Palo Alto Networks URL Filtering with PAN-DB Review

Easy to set up, scales well, and provides excellent URL filtering


What is our primary use case?

We require a firewall to deploy URL filtering or to enforce this URL filtering solution to our users. It is actually cloud-based, deployed on a cloud, and is URL Filtering as a service, which requires a firewall. The firewall, therefore, will then enforce the URL filtering options on my users' traffic.

We are using this for preventing the user's access to malicious websites, or access to inappropriate adult websites or porn websites or even the P2P tunnels or tunnels or domains they should not access. This is our main priority and main use case.

What is most valuable?

The URL filtering is excellent. It ensures our users can't access certain sites. 

The multiple categorizations of URLs are quite helpful. For example, if a URL is, a social media website, such as facebook.com, it can be classified at a certain risk level - from high to low.  

The solution offers credential phishing, which is a helpful feature. 

The initial setup is easy.

The solution scales well, according to the firewall.

The stability is very good.

Everything that is available with the firewall is provided to the user.

What needs improvement?

It would be ideal if this solution could be a separate product rather than have to have it deploy through a firewall. If it was a separate product, many of our customers would be happier as most just require a URL filtering option. They do not require a firewall. They do not require any threat prevention or anything. 

If it was a separate product, we could deploy it to branch offices or any of our customer locations in which different firewalls are being used. 

The solution is a bit expensive.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using the solution for more than three years at this point.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is excellent. We've never had to raise any technical issues. There have been no bugs or glitches. It doesn't crash or freeze. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability depends on the firewall. The URL Filtering does not have any limitations. For example, any number of firewalls is supported. It is not dependent on that. It is just dependent on the firewall. Therefore, if a firewall supports 1,000 users, then it will provide support for protection for 1,000 users as well.

We have 700 users on the solution currently.

We do not plan to increase usage at this time.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have never had a technical call raised to customer care or the tech team or anyone to resolve the URL Filtering issues. It's been so reliable we haven't really dealt so much with technical support. Any local issues have been small and have been handled by our internal team.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is not complex. It's easy and pretty straightforward. There are no configuration options. You use it as it is. A company shouldn't have any issues with it. 

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

We pay a yearly licensing fee.

It's a bit expensive if I were to rate it from one to five, with one being the cheapest, I'd rate it at a four. That said, I would argue that it is worth the price.

What other advice do I have?

We're Palo Alto partners.

There isn't an exact version number associated with the product. It's a SaaS.

I'd recommend the solution to other users and companies.

I'd rate the product at a ten out of ten.

**Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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