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SonicWall NSa vs WatchGuard Firebox comparison

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Buyer's Guide
SonicWall NSa vs. WatchGuard Firebox
March 2020
Find out what your peers are saying about SonicWall NSa vs. WatchGuard Firebox and other solutions. Updated: March 2020.
610,812 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
"Since the product is stable, we do not have to spend additional money to buy other firewalls. Once deployed, we can use the product for a long time. Thus, it is cost effective.""One of the most valuable features of Firepower 7.0 is the "live log" type feature called Unified Event Viewer. That view has been really good in helping me get to data faster, decreasing the amount of time it takes to find information, and allowing me to fix problems faster. I've found that to be incredibly valuable because it's a lot easier to get to some points of data now.""When it comes to the integration among Cisco tools, we find it easy. It's a very practical integration with other components as well.""The most important feature is the intensive way you can troubleshoot Cisco Firepower Firewalls. You can go to the bit level to see why traffic is not handled in the correct way, and the majority of the time it's a networking issue and not a firewall issue. You can solve any problem without Cisco TAC help, because you can go very deeply under the hood to find out how traffic is flowing and whether it is not flowing as expected. That is something I have never seen with other brands.""The most valuable feature is the access control list (ACL).""IPS and Snort are very important because they also differentiate Cisco from other vendors and competitors.""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 content filtering is good."

More Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall Pros →

"Easy to scale solution that provides advanced threat protection. Their technical support is very good, very knowledgeable, and easy to reach.""I like the solution's configuration, interfaces, and user guides.""The most valuable features of this solution are the GUI pre-filtering and the ATP (advanced threat protection).""The most valuable features are flexibility, ease of setup, and it's a good product cost-wise.""It has excellent stability.""The functionality is the same whether it is on hardware or a virtual appliance. The interface is the same. It's nice that it's standardized.""The most valuable feature is the Global Management System.""SonicWall has all the usual functions, like LAN configurations, security features, word filters, etc., but it also has the CFS agent, which isn't available in any other firewall. Reporting port support is also there."

More SonicWall NSa Pros →

"The solution simplifies my business. Normally, for administration, we are using NetApp System Manager on Window since it's easy to create new policies. In a short amount of time, you can create new policies based on new requirements. For example, in the last few months, many requirements changed due to the coronavirus, adding the use of new services, like Office 365, and eLearning tools, like Zoom.""I like that this product has very few issues.""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.""Their support is excellent, and the stability is very good.""All of the features have been valuable. There's nothing on my M270 that I'm not using. If you have remote access, you can see how many users are coming from the outside world to be connected to the systems, through the virus systems that we have behind the firewall, in order to gain access to their files and do their work. We can also see how long they stay online and whether these connections are closed forcefully or for any other reasons, such as a glitch or some kind of misbehavior, to see if internet traffic is optimized and if that particular traffic is under company policies, concerning which websites were visited.""There are no problems with the technical support. If a problem occurs it gets resolved immediately with our technical support partners.""The ports that I have assigned appear to be unattainable to outside 'mal-actors,' unless they have an address registered on the internet that this thing is expecting. That's a layer of security.""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."

More WatchGuard Firebox Pros →

Cons
"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.""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 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.""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.""My team tells me that other solutions such as Fortinet and Palo Alto are easier to implement.""The initial setup could be simplified, as it can be complex for new users.""Cisco Firepower is not completely integrated with Active Directory. We are trying to use Active Directory to restrict users by using some security groups that are not integrated within the Cisco Firepower module. This is the main issue that we are facing.""Web filtering needs improvement because sometimes the URL is miscategorized."

More Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall Cons →

"We still get phishing emails that manage to come through from time to time.""The scalability is something that should be improved.""There are a few areas that need improvement including the VPN, user management, and reporting.""The ongoing service fees are high.""The product has a lot of bugs, actually. We are facing some issues with this product. The DPI SSL feature which is there, it is not working properly.""We also need to increase the throughput because the other devices are slower. The throughput will become slow. Since we're using VoIP, it tends to affect the voice quality. Even if you're using a quality service, it tends to decrease.""We're not particularly fond of the way it generally performs. We are finding ourselves rebooting often. There are freeze-ups and that kind of thing. The stability needs to improve exponentially.""It would be useful to have an application firewall that prevents the outside world from seeing your private IPs. You don't need to publicize your private IPs to the outside world, and you can create a barrier, like a proxy server."

More SonicWall NSa Cons →

"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.""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.""Sometimes I would like to copy a rule set from one box to another box in a direct way. This is a feature that is not present at the moment in WatchGuard.""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.""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.""An area for improvement is that when we use a web administration link, there is no security.""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.""There should be better integration and a way to configure multiple vendors into the same data center in order to offer more flexibility."

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 →

  • "If you want to connect more than five concurrent users by VPN then you have to pay an additional fee."
  • "SonicWall is a one-time purchase and there is no renewal license."
  • "The pricing and value are good."
  • "The pricing is good and we are satisfied with the cost of this solution."
  • "SonicWall is not an expensive solution."
  • "The price is reasonable for what it does."
  • "When implemented properly, the total cost of operation is very low."
  • "Licensing fees are paid on a yearly basis, and we are happy with the pricing."
  • More SonicWall NSa Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "I think the larger firewall packages are much better because a normal firewall is not enough for these times. You need IPS, APT, and all the security features of a firewall that you can buy."
  • "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."
  • 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:The antivirus and items of that nature were quite helpful to have.
    Top Answer:Our organization would pay for a license every two to three years.
    Top Answer:Sometimes I found the GUI and some of the features a little bit hard to navigate, as opposed to Fortigate, which is much… 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
    NSA 250M, NSA 2600, NSA 3600, NSA 4600, NSA 5600, Dell SonicWALL NSA
    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. "

    SonicWall NSa dispenses advanced threat protection using a high-performance security platform. The NSa series implements intuitive deep learning technologies in the SonicWall Capture Cloud Platform to dispatch the automated real-time threat detection and deterrence enterprise organizations need today. SonicWall Network Security appliance (NSa) series is best for mid-sized organizations to distributed enterprises and data centers.

