Cancel
You must select at least 2 products to compare!
Cisco Logo
96,842 views|63,474 comparisons
GFI Logo
11,158 views|6,871 comparisons
Netgate Logo
129,071 views|109,339 comparisons
Comparison Buyer's Guide
Executive Summary
Updated on Sep 7, 2022

We performed a comparison between Kerio Control and pfSense based on our users’ reviews in five categories. After reading all of the collected data, you can find our conclusion below.

  • Ease of Deployment: Kerio Control users feel its initial setup is straightforward and easy. pfSense has mixed reviews. Most say the initial setup is straightforward, with some users noting some complexity.
  • Features: Users of both products are generally happy with their stability and scalability, with a few mentioning that Kerio Control has issues with scalability.

    Kerio Control users note being particularly satisfied with its firewall, load balancing, bandwidth control, and routing. Some note that they would like the solution to improve the look and feel of the hardware.

    pfSense users say they’re impressed with the solution's documentation, VPN, and ease of use. Some users mention that the product could have improved security
  • Pricing: Some Kerio Control users note that the solution is expensive, while others note that it is reasonable. pfSense is an open source solution, so most users are satisfied with the price.
  • ROI: Users of both solutions mention significant ROI.
  • Service and Support: Kerio Control users mostly report below average support. pfSense users mostly report average to excellent support.

Comparison Results: pfSense has the winning edge in this comparison because it received higher marks in the features, pricing, and service and support categories.

To learn more, read our detailed KerioControl vs. pfSense 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
"The remote access, VPN, and ACL features are valuable. We are using role-based access for individuals.""The ASDM (Adaptive Security Device Manager) which is the graphical user interface, works out, and Cisco keeps it current.""For our very specific use case, for remote access for VPN, ASAs are very good.""With Cisco, there are a lot of features such as the network map. Cisco builds the whole network map of the machines you have behind your firewall and gives you insight into the vulnerabilities and attributes that the host has. Checkpoint and Fortinet don't have that functionality directly on the firewall.""Netting is one of the best features. We can modify it in different ways. Site-to-site VPN is also an awesome feature of Cisco ASA. The biggest advantage of Cisco products is technical support. They provide the best technical support.""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.""We find all of its features very useful. Its main features are policies and access lists. We use both of them, and we also use routing.""The product is quite robust and durable."

More Cisco Secure Firewall Pros →

"I have found the most valuable features of Kerio Control to be the IPS and firewall.""The solution is easy to manage. Kerio Control is unique compared to other firewalls because it has been around since 2000 when we switched and the name it started with was WinRoute, and then later became Kerio Control. It evolved over time and it is more of a proprietary firewall on its own and has been developed through open source.""The stability of Kerio Control is good.""The installation is straightforward.""I like intrusion detection and prevention and bandwidth management. The routing part is also awesome. It is a good firewall. We never had a major breach from outside. We've never been impacted by ransomware, and our systems have never been infiltrated.""The solution is user-friendly.""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.""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 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."

More KerioControl Pros →

"Technical support is perfect, excellent.""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. Some people may think you're taking a risk with using Opensource. I think it just provides the end user, specifically for us small, medium business providers of services, the flexibility we need at the right cost to provide them a higher end, almost enterprise type service.""The main features of this solution are customization and ease to use.""The initial setup is not complex.""It is a better firewall than others and it has better features.""The concurrent users are perfect for us.""The features I have found best are ease of use, GUI, and performance.""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.""Setting firewall network rules should be more straightforward with a clearer graphical representation. The rule-setting method seems old-fashioned. The firewall and network rules are separate from the Firepower and web access rules.""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.""On the VPN side, Firepower could be better. It needs more monitoring on VPNs. Right now, it's not that good. You can set up a VPN in Firepower, but you can't monitor it.""The solution is overcomplicated in some senses. Simplifying it would be an improvement.""I would like it if there was a centralized way to manage policies, then sticking with the network functions on the actual devices. That is probably the thing that frustrates me the most. I want a way that you can manage multiple policies at several different locations, all at one site. You then don't have to worry about the connectivity piece, in case you are troubleshooting because connectivity is down.""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.""One thing that we really would have loved to have was policy-based routing. We had a lot of connections, and sometimes, we would have liked to change the routing depending on the policies, but it was lacking this capability. We also wanted application filtering and DNS filtering."

More Cisco Secure Firewall Cons →

"They don't provide content filtering when it comes to search engine results. We had an incident on the network where a blocked site was showing up in search results. We are in a school environment, so we have blocked a site with some of the explicit content so that kids wouldn't see it. When one of them did a search, the results came on the search engine part. When you try to drill down to the website, it blocks, but when you search by image, it brings up all the images. That's one of the reasons why we are looking at Juniper.""Kerio Control could improve content filtering.""I would like to see a little improvement in their technical support when you have a problem. I may be a little jaded because I came from Kerio when we could call and get a person on the phone who worked on the product. Every tech had their own demo setup. They had instant messaging capability with the developers. If we found a problem, then we could get a result for it quickly. Now, the product seems to be 24 hours. They have also gone to the model that if you need quicker support, then they now charge you additional for the exact same level of support that they used to give. I am assuming it's the exact same level of support that they say it is. I'm not paying extra for it. That's the biggest flaw with the product.""The GUI should be changed because it remains the same consistency across versions. However, those who have been using KerioControl for a long time may be accustomed to the current interface. Installing a new version in the same location makes it easy to find, but overall, there are no notable changes between versions.""The filtering on the unlicensed version of Kerio Control is inefficient - you have to add each website manually, which isn't feasible.""The solution can be improved to create the capability for larger bandwidths that support our business needs.""My experience with the solutions technical support is fine but they could be faster in responding.""The solution should offer more dashboards."

