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Chandan-Singh
Sr Technical Consultant at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Best documentation, good price, and very reliable with useful remote VPN, site-to-site VPN, and clustering features

Pros and Cons

  • "The remote VPN and IPsec VPN or site-to-site VPN features are valuable. The clustering feature is also valuable. We have two ISP links. Whenever there is a failover, users don't even get to know. The transition is very smooth, and the users don't notice any latency. So, remote VPN, site-to-site VPN, and failover are three very powerful features of Cisco ASA."
  • "Cisco has the best documentation. You can easily find multiple documents by searching the web. Even a child can go online and find the required information."
  • "There is huge scope for improvement in URL filtering. The database that they have is not accurate. Their content awareness and categorization for URL filtering are not that great. We faced many challenges with their categorization and content awareness. They should improve these categorization issues."

What is our primary use case?

We are using Cisco ASA Firewall 5525 for network security. We needed a network security solution that can take care of the network security and URL filtering. We also wanted to create site-to-site VPNs and have remote VPNs. For all these use cases, we got Cisco ASA, and we are pretty happy with it.

What is most valuable?

The remote VPN and IPsec VPN or site-to-site VPN features are valuable. The clustering feature is also valuable. We have two ISP links. Whenever there is a failover, users don't even get to know. The transition is very smooth, and the users don't notice any latency. So, remote VPN, site-to-site VPN, and failover are three very powerful features of Cisco ASA.

Cisco has the best documentation. You can easily find multiple documents by searching the web. Even a child can go online and find the required information.

What needs improvement?

There is huge scope for improvement in URL filtering. The database that they have is not accurate. Their content awareness and categorization for URL filtering are not that great. We faced many challenges with their categorization and content awareness. They should improve these categorization issues.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is very reliable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is scalable. Cisco is pretty popular with organizations, and many customers are using it. It is suitable for all kinds of customers. It can cater to small, medium, and large organizations.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have interacted with them many times. I have been on a call with their technical support continuously for 48 hours. They were very prompt. In terms of technical support and documentation for switching, firewall, and routing solutions, no one can match Cisco.

How was the initial setup?

Its initial setup was very straightforward. Its documentation is very easily available on the web, which is very useful.

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

Their pricing is very aggressive and good. Even a small company can afford it. I am happy with its pricing. Its licensing is on a yearly basis.

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend this solution to others if they are not specifically looking for URL filtering and want to use it for their infrastructure. It is a perfect and very reliable solution, but it lacks when it comes to URL filtering. 

I would rate Cisco ASA Firewall a nine out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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LS
Network Administrator at Novabase
Real User
Useful VPN, overall user friendly, but becoming outdated

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable feature we have found to be the VPN because we use it often."
  • "The solution has not had any layer upgrades. It does not have layer five and upwards, it only has up to layer four. This has caused some problems for us."

What is our primary use case?

We currently have this solution hosted in a service provider's premises. They give us the link for our infrastructure and that is how we manage our equipment. We use the VPN feature to connect with our clients. 

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature we have found to be the VPN because we use it often. Additionally, overall the solution is user-friendly and especially the ASDM GUI.

What needs improvement?

The solution has not had any layer upgrades. It does not have layer five and upwards, it only has up to layer four. This has caused some problems for us.

In the future, it would be wonderful to have an antivirus, log analyzer, and PDF/Excel data exportation features build into the solution. The data export would be great to be able to look at the access list.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using the solution for four years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is stable up to a point. We have had some troubles making VPN connections with other technologies, such as Check Point. We have some of our clients that have Check Point equipment on their side, and sometimes the traffic ceases. We then are forced to reset the tunnel in order to get the traffic back.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Currently, we have approximately 20 site-to-site VPNs operations.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have had no issues with technical support.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We are currently using a Check Point solution because this solution lacks by not having an application layer.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is can be complicated if you are not familiar with the command line. There is documentation available by Cisco and once you are trained it is not difficult at all.

What about the implementation team?

We use implementation consultants for the full deployment and it took approximately two weeks to complete.

What other advice do I have?

My advice to those wanting to implement the solution would be that implementations sometimes do not go as planned. You need to do your research to be prepared. 

We are evaluating other solutions because this one is getting close to its expiration. There are no other technologies out there that offer better features than this ASA solution.

I rate Cisco ASA Firewall a six out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Private Cloud
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Learn what your peers think about Cisco ASA Firewall. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: October 2021.
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WilliamMugobogobo
Head of ICT Infrastructure and Security at City of Harare
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Stable and reliable, requiring very little support

Pros and Cons

  • "The features that are most valuable within the firewall are the IPS as well as the Unified Communications. We also really like the dynamic grouping."
  • "An area for improvement is the graphical user interface. That is something that is coming up now. They could make the product more user-friendly. A better GUI is something that would make life much easier."

What is our primary use case?

We use it for intrusion prevention and in our VPN that is connected to our head office. It provides protection and security and node clustering. It gives us all the security features that we need within our environment.

What is most valuable?

The features that are most valuable within the firewall are the IPS as well as the Unified Communications. We also really like the dynamic grouping.

What needs improvement?

An area for improvement is the graphical user interface. That is something that is coming up now. They could make the product more user-friendly. A better GUI is something that would make life much easier. Traditionally, Cisco products have been command-line-based.

For how long have I used the solution?

The Cisco ASA Firewall has been in our environment for the past seven years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The product is very stable. We've not had any challenges with it in all this time. It performs very well.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have 2,000 users who connect through this product. We are planning to increase use as we go, toward the end of the year.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support has been excellent. When there have been any issues, they've always been there for us.

How was the initial setup?

The initial configurations were straightforward, not complex at all. It took us just two days to finalize things.

What about the implementation team?

We did most of the setup in-house, but we also had assistance from our partner.

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

We pay annually and there are no costs in addition to the standard fees.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

When you compare Cisco ASA Firewall with Sophos, they are more or less the same in terms of functionality.

What other advice do I have?

Cisco ASA Firewall is very stable and very reliable. It requires very minimal support, once you configure it and put it in your environment. You don't need to attend to faults or issues. Once you install it and plug it in, it is good to go.

We have been using the ASA Firewall for a long time, and it is an advanced product for our current use. In terms of improvement, there's not much that can be done to it. It is a solid product, very effective, and it does its job well.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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ON
Network & Systems Administrator at T-Systems
Real User
Top 20
Good user interface and easy to configure but needs better integration capabilities.

Pros and Cons

  • "The management aspect of the product is very straightforward."
  • "It would be nice if you didn't have to configure using a command-line interface. It's a bit technical that way."

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use the solution for configuring the firewall.

What is most valuable?

It's an almost perfect solution.

The configuration is very easy.

The management aspect of the product is very straightforward.

The solution offers very good protection. 

The user interface itself is very nice and quite intuitive.

What needs improvement?

It would be ideal if the solution offered more integration capabilities with other vendors. For example, if you had a web security appliance, it would be great to be able to integrate everything in order to better report security events.

While I can't think of specific features I'd like improved, overall, they could do more to continue to refine the solution.

It would be nice if you didn't have to configure using a command-line interface. It's a bit technical that way.

For how long have I used the solution?

We first started using the solution in 2015. It's been five years at this point.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is very stable. We've found it to be extremely reliable. There are not bugs or glitches. It doesn't crash or freeze.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution can scale well. that's not a problem at all. If a company needs to expand it to fit their needs, they can do so.

How are customer service and technical support?

We've been in contact with technical support on multiple occasions and each time we've had a good experience. We're satisfied with their level of support. They are fairly good.

How was the initial setup?

I have nothing bad to say about the deployment. It went pretty well, and we can configure everything as we need to.

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

I don't really handle the billing, so I'm unsure of the pricing. I work more on the technical side. 

What other advice do I have?

We're just customers. We don't have a business relationship with Cisco.

It's a very good solution. I'd recommend it to other users.

Overall, I'd rate it seven out of ten.

Although I can't speak to the pricing, I've found the solution works quite well for us. I'd rate it higher if it could integrate a bit better with other solutions.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
JL
Network Administrator at a manufacturing company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 20
Accurate CLI, knowledgeable support team, valuable features

Pros and Cons

  • "To be honest, all of the features that are provided, all the other vendor will also have. One feature we did find valuable was the CLI, it is more accurate. Additionally, I was happy with the customization, dashboards, access lists and interface."
  • "It is hard to collaborate with our filtered environment."

What is our primary use case?

We utilize the solution for our IT security. 

What is most valuable?

To be honest, all of the features that are provided, all the other vendor will also have. One feature we did find valuable was the CLI, it is more accurate. Additionally, I was happy with the customization, dashboards, access lists and interface.

We frequently use the Bottleneck feature we purchased specialized from Cisco.

What needs improvement?

It is hard to collaborate with our filtered environment. 

If Cisco could combine the Bottleneck feature of ASA, their platform called Umbrella, and the other team they have that has similar malware protection into one, this would be perfect. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using the solution for almost three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is stable. However, It does have some bugs, but Cisco always fixes them really quickly. Sometimes we have to restart and it would be better if the bugs could be fixed without having to reload.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is not perfect.

How are customer service and technical support?

The support has been great and responsive. Most of their engineers are very professional and knowledgeable.

How was the initial setup?

The setup is easy to do if you are familiar with these type of installs, if not then it could be difficult.

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

We have a perpetual license for all of our firewalls. For some of the features, we purchase them on demand. The pricing is decent but it could always be cheaper, we would be happier.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We will probably change to a higher version in the near future or migrate to a next-generation firewall which would include IPI and some other new features. This makes sense because our current firewall ends the support in several years. 

