We performed a comparison between pfSense and SonicWall TZ based on our users’ reviews in five categories. After reading all of the collected data, you can find our conclusion below.
Features: pfSense offers valuable features such as IP address blocking, user-friendly dashboards, scanning and filtering capabilities, stability, customization abilities, and cost-effectiveness. SonicWall TZ provides unified threat management, VPN capabilities, web security, a user-friendly interface, simplicity, stability, performance, content filtering, and additional features.
pfSense users have suggested the need for instructional videos for beginners, a clearer web interface, improved stability, a mobile application, enhanced reporting, and better integration with other solutions. Users of SonicWall TZ have pointed out improvements that are needed in rated throughput, secondary DNS hosting, cloud management, user interface, integration and flexibility, marketing and branding, reporting and licensing, additional ports, affordability and competition, UI application and policy synchronization, technical support and VPN connections, and pricing.
Service and Support: Some users of pfSense have appreciated the technical support, while others have sought help from the online community. SonicWall TZ has garnered both positive and negative feedback. While some customers have found the support to be satisfactory, others have encountered delays and language barriers.
Ease of Deployment: Users generally find the initial setup of pfSense to be straightforward and easy, with a simple installation process. However, they express the need for clearer guidance or a configuration wizard. The initial setup for SonicWall TZ is considered intuitive and not overly complex, with a smooth out-of-the-box process.
Pricing: The cost of setting up pfSense is affordable and requires no extra charges for firmware updates. Opinions on SonicWall TZ's pricing are divided, with some deeming it cost-effective for medium-sized businesses, while others perceive it as pricey and lacking competitiveness.
ROI: pfSense provides a budget-friendly option with a low yearly cost and substantial hardware savings, leading to a considerable ROI. SonicWall TZ is suggested for improved efficacy and is seen as an essential element for safeguarding the network.
Comparison Results: pfSense is the preferred option when comparing it to SonicWall TZ. Users appreciate pfSense's easy-to-use dashboards, its open-source nature, and its capability to block IP addresses. They find it affordable, customizable, and effective in preventing attacks.
"Overall security features and performance routing is good."
"Fortinet FortiGate is a stable solution."
"Whenever I need something, Fortinet improves and updates the software for me."
"The most valuable features of Fortinet FortiGate are the ability to work in proxy mode, which other solutions, such as Palo Alto cannot. There are some features that are better that come at no extra license or subscriptions cost, such as basic SD-WAN. The DLT is useful, other solutions have the same feature too, such as Palo Alto."
"The license management is very valuable. You can get a new license each year, or you can enroll every two to four years. You can get the logs, and you will get the information on the risk in your network and the entire organization. With this information, you can take action on your actives, computers, or devices. You can bring your own device as an SSE."
"Reliability is the best feature. We faced some issues when we were setting it up, but the service, portal, and administration are good."
"FortiGate's web and URL filtering are unlike any other firewall I've used. The functionality of URL filtering in those solutions is problematic because everything is encrypted, and firewalls can't break that encryption protocol. Fortinet has an SSL proxy, so the encryption is done before the packet ever leaves the FortiGate. The URL filter is definitely one of the most helpful features."
"The most valuable feature of Fortinet FortiGate is security. They are known for efficiency and are on the top of Gartner Quadrant reviews. Fortinet FortiGate has an easy-to-use platform with a good graphical interface. The configuration is simple and the solution provides an overall good layer of security."
"The classic features such as content inspection, content protection, and the application-level firewall, are the most important."
"Sophos Intercept X is scalable. Currently, we have almost 30 people using it in our company."
"The initial setup is not complex."
"I have found pfSense to be stable."
"My technicians find the pfSense's web interface very useful. It is very easy to use. pfSense is very reliable and stable. We like the OpenVPN clients that can be deployed using pfSense very much."
"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 product’s documentation is good."
"I like pfSense's reports and how I can control access to the policies on the firewall."
"SonicWall TZ is very user-friendly and has network MAC binding. Additionally, the firewall works well."
"User-friendly firewall solution which scales well, is stable, and has high availability."
"The feature with SonicWall that I have found most valuable is that all the models have the same interface. We don't need to learn different interfaces in the smaller or bigger models."
"Access restriction and IP whitelisting are the most valuable features."
"It's a stable solution."
"The solution is stable."
"The most valuable feature is content filtering and app control."
"We like the unified threat management for defense-in-depth. We can terminate our site-to-site and remote access VPNs with it."
"Performance and technical support are the main issues with this solution."
"Fortigate's hardware capacities could be improved."
"Fortinet FortiGate could improve by adding enhancements to FortiMail, FortiSOAR, and FortiDeceptor."
"It can be a little bit more user-friendly in terms of policy definition and implementation. It seems a little bit complicated, and it could be simplified."
