Palo Alto Networks NG Firewalls vs Sophos XG comparison

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123,063 views|89,961 comparisons
90% willing to recommend
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26,212 views|16,745 comparisons
96% willing to recommend
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60,004 views|43,112 comparisons
93% willing to recommend
Comparison Buyer's Guide
Executive Summary
Updated on Apr 10, 2022

We performed a comparison between Palo Alto Networks and Sophos XG based on our users’ reviews in five categories. After reading all of the collected data, you can find our conclusion below.

  • Ease of Deployment: Some Palo Alto Networks users say the initial setup is straightforward, while others say it is complex. Most Sophos XG users say that the initial setup is straightforward.
  • Features: Reviewers of both products are happy with their stability, security, and scalability. Palo Alto Networks users say that it performs well and is easy to use. Several Palo Alto Networks users would like to see the solution’s logging and reporting improved. Sophos XG users say it is user-friendly and has good reporting and VPN features. A few users note that the user-interface is outdated.
  • Pricing: Palo Alto Networks reviewers feel that it is an expensive product. In contrast, most Sophos XG users feel that the price of the product is fair.
  • ROI: Reviewers of both products report seeing an ROI.
  • Service and Support: Palo Alto Networks reviewers are satisfied with the level of support they receive. Many Sophos XG users say that the support is good, but some say it could improve.

Comparison Results: Palo Alto Networks comes out on top in this comparison. It is robust, performs well, and has good support. Sophos XG does, however, do better in the Pricing and Ease of Deployment categories.

To learn more, read our detailed Palo Alto Networks NG Firewalls vs. Sophos XG Report (Updated: March 2024).
767,496 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Q&A Highlights
Question: Which is better - Palo Alto Networks NG Firewalls or Sophos XG?
Answer: As a Sophos specialist, I can tell you that XG Firewall will cover all that you'll need with a more affordable way.Sophos XG firewall will not disappoint you with its performance, resources or features.
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 simplicity of the product is great. It's very easy to use, which is a compliment we get all the time in terms of feedback.""This solution has solid UTM features combined with a nice GUI.""Fortinet has a very good solution for Secure SD-WAN. One very good feature is that they have robust and simple FortiOS through which they provide all solutions. That's their strength. There's not much complexity involved with the Secure SD-WAN solution of Fortinet as compared to Cisco's solution, which has a lot of flexibility but complexity also comes with that flexibility.""FortiGate SD-WAN facilitated a smooth transition for our customers between their two internet service providers, ensuring uninterrupted connectivity without any downtime.""The solution is very easy to understand. It's not overly complex.""The performance is good.""The interface is very good.""I think that the UTM features are the most value, as it truly protects my infrastructure."

More Fortinet FortiGate Pros →

"It is an extremely powerful solution as it provides visibility into all the network traffic, and offers a range of actions such as blocking websites or graphics, as well as load balancing. It's a great tool.""The interface is very nice. We generally like the UI the product offers.""IoT security is most valuable in the current version. Content IDs, DDoS protection, zone protection, and DLP are the most prominent features in Palo Alto Networks NG Firewall. It is easier to configure than other solutions.""The key aspect of this solution that provides the most value is its next-gen capabilities, which represented a significant change for us.""URL filtering and WildFire features are most valuable. It is very user-friendly. It is a very solid product, and it definitely works.""A feature introduced by Palo Alto with the version 10-OS is embedded machine learning in the core of the firewall to provide inline, real-time attack prevention. Machine learning analyzes the network traffic and detects if there is any usual traffic coming from outside to inside. Because of Palo Alto, organizations detect around 91% of malicious attacks using machine learning. The machine learning helps customers by implementing firewalls in critical and air gap areas so there is no need to integrate with the cloud sandbox.""Security is the biggest thing nowadays, including threat response, incident response, and root cause. We found that a lot of the logging and dashboard capabilities offered by Palo Alto fill the missing skill gap that you run up against. It makes it easier for our tier-two staff to get involved in some of the deeper root cause analysis. The dashboards, logs, and reports make it easier for our staff to dive right in and not get lost in what tools they should use. It's easy because they're all right there.""We have found the application control to be the most valuable feature. Also, Layer 7, because all other products are working up to the maximum capacity. But Palo Alto is benefiting us, especially in application control management. We are able to differentiate between Oracle traffic and SQL traffic."

