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Untangle NG Firewall vs pfSense comparison

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Executive Summary
Updated on May 2, 2022

We performed a comparison between pfSense and Untangle NG Firewall based on our users’ reviews in five categories. After reading all of the collected data, you can find our conclusion below.

  • Ease of Deployment: Untangle NG Firewall users all agree that its initial setup is straightforward. Most pfSense users say that its initial setup is straightforward, but a small percentage disagree, feeling that the setup is complex and requires a higher level of technical expertise.

  • Features: Users of both products are for the most part very satisfied with their scalability, stability, VPN features, and overall performance. Untangle NG Firewall reviewers say that it is secure, flexible, and easy to use, but lacks the option of dropping sessions. pfSense reviewers say it is robust, but its user interface needs enhancements. Several pfSense users note that its security level should be improved.

  • Pricing: pfSense is an open-source solution and is free of charge. Untangle NG Firewall reviewers feel that its price is fair. Untangle NG Firewall also has a basic free open-source version.

  • Service and Support: pfSenses offers commercial support in addition to free online support forums. Reviewers of both solutions report being satisfied with the level of support they receive.

  • ROI: Reviewers for both solutions report seeing an ROI.

Comparison Results: Both products received high marks from reviewers, but Untangle NG Firewall ultimately won out in this comparison. It is easy to set up, user-friendly and secure. In addition it has excellent customer support and is fairly priced.

To learn more, read our detailed Untangle NG Firewall vs. pfSense report (Updated: July 2022).
Buyer's Guide
Untangle NG Firewall vs. pfSense
July 2022
Find out what your peers are saying about Untangle NG Firewall vs. pfSense and other solutions. Updated: July 2022.
620,600 professionals have used our research since 2012.
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 solution offers very easy configurations.""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.""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 most valuable feature is the access control list (ACL).""If configured, Firepower provides us with application visibility and control.""Another benefit has been user integration. We try to integrate our policies so that we can create policies based on active users. We can create policies based on who is accessing a resource instead of just IP addresses and ports.""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.""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."

More Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall Pros →

"It has a good web cache. I used to use a DHCP server and DNS server. For my company, I use pfSense as a load balancing application.""The solution is very easy to use and configure.""The most valuable features of pfSense are the reports, monitoring, filtration, and blocking incoming and outgoing traffic.""A valuable feature is that the solution is open source.""Technical support is perfect, excellent.""Some of the terminologies were more familiar to me than it was when I first encountered Cisco.""We've found the stability to be very good overall.""Is good at blocking IP addresses."

More pfSense Pros →

"What I like about this product, which is the reason that we continue to use it, is that you can install the software version on your own hardware. In case there is a problem with the hardware, we can just install the firewall in another machine and restore the configuration.""The web blocking for my clients and the application control are valuable.""The most valuable features are IPS, MAPI, NAT, and VPN.""Its detection, antivirus, and filtering features are the most valuable. The facility to connect by using the VPN connection is also a very valuable feature. It is very strong, secure, and reliable. We have implemented the Untangle solution in all hardware. It is also a user-friendly solution. It is easy to learn and easy to configure.""The majority of our clients are very small businesses, and Untangle devices have been fantastic for these small clients. We've basically standardized our stack to just simply use Untangle. We include the hardware and the service option, which makes it very easy and affordable for us to just simply push that into the monthly per-user costing that we provide as a managed services provider. It's really a no-brainer. They're easy to use, and they're easy to set up and configure. Support is generally good about resolving any issues that we have. We haven't had any real complaints.""They have a command center that makes it easy to log into and see all of your appliances nationwide.""All features are useful. We are using premium features such as bandwidth sharing, failover, web filters, SSL controls, antivirus, and VPN. We use these features to the fullest. These features are available in the paid firewall license, not the free one.""Easy to set up and easy to integrate."

More Untangle NG Firewall Pros →

Cons
"The ability to better integrate with other tools would be an improvement.""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.""The maturity needs to be better.""The price and SD-WAN capabilities are the areas that need improvement.""Web filtering needs improvement because sometimes the URL is miscategorized.""I would like it to have faster deployment times. A typical deployment could take two to three minutes. Sometimes, it depends on the situation. It is better than it was in the past, but it could always use improvement.""The only drawback of the user interface is when it comes to policies. When you open it and click on the policies, you have to move manually left and right if you want to see the whole field within the cell. Checkpoint has a very detailed user interface.""I'm not a big fan of the FDM (Firepower Device Manager) that comes with Firepower. I found out that you need to use the Firepower Management Center, the FMC, to manage the firewalls a lot better. You can get a lot more granular with the configuration in the FMC, versus the FDM that comes out-of-the-box with it. FDM is like Firepower for dummies."

More Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall Cons →

"The VPN feature of the solution could improve by adding better functionality and providing easier configure ability.""The router monitoring needs improvement when compared with Sonicwall.""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.""The interface is not very shiny and attractive.""It's just not listed as FIPS compliant for where we're at now in government, which is an issue.""I expect a better interface with more log analysis because I create my own interface.""More documentation would be great, especially on new features because sometimes, when new features come out, you don't get to understand them right off the bat. You have to really spend a lot of time understanding them. So, more documentation would be awesome.""Also, the GUI is helpful, but it's not user-friendly. It's complicated. It should be more intuitive for the average user and have an excellent graphical view. Of course, the user will typically know about network administration, but it still should be easy to understand."

