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SonicWall TZ vs pfSense comparison

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Buyer's Guide
SonicWall TZ vs. pfSense
July 2022
Find out what your peers are saying about SonicWall TZ vs. pfSense and other solutions. Updated: July 2022.
620,600 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
"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.""Web filtering is a big improvement for us. The previous version we used, the AC520, did not have that feature included. It was not very easy for us, especially because the environment had to be isolated and we needed to get updates from outside, such as Windows patches. That feature has really helped us when we are going outside to pull those patches.""The features I've found most valuable are the packet captures and packet traces because they help me debug connections. I like the logs because they help me see what's going on.""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 main thing that I love the most is its policy and objects. Whenever I try to give access to a user, I can create an object via group creation in the object fields. This way, I am not able to enter a user in the policy repeatedly.""If configured, Firepower provides us with application visibility and control.""The dashboard is the most important thing. It provides good visibility and makes management easy. Firepower also provides us with good application visibility and control.""The most valuable features of this solution are advanced malware protection, IPS, and IDS."

More Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall Pros →

"We like the fact that the product is open-source. It's free to use. There are no costs associated with it.""I have found pfSense to be stable.""I especially like the VPN part. It works like a charm.""The most valuable features of pfSense are the reports, monitoring, filtration, and blocking incoming and outgoing traffic.""The built-in open VPN and the VPN Client Export are the solution's most valuable aspects.""The GUI is easy to understand.""It's a good solution for end-users. It's pretty easy to work with.""My technicians find the pfSense's web interface very useful. It is very easy to use. pfSense is very reliable and stable. We like the OpenVPN clients that can be deployed using pfSense very much."

More pfSense Pros →

"SonicWall TZ is a stable product.""We like their interface very much. It's pretty easy to use.""The solution boasts good performance and is easy to use.""We are able to block whatever we want to block by using this product. It provides all required security features, such as content filtering, VPN, in one box. Before switching to SonicWall, we had specified all required features.""It's a very cost-effective solution.""Most of the features are useful. It is easy to configure and easy to troubleshoot. I can see the utilization of different networks, and there are also App control features.""I've found the technical support to be helpful.""Offers the right amount of control without being incredibly convoluted and frustrating."

More SonicWall TZ Pros →

Cons
"In a future release, it would be ideal if they could offer an open interface to other security products so that we could easily connect to our own open industry standard.""The performance should be improved.""FlexConfig is there as a bridge for features that are not yet natively integrated into Firepower. It is a way of allowing you to be able to configure things that wouldn't otherwise be possible until the development team can add them into Firepower's native capability. There is still some work that needs to be done around FlexConfig. There are still quite a few complex things, like policy-based routing, that have to be done in FlexConfig, and it doesn't always work perfectly. Sometimes, there are some glitches. It is recommended that you configure FlexConfig policies with Cisco TAC. It would be good to see Cisco accelerate some of those configurations that you can only do in FlexConfig into the platform, so that they are there natively.""A major area of improvement would be to have more functionality in public clouds, especially in terms of simplifying it. The high availability doesn't work right now because of the limitations in the cloud.""The initial setup can be a bit complex for those unfamiliar with the solution.""The reporting and other features are nice, but there is an issue with applying the configuration. That part needs some improvement.""Implementations require the use of a console. It would help if the console was embedded.""When you make any changes, irrespective of whether they are big or small, Firepower takes too much time. It is very time-consuming. Even for small changes, you have to wait for 60 seconds or maybe more, which is not good. Similarly, when you have many IPS rules and policies, it slows down, and there is an impact on its performance."

More Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall Cons →

"They can improve the dynamic of the input of IPs from outside.""In terms of areas of improvement, the interface seemed like it had a lot. The GUI interface that I had gotten into was rather elaborate. I don't know if they could zero in on some markets and potentially for small, medium businesses specifically, give them a stripped-down version of the GUI for pfSense.""It's just not listed as FIPS compliant for where we're at now in government, which is an issue.""The solution could always work at being more secure. It's a good idea to continue to work on security features and capabilities in order to ensure they can keep clients safe.""Could be simplified for new users.""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.""There could be a way to remote to it through a mobile app. You can always browse through your browser on your mobile phone or tablet, but it would be good to have a dedicated app. I understand that iOS and Android developers are expensive, but there should be a mobile app.""Ease of use is a problem for a user who is unfamiliar with this product because, in the interface, everything has to be set manually."

More pfSense Cons →

"The interface and technical support are probably the two most important things that I would like SonicWall to improve.""I would like to see more integration with other platforms.""Sonic Analyzer could be improved. It's difficult to manage and not very intuitive.""We have experienced some issues with SonicWall TZ and they are lacking some advanced features other vendors have.""Although the pricing is good, it could always be lower. If we get to pay less, we're happier.""Support for SonicWall TZ needs improvement, particularly the time it takes before you're able to speak to a support person, e.g. you have to wait for at least 30 minutes on the phone.""Sometimes there is a glitch between the network connection. Last time, something happened on our IP phone, the SonicWall team did some updates to fix the issue. However, glitches happen very rarely. I did not experience any other types of problems.""In an upcoming release, SonicWall could improve by adding cloud management for all devices for free or at a nominal cost. Currently, they have a cloud management platform but is not free. We have the MySonicWall portal for purchasing from them for software updates and renewals."

More SonicWall TZ 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 →

  • "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."
  • "The pricing is lower than some of its competitors."
  • "pfSense is open-source."
  • "We are using the open-source version which is free. We are testing the solution to see if we are going to go to the enterprise version which requires a license and is not free."
  • More pfSense Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "Its pricing is okay as compared to other solutions."
  • "The price is fair."
  • "The license that we purchased is good for three years."
  • "Its price is very high, which makes it difficult to convince the clients to buy this solution."
  • "The price is fair for the solution for the quality you receive."
  • "You need to purchase multiple licenses to manage multiple devices which is cost-prohibitive for the value you would receive."
  • "Customers are required to pay for a yearly subscription."
  • "It has a yearly subscription."
  • More SonicWall TZ Pricing and Cost Advice →

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    Answers from the Community
    Rafahavelo Onja
    Tan Jun - PeerSpot reviewerTan Jun
    User

    Just purchase an anti-spam license and activate it at the SonicWall license portal.


    I would like to recommend you SONICWALL HOSTED EMAIL SECURITY ADVANCED. It is more helpful and if you are using Office365 or GSuite, go for SonicWall Cloud App Security.


    It is more powerful.

    Pedro Escalona - PeerSpot reviewerPedro Escalona
    Real User

    Hi, for SonicWall you buy a license and on the same firewall you can activate the antispam only in the ingress mode. 


    But there is a catch, at the moment they don't support TLS for SMTP so I would recommend their other solution, that has email security for appliance and virtualized on VMware or Hyper-V.

    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:You don't really specify what type of router you are looking for but if you are talking about a gateway router I… more »
    Top Answer:Fortinet’s Fortigate is a firewall solution we use and are very much satisfied with its performance. We find Fortigate… more »
    Top Answer:Two of the most common and well recognized firewalls, PfSense and OPNsense both support site-to-site IPsec VPN and… more »
    Top Answer:I’ll say it depends on your needs. Fortinet FortiGate and SonicWall TZ are both next-gen firewalls (NGFW) with similar… more »
    Top Answer:The scalability of SonicWall TZ is good and easy to add users.
    Top Answer:The price of SonicWall TZ is good for medium-sized companies.
    Comparisons
    Also Known As
    Cisco Firepower NGFW, Cisco Firepower Next-Generation Firewall, FirePOWER, Cisco NGFWv
    Dell SonicWALL TZ
    Learn More
    Netgate
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    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. "

    pfSense is a free and open-source operating system for routers and firewalls, and is typically configured as DHCP server, DNS server, WiFi access point, VPN server, all running on the same hardware device. It is operated through a user-friendly web interface, making administration easy even for users with limited networking knowledge.

