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Palo Alto Networks VM-Series vs WatchGuard Firebox comparison

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Buyer's Guide
Palo Alto Networks VM-Series vs. WatchGuard Firebox
March 2020
Find out what your peers are saying about Palo Alto Networks VM-Series vs. WatchGuard Firebox and other solutions. Updated: March 2020.
621,548 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
"Cisco's technical support is the best and that's why everybody implements their products.""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.""You can also put everything into a nice, neat, little package, as far as configuration goes. I was formerly a command-line guy with the ASA, and I was a little nervous about dealing with a GUI interface versus a command line, but after I did my first deployment, I got a lot more comfortable with doing it GUI based.""I have experience with URL filtering, and it is very good for URL filtering. You can filter URLs based on the categories, and it does a good job. It can also do deep packet inspection.""The most important features are the intrusion prevention engine and the application visibility and control. The Snort feature in Firepower is also valuable.""The content filtering is good.""It has a good security level. It is a next-generation firewall. It can protect from different types of attacks. We have enabled IPS and IDS.""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."

More Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall Pros →

"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.""What I like about the VM-Series is that you can launch them in a very short time.""With the improved visibility we now have, the traffic is being properly monitored, which means that we are better able to manage it. These are improvements that we saw very quickly.""The most valuable features are the User ID, URL filtering, and application filtering.""Palo Alto Networks VM-Series is very easy to use.""The Palo Alto VM-Series is nice because I can move the firewalls easily.""It has excellent scalability.""The initial setup was straightforward."

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"Firebox's best feature is the access portal.""This product offers great protection using the default settings.""The security that is used for defending from the attacks is very good.""Because we bought two firewalls... we need a central place to manage the policies and deploy them to both devices. It's good that it provides a system management console that is able to manipulate and manage policies in one place and deploy them to different locations.""The main features of the solution are the control of the site-to-site network access and the overall features.""Policy VPN, site-to-site VPN, traffic monitoring, anti-spam filters, and all other advanced features are valuable.""Their support is excellent, and the stability is very good.""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 problem 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."

More WatchGuard Firebox Pros →

Cons
"Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall can be more secure.""We're getting support but there's a big delay until we get a response from their technical team. They're in the USA and we're in Africa, so that's the difficulty. When they're in the office, they respond.""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 price and SD-WAN capabilities are the areas that need improvement.""Licensing is complex, and I'd like it to be simplified. This is an area for improvement.""The application detection feature of this solution could be improved as well as its integration with other solutions.""I would like to see improvement when you create policies on Snort 3 IPS on Cisco Firepower. On Snort 2, it was more like a UI page where you had some multiple choices where you could tweak your config. On Snort 3, the idea is more to build some rules on the text file or JSON file, then push it. So, I would like to see a lot of improvements here.""The Firepower FTD code is missing some old ASA firewalls codes. It's a small thing. But Firepower software isn't missing things that are essential, anymore."

More Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall Cons →

"It would be helpful if we had a direct number for the support manager or the supporting engineer. That would be better than having to email every time because there would be less wait.""In the next release, I would like to see better integration between the endpoints and the firewalls.""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.""It'll help if Palo Alto Networks provided better documentation.""Palo Alto is that it is really bad when it comes to technical support.""Integrative capabilities with other solutions should be addressed.""The user interface could use some improvement.""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 →

"There is room for improvement in the threat protection, data packet inspection, and performance of the solution. Generally, it's just a lower-end product. It does the job but doesn't do it very well.""This is a great product and offers great protection but they don't hear the customers' needs. They don't make improvements as per the customers' requests.""I don't think I can get a full-blown DNS client from it. I've been trying to have DNS services. It has forwarding, but I don't get the services of a full DNS client. My main difficulty with it is that I can't run a complete service. I need NTP. I need DNS. I need DHCP for my domain, but I only get forwarding. As far as I can tell, I don't get caching and the kinds of reporting and registration needed to host a DNS for a domain. I have to have a separate solution for that.""In terms of what could be improved, I would say their web blocker feature. It is still quite a confusing setup, especially when you want to filter out a particular category for granularity. For example, you do not want to filter Facebook but you do want to filter Facebook games only. It can be done, but the process to do it is very confusing.""Some of the configuration options are somewhat confusing.""The pricing could be improved. It is definitely one of the more expensive products.""Its documentation could be improved. Sometimes, you need to search a bit longer to find what you are looking for.""The solution can improve by adding a feature to tag a MAC address of a computer system in the policy and more IP configuration settings."

