We performed a comparison between pfSense and WatchGuard Firebox based on our users’ reviews in five categories. After reading all of the collected data, you can find our conclusion below.
Comparison Results: Both products received high marks from reviewers, but WatchGuard ultimately won out in this comparison. According to reviews, WatchGuard appears to be a more secure solution.
"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 management console is pretty simple, so anyone who understands networking can initially deploy the solution."
"It is easy to use. We chose this product for the possibility to have virtual domains (VDOMs). We are building another company in the group, and we would like to split the firewalling rules and policies between these two companies. Each company would be able to manage its own policies and security rules, which is an advantage of Fortinet FortiGate. We can define VDOMs, and every company can manage its own VDOM as if it has its own physical firewall, but in fact, we would be using the same physical appliance because we are also using the same internet lines. So, it allows us to reuse the existing resources without the disadvantage of having to compromise on policies and security. Each company can choose its own way of working."
"I have found Fortinet FortiGate to be scalable."
"It works very well. It has a lot of different functionalities. Its cost is also fine for our customers."
"Initial setup is easy to configure."
"The secure web gateway module and the application control module are valuable. HA operations are very easy."
"I like Fortinet's cloud management. It allows me to manage all my devices in different branches for three cloud accounts. Even though I use on-prem devices, I can manage everything on the cloud."
"The most valuable features of pfSense are security, user-friendliness, and helpful online management."
"Sophos Intercept X is scalable. Currently, we have almost 30 people using it in our company."
"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."
"The product’s documentation is good."
"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."
"It is a very good solution for enterprises that need a VPN for their employees. It is the best way to provide a remote work facility to employees at a very low cost. Other solutions that I have had in the past were very expensive. Enterprises don't always have that kind of money to invest."
"I have found pfSense to be stable."
"The classic features such as content inspection, content protection, and the application-level firewall, are the most important."
"It is a scalable solution."
"The most valuables feature of WatchGuard Firebox are the VPNs, and web filtering where we can stop users from going to malicious sites."
"Firebox's best feature is the access portal."
"I like intrusion detection the most."
"The most valuable features are the VPN and web blocker security."
"The most valuable feature of WatchGuard Firebox is the VPN. It's easy to connect to the VPN."
"Easy to change the model if you need more performance, with good cohesion in the whole lineup of devices."
"The solution has many security features. We have an intrusion provision system and filtering and block filtering."
"We would like to have the ability to disable some of the security functionalities."
"My only complaint about FortiGate is a lack of QinQ VLAN tunneling. I haven't found this feature in any Fortinet product. You can do this on all Cisco routers, including the smaller models. However, QinQ isn't available on the biggest, most expensive Fortinet units. They still don't have that. I think now we're on software version 6.0, and they still haven't found a solution for QinQ. It isn't a dealbreaker, but that's my main complaint."
"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."
"Its price could be better."
"Its filtering is sometimes too precise or strict. We sometimes have to bypass and authorize some of the sites, but they get blocked. We know that they are trusted sites, but they are blocked, and we don't know why."
"The platform's interface could improve."
"From a reporting perspective, there's room for improvement. They're providing FortiAnalyzer through which one can get some enhancements, but the visibility and reporting still need slight improvement."
"Their software support needs improvement. I would prefer to have better support for bug fixes. Sometimes, we open a ticket, and it is very difficult to get a solution. Specifically, we are not at all happy with their support for load balancing."
"More documentation would be great, especially on new features because sometimes, when new features come out, you don't get to understand them right off the bat. You have to really spend a lot of time understanding them. So, more documentation would be awesome."
"pfSense could improve by having a sandboxing feature that I have seen in SonicWall. However, maybe it is available I am not aware of it."
"It's just not listed as FIPS compliant for where we're at now in government, which is an issue."
"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."
"The integration should be improved."
"ClamAV AntiVirus can cause some crashes. That service should be improved."
"The integration of pfSense with EPS and EDS could be better. Also, it should be easier to get reports on how many users are connecting simultaneously and how sections connect in real-time."