    SonicWall NSa series next-generation firewalls (NFGWS) combine two very robust security ideologies to deliver advanced threat protection to keep users’ networks safe. Boosting SonicWall’s multi-engine advanced threat protection (ATP) is their Real-time Deep Memory Inspection (RTDMI™). The RTDMI intuitively identifies and stops aggressive zero-day threats and vicious malware by investigating memory directly. This real-time process allows SonicWall RTDMI to be accurate, lessen false positives and discover and alleviate malicious threats and attacks. SonicWall’s single-pass Reassembly-Free Deep Packet Inspection (RFDPI) will audit every byte of each and every packet by investigating both outbound and inbound traffic on the firewall. By combining the SonicWall Capture Cloud Platform along with on-box offerings such as intrusion prevention, web/URL filtering, and anti-malware, the NSa series is able to block the most malicious and dangerous threats at the gateway.

    Additionally, SonicWall firewalls supply absolute protection by executing complete inspection and decryption of SSH and TLS/SSL encryption connections - no matter the port or protocol. The firewall takes a deep dive into each and every packet (the header and data) routing out any anomalies, zero-day intrusions, threats, and protocol non-compliance. Users can also define unique criteria specific to their organization to ensure their networks remain safe. This aggressive deep packet inspection is able to identify and block malicious attacks, stop dangerous malware downloads, prevent the spread of infections, and defeat command and control (C&C) communications and data exfiltration. Protocols involving inclusion and exclusion allow users complete control to decide, based on specific governance policies, organizational policies, or government or legal compliance, which traffic is to be investigated for decryption or inspection.

    SonicWall Nsa offers enterprise organizations the network control and fluid flexibility they desire using an intrusion prevention system (IPS), VPN, real-time visualization, and other advanced powerful security features, making it a popular firewall solution in today's marketplace.

    Reviews from Real Users

    “The features that I have found most valuable are the firewalling, which is very good, and the GUI which is very intuitive. It is easy to use and provides great security.” - Network Engineer at a maritime company

    “What's valuable in SonicWall NSa is the ATP (advanced threat protection). It can protect users from malicious links. SonicWall NSa also has a Sandboxing service that is very helpful for us, especially when end users accidentally click on malicious links. Another valuable feature of this solution is that it is very useful for site-to-site VPN connectivity issues. SonicWall NSa has very good hardware. I also love that SonicWall has very good technical support, who are very knowledgeable, provide good suggestions, and they're easy to reach.” - Mohammed M., Network Administrator at Transgulf Readymix

    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 SonicWall NSa
    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
    Orange County Rescue Mission, First Source, Michaels & Taylor, Green Clinic Health System, Aspire Chiltern Skills and Enterprise Centre, UnitedStack, Faith Lutheran College Redlands, Celtic Manor Resort, Star Kay White, Air Works, Unimat Life, NHS Yorkshire and Humber Commissioning Support (YHCS), Hutt City Council, Mato Grosso do Sul, Nspyre
    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%
    Computer Software Company6%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Comms Service Provider28%
    Computer Software Company21%
    Government7%
    Manufacturing Company4%
    REVIEWERS
    Manufacturing Company20%
    Educational Organization11%
    Construction Company11%
    Healthcare Company9%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Comms Service Provider25%
    Computer Software Company20%
    Government6%
    Educational Organization5%
    REVIEWERS
    Manufacturing Company16%
    Construction Company14%
    Computer Software Company8%
    Healthcare Company8%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Comms Service Provider31%
    Computer Software Company17%
    Government7%
    Wholesaler/Distributor5%
    Company Size
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business40%
    Midsize Enterprise26%
    Large Enterprise35%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business26%
    Midsize Enterprise20%
    Large Enterprise55%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business61%
    Midsize Enterprise17%
    Large Enterprise22%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business39%
    Midsize Enterprise19%
    Large Enterprise42%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business66%
    Midsize Enterprise23%
    Large Enterprise11%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business33%
    Midsize Enterprise23%
    Large Enterprise43%
    Buyer's Guide
    SonicWall NSa vs. WatchGuard Firebox
    March 2020
    Find out what your peers are saying about SonicWall NSa vs. WatchGuard Firebox and other solutions. Updated: March 2020.
    610,812 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    SonicWall NSa is ranked 15th in Firewalls with 43 reviews while WatchGuard Firebox is ranked 3rd in Unified Threat Management (UTM) with 21 reviews. SonicWall NSa is rated 7.8, while WatchGuard Firebox is rated 8.4. The top reviewer of SonicWall NSa writes "Easy to scale advanced threat protection solution with knowledgeable technical support, but has occasional bugs". 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". SonicWall NSa is most compared with Fortinet FortiGate, Meraki MX, SonicWall TZ, Sophos XG and Palo Alto Networks NG Firewalls, whereas WatchGuard Firebox is most compared with Fortinet FortiGate, Sophos XG, pfSense, Meraki MX and Untangle NG Firewall. See our SonicWall NSa 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.