More KerioControl Cons →

"In terms of areas of improvement, the interface seemed like it had a lot. The GUI interface that I had gotten into was rather elaborate. I don't know if they could zero in on some markets and potentially for small, medium businesses specifically, give them a stripped-down version of the GUI for pfSense.""The user interface can be improved to make it easier to add more features. And pfSense could be better integrated with other solutions, like antivirus.""The access control aspect of the product could be improved.""I would like to see pfSense integrate WireGuard. Currently, pfSense uses OpenVPN, and there's nothing wrong with it, but WireGuard is a lot leaner and meaner.""Web interface could be enhanced and more user friendly.""The stability could be improved.""ClamAV AntiVirus can cause some crashes. That service should be improved.""Other solutions provide more scope for growth. For instance, we can have only 10 to 20 employees on VPN, but other solutions can support more users. We also have more capabilities to increase the performance of the solution."

More pfSense 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 →

  • "The price of the solution is reasonable. For additional costs, you can add on more features such as antivirus."
  • "The price is fine."
  • "The price of Kerio Control could be better, it is a bit overpriced compared to other solutions."
  • "I am living in Iran and we cannot buy the product from Kerio because of sanctions."
  • "Its price is fair. There are no additional costs."
  • "I pay approximately $50 for the solution on an annual basis."
  • "Its licensing is yearly. You renew every year. Its price is all-inclusive."
  • "It is priced low enough for entry-level, but it has the power to grow with a company without them having to replace it."
  • More KerioControl Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "We are using the open-source version which is free. We are testing the solution to see if we are going to go to the enterprise version which requires a license and is not free."
  • "There is no license. You don't have to pay anything. It's completely free."
  • "It's open-source and it's free. Anything for free is good."
  • "pfSense is a free solution."
  • "The solution software does not require a license, it is free. The support contract is about $600 dollars."
  • "Its price is pretty fair."
  • "The solution is free. However, you need to pay for support."
  • "Looking at what it does, I think that it is fairly priced."
  • More pfSense Pricing and Cost Advice →

    report
    Use our free recommendation engine to learn which Firewalls solutions are best for your needs.
    672,411 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:One of our favorite things about Fortinet Fortigate is that you can deploy on the cloud or on premises. Fortinet… 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 reporting needs to be improved. It is hard to get a domain.
    Top Answer:The price of the solution is reasonable. For additional costs, you can add on more features such as antivirus.
    Top Answer:1. More detailed reporting. 2. Sometimes you get a few challenges joining to a domain. 3. Improved and simplified User… more »
    Top Answer:You don't really specify what type of router you are looking for but if you are talking about a gateway router I… more »
    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 »
    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
    Netgate
    Video Not Available
    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.

      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 Secure Firewall
      Learn more about KerioControl
      Learn more about pfSense
      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.
      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
      Financial Services Firm16%
      Comms Service Provider13%
      Computer Software Company9%
      Government8%
      VISITORS READING REVIEWS
      Computer Software Company20%
      Comms Service Provider17%
      Government8%
      Educational Organization5%
      REVIEWERS
      Computer Software Company20%
      Manufacturing Company10%
      Comms Service Provider10%
      Transportation Company10%
      VISITORS READING REVIEWS
      Comms Service Provider24%
      Computer Software Company21%
      Educational Organization7%
      Government5%
      REVIEWERS
      University11%
      Marketing Services Firm9%
      Comms Service Provider9%
      Energy/Utilities Company6%
      VISITORS READING REVIEWS
      Comms Service Provider22%
      Computer Software Company15%
      Government8%
      Educational Organization5%
      Company Size
      REVIEWERS
      Small Business35%
      Midsize Enterprise25%
      Large Enterprise40%
      VISITORS READING REVIEWS
      Small Business28%
      Midsize Enterprise18%
      Large Enterprise53%
      REVIEWERS
      Small Business83%
      Midsize Enterprise13%
      Large Enterprise4%
      VISITORS READING REVIEWS
      Small Business34%
      Midsize Enterprise22%
      Large Enterprise45%
      REVIEWERS
      Small Business70%
      Midsize Enterprise18%
      Large Enterprise13%
      VISITORS READING REVIEWS
      Small Business29%
      Midsize Enterprise20%
      Large Enterprise51%
      Buyer's Guide
      KerioControl vs. pfSense
      January 2023
      Find out what your peers are saying about KerioControl vs. pfSense and other solutions. Updated: January 2023.
      672,411 professionals have used our research since 2012.

      KerioControl is ranked 24th in Firewalls with 12 reviews while pfSense is ranked 3rd in Firewalls with 46 reviews. KerioControl is rated 7.8, while pfSense is rated 8.4. The top reviewer of KerioControl 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". KerioControl is most compared with Fortinet FortiGate, OPNsense, Sophos UTM, Sophos XG and WatchGuard Firebox, whereas pfSense is most compared with OPNsense, Fortinet FortiGate, Sophos XG, Untangle NG Firewall and Palo Alto Networks NG Firewalls. See our KerioControl 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.