Cisco FirePower, the next-generation firewall, is much better for stability.

What other advice do I have?

I have used many versions of the software over the years, versions 8.6 to 9.1 and 9.9 to 9.12.

Keep in mind before purchasing the solution, if you do need to scale the solution then ASA is probably not right for you.

I rate Cisco ASA Firewall an eight out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Stoyan Zhekov
General Manager at MS Solutions Ltd.
Real User
Top 20
Secure, stable, user-friendly, and the partner support is good

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable feature is that it's secure."
  • "In the future, I would like to be able to use an IP phone over a VPN connection."

What is our primary use case?

We are using the ASA in our network to create a VPN between six places. We also use it for servers and data synchronization.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is that it's secure.

It is really stable and I've never had an occasion that due to this firewall, I have had issues with the network, a breakdown, or otherwise.

This is a user-friendly product. Once you have a specialist who can configure it properly, you'll be pretty protected everything you want is in it.

What needs improvement?

In the future, I would like to be able to use an IP phone over a VPN connection.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been working with Cisco ASA Firewall for at least seven years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is good.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have not tried to scale our network. It was established a long time ago and nothing has changed since then.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have been auditing their partners in Bulgaria and I am in contact with them on a regular basis. I have not had any real issues with my equipment but overall, I think that the support is perfect.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We were using the ASA 5505 and our network is faster now, so we are now in the process of upgrading our network to the 5506 model. The 5505 is a 100 megabit product, which is very low.

What about the implementation team?

We had a company that set everything up for us. They have Cisco engineers and I'm paying them annually for next-business-day support. They do all of the maintenance for us.

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

They have a lot of different models but most of them are really expensive. This is the main thing because, for us, the price is important.

What other advice do I have?

Overall, I am pretty satisfied with this product and I recommend it.

I would rate this solution a ten out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
RO
CEO at a security firm with 1-10 employees
Reseller
Top 20
Has solid encryption and the stability is good

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable feature is that the encryption is solid."
  • "It is expensive."

What is our primary use case?

My primary use case is to have as VPN hardware. I have 2,000 providers. I am a reseller and as such, I am connected to telcos. I use ASA because our providers use Cisco in their core network as well. 

How has it helped my organization?

We had a situation where our network was down and the telecom providers at Cisco support helped us to resolve those issues. The downtime was brought down to a minimum.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is that the encryption is solid. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Cisco ASA for thirteen years. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

What I use now is sufficient based on the traffic that we are generating. We won't have to expand.  

We have two providers for ASA. There is only one administrator. We have about 1.2 million connections going through one ASA per month.

How are customer service and technical support?

Their technical support is very good. 

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I didn't previously use a different solution. We used Cisco and then we upgraded to ASA. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward. To set up the VPN we are able to set up the feature key networks that are going to talk to each other. We can set up what access is going to be used. The connection was set up in one or two days. 

We set it up twice. The first time it took four hours and the second time took ten hours spread out over two days. 

What was our ROI?

I have seen ROI. We use ASA because our provider uses it and they have support. The provider initiates the support with Cisco. The support is good. The license for the support is expensive. 

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

It is expensive. 

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend this solution. If you have the money, it's a very stable product. Make sure to keep critical spare parts. You might have for instance some modules that will need acceleration cards and those types of things.

I would rate it a nine out of ten. 

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
YT
Information Security Manager at a financial services firm with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Flexible, high quality, and provides good security

Pros and Cons

  • "It's a flexible solution and is well-known in the community."
  • "In the next release, I would like to see the VPN and UTM features included."

What is our primary use case?

We are using this product to filter network traffic.

What is most valuable?

It's a flexible solution and is well-known in the community. Most professionals are familiar with Cisco products and we prefer to work with products that we know. That is why we chose to work with Cisco firewalls, and also for the quality.

What needs improvement?

In the next year, we are planning to migrate to the Cisco Firepower. Our planned product would be Cisco Firepower 20 or the 40 series.

In the next release, I would like to see the VPN and UTM features included.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using the Cisco ASA Firewall for the past ten years.

We have a few different versions that we are using. Some are 5505, 5510, and 5515.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's stable. We have not had any issues with stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's a scalable solution. We have five or six users in our organization.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have not contacted technical support because we have not had any issues.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Previously, we did not use any other solutions. Our company is almost 11 years old and have been using this solution for ten years. We have been using this solution from the beginning.

How was the initial setup?

I have not been present for most of the deployments, but from my experience, the deployment is not complex for organizations like ours because we have less equipment and infrastructure. 

In Ethiopia, most of the deployments, especially in government organizations, are on-premises because of government policy.

Our policies are limited and not complex.

Overall, I would say that it's pretty straightforward. While I was not a part of the deployment and had to guess, I would say it may have taken a week to deploy.

We require a team of four or five to maintain this solution.

What other advice do I have?

In summary, this is a good product and I recommend it.

I would rate this solution a nine out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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