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Palo Alto Networks VM-Series vs Sophos XG comparison

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Buyer's Guide
Palo Alto Networks VM-Series vs. Sophos XG
May 2022
Find out what your peers are saying about Palo Alto Networks VM-Series vs. Sophos XG and other solutions. Updated: May 2022.
597,708 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
"Its Snort 3 IPS has better flexibility as far as being able to write rules. This gives me better granularity.""Firepower has been used for quite a few enterprise clients. Most of our clients are Fortune 500 and Firepower is used to improve their end to end firewall functionality.""The content filtering is good.""Feature-wise, we mostly use IPS because it is a security requirement to protect against attacks from outside and inside. This is where IPS helps us out a bunch.""The most valuable feature is stability.""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.""The integration of network and workload micro-segmentation helps a lot to provide unified segmentation policies across east-west and north-south traffic. One concrete example is with Cisco ACI for the data center. Not only are we doing what is called a service graph on the ACI to make sure that we can filter traffic east-west between two endpoints in the same network, but when we go north-south or east-west, we can then leverage what we have on the network with SGTs on Cisco ISE. Once you build your matrix, it is very easy to filter in and out on east-west or north-south traffic.""The solution offers very easy configurations."

More Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall Pros →

"Palo Alto Networks VM-Series is very easy to use.""What I like about the VM-Series is that you can launch them in a very short time.""It has excellent scalability.""Palo Alto’s Panorama centralized management system simplifies our security posture based on our requirements. Instead of manually pulling logs, then generating them into readable formats, it gives us the console in a readable format to view.""The most valuable feature is that you can control your traffic flowing out and coming it, allowing you to apply malware and threat protection, as well as vulnerability checks.""Using Palo Alto Networks Panorama, we were able to deploy a single point of management and visualization of the firewall infrastructure in cloud, on-premise and integrated with Azure to automate scale up. Its security features, i.e. anti-malware, threat prevention, URL Filtering, VPN, and antivirus are the most valuable. The ID-User integrated with AD and 2FA features are also very useful to provide secure access to servers and some users in the company. ""In Palo Alto the most important feature is the App-ID.""The most valuable feature is the Posture Assessment."

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"I like it for its simplicity. It is very simple to configure and implement. It is a very good product for medium-sized organizations.""The interface is user-friendly and the product is easy to configure.""The solution comes with a common bundle which comprises all the feature.""We find it easy to use. Its internal configuration is very easy. It is not complicated in terms of use and configuration. It has been fairly stable, and it is also scalable.""Orchestration of the firewall is the most valuable feature. It is a fast and agile solution. It is good with protection. It is also very easy to deploy and manage, and its user interface is easy to use.""Overall the solution works well.""Sophos XG deployment is easy and rapid.""Sophos is a stable solution, and we haven't had any bugs or limitations."

More Sophos XG Pros →

Cons
"This product is managed using the Firepower Management Center (FMC), but it would be better if it also supported the command-line interface (CLI).""An area of improvement for this solution is the console visualization.""The solution could offer better control that would allow the ability to restrictions certain features from a website.""There is limited data storage on the appliance itself. So, you need to ship it out elsewhere in order for you to store it. The only point of consideration is around that area, basically limited storage on the machine and appliance. Consider logging it elsewhere or pushing it out to a SIEM to get better controls and manipulation over the data to generate additional metrics and visibility.""The initial setup could be simplified, as it can be complex for new users.""It's mainly the UI and the management parts that need improvement. The most impactful feature when you're using it is the user interface and the user experience.""The change-deployment time can always be improved. Even at 50 seconds, it's longer than some of its competitors. I would challenge Cisco to continue to improve in that area.""The intelligence has room for improvement. There are some hackers that we haven't seen before and its ability to detect those types of attacks needs to be improved."

More Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall Cons →

"The product needs improvement in their Secure Access Service Edge.""The disadvantage with Palo Alto is that they don't have a cloud-based solution that includes a secure web gateway.""The user interface could use some improvement.""The one issue that I didn't like is that the SNMP integration with interfaces didn't record the interface counters.""It'll help if Palo Alto Networks provided better documentation.""At the beginning of the implementation, we had some difficulties with the scripts, but Palo Alto Networks support together with a local partner finally fixed it.""They made only a halfhearted attempt to put in DLP (Data Loss Prevention).""It would be good if the common features work consistently in physical and virtual environments. There was an integration issue in the virtual deployment where it didn't report the interface counters, and we had to upgrade to the latest version, whereas the same thing has been working in the physical deployment for ages now. It seems that it was because of Azure. We were using VMware before, and we didn't have any such issues. We do see such small issues where we expect things to work, but they don't because of some incompatibilities. There also seems to be a limitation on how to do high availability in a virtualized environment. All features should be consistently available in physical and virtual environments. It is not always easy to integrate Palo Alto in the network management system. We would like to be able to compare two network management systems. They can maybe allow monitoring an interface through the GUI to create a reference or do a baseline check about whether your network monitoring system is actually giving you the correct traffic figures. You need traffic figures to be able to recognize the trends and plan the capacity."

More Palo Alto Networks VM-Series Cons →

"Lacks improved throughput performance in a box.""The UI needs improvement because it can be a little weird at times.""In the next release, I would like to see improvements to simplify the interface and more policy deployments.""The main problem with Sophos XG today is that it doesn't have a feature where you actually know the quality of an international link, which would allow us to we know if the link is operational or not. We need more information. It's losing packets on the network. It's high latency. So, we need more information to know if the link is really bad or really good, and today, we will only know if it's working and this just isn't enough.""In the Firewall, the Intrusion Prevention System can be improved.""They should include fiber ports on smaller product models and the tools should be improved for scalability.""Support could be improved.""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."

More Sophos XG 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 →

  • "Palo Alto can be as much as two times the price of competing products that have twice the capabilities."
  • "The cost of this product varies from customer to customer and the relationship with IBM, including how many offerings from IBM are already being used."
  • "Because I work for a university and the URL is for the institution, it's a free license for us."
  • "It is not the cheapest on the market. The total cost for two firewall instances is $75,000. This includes licenses, deployment fees, and support for two years."
  • "The VM series is licensed annually."
  • "Palo Alto definitely needs to be more competitive compared to other products. The problem that I have faced is that the price of licensing is very high and not very competitive."
  • "Initially, pricing was high. Later on, we were able to negotiate the pricing and get something that fits our budget."
  • More Palo Alto Networks VM-Series Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "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."
  • "It is not expensive, it's a reasonable price,"
  • "The issue of a recurring license is a hassle because every year, we have to subscribe."
  • "It is not very expensive."
  • More Sophos XG Pricing and Cost Advice →

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    Questions from the Community
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    With the improved visibility we now have, the traffic is being properly monitored, which means that we are better able… more »
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    Palo Alto definitely needs to be more competitive compared to other products. The problem that I have faced is that the… more »
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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: 
    Sophos UTM is no longer being developed, according to our reseller. All the development effort is going into XG. So XG… more »
    Comparisons
    Also Known As
    Cisco Firepower NGFW, Cisco Firepower Next-Generation Firewall, FirePOWER, Cisco NGFWv
    Learn More
    Overview

    Cisco Firepower Next-Generation Firewall (NGFW) is a firewall that provides capabilities beyond those of a standard firewall and delivers comprehensive, unified policy management of firewall functions, application control, threat prevention, and advanced malware protection from the network to the endpoint.

    Cisco NGFW Firewalls include advanced threat defense capabilities to meet diverse needs, from small offices to high-performance data centers and service providers, and are deployed in leading private and public clouds. Available in a wide range of models, Cisco NGFW can be deployed as a physical or virtual appliance. Cisco NGFW firewalls are also available with clustering for increased performance, high availability configurations, and more.

    Key Features of Cisco NGFW Firewalls

    • Breach prevention and advanced security: Prevent attacks before they get inside. Cisco provides its firewalls with the latest intelligence to stop emerging threats and employs filtering to enforce policies on hundreds of millions of URLs. Cisco NGFW offers built-in sandboxing and advanced malware protection that continuously analyzes file behavior to quickly detect and eliminate threats.

    • Comprehensive network visibility: Constantly monitor your network so you can rapidly spot and stop bad behavior. Cisco NGFW provides a holistic view of all activity and provides a clear picture of threat activity across users, hosts, networks, and devices, as well as information on threats and website, application, and VM activities.

    • Flexible management and deployment options: Centrally deploy, customize, and manage all your appliances.

    • Fast detection: Detect threats in seconds and detect the presence of a successful breach within hours or minutes. Cisco NGFW allows you to deploy consistent policy that's easy to maintain, with automatic enforcement across all the different parts of your organization.

