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Cisco ASA Firewall vs pfSense comparison

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60,663 views|45,193 comparisons
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79,984 views|64,227 comparisons
Featured Review
Find out what your peers are saying about Cisco ASA Firewall vs. pfSense and other solutions. Updated: January 2022.
564,643 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
"We get the Security Intelligence Feeds refreshed every hour from Talos, which from my understanding is that they're the largest intelligence Security Intelligence Group outside of the government.""The most valuable feature is the access control list (ACL).""The implementation is pretty straightforward.""We have not had to deal with stability issues.""A good intrusion prevention system and filtering.""I have access to the web version of Cisco Talos to see the reputation of IP addresses. I find this very helpful. It provides important information for my company to obtain the reputation of IP addresses. The information in Talos is quite complete.""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.""There are no issues that we are aware of. It does its job silently in the background."

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"The solution is excellent for enterprise-level networks.""Everything is all documented in the file or in the command line script that gets uploaded to the device. It gives us great visibility.""They provide DDoS protection and multi-factor authentication. That is a good option as it enables work-from-home functionality.""On the network side, where you create your rules for allowing traffic — what can come inside and what can go out — that works perfectly, if you know what you want to achieve. It protects you.""The most valuable features for my client are the ASDM and monitoring.""Simple to deploy, stable.""The best features are stability and scalability.""Unfortunately in Cisco, only the hardware was good."

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"The initial setup was simple and fast.""I like pfSense's security features.""I mostly like all of it. Whatever we use is valuable.""Some of the terminologies were more familiar to me than it was when I first encountered Cisco.""What I like about pfSense is that it works well and runs on an inexpensive appliance.""The VPN is my favorite feature.""I like pfSense's reports and how I can control access to the policies on the firewall.""Technical support is perfect, excellent."

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Cons
"Its interface is sometimes is a little bit slow, and it can be improved. When you need to put your appliance in failover mode, it is a little difficult to do it remotely because you need to turn off the appliance in Cisco mode. In terms of new features, it would be good to have AnyConnect VPN with Firepower. I am not sure if it is available at the moment.""We cannot have virtual domains, which we can create with FortiGate. This is something they should add in the future. Additionally, there is a connection limit and the FMC could improve.""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.""The initial setup can be a bit complex for those unfamiliar with the solution.""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.""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.""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.""Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall can be more secure."

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"It is hard to collaborate with our filtered environment.""It would be nice if you didn't have to configure using a command-line interface. It's a bit technical that way.""Technical support takes a long time to respond.""We don't have any serious problems. The firewall models that we have are quite legacy, and they have slower performance. We are currently investigating the possibility of migrating to next-generation firewalls.""In the future, I would like to be able to use an IP phone over a VPN connection.""One thing that we really would have loved to have was policy-based routing. We had a lot of connections, and sometimes, we would have liked to change the routing depending on the policies, but it was lacking this capability. We also wanted application filtering and DNS filtering.""I would say that in inexperienced hands, the interface can be kind of overwhelming. There are just a lot of options. Too much, if you don't know what you are looking for or trying to do.""If I want to activate IPS features on it, I have to buy another license. If I want Cisco AnyConnect, I have to buy another license. That's where we have challenges."

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"As an open-source solution, there are so many loopholes happening within the product. By design, no one is taking ownership of it, and that is worrisome to me.""If you want to take advantage of all of the solution's options, you need to have a bit of a technical background. It's not for a layperson.""The integration could be improved.""Also, simplifying the rules for the GeoIP. Making it simpler to understand would be an improvement.""There's a bit of a learning curve during the initial implementation.""I would like to see pfSense integrate WireGuard. Currently, pfSense uses OpenVPN, and there's nothing wrong with it, but WireGuard is a lot leaner and meaner.""Many people have problems setting up the web cache for the web system.""They could improve their commercial stance and be more agile when it comes to the commercial pricing of enterprise deals."

