Which is the better security solution - Cisco Umbrella or Zscaler?

How to choose between them?

Content Manager at PeerSpot (formerly IT Central Station)
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3 Answers
Real User
Top 5
Aug 17, 2021

Cisco Umbrella and Zscaler Internet Access are two broad-spectrum Internet security solutions that I have tried.

Zscaler Internet Access is a good option for carrying out multiple security functions in a single solution. It includes web filters, firewalls, and sand boxing. The platform is simple to implement and update. Since it is cloud-based, it saved me from having to handle complex local security configurations. The single-sign-on feature saved me from having to log in every time.

The web filtering and scanning are fast and don’t generate any latency. The bandwidth control is very useful for controlling endpoints and gives consistent service.

Although Zscaler Internet Access is easy to set up, it is far from user-friendly. The user interface for the management dashboard is difficult to navigate. Blocking websites is frustrating, and it only works well if you whitelist webs. The reporting feature is not customizable.

One advantage to Zscaler is that you can deploy it to your company’s mobile phones so you can keep all endpoints secure.

Cisco Umbrella is easy to implement, and it comes with built-in configurations so you don’t need to configure them yourself. It gives you statistics so you can adjust policies according to threat patterns. It is stable and very simple. Once you install it, you can get it running in a few minutes. It is very well suited for distributed networks with many on-premises endpoints. Additionally, DNS security is top notch.

On the downside, the statistics on Cisco Umbrella are quite difficult to parse. We found it was difficult to integrate the solution with MS Active Directory.


Cisco Umbrella is powerful and helps to secure a network, especially with distributed users. Both solutions are strong, but I think Cisco Umbrella might be more useful for large enterprises.

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John Okunade - PeerSpot reviewer
Network Support Engineer at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Real User
Top 10
Dec 6, 2021

Fantastic points you have highlighted Leah. The DNS functionality of the Umbrella. 

I think the functionality I love about Umbrella is that it's an enterprise solution providing web security for both on-prem and mobile users. Being a cloud solution centralized management of the solution is made easy. Thank you, Cisco.

Executive at a computer software company with 11-50 employees
Aug 18, 2021

I would widen my options to include Netskope. 

Tech support is far better should or if you require it, deployment is much faster, and integrations with API's is better than either of the other two.

Find out what your peers are saying about Cisco Umbrella vs. Zscaler Internet Access and other solutions. Updated: September 2023.
734,678 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Related Questions
Security Specialist at TEUNO
Aug 20, 2023
Hello peers,  I am a Security Specialist at a small tech services company. I am currently researching DNS Security solutions. Which solution do you prefer: Cisco Umbrella or Palo Alto Networks DNS Security? What are the pros and cons of each solution? Thank you for your help.
See 1 answer
Anne Cubarrubia - PeerSpot reviewer
Editor at PeerSpot
Aug 20, 2023
Some users may choose Cisco Umbrella over Palo Alto Networks DNS Security because Cisco Umbrella is a cloud-based solution known for its easy deployment and management. It also protects against many threats and provides visibility into DNS traffic. As for the pros and cons of each solution, I've listed them below to help you in deciding which of the two solutions to use: Cisco Umbrella Pros: Cloud-based solution Easy to deploy and manage Protects against a wide variety of threats, such as malware, phishing, and ransomware Provides visibility into DNS traffic Cons: Can be expensive for larger organizations Not as customizable as some other solutions Palo Alto Networks DNS Security Pros: Highly customizable Deployment can be done in the cloud or on-premises Provides granular control over DNS traffic Integrates with other Palo Alto Networks security solutions Cons: More complex to deploy and manage than Cisco Umbrella Can be more expensive
CorySales - PeerSpot reviewer
User at Oklahoma State University
Feb 15, 2023
Hi peers,  I work at a large university. I am currently researching DNS security solutions. If you had to choose one or the other, would you choose Cisco Umbrella or Palo Alto Networks DNS Security as your DNS solution, and why? Thank you for your help.
See 1 answer
Alfonso Reimunde - PeerSpot reviewer
Independent Business Owner at Practical Information Systems
Feb 15, 2023
I would choose Umbrella first. Firstly, it's 100% cloud-based (private Cisco cloud) from the ground up, with no need for a new appliance, firewall, or server and they have their own DNS servers worldwide in an anycast configuration that has never ever been down. Those DNS servers do the filtering for you so the university network won't be affected by filtering. It's highly scalable and you can choose between different packages with other Cisco security products integration or more advanced information. Umbrella uses data from many different security sources, even AI so it actually filters sites even before they get publicly reported as malicious. It's a very proactive solution. It's very easy to set up initially from a central location even though you may set up different networks with their own filtering rules. You can set it up initially with basic filtering rules very fast and make it more complex later on. They offer special education institutions discounts even though the solution is already very competitive cost-wise. They invented DNS security and have been working on it longer than anyone by far. I've been using it for over 10 years, even before it was bought and enhanced by Cisco's own products (the solution was named OpenDNS Enterprise before) with no problems whatsoever. The other vendors have yet to catch up with them IMO. Their support is very good although you seldom have to use it. By the way, you may contact many universities and other educational institutions which have been using their solution for a long time for advice. Another big advantage is you can take advantage of it even in a hybrid working solution. Even if your students or faculty access or work from another location they will still be protected through the use of an agent. And you can integrate login through the active directory. To summarize, no other product compares for versatility IMO. 
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