    • Automation and product integrations: Seamlessly integrate with Cisco tools and automatically share threat information, event data, policy, and contextual information with email, web, endpoint, and network security tools. Cisco NGFW automates security tasks like impact assessment, policy management and tuning, and user identification.

    Reviews from Real Users

    Cisco NGFW stands out among its competitors for a number of reasons. Two major ones are its extensive discovery abilities that enable you to constantly see what is happening on your network and take action when necessary, and the high level of protection it provides.

    Mike B., a director of IT security at a wellness & fitness company, writes, "It is one of the fastest solutions, if not the fastest, in the security technology space. This gives us peace of mind knowing that as soon as a new attack comes online that we will be protected in short order. From that perspective, no one really comes close now to Firepower, which is hugely valuable to us from an upcoming new attack prevention perspective."

    Zhulien K., the lead network security engineer at TechnoCore LTD, notes, " The most valuable feature that Cisco Firepower NGFW provides for us is the Intrusion policy. Again, with that being said, I cannot shy away from giving kudos to all of the other features such as AVC (Application Visibility and Control), SSL Decryption, Identity policy, Correlation policy, REST API, and more. All of the features that are incorporated in the Cisco Firepower NGFW are awesome and easy to configure if you know what you are doing. Things almost always work, unless you hit a bug, which is fixed with a simple software update. "

    The VM-Series is a virtualized form factor of our next-generation firewall that can be deployed in a range of private and public cloud computing environments based on technologies from VMware, Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, Citrix and KVM.

    The VM-Series natively analyzes all traffic in a single pass to determine the application identity, the content within, and the user identity. These core elements of your business can then be used as integral components of your security policy, enabling you to improve your security efficacy through a positive control model and reduce your incident response time though complete visibility into applications across all ports.

    In both private and public cloud environments, the VM-Series can be deployed as a perimeter gateway, an IPsec VPN termination point, and a segmentation gateway, protecting your workloads with application enablement and threat prevention policies.

    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”

    Offer
    Learn more about Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall
    Learn more about Palo Alto Networks VM-Series
    Learn more about Sophos XG
    Sample Customers
    Rackspace, The French Laundry, Downer Group, Lewisville School District, Shawnee Mission School District, Lower Austria Firefighters Administration, Oxford Hospital, SugarCreek, Westfield
    Warren Rogers Associates
    Information Not Available
    Top Industries
    REVIEWERS
    Comms Service Provider21%
    Financial Services Firm17%
    Government10%
    Computer Software Company7%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Comms Service Provider34%
    Computer Software Company20%
    Government6%
    Manufacturing Company4%
    REVIEWERS
    Financial Services Firm23%
    Government15%
    Manufacturing Company15%
    Healthcare Company8%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company27%
    Comms Service Provider21%
    Financial Services Firm5%
    Government5%
    REVIEWERS
    Manufacturing Company11%
    Financial Services Firm11%
    Healthcare Company8%
    Comms Service Provider8%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Comms Service Provider41%
    Computer Software Company17%
    Government7%
    Manufacturing Company3%
    Company Size
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business42%
    Midsize Enterprise27%
    Large Enterprise30%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business24%
    Midsize Enterprise12%
    Large Enterprise64%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business36%
    Midsize Enterprise30%
    Large Enterprise33%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business63%
    Midsize Enterprise24%
    Large Enterprise14%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business49%
    Midsize Enterprise26%
    Large Enterprise25%
    Buyer's Guide
    Palo Alto Networks VM-Series vs. Sophos XG
    May 2022
    Find out what your peers are saying about Palo Alto Networks VM-Series vs. Sophos XG and other solutions. Updated: May 2022.
    597,708 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    Palo Alto Networks VM-Series is ranked 10th in Firewalls with 14 reviews while Sophos XG is ranked 5th in Firewalls with 146 reviews. Palo Alto Networks VM-Series is rated 8.4, while Sophos XG is rated 8.0. The top reviewer of Palo Alto Networks VM-Series writes "An excellent solution for the right situations and businesses". On the other hand, the top reviewer of Sophos XG writes "Light and stable with excellent real-time control ". Palo Alto Networks VM-Series is most compared with Azure Firewall, Fortinet FortiGate, Cisco ASA Firewall, Juniper SRX and Palo Alto Networks NG Firewalls, whereas Sophos XG is most compared with Fortinet FortiGate, pfSense, OPNsense, Meraki MX and Azure Firewall. See our Palo Alto Networks VM-Series 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.