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Pricing and Cost Advice
  • "Cisco pricing is premium. However, they gave us a 50 to 60 percent discount."
  • "There are additional implementation and validation costs."
  • "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."
  • More Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "In terms of costs, other solutions are more expensive than Cisco. Palo Alto is more expensive than Cisco."
  • "There is room for improvement in the pricing when compared to the market. Although, when you compare the benefits of support from Cisco, you can adjust the value and it becomes comparable, because you usually need very good support. So you gain value there with this device."
  • "When it comes to Cisco, the price of everything is higher. Cisco firewalls are expensive, but we get support from Cisco, and that support is very active."
  • "Cisco is expensive, but you do get benefits for the price."
  • "It's a brilliant firewall, and the fact that it comes with a perpetual license really does go far in terms of helping the organization in not having to deal with those costs on an annual basis. That is a pain point when it comes to services like the ones we have on Fortigate. That's where we really give Cisco firewalls the thumbs up."
  • "The licensing is a bit off because the physical firewall is cheaper than the virtual one. We only have the physical ones as they are cheaper than the virtual ones. We only use the physical firewalls because of the price difference."
  • "Always consider what you might need to reduce your wasted time and invest it in other solutions."
  • "Cisco is considered to be an expensive solution."
  • More Cisco ASA Firewall Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "This solution provides enterprise-level features at a fraction of the cost of an enterprise firewall."
  • "It is an open source firewall."
  • "We are using the open-source version, not the commercial one."
  • "It has almost zero cost, and it is open to us. It runs on a small appliance just for a couple of 100 bucks, and I've never had an appliance burn out on me yet."
  • "It is open source."
  • "I spent a couple of $1,000 on hardware, and the OS was free. A comparable firewall would cost me probably 20 grand. It saved a lot of money."
  • "I like the fact that it is open-source."
  • "pfSense is open-source, but the support is something that the customer pays for."
  • More pfSense 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: 
    One of our favorite things about Fortinet Fortigate is that you can deploy on the cloud or on premises. Fortinet… more »
    Top Answer: 
    Cisco Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA) software is the operating software for the Cisco ASA suite. It supports… more »
    Top Answer: 
    When looking to change our ASA Firewall, we looked into Palo Alto’s WildFire. It works especially in preventing advanced… more »
    Top Answer: 
    Fortinet’s Fortigate is a firewall solution we use and are very much satisfied with its performance. We find Fortigate… more »
    Top Answer: 
    Two of the most common and well recognized firewalls, PfSense and OPNsense both support site-to-site IPsec VPN and… more »
    Top Answer: 
    pfSense is a nice product, and I find that there's a lot of information out there. There are some good tutorials on… more »
    Comparisons
    Also Known As
    Cisco Firepower NGFW, Cisco Firepower Next-Generation Firewall, FirePOWER, Cisco NGFWv
    Cisco Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA) Firewall, Cisco ASA NGFW, Cisco ASA, Adaptive Security Appliance, ASA, Cisco Sourcefire Firewalls, Cisco ASAv
    Learn More
    Netgate
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    Overview

    Cisco NGFW firewalls deliver advanced threat defense capabilities to meet diverse needs, from
    small/branch offices to high performance data centers and service providers. Available in a wide
    range of models, Cisco NGFW can be deployed as a physical or virtual appliance. Advanced threat
    defense capabilities include Next-generation IPS (NGIPS), Security Intelligence (SI), Advanced
    Malware Protection (AMP), URL filtering, Application Visibility and Control (AVC), and flexible VPN
    features. Inspect encrypted traffic and enjoy automated risk ranking and impact flags to reduce event
    volume so you can quickly prioritize threats. Cisco NGFW firewalls are also available with clustering
    for increased performance, high availability configurations, and more.
    Cisco Firepower NGFWv is the virtualized version of Cisco's Firepower NGFW firewall. Widely
    deployed in leading private and public clouds, Cisco NGFWv automatically scales up/down to meet
    the needs of dynamic cloud environments and high availability provides resilience. Also, Cisco NGFWv
    can deliver micro-segmentation to protect east-west network traffic.
    Cisco firewalls provide consistent security policies, enforcement, and protection across all your
    environments. Unified management for Cisco ASA and FTD/NGFW physical and virtual firewalls is
    delivered by Cisco Defense Orchestrator (CDO), with cloud logging also available. And with Cisco
    SecureX included with every Cisco firewall, you gain a cloud-native platform experience that enables
    greater simplicity, visibility, and efficiency.
    Learn more about Cisco’s firewall solutions, including virtual appliances for public and private cloud.

    Cisco ASA firewalls deliver enterprise-class firewall functionality with highly scalable and flexible VPN capabilities to meet diverse needs, from small/branch offices to high performance data centers and service providers. Available in a wide range of models, Cisco ASA can be deployed as a physical or virtual appliance. Flexible VPN capabilities include support for remote access, site-to-site, and clientless VPN. Also, select appliances support clustering for increased performance, VPN load balancing to optimize available resources, advanced high availability configurations, and more.

    Cisco ASAv is the virtualized version of the Cisco ASA firewall. Widely deployed in leading private and public clouds, Cisco ASAv is ideal for remote worker and multi-tenant environments. The solution scales up/down to meet performance requirements and high availability provides resilience. Also, Cisco ASAv can deliver micro-segmentation to protect east-west network traffic.

