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Palo Alto Networks NG Firewalls vs pfSense comparison

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Featured Review
Find out what your peers are saying about Palo Alto Networks NG Firewalls vs. pfSense and other solutions. Updated: January 2022.
564,322 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
"The Adversity Malware Protection (AMP) feature is the most valuable. It is also very easy to use. Every technical user can operate this solution without any difficulty. The dashboard of Cisco Firepower has every tool that a security operator needs. You can find every resource that you need to operate through this dashboard.""I have integrated it for incidence response. If there is a security event, the Cisco firewall will automatically block the traffic, which is valuable.""Firepower NGFW has improved my organization in several ways. Before, we were trying to stamp out security threats and issues, it was a one-off type of way to attack it. I spent a lot of manpower trying to track down the individual issues or flare-ups that we would see. With Cisco's Firepower Management, we're able to have that push up to basically one monitor and one UI and be able to track that and stop threats immediately. It also gives us a little more granularity on what those threats might be.""You do not have to do everything through a command line which makes it a lot easier to apply rules.""If configured, Firepower provides us with application visibility and control.""The Firepower+ISE+AMP for endpoint integration is something that really stands it out with other vendor solutions. They have something called pxGrid and i think it is already endorsed by IETF. This allows all devices on the network to communicate.""We get the Security Intelligence Feeds refreshed every hour from Talos, which from my understanding is that they're the largest intelligence Security Intelligence Group outside of the government.""I have access to the web version of Cisco Talos to see the reputation of IP addresses. I find this very helpful. It provides important information for my company to obtain the reputation of IP addresses. The information in Talos is quite complete."

More Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall Pros →

"I love the Policy Optimizer feature. I am also completely happy with its stability.""The ease of use and the ease of configuration of our policies are the most valuable features.""The machine learning in the core of the firewalls, for inline, real-time attack prevention, is very important to us. With the malware and ransomware threats that are out there, to keep abreast of and ahead of those types of attacks, it's important for our devices to be able to use AI to distinguish when there is malicious traffic or abnormal traffic within our environment, and then notify us.""Ability to log each and every application.""You can easily integrate it with Active Directory, and you can use the GlobalProtect VPN for internal and external purposes. The URL Filtering is also clear and the application filtering is a plus. The application filtering is much better when you compare it to FortiGate or other firewall vendors.""Protection from a single packet and ease of making security rules.""When we put it on the border, it was blocking everything that we were getting ahead of time, and we weren't getting any hits. This includes URL filtering, spam prevention, and anti-virus.""I like that it has high security."

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"Content protection, content inspection, and the application level firewall.""The built-in open VPN and the VPN Client Export are the solution's most valuable aspects.""The initial setup is easy.""Sophos Intercept X is scalable. Currently, we have almost 30 people using it in our company.""A valuable feature is that the solution is open source.""We've found the stability to be very good overall.""What I like about pfSense is that it works well and runs on an inexpensive appliance.""I mostly like all of it. Whatever we use is valuable."

More pfSense Pros →

Cons
"We cannot have virtual domains, which we can create with FortiGate. This is something they should add in the future. Additionally, there is a connection limit and the FMC could improve.""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.""FirePOWER does a good job when it comes to providing us with visibility into threats, but I would like to see a more proactive stance to it.""One issue with Firepower Management Center is deployment time. It takes seven to 10 minutes and that's a long time for deployment. In that amount of time, management or someone else can ask me to change something or to provide permissions, but during that time, doing so is not possible. It's a drawback with Cisco. Other vendors, like Palo Alto or Fortinet do not have this deployment time issue.""The central management tool is not comfortable to use. You need to have a specific skill set. This is an important improvement for management because I would like to log into Firepower, see the dashboard, and generate a real-time report, then I question my team.""The solution could offer better control that would allow the ability to restrictions certain features from a website.""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.""The performance should be improved."

More Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall Cons →

"The solution has normal authentication, but does not have two-factor or multi-factor authentication. There is room for development there.""This solution cannot be implemented on-premises; it's only a cloud solution. The price is high as well.""The only area I can see for improvement is that Palo Alto should do more marketing.""In the future, I would like to see more OTP features.""The solution would benefit from having a dashboard.""Palo Alto could do better with integrating the Palo Alto Next-Gen Firewall with SD-WAN. The biggest issue with Palo Alto is that they are expensive. They are very expensive for what they offer. They should improve their pricing.""Its stability can be better. Their technical response from the support side can also be better.""Its reporting can definitely be improved. I would like to have better graphical dashboards and more widgets for more clarity in the reporting area. In a third-generation firewall, you can generate some dashboards. It provides the information that we need, but from the C-level or a higher-level perspective, it is kind of rough and incomplete. Its data loss prevention (DLP) feature is not good enough. Currently, this feature is very basic and not suitable for enterprises. It would be nice if they can include a better DLP feature like Fortinet. We would like to have a local depot of Palo Alto in Latin America. Competitors such as Cisco and Check Point have a local depot here. If there is an issue with their hardware, you can go to the depot, and in about four hours, you can get a replacement device, but that's not the case with Palo Alto Networks because we need to import from Miami. It takes about two to three weeks."

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"The technical support needs to be improved.""Many people have problems setting up the web cache for the web system.""I tried pfSense, and it has a big issue with file system consistency, and this is what drove me to OPNsense. The file system stability is quite a big issue for us. We have a lot of outages related to power issues, and OPNsense is much more stable on this side.""The interface is not very shiny and attractive.""The VPN feature of the solution could improve by adding better functionality and providing easier configure ability.""The main problem with pfSense is that we have to use proxy solutions.""Lacks instructional videos.""They could improve their commercial stance and be more agile when it comes to the commercial pricing of enterprise deals."

More pfSense Cons →

Pricing and Cost Advice
  • "Cisco pricing is premium. However, they gave us a 50 to 60 percent discount."
  • "There are additional implementation and validation costs."
  • "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."
  • More Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "The price of this product should be reduced."
  • "The pricing is competitive in the market."
  • "This is an expensive product, which is why some of our customers don't adopt it."
  • "The product is expensive compared to competing products but uses a similar type of pricing model based on hardware, software and maintenance."
  • "It is a little bit expensive than other firewalls, but it is worth every penny. There are different licenses for the kinds of services you want to use. When we buy a new product, we go for a three-year subscription."
  • "It is a little bit expensive."
  • "The NG firewall is an expensive solution."
  • "This is an expensive product and there is a subscription cost."
  • More Palo Alto Networks NG Firewalls Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "This solution provides enterprise-level features at a fraction of the cost of an enterprise firewall."
  • "It is an open source firewall."
  • "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."
  • More pfSense Pricing and Cost Advice →

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    Questions from the Community
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    Palo Alto Networks NG Firewalls have both great features and performance. I like that Palo Alto has regular threat… more »
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    Top Answer: 
    pfSense is a nice product, and I find that there's a lot of information out there. There are some good tutorials on… more »
    Comparisons
    Also Known As
    Cisco Firepower NGFW, Cisco Firepower Next-Generation Firewall, FirePOWER, Cisco NGFWv
    Palo Alto NGFW, Palo Alto Networks Next-Generation Firewall, Palo Alto Networks PA-Series
    Learn More
    Overview

