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Featured Review
Find out what your peers are saying about WatchGuard Firebox vs. pfSense and other solutions. Updated: March 2020.
552,136 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
"The solution offers very easy configurations.""Being able to determine our active users vs inactive users has led us to increased productivity through visibility. Also, if an issue was happening with our throughput, then we wouldn't know without research. Now, notifications are more proactively happening.""Feature-wise, we mostly use IPS because it is a security requirement to protect against attacks from outside and inside. This is where IPS helps us out a bunch.""The implementation is pretty straightforward.""Web filtering is a big improvement for us. The previous version we used, the AC520, did not have that feature included. It was not very easy for us, especially because the environment had to be isolated and we needed to get updates from outside, such as Windows patches. That feature has really helped us when we are going outside to pull those patches.""Firepower NGFW has improved my organization in several ways. Before, we were trying to stamp out security threats and issues, it was a one-off type of way to attack it. I spent a lot of manpower trying to track down the individual issues or flare-ups that we would see. With Cisco's Firepower Management, we're able to have that push up to basically one monitor and one UI and be able to track that and stop threats immediately. It also gives us a little more granularity on what those threats might be.""We have not had to deal with stability issues.""There are no issues that we are aware of. It does its job silently in the background."

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"The built-in open VPN and the VPN Client Export are the solution's most valuable aspects.""Great extensibility of the platform.""Is good at blocking IP addresses.""My technicians find the pfSense's web interface very useful. It is very easy to use. pfSense is very reliable and stable. We like the OpenVPN clients that can be deployed using pfSense very much.""It is a better firewall than others and it has better features.""I have found pfSense to be stable.""What I like about pfSense is that it works well and runs on an inexpensive appliance.""I like the connectivity to the open VPN. It's very smooth."

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"As a whole, it has a very low requirement for ongoing interaction. It's very self-sufficient. If properly patched, it has very high reliability. The total cost of ownership once deployed is very low.""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.""The main features of the solution are the control of the site-to-site network access and the overall features.""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.""After conducting several tests I found the antivirus is working very well. Additionally, they have a very interesting feature, DNS WatchGuard, which is checking DNS requests for phishing, among other things, and it has caught a lot of unwanted attempts and attacks.""It provides us with Layer 2 and Layer 3 security.""It's hard to pick one feature over another. But if I had to pick one, the UTM would be the most valuable because of the notification. I get notified via email if there is any type of threat detection or alert, telling me something is wrong.""The set up of the VPN is pretty straightforward. Being able to build VPNs on the fly for certain users, if need be, is also valuable."

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Cons
"Web filtering needs improvement because sometimes the URL is miscategorized.""It would be great if some of the load times were faster.""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 performance should be improved.""The solution could offer better control that would allow the ability to restrictions certain features from a website.""In a future release, it would be ideal if they could offer an open interface to other security products so that we could easily connect to our own open industry standard.""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.""Deploying configurations takes longer than it should."

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"There is more demand for UTMs than a simple firewall. pfSense should support real-time features for handling the latest viruses and threats. It should support real-time checks and real-time status of threats. Some other vendors, such as Fortinet, already offer this type of capability. Such capability will be good for bringing pfSense at the same level as other solutions.""We are at the moment looking to use it as a proxy service so that we can limit what websites people go and view and that sort of thing. That's an area I've struggled with a little bit at the moment and it could be a bit easier to set up.""I have been using WireGuard VPN because it is a lot faster and more secure than an open VPN. However, in the latest version of pfSense, they have removed this feature, which is one of the main features that I need. They should include this feature.""The solution could use better reporting. They need to offer more of it in general. Right now, the graphics aren't the best. If you need to provide a report to a manager, for example, it doesn't look great. They need to make it easier to understand and give users the ability to customize them.""The interface is not very shiny and attractive.""I'd like to find something in pfSense that is more specific to URL filtering. We have customers who would like to filter their web traffic. They would like to be able to say to their employees, "You can surf the web, but you cannot get access to Facebook or other social media," or "You can surf the web, but you're not allowed to gamble or watch porn on the web." My technicians say that doing this kind of stuff with pfSense nowadays is not easy. They can implement some filters using IP addresses but not by using the names of the domains and categories. So, we are not able to exclude some categories from the allowed traffic, such as porn, gambling, etc. To do that, we have to use another product and another web filter that uses DNS. I know that there are some third-party products that could work with pfSense, but I'd like the native pfSense solution to do that.""The solution could always work at being more secure. It's a good idea to continue to work on security features and capabilities in order to ensure they can keep clients safe.""Could be simplified for new users."

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"The usability could be better, but it is definitely manageable. If we have to go to a backup internet connection, that could be a little bit easier.""There is room for improvement on the education side, regarding what does what, rather than just throwing it at a person and assuming they know everything about it. A lot of times, you have to call WatchGuard support to get the solution that will work, rather than their just having it published so that you can fix the problem on your own.""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.""Its documentation could be improved. Sometimes, you need to search a bit longer to find what you are looking for.""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.""I haven’t dug deeply into the reporting features yet or if they are working well. However, I have generated several reports and there was too much unnecessary information, in comparison with the reporting features in the Sophos firewall. Sophos' reporting is more readable and easier to configure.""The few issues that we have had, such as not knowing where to go, they have been answered quickly.""The reporting is a little on the weak side. I would like to see a better reporting set and easier drill-down options."