    In addition, pfSense is feature-rich, has a mature platform, is customizable, is flexible by design, and can be used on a small home router as well as run the entire network of a large corporation. pfSense puts you in control of your networking, is regularly updated, and works to promptly patch security issues. pfSense has recently become the favored alternative to the industry leader, Cisco.

    pfSense is:

    • Robust
    • Powerful
    • Easy to use
    • Secure
    • Scalable

    pfSense Key Features

    pfSense has many key features and capabilities, including:

    • Strength and accuracy: pfSense is able to always follow either default or custom rules, making it a stronger firewall than some of its competitors. It also filters traffic separately, whether it’s coming from your internal network of devices or the open internet, allowing you to set different rules and policies for each.

    • Flexibility: pfSense can work both as a basic firewall and as a complete security system because it gives you the flexibility to integrate additional features as code where necessary.

    • Open-source: Because it is open-source, not only is pfSense free to use, but community members can contribute to the code to make it a better software.

    • User-friendly: Usually firewall products are not user-friendly because they often include complex settings, options, and features that require fine-tuning. pfSense’s interface is simple, direct, and easy to use.

    • WireGuard Support: Instead of building your own VPN using pfSense, or settling for a commercial VPN provider, you can directly integrate WireGuard with the pfSense firewall.

    • Speed Management and Fault Tolerance: pfSense’s multi-WAN feature allows your system to continue operating in case components fail.

    • Well-supported: pfSense regularly has security and feature updates. It also has a documentation site and a well-informed and knowledgeable support forum.

    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."



    The secure, sophisticated SonicWALL TZ is widely deployed at small businesses, retail, government, remote sites and branch offices. It combines high-performance intrusion prevention, malware blocking, content/URL filtering and application control.
    Offer
    Learn more about Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall
    Learn more about pfSense
    Learn more about SonicWall TZ
    Sample Customers
    Rackspace, The French Laundry, Downer Group, Lewisville School District, Shawnee Mission School District, Lower Austria Firefighters Administration, Oxford Hospital, SugarCreek, Westfield
    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
    AeroM_xico Delta TechOps, Unimat
    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
    University12%
    Comms Service Provider10%
    Marketing Services Firm10%
    Energy/Utilities Company6%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Comms Service Provider41%
    Computer Software Company14%
    Government6%
    Educational Organization4%
    REVIEWERS
    Construction Company12%
    Non Profit9%
    Financial Services Firm9%
    Healthcare Company9%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Comms Service Provider26%
    Computer Software Company19%
    Retailer5%
    Government5%
    Company Size
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business40%
    Midsize Enterprise25%
    Large Enterprise35%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business26%
    Midsize Enterprise20%
    Large Enterprise55%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business70%
    Midsize Enterprise17%
    Large Enterprise13%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business27%
    Midsize Enterprise24%
    Large Enterprise50%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business64%
    Midsize Enterprise20%
    Large Enterprise16%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business39%
    Midsize Enterprise18%
    Large Enterprise43%
    Buyer's Guide
    SonicWall TZ vs. pfSense
    July 2022
    Find out what your peers are saying about SonicWall TZ vs. pfSense and other solutions. Updated: July 2022.
    620,600 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    pfSense is ranked 2nd in Firewalls with 58 reviews while SonicWall TZ is ranked 14th in Firewalls with 37 reviews. pfSense is rated 8.6, while SonicWall TZ is rated 8.2. The top reviewer of pfSense writes "Feature-rich, well documented, and there is good support available online". On the other hand, the top reviewer of SonicWall TZ writes "Multifeatured firewall solution with a user-friendly interface, high availability, scalability, and stability". pfSense is most compared with OPNsense, Fortinet FortiGate, Sophos XG, Untangle NG Firewall and Zyxel Unified Security Gateway, whereas SonicWall TZ is most compared with Fortinet FortiGate, Sophos XG, Cisco ASA Firewall and SonicWall NSa. See our SonicWall TZ 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.