More Palo Alto Networks NG Firewalls Pros →

"I like the web filter, application filter, and VBA.""Over the past two years, during the COVID pandemic, the VPN has helped us a lot.""The interface is very user-friendly and it's easy to manage.""The firewall provides network visibility and reporting capabilities, constantly improving over time. It can be integrated with the cloud console, allowing centralized management of multiple firewalls. integration with endpoint security products ensures seamless traffic flow and rule enforcement, even when endpoints are not directly connected to the firewall.""The stability of Sophos XG is very good. However, there have been some issues with other weaker models because they are limited in hardware in resources.""The most valuable features are its nice interfaces and configuration. The endpoint is also very good.""The most significant aspect is the protection it offers.""The most valuable feature is web filtering."

More Sophos XG Pros →

Cons
"The improvement is related to logs. Instead of the CLI, we should be able to have more insights into the logs of the firewall in the GUI.""I would like Fortinet to add more automation to FortiGate.""They need faster serviceability and more security features.""I don't really have anything negative to say as far as Fortinet firewalls are concerned. If anything, they can support a user a little bit better. They can stop being so time-sensitive about how much time the support call has taken, and they can help you do it yourself.""There could be more integration between the logging and analytical platforms to make it more seamless and integrated.""I have to say that the initial setup was complex. The deployment took a few days to get set up. Initially, we were using an IPVanish. We switched to this tool since we thought it would be easier. But it turns out it wasn't easier to set up and run.""It should provide better visibility over the network and more information in the form of reports for the end users. Its installation should also be easier.""The initial setup and configuration are not intuitive and require training."

More Fortinet FortiGate Cons →

"I believe it would be beneficial if the solution could integrate with Google Chrome, especially for students who use Chromebooks. However, as far as I know, the solution currently does not support Google Chrome.""The data loss prevention (DLP) capabilities need to be beefed up.""This is a difficult product to manage, so the administrator needs to have a good knowledge of it, otherwise, they will not be able to handle it properly.""The solution could be simplified.""The SD-WAN product is fairly new. They could probably improve that in terms of customizing it and making the configuration a little bit easier.""In the future, I would like to see more OTP features.""The solution doesn't support routing in virtual firewall creation, and we want that to be enabled.""In my opinion, the training provided is satisfactory, but there is certainly room for improvement. It would be great to have more comprehensive training at a lower cost, or even for free."

More Palo Alto Networks NG Firewalls Cons →

"I would like to have better SSL decryption and HTTP decryption. There should be filtering of SSL and HTTP traffic. Sophos XG consumes a lot of endpoint resources. It consumes a lot of RAM and CPU resources, and they should look into this.""The initial setup is not straightforward.""We are facing some problems on this firmware version, version 18, that require improvement. We want to improve the email security because it doesn't give proper security with the data protection. Also, our clients are facing some problems where most of the sites which they're accessing are getting blocked. I want to improve those sites, that email security, and the data protection on the Firmware version 18.""It would be helpful if the solution offered some tutorial videos to help new users learn the system quickly.""When upgrading the firewalls, the process could be easier.""All of the options should be available when I renew my subscription for the year. As it is now, there are some limitations.""In the product, the area revolving around SD-WAN has certain shortcomings where improvements are required.""I can't use the product's application control feature, making it a disadvantage of the solution where improvements are required."

