc., Envision IT LLC, CommunicaONE Inc., Bone Computer Inc., Amax Engineering Corporation, QPG Ltd. Co., IT 101 Inc., Perfect Cloud Solutions, Applied Technology Group Inc., The Digital Sun Group LLC, Firespring
    Top Industries
    REVIEWERS
    Comms Service Provider19%
    Financial Services Firm17%
    Government13%
    Manufacturing Company6%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Comms Service Provider28%
    Computer Software Company21%
    Government7%
    Manufacturing Company4%
    REVIEWERS
    Computer Software Company21%
    Comms Service Provider11%
    Transportation Company11%
    Financial Services Firm11%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Comms Service Provider40%
    Computer Software Company20%
    Government4%
    Educational Organization4%
    REVIEWERS
    University12%
    Comms Service Provider10%
    Marketing Services Firm10%
    Energy/Utilities Company6%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Comms Service Provider40%
    Computer Software Company15%
    Government7%
    Educational Organization4%
    Company Size
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business40%
    Midsize Enterprise26%
    Large Enterprise34%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business26%
    Midsize Enterprise20%
    Large Enterprise55%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business85%
    Midsize Enterprise13%
    Large Enterprise3%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business29%
    Midsize Enterprise25%
    Large Enterprise46%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business70%
    Midsize Enterprise17%
    Large Enterprise13%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business27%
    Midsize Enterprise24%
    Large Enterprise48%
    Buyer's Guide
    Kerio Control vs. pfSense
    May 2022
    Find out what your peers are saying about Kerio Control vs. pfSense and other solutions. Updated: May 2022.
    609,272 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    Kerio Control is ranked 9th in Firewalls with 33 reviews while pfSense is ranked 3rd in Firewalls with 61 reviews. Kerio Control is rated 8.0, while pfSense is rated 8.4. The top reviewer of Kerio Control writes "Through the ease of how quickly we could roll out the VPN to everybody, we had whole companies remotely working overnight". On the other hand, the top reviewer of pfSense writes "Feature-rich, well documented, and there is good support available online". Kerio Control is most compared with Fortinet FortiGate, Sophos XG, Sophos UTM, OPNsense and Cisco ASA Firewall, whereas pfSense is most compared with OPNsense, Fortinet FortiGate, Sophos XG, Untangle NG Firewall and Zyxel Unified Security Gateway. See our Kerio Control vs. pfSense 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.