What Is The Biggest Difference Between Sophos and pfSense?

I am trying to compare Sophos and pfSense for my company. Which one is best and why?

What is the biggest difference between Sophos and pfSense?

Thanks for helping me with this important decision.

it_user1093146 - PeerSpot reviewer
Regional Manager with 11-50 employees
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PeerSpot user
7 Answers
EMS project with 11-50 employees
May 17, 2019

I'd agree with Karl's comment above. PfSense is a great product but treat it like a firewall and the big bonus is it's free. It's great at what it does.
Sophos UTM on the other hand can be a beast as it's an all in one solution and can get as complex as you would like it. We have failover clustering, load balancing and make use of all of their proxies. Very easy to make initial configuration errors until you know the product and how traffic flows etc.
It can also be fairly expensive with the subscriptions eg AV, sandstorm etc
If you can afford it, go for Sophos but pfSense can also play it's part too.

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Specialist in IT Infrastructure, Networks and Software Quality at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Real User
May 17, 2019

pfSense is opensource and has been the last 10 years in the top 10 best
firewall solutions in the world, it is free, stable, scalable, and easy to
administer ... and above all very safe, since it is one of the few systems
that could have been violated. It's free.

Sophos Certified UTM Architect, Sophos Certified XG Engineer at MediaSoft, Inc.
May 16, 2019

In fact, Karl, the 50-IP free version is for home use only, and not even then if it also protects business assets. You did a great job of explaining the difference, so I won't comment further.

To the original poster, it's cheaper to hire a Sophos consultant to create your original configuration. It costs twice as much to get a configuration "repaired" that wasn't correctly designed. A Sophos Solution Partner that has a Sophos Certified Architect with plenty of experience and good referrals is probably your best bet.

Director at REDCO
Top 5Leaderboard
May 16, 2019

With Sophos is easy to configure and you have the support from the frabicant, with pfSense you have to learn from the community and learning curve is a little hard, last occasion with pfSense it don't have support for vpn dynamic, with Sophos they have RED equipment that is an extension from the core, only you need the serial number from the remote equipment and you have the vpn , both are great equipment and software, depend of the budget, pfSense is free and they have support if you pay the license very cheap

Information Security Manager at a tech services company with 201-500 employees
Real User
May 16, 2019

pfSense is just a basic firewall with VPN and Captive Portal functionality but does its job great. Only needs minimum resources to function. Price is right (FREE)
Sophos UTM is much more, hence the UTM. It does firewall, advance threat protection, VPN, Secure web gateway, email protection (AV, Spam, Encryption, and DLP), endpoint protection, Mobile Device control, Web Application Firewall, User Portal, built in reporting, and central management. It does require more resources but you get a lot more out of it. Two options depending on the size of your office, commercial version or the Free version that you can build on your own hardware. The free version is restricted to 50 IP addresses. (https://www.sophos.com/en-us/products/free-tools/sophos-utm-home-edition.aspx)
I have used both and both have their place but using Sophos in my environment just because it offers a lot more functionality, nice dashboard, reports, and easy to use through the GUI.

Real User
Mar 31, 2020

One other big difference is that pfSense is FreeBSD based while Sophos UTM is linux based. It is also worth having a lool on cacheguard which is a proxy oriented product and also Linux based.

Find out what your peers are saying about Netgate pfSense vs. Sophos UTM and other solutions. Updated: September 2023.
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IT Manager with 51-200 employees
May 16, 2019

I´m afraid I am not able to help in this matter. We´ve decided to for FortiGate as services, based on our relationship with our IT security provider and the FortiGate reviews available on the net.

We used to use pfSence for one particular open network but let the full control on de FortiGate. During the investigation and analysis period we thought of Sophos but felt more comfortable going for FortiGate pretty much based on price and our relationship with our IT security provider. Hence my experience wouldn´t help in this case.

My best advice would is to refer to the article available on:

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Regional Manager/ Service Delivery Manager at a tech services company with 201-500 employees
Feb 19, 2023
Hi, hope the below data helps, I prepared it for my internal documentation. Feature Sophos Home Premium Bitdefender Total Security Compatibility Windows, macOS, iOS, Android Windows, macOS, iOS, Android Antivirus and antispyware ✔ ✔ Firewall ✖ ✔ Webcam protection ✔ ✔ Password manager ✖ ✔ Anti-phishing ✔ ✔ Ransomware protection ✔ ✔ Banking and payment protection ✔ ✔ Parental control ✔ ✔ Network attack protection ✔ ✔ VPN service ✖ ✔
Thomas Naylor - PeerSpot reviewer
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Worth also considering options such as Malwarebytes, ESET, Trend Micro, and others. Sophos has been losing market share - which may be indicative of reduced service offering competitiveness.
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