More Sophos XG Cons →

Pricing and Cost Advice
  • "Fortinet has one or two license types, and the VPN numbers are only limited by the hardware chassis make."
  • "These boxes are not that expensive compared to what they can do, their functionality, and the reporting you receive. Fortinet licensing is straightforward and less confusing compared to Cisco."
  • "Go for long term pricing negotiated at the time of purchase."
  • "Work through partners for the best pricing."
  • "The value is the capability of having multiple services with one unique license, not having the limitation per user licensing schema, like other vendors."
  • "Easy to understand licensing requirements."
  • "​We saved a bundle by not needing all the past appliances from an NGFW.​"
  • "The cost is too high... They have to focus on more features with less cost for the customer. If you see the market, where it's going, there are a lot of players offering more features for less cost."
  • More Fortinet FortiGate Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "Annually, the licensing costs are too much."
  • "Pricing is yearly, but it depends. You could pay on a yearly basis, or every three years. If you want to add a device or two, there would be an additional cost. Also, if you want to do an assessment, or other similar add-on, you have to pay accordingly for the additional service."
  • "It will be worth your time to hire a contractor to set it up and configure it for you, especially if you are not very knowledgeable with PA firewalls."
  • "Don't buy a device with more power than you really need, because licensing depends on the cost of the box you have."
  • "The licensing is annual, and there aren't any additional fees on top of that."
  • "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."
  • More Palo Alto Networks NG Firewalls Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "For licensing the XG 210, we paid approximately $3000 for three years. There are no additional fees on top of this."
  • "It's a suitable price and license."
  • "We are paying about $1,500 yearly for the Enterprise Plus. As far as I know, there aren't costs above this standard fee."
  • "The Sophos pricing, in general, is better than SonicWall, Fortinet, WatchGuard, or anybody else."
  • "We paid for our licensing for three years, upfront, and there are no costs in addition to the standard fees."
  • "The price is cheaper than that of some competing vendors."
  • "The pricing is flexible. Sophos looks at a country's economy and offers flexible pricing. This is how they have managed to penetrate the market."
  • "It's approximately $6,000 for each device."
  • More Sophos XG Pricing and Cost Advice →

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    Answers from the Community
    Netanya Carmi
    Questions from the Community
    Top Answer: When you compare these firewalls you can identify them with different features, advantages, practices and usage at… more »
    Top Answer:From my experience regarding both the Sophos and FortiGate firewalls, I personally would rather use FortiGate. I know… more »
    Top Answer:As a solution, Sophos UTM offers a lot of functionality, it scales well, and the stability and performance are quite… more »
    Top Answer:Azure Firewall Vs. Palo Alto Network NG Firewalls Both solutions provide stellar stability and security. Azure… more »
    Top Answer:In the best tradition of these questions, Feature-wise both are quite similar, but each has things it's better at, it… more »
    Top Answer:Palo Alto Networks NG Firewalls have both great features and performance. I like that Palo Alto has regular threat… more »
    Top Answer:Hi Arvind P ,  The Sophos XG firewall has a number of models right from XG86 to XG135w under the 1U Desktop Form… more »
    Top Answer:The Sophos UTM is a UTM and Sophos XG is the NGFW. First, you must know about the difference between a UTM and NGFW… more »
    Comparisons
    Also Known As
    FortiGate 60b, FortiGate 60c, FortiGate 80c, FortiGate 50b, FortiGate 200b, FortiGate 110c, FortiGate
    Palo Alto NGFW, Palo Alto Networks Next-Generation Firewall
    Learn More
    Overview

    Fortinet FortiGate enhances network security, prevents unauthorized access, and offers robust firewall protection. Valued features include advanced threat protection, reliable performance, and a user-friendly interface. It improves efficiency, streamlines processes, and boosts collaboration, providing valuable insights for informed decision-making and growth.

    Palo Alto Networks NG Firewalls are next-generation firewalls used for security to protect networks from threats and attacks. It is used for perimeter security, data center protection, and managing secure access to environments. Users highlight the NGFW's effectiveness in providing comprehensive security without impacting network performance. Users appreciate its ease of use, particularly in setup and ongoing management, making it a favored choice for businesses looking to secure their cloud environments.

    The firewall provides application control, malware protection, scalability, stability, user-friendly interface, threat hunt capabilities, application visibility and awareness, URL filtering, traffic monitoring, machine learning for attack prevention, a unified platform for all security capabilities, DNS security, VPN, and embedded machine learning. Palo Alto Networks NG Firewalls is easy to manage, reliable, and balances security and network performance well. It also provides complete visibility through logs and alerting.