More pfSense Cons →

"Web-filtering policies could be improved.""They don't have any feature that allows you to drop the session.""The pricing should be reduced because it is expensive.""We seek the availability of the hardware in our region. The hardware-based firewall from Untangle is currently not available in our region. It should have threat protection on a real-time basis. This feature, available in Check Point and Sandstorm kind of scenario, is currently missing in Untangle NG Firewall.""The biggest challenge that we have with this solution is local support. The local support is a problem in our area.""On their low-end appliance, they could have more memory and the largest storage space. The low-end appliance comes with a too-small hard drive, and it could use a little extra room. It only comes with about 4 gigs or 8 gigs of memory, and the hardware space is only 40 gigs, which is really small.""The common center facility that Untangle provides should be available on-premises. There are great corporations here in Mexico that like the Untangle solution, but they don't like the fact that the monitoring and access to the appliance are in the cloud. They request for the common center facility to be available and installed on-premises.""It does have multi-factor authentication in some areas, but I would love to see a more widely implemented version of that on the devices themselves."

More Untangle NG Firewall 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 →

  • "It is not expensive. The best part is that it is based on the pay-per-use kind of scenario. An increase or decrease in the number of people doesn't make any difference. We are really happy about using this particular scenario."
  • "It is not expensive. It is cheaper than Fortinet."
  • "The pricing model is better than with SonicWall."
  • "This is not an expensive product. It is affordable and there are different packages available depending on the features that you need, or the sector that you are in."
  • "Untangle is open-source software. So, you can get it for free. That has been a benefit, especially for the residential users because it is free. The license costs start at $25 a month for some additional features, including higher tiers of security intrusion prevention. The free version comes with intrusion detection, and then the license version has intrusion prevention. It also has some additional things for active directory connectors, etc. It starts at $25 a month to cover 12 devices. Then it goes up from $25 to $50 a month for 12 to 25 devices. That's where it really doesn't scale out per site. If you have a site that has more than 50 devices on it, then Untangle quickly becomes cost prohibitive in comparison to several other competitors."
  • "Usually, it's about $350 a year for 12 users, and it's about $600 for 50 users. It's very reasonable as compared to the others. One of the reasons is that they're all open-source. You just buy their appliance and put it in until it dies. Because it's run under open platforms, mine seems to always work on older equipment. I've taken old equipment and put a new hard disk in it. I have taken about nine-year-old computers and put their operating system on them, and ran them like a champ. The only thing that changed was the hard drive because I don't trust a hard drive that's more than three to four years old."
  • More Untangle NG Firewall Pricing and Cost Advice →

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    Top Answer:The web blocking for my clients and the application control are valuable.
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    Top Answer:On their low-end appliance, they could have more memory and the largest storage space. The low-end appliance comes with… more »
    Comparisons
    Also Known As
    Cisco Firepower NGFW, Cisco Firepower Next-Generation Firewall, FirePOWER, Cisco NGFWv
    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."



    Untangle NG Firewall takes the complexity out of network security—saving you time, money and frustration. Get everything you need in a single, modular platform that fits the evolving needs of your organization without the headaches of multiple point solutions.

    Enjoy the flexibility to deploy Untangle’s award-winning NG Firewall software on third party hardware, as a virtual machine, or as a turnkey appliance.

    Rest assured that the browser-based, responsive and intuitive interface will enable you to create policies quickly and easily. Then, drill down into database-driven reports—the most comprehensive and detailed in the industry—to get visibility into exactly what’s happening on your network.

    Offer
    Learn more about Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall
    Learn more about pfSense
    Learn more about Untangle NG Firewall
    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
    North American Stamping Group, Cerebral Palsy of North Jersey (CPNJ), Brown County Schools, IN, City of Bridgeton, MO, Lancaster County, SC, Vision Charter School, Clay County Sheriff’s Department, NC, Breakwater School, Boys & Girls Club of Manchester, NH, Admiral Farragut Academy, Flow Companies, No Ordinary Hotel, KECdesign,
    Top Industries
    REVIEWERS
    Comms Service Provider19%
    Financial Services Firm17%
    Government13%
    Computer Software Company6%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Comms Service Provider29%
    Computer Software Company20%
    Government7%
    Manufacturing Company4%
    REVIEWERS
    University12%
    Comms Service Provider10%
    Marketing Services Firm10%
    Computer Software Company6%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Comms Service Provider41%
    Computer Software Company14%
    Government6%
    Educational Organization4%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Comms Service Provider37%
    Computer Software Company15%
    Government6%
    Manufacturing Company4%
    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 Business100%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business28%
    Midsize Enterprise22%
    Large Enterprise50%
    Buyer's Guide
    Untangle NG Firewall vs. pfSense
    July 2022
    Find out what your peers are saying about Untangle NG Firewall 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 Untangle NG Firewall is ranked 12th in Firewalls with 8 reviews. pfSense is rated 8.6, while Untangle NG Firewall is rated 9.0. 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 Untangle NG Firewall writes "Its simplicity, variety of features, and low pricing have enabled us to improve the security for our small business clients at a price that they are happy to pay for". pfSense is most compared with OPNsense, Fortinet FortiGate, Sophos XG, Sophos UTM and Zyxel Unified Security Gateway, whereas Untangle NG Firewall is most compared with OPNsense, Sophos UTM, Sophos XG, Fortinet FortiGate and Azure Firewall. See our Untangle NG Firewall 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.