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F5 Advanced WAF OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

F5 Advanced WAF is #5 ranked solution in top Web Application Firewalls. PeerSpot users give F5 Advanced WAF an average rating of 8 out of 10. F5 Advanced WAF is most commonly compared to Fortinet FortiWeb: F5 Advanced WAF vs Fortinet FortiWeb. F5 Advanced WAF is popular among the large enterprise segment, accounting for 60% of users researching this solution on PeerSpot. The top industry researching this solution are professionals from a computer software company, accounting for 23% of all views.
F5 Advanced WAF Buyer's Guide

Download the F5 Advanced WAF Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: July 2022

What is F5 Advanced WAF?

F5's Advanced WAF is built on proven F5 technology and goes beyond reactive security such as static signatures and reputation to proactively detect and mitigate bots, secure credentials and sensitive data, and defend against application denial-of-service (DoS). Advanced WAF redefines application security to address the most prevalent threats organizations face today.

Advanced WAF is offered as an appliance, virtual edition, and as a managed service—providing automated WAF services that meet complex deployment and management requirements while protecting your apps with great precision. It is the most effective solution for guarding modern applications and data from existing and emerging threats while maintaining compliance with key regulatory mandates.

Advanced WAF redefines application security to address the most prevalent threats organizations face today:

•Web attacks that steal credentials and gain unauthorized access across user accounts.
•Application layer attacks that evade static security based on reputation and manual signatures.
•New attack surfaces and threats due to the rapid adoption of APIs.
•OWASP Top 10 vulnerabilities

F5 Advanced WAF Customers

MAXIMUS, Vivo, American Systems, Bangladesh Post Office, City Bank

F5 Advanced WAF Video

Archived F5 Advanced WAF Reviews (more than two years old)

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Head of IT Security at a financial services firm with 201-500 employees
Real User
The dashboard and reporting are great features of this solution, load balancing and iRules are great as well.

What is our primary use case?

I worked with the solution before starting at this new company and I'm now implementing it in my new job. I'm head of security at our company and we are a customer of NGINX Web Application Firewall. 

What is most valuable?

The product is very easy to use and they provide great support. I like the dashboard and reporting. 

What needs improvement?

The scalability could be improved. There is a version with 25 and 200 Mbps, no options in between

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using this solution for one year.
Buyer's Guide
F5 Advanced WAF
July 2022
Learn what your peers think about F5 Advanced WAF. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: July 2022.
610,518 professionals have used our research since 2012.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's a stable solution. I haven't had any problems with it. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

How are customer service and support?

The technical support is good, I'm happy with it.  

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is straightforward. 

What other advice do I have?

I would rate this product an eight out of 10. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Technical Team Leader at a tech services company with 201-500 employees
Real User
Provides load-balancing and security for our enterprise-level clients
Pros and Cons
  • "This solution is an enterprise-class firewall that provides both load-balancing and security."
  • "This solution can be made more user-friendly."

What is our primary use case?

We are a system integrator and we design solutions for our customers. We provide all kinds of networking solutions, as well as security, and we are sometimes responsible for the integration as well.

We are partners with F5 and this is one of the solutions that we provide to our clients.

Our customers are organizations, including government departments, who use their firewall for load-balancing purposes. However, for some time now, they have wanted to add an additional layer of security, which is why they implement this solution.

We normally propose the on-premises deployment model to our customers.

What is most valuable?

This solution is an enterprise-class firewall that provides both load-balancing and security.  Once it's deployed, it works smoothly and without issue.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see the pricing of this solution improved. There are a lot of other products that are trying to compete with this solution, and there are a few now that are very good. I know that F5 doesn't always worry about the pricing because of the branding, but if they want to capture more of the market then they need to consider that not everybody thinks about the brand. Some are concerned with the price, and some of the competitors offer solutions at a lower cost. While it is true that price is only one of the things that people consider, it is one of the major factors that can cause them to lose the battle to a competitor.

This solution can be made more user-friendly.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been proposing this solution to customers for ten years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This is an enterprise-class product, and as long it is deployed properly it is quite stable. We have not had any issues post-deployment. This is one of the reasons that customers are paying for F5.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

This is a very scalable solution.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support for this solution is good. We have had a couple of tickets, and it was pretty good.

How was the initial setup?

The complexity of the initial setup is on a case-by-case basis.