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Pricing and Cost Advice
"The price of Firepower is not bad compared to other products.""When we purchased the firewall, we had to take the security license for IPS, malware protection, and VPN. If we are using high availability, we have to take a license for that. We also have to pay for hardware support and technical support. Its licensing is on a yearly basis.""I am happy with the product in general, including the pricing.""For me, personally, as an individual, Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall is expensive.""The solution was chosen because of its price compared to other similar solutions.""This product is expensive.""I like the Smart Licensing, because it is more dynamic and easier to keep track of where you are at. If we have a high availability firewall pair and they are deployed in active/standby rather than active/active, I would expect that we would only pay for one set of licenses because you are using only one firewall at any one time. The other is there just for resiliency. The licensing, from a Firepower perspective, still requires you to have two licenses, even if the firewalls are in active/standby, which means that you pay for the two licenses, even though you might only be using one firewall any one time. This is probably not the best way to do it and doesn't represent the best value for money. This could be looked at to see if it could be done in a fairer way.""The price is comparable."

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"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.""I would recommend it for a small business or a startup as a starting point. It's also good for companies that are on a tight budget.""The solution software does not require a license, it is free. The support contract is about $600 dollars.""The price of pfSense is reasonable. However, there is a free version available.""The solution is free. However, you need to pay for support.""pfSense is open-source.""pfSense is an open-source solution and free to use.""This solution provides enterprise-level features at a fraction of the cost of an enterprise firewall."

More pfSense Pricing and Cost Advice »

"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.""We don't have any other costs other than the licensing stuff.""I usually tell people that it's really affordable as well, particularly compared to Cisco.""The pricing of WatchGuard is probably a little higher than the SonicWall, but it makes up for it in dependability. It's worth it to me, especially since it's not much higher. For just a little bit higher price you get the dependability of the firewall with the WatchGuard brand.""The cost was somewhere in the vicinity of $2,000 to $3,000 for each one...""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.""It's fair pricing, but it could always be reduced."

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: You don't really specify what type of router you are looking for but if you are talking about a gateway router I… 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: 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
Learn More
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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.

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.

WatchGuard's approach to network security focuses on bringing best-in-class, enterprise-grade security to any organization, regardless of size or technical expertise. Ideal for SMBs and distributed enterprise organizations, our award-winning Unified Threat Management (UTM) appliances are designed from the ground up to focus on ease of deployment, use, and ongoing management, in addition to providing the strongest security possible.

Offer
Learn more about Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall
Learn more about pfSense
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
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
Ellips, Diecutstickers.com, Clarke Energy, NCR, Wrest Park, Homeslice Pizza, Fortessa Tableware Solutions, The Phoenix Residence
Top Industries
REVIEWERS
Comms Service Provider22%
Financial Services Firm16%
Manufacturing Company8%
Non Profit8%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Comms Service Provider32%
Computer Software Company21%
Government7%
Manufacturing Company4%
REVIEWERS
Comms Service Provider11%
University9%
Marketing Services Firm9%
Computer Software Company7%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Comms Service Provider43%
Computer Software Company15%
Government6%
Media Company4%
REVIEWERS
Manufacturing Company18%
Construction Company15%
Healthcare Company9%
University6%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Comms Service Provider34%
Computer Software Company17%
Government6%
Wholesaler/Distributor4%
Company Size
REVIEWERS
Small Business43%
Midsize Enterprise28%
Large Enterprise29%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Small Business21%
Midsize Enterprise13%
Large Enterprise66%
REVIEWERS
Small Business71%
Midsize Enterprise17%
Large Enterprise12%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Small Business59%
Midsize Enterprise13%
Large Enterprise28%
REVIEWERS
Small Business67%
Midsize Enterprise21%
Large Enterprise13%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Small Business87%
Midsize Enterprise3%
Large Enterprise10%
Find out what your peers are saying about WatchGuard Firebox vs. pfSense and other solutions. Updated: March 2020.
552,136 professionals have used our research since 2012.

pfSense is ranked 3rd in Firewalls with 53 reviews while WatchGuard Firebox is ranked 3rd in Unified Threat Management (UTM) with 26 reviews. pfSense is rated 8.6, while WatchGuard Firebox is rated 8.6. The top reviewer of pfSense writes "Feature-rich, well documented, and there is good support available online". 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". pfSense is most compared with OPNsense, Fortinet FortiGate, Sophos UTM, Sophos XG and Juniper SRX, whereas WatchGuard Firebox is most compared with Fortinet FortiGate, Sophos XG, SonicWall NSa, Cisco ASA Firewall and Azure Firewall. See our WatchGuard Firebox vs. pfSense 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.