We performed a comparison between pfSense and WatchGuard Firebox based on our users’ reviews in five categories. After reading all of the collected data, you can find our conclusion below.
Comparison Results: Both products received high marks from reviewers, but WatchGuard ultimately won out in this comparison. According to reviews, WatchGuard appears to be a more secure solution.
"pfSense allows us to spread the hours of connection and do the filtering on the pfSense site."
"I especially like the VPN part. It works like a charm."
"I like pfSense's reports and how I can control access to the policies on the firewall."
"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. Did you forget a printer port? Most attacks at the moment are happening through printers, and they can tell you immediately that you forgot to close the port of the printer. There are more than one million printers that are in danger, and everybody knows that hackers are using them to enter the network. So, you can download plugins to protect your network."
"The classic features such as content inspection, content protection, and the application-level firewall, are the most important."
"The firewall sensor is highly effective, and it's easy to deploy. You can deploy pfSense with limited hardware resources. It's not necessary to have an appliance with much RAM to make it work. It's cost-effective and performs well."
"I have found the firewall portion for the blocking most valuable."
"Is good at blocking IP addresses."
"The ease of use is most valuable. You can quickly train someone who hasn't seen a firewall in life. You can get people up to speed, and in a few months, they are able to manage this product very easily. It is a very user-friendly, scalable, and stable product. Its price is also spot-on."
"The most valuable feature of WatchGuard Firebox is its ease of use."
"The most valuable features of the WatchGuard Firebox are all the security and updated features. You are able to configure the solution from the cloud platform and the application and web interface are very nice."
"I like intrusion detection the most."
"This product offers great protection using the default settings."
"Firebox's best feature is the access portal."
"I like that this product has very few issues."
"The features that I have found most valuable are the FireWall features. The management side of WatchGuard is quite easy because it supports two ways to manage it - by the web and the other one they call WatchGuard systems manager. I used to be familiar with WSM only, but they improved their GUI in the web browser and now it is much easier to do it within the web browser."
"The VPN feature of the solution could improve by adding better functionality and providing easier configure ability."
"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."
"We had training from an advisor for the configuring of this solution and it was not difficult. However, if we were not trained it would have been not as easy."
"The integration could be improved."
"Ultimately, we'd like something stronger, and something that can handle threats better in real-time."
"The security could be improved."
"Lacks instructional videos."
"The way Secure Sign-On authentication is happening needs to be improved. When the Secure Sign-On portal is turned on, anybody who comes into the campus, whether he or she is a staff member or a guest, has to go past the initial portal. One of the shortcomings is the username. It shouldn't allow permutations or combinations with upper or lower cases. For example, when there is a username abc, it shouldn't allow ABC or Abc. It should not allow the same username, but currently, two separate people can go in. Therefore, its authentication or validation should be improved, and the case sensitiveness should be picked up. If I have restricted someone to two devices, they shouldn't be able to use different combinations of the same username and get into the third or fourth device. It shouldn't allow different combinations of alphabets to be used to log in."
"It's sometimes not easy to understand and can require specialist assistance."
"There could also be better reporting. For example, there should be more out-of-the-box management reports."
"The user interface for WatchGuard Firebox has room for improvement. Right now, it's a bit complex to work with and could be easier."
"The solution is lacking a professional website, they should be updated more often."
"They are working on cloud-based options. However, they do not have the options fully functional in their solution at this time."
"There's always room for improvement, especially if the threats are getting more sophisticated and the IT department cannot sufficiently meet this kind of sophistication with their own knowledge and experience. Knowing that this solution can get up to the level of addressing a lot of these threats is something that everybody wishes for. If we look at the dark web and the lawful web, they are two opposites, and if these two good and bad collide in the world of the internet, you want the best possible product—especially if you cannot get to that point of knowledge. I am just an individual and end user, with limited knowledge of usage. That's why I say there's always room for improvement, from their side and also from mine, because by knowing exactly what they can achieve and the knowledge that they can get on an everyday basis, and the portion that is understandable to me, it's an improvement for them as well."
"Some of the configuration options are somewhat confusing."
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 Key Features
pfSense has many key features and capabilities, including:
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."
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:
WatchGuard Firebox Benefits
Some of the benefits of using WatchGuard Firebox include:
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."
pfSense is ranked 3rd in Firewalls with 39 reviews while WatchGuard Firebox is ranked 3rd in Unified Threat Management (UTM) with 24 reviews. pfSense is rated 8.4, while WatchGuard Firebox 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 WatchGuard Firebox writes "Easy to deploy and it provides useful data on threats ". pfSense is most compared with OPNsense, Fortinet FortiGate, Sophos XG, Untangle NG Firewall and KerioControl, whereas WatchGuard Firebox is most compared with Fortinet FortiGate, Sophos XG, Meraki MX, Cisco Secure Firewall and Sophos UTM. See our WatchGuard Firebox vs. pfSense 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.