"It would be great to add more to security."
"Some of the configuration options are somewhat confusing."
"The area where I think this product can be improved is the user interface and the reporting. It can be quite difficult to find the correct logs and to actually find out what is going on. The digging can be time-consuming."
"I would like to see more training become available for us."
"What could use some significant improvement in WatchGuard Firebox would be its interface and policy management. An additional feature I'd like to see in the next release of WatchGuard Firebox is the ability to modify an existing policy instead of having to recreate a policy when changes are necessary. At the moment, there's no possibility to modify the policy. You have to delete the policy and recreate it."
"The next release should have better software and configuration systems that can also be used on Linux."
"When working with WatchGuard, specifically in configuring Panda Security on the portal for the first time, it was challenging for me."
"I believe there is a need for additional measures to connect mobile devices securely to the Firebox router."
"Firebox would be improved with integration for endpoint protection solutions."
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."
WatchGuard Firebox is a versatile security solution primarily used for security purposes such as firewalling, VPN, and protecting networks from outside and inside threats. It is also used for routing, multi-factor authentication, vulnerability management, and segregating industrial networks from corporate networks.
The product is praised for scalability, stability, user-friendliness, reasonable pricing, and good technical support. Some users use it for web filtering and hosting web pages, while others – for remote access connections and mobile VPNs. Firebox offers great protection, good performance, and flexibility without licensing limitations.
WatchGuard Firebox Features
WatchGuard Firebox has many valuable key features, including:
WatchGuard Firebox Benefits
Some of the benefits of using WatchGuard Firebox include:
Reviews from Real Users
Below are some reviews and helpful feedback written by WatchGuard Firebox users.
PeerSpot user Kelly C., IT Manager at a hospitality company, mentions, “One of the most valuable features is the Gateway AntiVirus. We scan all traffic as it's coming through. We also use spamBlocker to scrub spam. We use content filtering, which is critical in any corporate environment to make sure that people don't surf things they're not supposed to. WatchGuard has a very easy VPN and branch office VPN setup, so we use those pretty extensively too.It's very easy to use. In terms of performance, WatchGuard has always worked well for us. Regarding the reporting, I was in the Dimension server earlier today. It's very powerful. I like it. And the management features are easy to use. I like the fact that I can open up the System Manager client or I can just do it through the web if I'm making a quick change.”
A Director of Information Technology at a retailer says, “Among the most valuable features is the ease of use — love the interface — of both the web interface and of the WatchGuard System Manager. It's a stable platform. The devices are pretty rock-solid.”
Jason M., IT Director at a healthcare company, explains, “The policy monitoring and allowing different traffic flows are the most useful features for us; regulating which traffic comes in and out. In terms of the throughput and performance, we don't have a problem or any bottleneck there. We downgraded the size of our appliance because we're a small facility, and what we had before was actually too big. The one we are now going with seems to be doing a great job.” He also adds, “The management feature is pretty nice.”
Steve R., President and Owner at Peak Communication Systems, Inc., comments, "It saves us time in the respect that we now have the template built for it so we can get in and get it done. We've had much less problems supporting Voice over IP technologies from different companies. Because our client base has grown over the years, we're probably saving 20 to 30 man-hours a month now that we've got this on a good stable level."
Netgate pfSense is ranked 2nd in Firewalls with 22 reviews while WatchGuard Firebox is ranked 2nd in Unified Threat Management (UTM) with 25 reviews. Netgate pfSense is rated 8.6, while WatchGuard Firebox is rated 8.4. 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 WatchGuard Firebox writes "Easy to deploy and it provides useful data on threats ". Netgate pfSense is most compared with OPNsense, Sophos XG, Untangle NG Firewall, Sophos UTM and KerioControl, whereas WatchGuard Firebox is most compared with Sophos XG, Meraki MX, OPNsense, Cisco Secure Firewall and Sophos UTM. See our Netgate pfSense vs. WatchGuard Firebox report.
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