"If they could extend their fabric towards other vendor environments for integration, that would be great."
"I think that the infrastructure for the VPN could be improved. The way that it is bundled also made it difficult to use and sell as it is too expensive."
"Fortinet FortiGate can be integrated with different platforms. They have integrations in place, but I can't say they're 100%."
"The support team for Fortinet FortiGate needs to be more customer friendly."
"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."
"The solution could improve by having centralized management and API support online."
"Also, the GUI is helpful, but it's not user-friendly. It's complicated. It should be more intuitive for the average user and have an excellent graphical view. Of course, the user will typically know about network administration, but it still should be easy to understand."
"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."
"ClamAV AntiVirus can cause some crashes. That service should be improved."
"The integration should be improved."
"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."
"It was difficult to configure our web printer through the solution. This process could be easier. Additionally, integration with SD-WAN solution."
"The technical support has room for improvement."
"You need to be a certificate holder to set it up and configure it. It's really important because it looks easy, but it is complex. You need to have the knowledge and experience. But this is normal for technical products. It's not a product for regular user. It's for technical people. You need to have skills."
"Getting support can be slow."
"The quality of tech support can vary."
"The cost of the solution has room for improvement."
"It needs more robust self-help documentation along with examples and things to watch out for."
"The reporting analytics could be improved, it is very unstable."
"There is still room for improvement, and it's not advisable even if the organization has grown."
Fortinet FortiGate is an innovative line of firewalls that aim to protect organizations from all types of web-based network threats. They come in a wide variety of product types. Fortinet FortiGate’s solutions are available in a large range of sizes and form factors and are key components of the Fortinet Security Fabric, which enables immediate, intelligent defense against known and new threats throughout the entire network.
Fortinet FortiGate provides users with next-generation firewall solutions that provide proven protection with unmatched performance across the network, from internal segments to data centers to cloud environments. You can protect every part of your network without exception. Additionally, your protections can be managed from a single central location. This ensures that the task of protecting your network is infinitely easier to accomplish.
Benefits of Fortinet FortiGate
Some of the benefits of using Fortinet FortiGate include:
Reviews from Real Users
Fortinet FortiGate’s firewall solutions are cutting edge. They stand out from competitors for a number of reasons. Two major ones are the robustness and power of their firewalls. Fortinet FortiGate’s firewall provides users with many valuable features that allow them to maximize what they can do with the solution. These firewalls enable users to use a single piece of software to accomplish tasks that often require the use of multiple pieces of software.
PeerSpot user Eric S., a Solutions Engineer and Consultant at a tech-services company, notes the robustness of this solution when he writes, "One of the nice things about FortiGate is that it can be deployed on the cloud or on-premises. You can actually do both. That's the biggest reason why I stick with this solution as opposed to something like Cisco Meraki. Another nice thing is that I can log directly into a FortiGate or get to it through their FortiCloud access products. They're pretty reliable and consistent. One of the reasons why I started using the product was their single pane of management. I can deploy their line of firewalls in conjunction with their switching and access points, and I can manage the entire network from one interface.”
PeerSpot user Jim M., a network admin at Penobscot Valley Hospital, notes the power of Fortinet FortiGate’s security software when he writes, "It does a lot for you for intrusion protection and as an antivirus. The threat management bundle is worth the money. You don't need another company to monitor your web traffic for you. You can do everything yourself on the firewall. You restrict your own black list for people on the firewall.”
pfSense is a powerful and reliable network security appliance primarily used for security purposes such as firewall and VPN or traffic shaping, network management, and web filtering. It is commonly used by small businesses and managed service providers to protect their customers' networks and enable remote access through VPNs.
The solution is praised for its stability, user-friendly interface, scalability potential, open-source nature, free cost, easy installation, firewall capabilities, security features, flexibility, and simplicity. Overall, pfSense is a cost-effective solution for enterprises that need a VPN for their employees.
pfSense Key Features
pfSense has many key features and capabilities, including:
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."
Netgate pfSense is ranked 2nd in Firewalls with 22 reviews while SonicWall TZ is ranked 10th in Firewalls with 28 reviews. Netgate pfSense is rated 8.6, while SonicWall TZ is rated 8.2. The top reviewer of Netgate pfSense writes "Feature-rich, well documented, and there is good support available online". On the other hand, the top reviewer of SonicWall TZ writes "Multifeatured firewall solution with a user-friendly interface, high availability, scalability, and stability". Netgate pfSense is most compared with OPNsense, Sophos XG, Untangle NG Firewall, Sophos UTM and Palo Alto Networks NG Firewalls, whereas SonicWall TZ is most compared with Sophos XG, SonicWall NSa, Meraki MX, Cisco Secure Firewall and OPNsense. See our Netgate pfSense vs. SonicWall TZ report.
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