    Cisco firewalls provide consistent security policies, enforcement, and protection across all your environments. Unified management for Cisco ASA and FTD/NGFW physical and virtual firewalls is delivered by Cisco Defense Orchestrator (CDO), with cloud logging also available. And with Cisco SecureX included with every Cisco firewall, you gain a cloud-native platform experience that enables greater simplicity, visibility, and efficiency.

    Learn more about Cisco’s firewall solutions, including virtual appliances for public and private cloud.

    Providing comprehensive network security solutions for the enterprise, large business and SOHO, pfSense solutions bring together the most advanced technology available to make protecting your network easier than ever before. Our products are built on the most reliable platforms and are engineered to provide the highest levels of performance, stability and confidence.
    Offer
    Learn more about Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall
    Learn more about Cisco ASA Firewall
    Learn more about pfSense
    Sample Customers
    Rackspace, The French Laundry, Downer Group, Lewisville School District, Shawnee Mission School District, Lower Austria Firefighters Administration, Oxford Hospital, SugarCreek, Westfield
    There are more than one million Adaptive Security Appliances deployed globally. Top customers include First American Financial Corp., Genzyme, Frankfurt Airport, Hansgrohe SE, Rio Olympics, The French Laundry, Rackspace, and City of Tomorrow.
    Nerds On Site Inc., RKC Development Inc., Expertech, Fisher's Technology, Ncisive, Consulting, CPURX, Vaughn's Computer House Calls, Imeretech LLC, Digital Crisis, Carolina Digital Phone, Technigogo Technology Services, The Simple Solution, SwiftecITInc, Rocky Mountain Tech Team, Free Range Geeks, Alaska Computer Geeks, Lark Information Technology, Renaissance Systems Inc., Cutting Edge Computers, Caretech LLC, GoVanguard, Network Touch Ltd, P.C. Solutions.Net, Vision Voice and Data Systems LLC, Montgomery Technologies, Techforce, Concero Networks, ASONInc, CPS Electronics and Consulting, Darkwire.net LLC, IT Specialists, MBS-Net Inc., VOICE1 LLC, Advantage Networking Inc., Powerhouse Systems, Doxa Multimedia Inc., Pro Computer Service, Virtual IT Services, A&J Computers Inc., Envision IT LLC, CommunicaONE Inc., Bone Computer Inc., Amax Engineering Corporation, QPG Ltd. Co., IT 101 Inc., Perfect Cloud Solutions, Applied Technology Group Inc., The Digital Sun Group LLC, Firespring
    Top Industries
    REVIEWERS
    Comms Service Provider22%
    Financial Services Firm16%
    Manufacturing Company8%
    Non Profit8%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Comms Service Provider33%
    Computer Software Company21%
    Government7%
    Manufacturing Company4%
    REVIEWERS
    Financial Services Firm17%
    Comms Service Provider13%
    Manufacturing Company10%
    Computer Software Company7%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Comms Service Provider35%
    Computer Software Company21%
    Government5%
    Educational Organization4%
    REVIEWERS
    University10%
    Comms Service Provider10%
    Marketing Services Firm8%
    Energy/Utilities Company6%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Comms Service Provider44%
    Computer Software Company15%
    Government6%
    Media Company4%
    Company Size
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business43%
    Midsize Enterprise28%
    Large Enterprise29%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business21%
    Midsize Enterprise13%
    Large Enterprise65%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business35%
    Midsize Enterprise26%
    Large Enterprise39%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business28%
    Midsize Enterprise16%
    Large Enterprise56%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business70%
    Midsize Enterprise17%
    Large Enterprise13%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business56%
    Midsize Enterprise14%
    Large Enterprise30%
    Find out what your peers are saying about Cisco ASA Firewall vs. pfSense and other solutions. Updated: January 2022.
    564,643 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    Cisco ASA Firewall is ranked 6th in Firewalls with 62 reviews while pfSense is ranked 3rd in Firewalls with 60 reviews. Cisco ASA Firewall is rated 8.0, while pfSense is rated 8.6. The top reviewer of Cisco ASA Firewall writes "Robust solution that integrates well with both Cisco products and products from other vendors". On the other hand, the top reviewer of pfSense writes "Feature-rich, well documented, and there is good support available online". Cisco ASA Firewall is most compared with Fortinet FortiGate, Palo Alto Networks WildFire, Meraki MX, Juniper SRX and SonicWall TZ, whereas pfSense is most compared with OPNsense, Fortinet FortiGate, Sophos UTM, Sophos XG and Zyxel Unified Security Gateway. See our Cisco ASA Firewall vs. pfSense report.

    See our list of best Firewalls vendors.

    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.