If the customer is primarily interested in load-balancing then it is straightforward and it takes a few days. Once the customer is ready with all of their information, it doesn't take much time. In more advanced scenarios, it can take months to fully set up and configure.

Keep in mind that this is an enterprise-level product, so many of the competitors will take less time in setup. Not every engineer can configure F5 WAF.

What about the implementation team?

We perform the integration for our clients. We have our own deployment team that keeps up to date with the latest features in the market. They have the latest training materials and are aware of technical changes that are happening when it comes to these solutions.

When we have this kind of project, one person will be dedicated to the deployment and they will ensure that the solution has been deployed properly. After this, things will be taken care of by the general engineering team. We have a pool of resources who can handle maintenance such as upgrades.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Licensing fees for this solution are paid on a yearly basis.

What other advice do I have?

My advice to anybody who is considering this solution is to have clarity with respect to their own scenario, or application. They have to know what they are expecting out of this deployment. As the system integrator, I may not be sure about the client's applications or how they work internally, so I have to rely on them.

I would rate this solution a nine out of ten.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Buyer's Guide
F5 Advanced WAF
July 2022
Learn what your peers think about F5 Advanced WAF. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: July 2022.
610,518 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Shiran Cohen - PeerSpot reviewer
Cyber & Security Application Delivery Expert at Hewlett Packard Enterprise
Consultant
A stable solution with an easy setup and good technical support
Pros and Cons
  • "The anti-bot protection is the solution's most valuable feature. Safe-guard or credential staffing are also useful features."
  • "The solution's dashboard could be improved. When you're moving from policy to policy, the logs and the integration of the logs in other systems aren't straightforward."

What is most valuable?

The anti-bot protection is the solution's most valuable feature. Safe-guard or credential staffing are also useful features.

What needs improvement?

The templates of the iApps could be better.

The solution's dashboard could be improved. When you're moving from policy to policy, the logs and the integration of the logs in other systems aren't straightforward.

The solution has a lot of training material, but not about integration in a virtual improvement. They should create more documentation around this for users. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for four years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is stable.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is very good. I only use it four ot five times a year. If I find any bugs I post it to their file. It's very good support. They offer excellent service.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was very simple. It was just for the machine: the ASM port and the WAF itself, not the deployment of the appliance, which is why it was easy.

What about the implementation team?

I'm an integrator, so I help implement the solution for clients.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The pricing of the solution is very high.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Before selecting this solution, we looked at Kemp. We were concerned with the WAF, which is why we decided not to go with Kemp.

What other advice do I have?

We're using several versions of the solution; anything between versions 12 to 14.

I would recommend the solution. It's the best option for WAF, at least in the last year or so.

I would rate the solution ten out of ten.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
User at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Inspects traffic and automatically creates distinct qualities but it's not so advanced
Pros and Cons
  • "This solution inspects your traffic and based on that, automatically create distinct qualities for you, so you can add this to the policy already created. That's what I like most."
  • "I would not expect traffic details to pass through the web application firewall across the length of the whole application. I think that there is a web application where it can let the application function without traffic going in into the WAF."

What is most valuable?

This solution inspects your traffic and based on that, automatically create distinct qualities for you, so you can add this to the policy already created. That's what I like most.

What needs improvement?

I would not expect traffic details to pass through the web application firewall across the length of the whole application. I think that there is a web application where it can let the application function without traffic going in into the WAF.

I think the solution is already being phased out. They are now going for a more advanced option but I'm referring to the web crawler. The web crawler should be able to allow a web application on its own to create policies, rather than wait for traffic to go to the WAF.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using this solution for about three months.

How was the initial setup?

There are templates for creating policies, so the initial setup is very straightforward.

What other advice do I have?

I would want to use ASM, or Area Security Manager, which I would rate as seven of ten. That offers lending passability, where the device should be able to lend or call the application and know the component of an application.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Hillary Ugwuanyi - PeerSpot reviewer
Head IT Infrasrtucture at ActivEdge
Real User
A robust solution that is efficient, scalable, and highly secure
Pros and Cons
  • "The solution isn't too expensive. The license allows you to license what you need and leave out what you don't need."
  • "The solution is tedious. It takes a lot of discrete settings so one needs to get detailed and granular when they use the solution. It takes you a whole lot of energy and concentration to configure. It needs to be much more straight-forward, like other web solutions."

What is most valuable?

The DCI feature is very valuable. The solution is very robust, and I like the setup.