    Palo Alto Networks NG Firewalls Features

    Palo Alto Networks NG Firewalls has many valuable key features. Some of the most useful ones include:

    • Secure Application Enablement (App-ID, User-ID, Content-ID)
    • Malware Detection and Prevention (threat prevention service, buffer overflows and port scans, anti-malware capabilities, command-and-control protection, and WildFire)
    • DNS Security (URL filtering, predict and block malicious domains, signature-based protection, extensible cloud-based architecture)
    • Panorama Security Management (including graphical views and analytics, manage rules and dynamic updates, customizable application command center (ACC), log collection mode, physical or virtual appliance)
    • Threat Intelligence (high-fidelity threat intelligence, priority alerts, automatic extraction and sharing of prevention indicators, native integration with Palo Alto Networks products)

    Palo Alto Networks NG Firewalls Benefits

    There are several benefits to implementing Palo Alto Networks NG Firewalls. Some of the biggest advantages the solution offers include:

    • Dedicated management interface for managing and initial configuration of the device
    • Regular threat signatures and updates
    • Import addresses and URL objects from the external server
    • Configure and manage with REST API integration
    • Great throughput and connection speed is fair even in high traffic load
    • Deep visibility into the network activity through Application and Command Control
    • Easy to manage and very user friendly

    Reviews from Real Users

    Below are some reviews and helpful feedback written by Palo Alto Networks NG Firewalls users.

    A Solutions Architect at a communications service provider says, “The product stability and level of security are second to none in the industry. We value the security of our client's infrastructure so these features are valuable to us. An example of a very valuable feature behind Palo Alto is the application-aware identifiers that help the firewall know what its users are trying to do. It can block specific activities instead of just blocking categories. For example, you can block an application, or all unknown applications.”

    PeerSpot user Gerry H., CyberSecurity Network Engineer at a university, mentions that the solution has a “Nice user interface, good support, is stable, and has extensive logging capabilities.” He also adds, “Wildfire has been a very good feature. This solution provides a unified platform that natively integrates all security capabilities, which is 100% important to us. This is a great feature.”

    Eric S., Network Analyst at a recreational facilities/services company, states, "With its single pane of glass, it makes monitoring and troubleshooting a bit more homogeneous. We are not looking at multiple platforms and monitoring management tools. It is more efficient from that perspective. It is more of a common monitoring and control system for multiple aspects of what used to be different systems. It provides efficiency and time savings."

    Sophos XG Firewall is a complete firewall solution that provides all the real-time security and insights you need to protect your network from ransomware and advanced threats. Sophos XG Firewall provides visibility into suspicious users, unknown and unwanted apps, encrypted traffic, and other threats. With its advanced artificial intelligence capabilities, Sophos XG Firewall immediately identifies potential risks and intrusions on web servers and networks.

    Sophos XG Firewall Features

    Sophos XG Firewall offers a wide range of security features, including:

    • Application control: Prevent widespread infections with XG’s Security Heartbeat. XG Firewall automatically identifies the source of an infection on a network and automatically prevents it from accessing other network resources.

    • Synchronized user ID: Eliminate the need for client or server authentication agents by sharing user identification between the endpoint and the firewall through Security Heartbeat.

    • Centralized management: Easily manage all activities with Sophos Central. The XG cloud management platform allows users to easily set up, manage, and monitor XG firewalls along with other Sophos products. Some of Sophos Central’s features include alerting, backup management, one-click firmware updates, and rapid deployments of new firewalls.

    • Lateral movement protection: Automatically isolate compromised systems at every point in the network to stop attacks dead in their tracks.

    • Network protection: Protect networks from attacks and threats while providing secure network access.

    • Web protection: Gain clear visibility and control over all users’ web and application activity.

    • Web server protection: Solidify web servers and applications against hacking attacks while providing secure web access.

    • Email protection: Consolidate email protection with anti-spam, DLP, and encryption. XG’s Live Anti-Spam provides protection from the most recent spam campaigns, phishing attacks, and malicious attachments. Data Loss Prevention automatically triggers encryption on sensitive data in outgoing emails.

    Reviews from Real Users

    Sophos XG Firewall stands out among its competitors, among other reasons, for its intrusion detection capabilities, its user-friendly management platform, and in general, for being a complete and robust firewall solution.