    Cisco NGFW firewalls deliver advanced threat defense capabilities to meet diverse needs, from
    small/branch offices to high performance data centers and service providers. Available in a wide
    range of models, Cisco NGFW can be deployed as a physical or virtual appliance. Advanced threat
    defense capabilities include Next-generation IPS (NGIPS), Security Intelligence (SI), Advanced
    Malware Protection (AMP), URL filtering, Application Visibility and Control (AVC), and flexible VPN
    features. Inspect encrypted traffic and enjoy automated risk ranking and impact flags to reduce event
    volume so you can quickly prioritize threats. Cisco NGFW firewalls are also available with clustering
    for increased performance, high availability configurations, and more.
    Cisco Firepower NGFWv is the virtualized version of Cisco's Firepower NGFW firewall. Widely
    deployed in leading private and public clouds, Cisco NGFWv automatically scales up/down to meet
    the needs of dynamic cloud environments and high availability provides resilience. Also, Cisco NGFWv
    can deliver micro-segmentation to protect east-west network traffic.
    Cisco firewalls provide consistent security policies, enforcement, and protection across all your
    environments. Unified management for Cisco ASA and FTD/NGFW physical and virtual firewalls is
    delivered by Cisco Defense Orchestrator (CDO), with cloud logging also available. And with Cisco
    SecureX included with every Cisco firewall, you gain a cloud-native platform experience that enables
    greater simplicity, visibility, and efficiency.
    Learn more about Cisco’s firewall solutions, including virtual appliances for public and private cloud.

    Palo Alto Networks' next-generation firewalls secure your business with a prevention-focused architecture and integrated innovations that are easy to deploy and use. Now, you can accelerate growth and eliminate risks at the same time.

    Providing comprehensive network security solutions for the enterprise, large business and SOHO, pfSense solutions bring together the most advanced technology available to make protecting your network easier than ever before. Our products are built on the most reliable platforms and are engineered to provide the highest levels of performance, stability and confidence.
    Offer
    Learn more about Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall
    Learn more about Palo Alto Networks NG Firewalls
    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
    SkiStar AB, Ada County, Global IT Services PSF, Southern Cross Hospitals, Verge Health, University of Portsmouth, Austrian Airlines, The Heinz Endowments
    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 Provider22%
    Financial Services Firm16%
    Government8%
    Non Profit8%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Comms Service Provider33%
    Computer Software Company21%
    Government7%
    Manufacturing Company4%
    REVIEWERS
    Comms Service Provider20%
    Computer Software Company17%
    Financial Services Firm13%
    Healthcare Company7%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Comms Service Provider26%
    Computer Software Company24%
    Government6%
    Energy/Utilities Company4%
    REVIEWERS
    University10%
    Comms Service Provider10%
    Marketing Services Firm8%
    Computer Software Company6%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Comms Service Provider44%
    Computer Software Company15%
    Government6%
    Media Company4%
    Company Size
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business43%
    Midsize Enterprise28%
    Large Enterprise29%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business22%
    Midsize Enterprise13%
    Large Enterprise66%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business38%
    Midsize Enterprise31%
    Large Enterprise31%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business36%
    Midsize Enterprise14%
    Large Enterprise50%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business70%
    Midsize Enterprise17%
    Large Enterprise13%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business56%
    Midsize Enterprise14%
    Large Enterprise30%
    Find out what your peers are saying about Palo Alto Networks NG Firewalls vs. pfSense and other solutions. Updated: January 2022.
    564,322 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    Palo Alto Networks NG Firewalls is ranked 7th in Firewalls with 72 reviews while pfSense is ranked 3rd in Firewalls with 60 reviews. Palo Alto Networks NG Firewalls is rated 8.6, while pfSense is rated 8.6. The top reviewer of Palo Alto Networks NG Firewalls writes "The product stability and level of security are second to none in the industry". On the other hand, the top reviewer of pfSense writes "Feature-rich, well documented, and there is good support available online". Palo Alto Networks NG Firewalls is most compared with Fortinet FortiGate, Azure Firewall, Sophos XG, Meraki MX and Check Point CloudGuard Network Security, whereas pfSense is most compared with OPNsense, Fortinet FortiGate, Sophos UTM, Sophos XG and Zyxel Unified Security Gateway. See our Palo Alto Networks NG Firewalls 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.