With this solution, you can set distinct perimeters that you can monitor. You can go very granular, which makes it possible to set up very specific perimeters that you are then able to secure.

What needs improvement?

The solution is tedious. It takes a lot of discrete settings so one needs to get detailed and granular when they use the solution. It takes you a whole lot of energy and concentration to configure. It needs to be much more straightforward, like other web solutions.

They need to have a way to define attack signatures. It might help improve the user experience.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for close to four years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is quite stable. Since 2016, there hasn't been any concern in regards to security.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution is highly scalable.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is excellent. It's top-notch.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was very straightforward. The solution is very compact. It takes more than one month for effective deployment.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The solution isn't too expensive. The license allows you to license what you need and leave out what you don't need.

What other advice do I have?

We currently deal with the on-premises deployment model.

I would recommend the solution for use as an efficient firewall. Security is a complex thing, however, and I would advise others to use multiple vendors for different layers.

I would rate the solution ten out of ten.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
IT Engineer at a tech vendor with 51-200 employees
Reseller
Enables our website to work faster and better and it has a lower impact on our server
Pros and Cons
  • "I definitely recommend this solution because of the time you save on analysis."
  • "One thing that can be improved, is to increase the quantity over predefine policy."

What is our primary use case?

We use this program 24/7 as a firewall to block malicious requests. We update regularly.

How has it helped my organization?

The solution speeds up our web application speed. This increases the availability of our services, because of the web base load balancer. It also improves our application security because of the additional features of the web application firewall. So our website works faster and better and it has a lower impact on our servers.

What is most valuable?

The features I find most valuable is the behavior analysis and the additional subscription for global threats. It's an additional feature, which I haven't seen in another solution. I also like the DDos protection behavior too, because some DDos are quite a problem and we have problems with it.

I am very happy with the interface, the dashboard, and the reports. Whenever I see a malicious request, I can see if I blocked it and then I can decide if I want to accept or decline. I am therefore completely happy with the ability to report and so on. 

What needs improvement?

This solution is the best out there on the market. One thing that can be improved, is to increase the quantity over predefine policy. I know it's impossible to do it all, but what I would have liked to increase the ready-to-deploy templates with only a few clicks.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for four months on our premises now.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I have had no issues with the stability. Even my friends with bigger installation systems are satisfied with the stability. I believe it depends on how many features you use. I have also had no issues with clusters or software update signature updates. I believe this program is even more stable than the Windows server.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Whenever I need more performance, I just buy upgrade licenses and additional license keys. So scalability is a question of paying more. It is simple. Everybody who uses the site employs external clients. 

How are customer service and technical support?

When I asked support for help they answered the same day with the answer. But it was small issues. I haven't had any serious bugs or any troubleshooting.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I have used different products with lower segments in other solutions. Some were magic when it comes to security and availability but they don't provide visibility on how it works, how it secures and so on. And there is no additional protection from both ends to have a behavior analysis. That is why we chose Advanced WAF. We chose it because of its additional features. We need a solution that is stable and that can offer deep analysis.  

How was the initial setup?

The installment was straightforward and it took us about two hours. Deployment took a week or maybe two to complete. Complete installation for such a complex system is quite fast. 

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

After buying the program, you just pay for the support every year.

What other advice do I have?

I definitely recommend this solution because of the time you save on analysis. It is a stable program and you get additional features. The more you work on it, the more features you discover. I rate this solution ten out of ten.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Reseller.
Shiran Cohen - PeerSpot reviewer
Cyber & Security Application Delivery Expert at Hewlett Packard Enterprise
Consultant
Top solution for WAF, with a simple initial set up
Pros and Cons
  • "The best solution for WAF."
  • "I think the deployment templates can be better."

What is most valuable?

The anti-bot protection has been the most valuable.

What needs improvement?

I think the deployment template can be better, like the iApps they have in the F5 MPM. I think the deployment templates can be better.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for four years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is pretty stable.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is very good. I'm using the F5 technical support, maybe once a quarter. Something like three to five times a year. When I find a bug then I post them to their forum because I'm using it a lot. I can find the bugs. But its very good support.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was very simple. The initial setup is done by the machine. The ASM HS, the WAF itself, not the deployment of the application. So it was very simple, I am working with VIP for almost a full year. Something like ninety percent of my activities are F5 related. I specialize in F5 now and everything in F5 is very, very simple.

What about the implementation team?