More WatchGuard Firebox Cons →

Pricing and Cost Advice
  • "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."
  • "The price is comparable."
  • "It definitely competes with the other vendors in the market."
  • 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 →

  • "WatchGuard had a very competitive price. It was only 10 to 20 percent more than a single instance device but with that extra cost it provided a second load balancing device... unlike other brands whose method of hardware and software licensing would have doubled our cost."
  • "They license it. When we buy it, we buy it with a three-year license. That's the most cost-effective way to do it. So, if you're going to buy it, then buy it with the three-year licensing."
  • "I spent $600 or $800 on this product and I'm paying a couple of hundred dollars a year in a subscription service to keep the lights on, on it... It works out to $100 or $200 a year if you buy several years at once. It's fair."
  • "The primary reason that we went with Firebox was its cost. It is very economical and it provided us with all the security functions that we were looking for at the time. And the throughput was more than what we required, so it was a very cost-effective device to deploy on our network."
  • "I find the solution to be very affordable."
  • "It's fair pricing, but it could always be reduced."
  • "It has a very good price. It is not the most expensive one, and it is also not the cheapest one. It is just spot-on in terms of price."
  • "They have an annual subscription license. Initially, we had opted for three years. After that, we went for another three years, and after that, we have been doing it yearly. They also have a license for five years."
  • More WatchGuard Firebox Pricing and Cost Advice →

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    Questions from the Community
    Top Answer: When you compare these firewalls you can identify them with different features, advantages, practices and… more »
    Top Answer: The Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall is a very powerful and very complex piece of anti-viral software. When one considers… more »
    Top Answer:It is easy to integrate Cisco ASA with other Cisco products and also other NAC solutions. When you understand the Cisco… 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:Both products are very stable and easily scalable. The setup of Azure Firewall is easy and very user-friendly and the… more »
    Top Answer:Palo Alto’s Panorama centralized management system simplifies our security posture based on our requirements. Instead of… more »
    Top Answer:We are providing our services to all WatchGuard customers in the region. 
    Top Answer:We just use it as a secondary WiFi device. We're a small office and we needed to set up a WiFi device for a few of our… more »
    Top Answer:We're a hospital and we use it for developing our incoming and outgoing policies, and we also use it for VPN.
    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.

    WatchGuard Firebox is a unified security platform that offers organizations protection from cyber threats through a powerful network security device that controls all traffic between an external network and a trusted network. The solution is ideal for small and midsize businesses as well as for distributed enterprises. WatchGuard Firebox protects the entire network from intrusions, phishing attempts, malware, and ransomware by using cloud and virtual firewalls, AI-powered malware protection, and enhanced network visibility.

    WatchGuard Firebox Features

    WatchGuard Firebox has many valuable key features, including:

    • Policy management
    • Strong security
    • High performance
    • Network configuration for multiple clients
    • Built-in SD-WAN
    • Application control
    • Threat detection and response
    • Network discovery
    • Intuitive interface

    WatchGuard Firebox Benefits

    Some of the benefits of using WatchGuard Firebox include:

    • IT administrators can create and implement policies for content filtering, VPNs, and network inspections.
    • The solution is easy to set up, manage, and maintain.

    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."

    Offer
    Learn more about Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall
    Learn more about Palo Alto Networks VM-Series
    Learn more about WatchGuard Firebox
    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
    Ellips, Diecutstickers.com, Clarke Energy, NCR, Wrest Park, Homeslice Pizza, Fortessa Tableware Solutions, The Phoenix Residence
    Top Industries
    REVIEWERS
    Comms Service Provider19%
    Financial Services Firm17%
    Government13%
    Manufacturing Company6%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Comms Service Provider29%
    Computer Software Company20%
    Government7%
    Manufacturing Company4%
    REVIEWERS
    Financial Services Firm21%
    Government14%
    Manufacturing Company14%
    Logistics Company7%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company26%
    Comms Service Provider17%
    Financial Services Firm6%
    Government5%
    REVIEWERS
    Manufacturing Company21%
    Construction Company13%
    Computer Software Company8%
    Healthcare Company8%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Comms Service Provider32%
    Computer Software Company17%
    Government6%
    Wholesaler/Distributor5%
    Company Size
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business40%
    Midsize Enterprise25%
    Large Enterprise35%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business26%
    Midsize Enterprise20%
    Large Enterprise55%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business38%
    Midsize Enterprise29%
    Large Enterprise32%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business21%
    Midsize Enterprise17%
    Large Enterprise62%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business66%
    Midsize Enterprise24%
    Large Enterprise10%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business33%
    Midsize Enterprise23%
    Large Enterprise44%
    Buyer's Guide
    Palo Alto Networks VM-Series vs. WatchGuard Firebox
    March 2020
    Find out what your peers are saying about Palo Alto Networks VM-Series vs. WatchGuard Firebox and other solutions. Updated: March 2020.
    621,548 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    Palo Alto Networks VM-Series is ranked 10th in Firewalls with 13 reviews while WatchGuard Firebox is ranked 3rd in Unified Threat Management (UTM) with 21 reviews. Palo Alto Networks VM-Series is rated 8.6, while WatchGuard Firebox is rated 8.2. 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 WatchGuard Firebox writes "Competent, basic front-end; the ports that I have assigned appear to be unattainable to outsiders". Palo Alto Networks VM-Series is most compared with Azure Firewall, Cisco ASA Firewall, Fortinet FortiGate, Juniper SRX and Check Point CloudGuard Network Security, whereas WatchGuard Firebox is most compared with Fortinet FortiGate, pfSense, Sophos XG, Meraki MX and Stormshield Network Security. See our Palo Alto Networks VM-Series vs. WatchGuard Firebox report.

    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.