    Niranjan P., a network & system support engineer, writes, “Sophos is a comprehensive solution which allows me to configure all the attendant products, such as Sophos's firewall, endpoint, and encryption features. A nice feature of Sophos is that it offers in sync and heartbeat security. When my clients have a perimeter involving Sophos firewall and endpoints with Sophos Endpoint, they can communicate with each other.”

    Antonio D., sales manager at INFOSEC, notes, “The product has a console that is based in the cloud for all their products. In this console, they have email security, firewall security, endpoint security, et cetera. All of the products on offer in the console are very useful for us. The solution is stable. The solution works well for enterprises and large-scale organizations.”

    Antony M., ICT/HMIS supervisor at a healthcare company, writes, “The VPN feature is the most valuable. It has come in handy during this period when people are working from home. The filtering feature is also valuable because you can easily filter the sites that you don't want to visit. You can also set timely surfing quotas”

    Sample Customers
    1. Amazon Web Services 2. Microsoft 3. IBM 4. Cisco 5. Dell 6. HP 7. Oracle 8. Verizon 9. AT&T 10. T-Mobile 11. Sprint 12. Vodafone 13. Orange 14. BT Group 15. Telstra 16. Deutsche Telekom 17. Comcast 18. Time Warner Cable 19. CenturyLink 20. NTT Communications 21. Tata Communications 22. SoftBank 23. China Mobile 24. Singtel 25. Telus 26. Rogers Communications 27. Bell Canada 28. Telkom Indonesia 29. Telkom South Africa 30. Telmex 31. Telia Company 32. Telkom Kenya
    SkiStar AB, Ada County, Global IT Services PSF, Southern Cross Hospitals, Verge Health, University of Portsmouth, Austrian Airlines, The Heinz Endowments
    Information Not Available
    Top Industries
    REVIEWERS
    Comms Service Provider16%
    Computer Software Company9%
    Financial Services Firm8%
    Manufacturing Company7%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Educational Organization20%
    Computer Software Company15%
    Comms Service Provider8%
    Manufacturing Company6%
    REVIEWERS
    Comms Service Provider16%
    Financial Services Firm14%
    Computer Software Company13%
    Educational Organization9%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company16%
    Financial Services Firm9%
    Manufacturing Company7%
    Government7%
    REVIEWERS
    Manufacturing Company11%
    Financial Services Firm9%
    Comms Service Provider8%
    Healthcare Company8%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company17%
    Comms Service Provider12%
    Government6%
    Manufacturing Company6%
    Company Size
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business48%
    Midsize Enterprise23%
    Large Enterprise30%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business27%
    Midsize Enterprise32%
    Large Enterprise41%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business35%
    Midsize Enterprise27%
    Large Enterprise38%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business25%
    Midsize Enterprise17%
    Large Enterprise58%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business61%
    Midsize Enterprise24%
    Large Enterprise15%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business38%
    Midsize Enterprise19%
    Large Enterprise43%
    Buyer's Guide
    Palo Alto Networks NG Firewalls vs. Sophos XG
    March 2024
    Find out what your peers are saying about Palo Alto Networks NG Firewalls vs. Sophos XG and other solutions. Updated: March 2024.
    767,496 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    Palo Alto Networks NG Firewalls is ranked 6th in Firewalls with 161 reviews while Sophos XG is ranked 7th in Firewalls with 192 reviews. Palo Alto Networks NG Firewalls is rated 8.6, while Sophos XG is rated 8.2. The top reviewer of Palo Alto Networks NG Firewalls writes "We get reports back from WildFire on a minute-by-minute basis". On the other hand, the top reviewer of Sophos XG writes "Easy to use and deploy with an improved pricing structure in place". Palo Alto Networks NG Firewalls is most compared with Check Point NGFW, Azure Firewall, Meraki MX, Netgate pfSense and Cisco Secure Firewall, whereas Sophos XG is most compared with Netgate pfSense, OPNsense, Sophos XGS, SonicWall TZ and Meraki MX. See our Palo Alto Networks NG Firewalls vs. Sophos XG 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.