I'm an integrator.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

I think the price is very high. This is what I hear from the customers. Sometimes we cannot sell the product because it is a higher price.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I evaluated a few other options. Kemp, for example, but Kemp is not a WAF it's a load balancer, it's for another model of the F5 so its not related to do WAF. And we're speaking about the WAF. 

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend this solution. It would be the best solution for WAF.

I think the dashboard can be improved. When you move from the policy to policy, the logs and the integration of the logs are without a system. Maybe make it like other SIEM systems and system servers like Splunk. They do have a lot of training videos and manuals. This helps. But not really about integration or feature improvement.

I would rate this solution a ten out of ten.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
Senior Engineer at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Real User
Improves the protection for web applications in production from MySQL injection attacks
Pros and Cons
  • "With F5 Advanced WAF, it was protection for online publications and for our customers that caused us to choose the platform."
  • "F5 Advanced WAF needs better integration within the application, like remote dashboards."

What is our primary use case?

We use F5 Advanced WAF to protect some of our web applications and web services. We use F5 Advanced WAF as a web application firewall in production. 

Our clients are liable for the security of applications on the internet because they are in the banking services sector.

How has it helped my organization?

In this case, we used a few long-term models because F5 Advanced WAF is a complete solution. Our customers do not only use this model. 

F5 Advanced WAF is similar to other solutions used for a lot of projects. 

It's feasible for our customers to improve on their protection ability within the applications from secondary attacks, i.e. MySQL injection.

Each company is liable for the security of the customers using the service.

What is most valuable?

With F5 Advanced WAF, it was protection for online publications and for our customers that caused us to choose the platform. It was integrated by our company and not the dealer. 

What needs improvement?

For F5 Advanced WAF, it's only 70% different over time with upgrades. F5 can still build AWS support after many long years of absence. It's difficult to use.

F5 Advanced WAF needs better integration within the application, like remote dashboards. The pricing is too high. It needs better security features with the interface or dashboard.

We go through some problems with the Disc Doctor services and F5 was recommended to fix or avoid the same situation in the future.

F5 now is the product we use for the web products to have a web application firewall.

We need better integration in the application and more security features in the future.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using this solution almost one year. It's new.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

F5 Advanced WAF is very stable.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support of F5 I didn't use, but I heard people like the feature. I haven't needed it personally.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We have used some other products but they didn't have enough functionality. You can launch media adaptation for variety with F5. That is one of the biggest advantages of this solution.

How was the initial setup?

In the market now there is a lot of information on the setup of F5 Advanced WAF. You can look for it on the company website. I didn't use F5 support directly, just the materials.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

F5 Advanced WAF is not a cheap product.

What other advice do I have?

My advice is to recommend F5 Advanced WAF for use. On a scale of 1 to 10, I would rate F5 Advanced WAF a nine.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Security Specialist at a energy/utilities company with 51-200 employees
Real User
Scans a lot of traffic to protect the corporate web server
Pros and Cons
  • "The most valuable feature is artificial intelligence and to get extra internal access."
  • "The administrator's user interface and some of the settings can sometimes be very complicated to understand."

What is our primary use case?

We use the F5  Web Application firewall to protect our corporate web server. The security of our web is our absolute highest priority.

How has it helped my organization?

We've only been using this solution for six months now, so we can't really see any improvement yet.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is network detection intelligence and the ability to get extra internal access. I don't have knowledge about all the functions but, because it is a fully automatic process, the devices scan a lot of traffic. It is automatically set up to protect our web.

What needs improvement?

The administrator's user interface and some of the settings can sometimes be very complicated to understand. It would really help if they could be easier and more user-friendly. Perhaps the developers can add a training video that shows users what to do. I am sure it is a good product and you only need some experience to become familiar with it.

Another thing that may need improvement, is upgrading from one version to another. It is good, but it can be faster. 

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been testing the F5 -BIG-AWF-VE Web Application for six months now and we plan to implement the solution in July.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is a very stable solution. We currently have three administrators and about 300 users working on it.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is great because we can change or set this device up for almost everything. We can even extend to other functions and buy new licenses - this product will automatically adapt to these new functions. For example, we can buy a license and F5 will automatically extend to these functions. It is a very simple process to extend functionality to this device. You only need to install the license and configure it.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is perfect. Our company is a corporate partner, and we can also use services directly from other international support centers.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

It was a very difficult decision to find the right solution. We used open source software before to protect our system's open source architecture.
We switched to F5 WAF because, for us, professional services are absolutely necessary. There are other cheaper options on the market, but when you need support, it can sometimes be a problem. 

How was the initial setup?

We've incorporated our partner and he initiated the setup of this device. He used both the manual and the automatic setup options, and then he compared the two options. And now, as we are in production, we choose either automatic setup or manual setup. The automatic setup is quite easy, but the manual setup is complicated. It all depends on what you want from the product.

What about the implementation team?

Our partner was responsible for the initial setup. 

What other advice do I have?

I will rate the product a nine out of ten. 

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Georges Samaha - PeerSpot reviewer
Security Consultant at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
Reseller
Top 5Leaderboard
Offers a plethora of features and has perfect stability
Pros and Cons
  • "I like them because I like the security solution. They get extra marks compared to other solutions or competitors. There are more features than any other product I can think of. They're always monitoring, and the security features offer more than other, lesser products."
  • "You have to buy another module with an extra license, to have the authentication feature."

What needs improvement?

In general, the web interface is not really catchy. It's very powerful, very customizable, but it doesn't have a very nice GUI interface for a new adopter. For them, they'd have to do a lot of configuring. At least the reporting and monitoring parts, let's say, to be honest, should have a better interface. A few other products have very nice dashboards, out of the box, and F5 is not that friendly to use.

Also, when you buy WAF, you have to buy another module called APM to do authentication. You have to buy another module with an extra license, to have the authentication feature. Other vendors have it interwoven. For example, I don't know if Barracuda has it, but Citrix has it under the same license. So maybe add authentication functionality in the AOS license, and not separate.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solutions for 10 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is perfect. 10 out of 10. We've not had any trouble with any deployment ever. And they are very big deployments: service providers, TelCos, banking, everywhere. Even on distant parts of the network, we have not had any kind of performance issues. Of course, as long as the sizing is within the appliance performance range. But it never has had a failure in performance or degradation of service or anything like this, as long as the full-time traffic is within the box capability, we've never had an issue.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's scalable. 

What other advice do I have?

We are a partner for F5, or a system integrator, not the client. So we do the implementation for other companies. I've been working with F5 for more than 10 years, so I know them very well. 

I like them because I like the security solution. They get extra marks compared to other solutions or competitors. There are more features than any other product I can think of. They're always monitoring, and the security features offer more than other, lesser products.

I would rate this solution 10 out of 10.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
Senior Network Engineer at PECCO
Real User
Helps with blocking attacks on web applications
Pros and Cons
  • "The initial setup was was easy to install."
  • "People who want to work with the device have to be pro in Linux"

What is our primary use case?

We are a PPS payment providing services company in banking, so, we are using it for that. We are banking company and we are using it as a web application firewall.

How has it helped my organization?

We have an SOC, and for collecting logs we are also using the F5 logs to analyze the securities and events. So having a central log management and F5 really helped us to analyze the security logs. It also helps with blocking the attacks on web applications.

What needs improvement?

Everything is good about the F5 WAF, except the reporting. It's really difficult to set records from that device, the UI is kind of hard to work with, and the reporting must be improved.

As a suggestion to the F5 company, they have to put in shells to have the next generation WAF. So, instead of buying different modules and different hardware and appliances, they can offer an all-in-one solution for WAF.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was was easy to install. Our department wasn't installing it, the infrastructure department installed it, so we gave them the policy that we wanted to use.

What about the implementation team?

Because of the sanctions, we couldn't buy it straight from the US, so we bought it from an Iranian company. They provided us that solution. The company that sold us the device also had some people to consult with us to give us best practices from the previous companies that installed it.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

I think it's a good product but the F5 uses shells, so the people who want to work with the device have to be pro in Linux. If they can put everything in the UI so every regular security engineer can work with it, it's fabulous.

What other advice do I have?

I would rate the solution 8 out of 10. We are concerned about the other factors but it's actually not F5 company's fault. The pricing is really high here right now because of the dollar rate but it has nothing to do with the F5, it's because of the sanctions I imagine. At the moment it's a really expensive solution for us, not only F5 but the other appliances. 
If I went to another company, and the other company hired me, I would suggest they use this device. Although we don't have a lot of options to choose from around here.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Buyer's Guide
Download our free F5 Advanced WAF Report and get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions.
Updated: July 2022
Buyer's Guide
Download our free F5 Advanced WAF Report and get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions.