Compare Azure Firewall vs. pfSense

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15,838 views|13,527 comparisons
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83,127 views|66,711 comparisons
Top Review
Find out what your peers are saying about Azure Firewall vs. pfSense and other solutions. Updated: September 2021.
534,057 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 most valuable features of Cisco firewalls are the IPS and IDS items. We find them very helpful. Those are the biggest things because we have some odd, custom-made products in our environment. What we've found through their IPS and IDS is that their vulnerability engines have caught things that are near-Zero-day items, inside of our network.""The IPS, as well as the malware features, are the two things that we use the most and they're very valuable.""The protection and security features, like URL filtering, the inspection, and the IPS feature, are also very valuable for us. We don't have IT staff at most of the sites so for us it's important to have a robust firewall at those sites""We can easily track unauthorized users and see where traffic is going.""With the FMC and the FirePOWERs, the ability to quickly replace a piece of hardware without having to have a network outage is useful. Also, the ability to replace a piece of equipment and deploy the config that the previous piece of equipment had is pretty useful.""They wanted to leverage something which is equivalent that can give them the next gen features like application awareness and intrusion protection. So that is a major reason they were looking forward to this. The original ASA firewall did not have these features. This was the major reason the customer moved on to Cisco Firepower Threat Defense (FTD). Now they can go ahead and leverage those functionalities.""The Firepower+ISE+AMP for endpoint integration is something that really stands it out with other vendor solutions. They have something called pxGrid and i think it is already endorsed by IETF. This allows all devices on the network to communicate.""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."

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"The Layer four features are okay and meet my business needs.""The solution is very stable. When comparing it to other environments, it's actually quite impressive.""Performance and stability are the key features of this product.""The solution has many useful features. For example, the solution allows users to create virtual IP addresses.""Great security and connectivity.""We secure the entry point to the virtual data center with the firewall.""The most valuable feature is the integration into the overall cloud platform.""The solution can autoscale."

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"The scalability is very good, where you can do an HA configuration and then bring in another box, if necessary.""The most valuable features are the VPN and the capture photo.""The solution is very robust.""Good basic firewall features.""The initial setup is easy.""The initial setup was simple and fast.""The documentation is very good.""At our peak time, we have reached more than 5,000 concurrent connections."

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Cons
"The worst part of the entire solution, and this is kind of trivial at times, is that management of the solution is difficult. You manage FireSIGHT through an internet browser. I've had Cisco tell me to manage it through Firefox because that's how they develop it. The problem is, depending on the page you're on, they don't function in the same way. The pages can be very buggy, or you can't resize columns in this one, or you can't do certain things in that one. It causes a headache in managing it.""For the new line of FTDs, the performance could be improved. We sometimes have issues with the 41 series, depending what we activate. If we activate too many intrusion policies, it affects the CPU.""The user interface for the Firepower management console is a little bit different from traditional Cisco management tools. If you look at products we already use, like Cisco Prime or other products that are cloud-based, they have a more modern user interface for managing the products. For Firepower, the user interface is not very user-friendly. It's a little bit confusing sometimes.""We would like to see improvement in recovery. If there is an issue that forces us to do recovery, we have to restart or reboot. In addition, sometimes we have downtime during the maintenance windows. If Cisco could enhance this, so that upgrades would not necessarily require downtime, that would be helpful.""We had an event recently where we had inbound traffic for SIP and we experienced an attack against our SIP endpoint, such that they were able to successfully make calls out... Both CTR, which is gathering data from multiple solutions that the vendor provides, as well as the FMC events connection, did not show any of those connections because there was not a NAT inbound which said either allow it or deny it.""I was just trying to learn how this product actually operates and one thing that I see from internal processing is it does fire-walling and then sends it to the IPS model and any other model that needs to be performed. For example, content checking or filtering will be done in a field processing manner. That is something that causes delays in the network, from a security perspective. That is something that can be improved upon. Palo Alto already has implemented this as a pilot passed processing. So they put the same stream of data across multiple modules at the same time and see if it is giving a positive result by using an XR function. So, something similar can be done in the Cisco Firepower. Instead of single processing or in a sequential manner, they can do something similar to pile processing. Internal function that is something that they can improve upon.""The product line does not address the SMB market as it is supposed to do. Cisco already has an on-premises sandbox solution.""The central management tool is not comfortable to use. You need to have a specific skill set. This is an important improvement for management because I would like to log into Firepower, see the dashboard, and generate a real-time report, then I question my team."

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"This solution is not mature when it comes to handling perimeter traffic like internet browsing.""We find it's different implementing it region-to-region. It might help if it was universal across all regions.""The product could be made more customizable.""The solution doesn't offer the same capabilities of Fortinet. It should offer intrusion prevention and advance filtering. These are two very useful features offered on Fortinet that Azure lacks.""The interface could be improved, it's not very user friendly.""There are a number of things that need to be simplified, but it's mostly costs. It needs to be simplified because it's pretty expensive.""Currently, it only supports IP addresses, so you have to be specific about the IPs that are in your environment.""Azure should be able to work better as a balancer also, instead of just being a firewall. It should have a wider mandate."

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"I would like to see different graphs available in the reporting.""If a user doesn't have a large amount of experience in Linux systems, they will have problems using this solution. Users need to be highly skilled in troubleshooting competency. Users who do not have such skills will find the product difficult to use.""The solution requires a lot of administration.""Layer 7 advanced firewall features are not included in the solution.""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.""ClamAV AntiVirus can cause some crashes. That service should be improved.""The technical support needs to be improved.""It needs to be more secure."

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Pricing and Cost Advice
"Our subscription costs, just for the firewalls, is between $400,000 and $500,000 a year.""Cisco's pricing is high, at times, for what they provide.""The one-time cost is affordable, but the maintenance cost and the Smart Net costs need to be reduced. They're too high.""We normally license on a yearly basis. The hardware procurement cost should be considered. If you're virtual maybe that cost is eradicated and just the licensing cost is applied. If you have hardware the cost must be covered by you. All the shipping charges will be paid by you also. I don't thing there are any other hidden charges though.""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."

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"Azure Firewall is more expensive. If Microsoft can make Azure Firewall cheaper, I can see that all clients will think of using it. One client used FortiGate because it is much cheaper. Some clients ask me for Cisco, but in the cloud estimate, I found its cost is the same as Azure Firewall.""Azure Firewall is quite an expensive product.""The licensing module is good."

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"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: Pick a product model for both vendors: Cisco & Palo Alto (refer to technical data sheets and whitepapers --)  See the… more »
Top Answer: Cisco Firepower is NGFW, and ASA is the older Cisco firewall.
Top Answer: Azure Firewall Vs. Palo Alto Network NG Firewalls Both solutions provide stellar stability and security. Azure… more »
Top Answer: I like its order management feature. It doesn't have the kind of threat intelligence that Palo Alto has, but the order… more »
Top Answer: The threat intelligence part could be better. I don't see why our customers have to get an additional solution with… 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: A free firewall that is a good network security appliance.
Top Answer: I am using the community version of the solution and it is priced well. There is a cost of learning how to use the… more »
Comparisons
Also Known As
Cisco Firepower NGFW, Cisco Firepower Next-Generation Firewall, FirePOWER, Cisco NGFWv
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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.

Azure Firewall is a managed, cloud-based network security service that protects your Azure Virtual Network resources. It is a fully stateful firewall as a service with built-in high availability and unrestricted cloud scalability.

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 Azure 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
Information Not Available
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%
Non Profit8%
Government8%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Comms Service Provider34%
Computer Software Company21%
Government7%
Financial Services Firm3%
REVIEWERS
Computer Software Company30%
Manufacturing Company20%
Financial Services Firm20%
Government10%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Computer Software Company32%
Comms Service Provider22%
Government5%
Energy/Utilities Company5%
REVIEWERS
University10%
Comms Service Provider10%
Marketing Services Firm10%
Computer Software Company7%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Comms Service Provider43%
Computer Software Company15%
Government6%
Media Company5%
Company Size
REVIEWERS
Small Business43%
Midsize Enterprise28%
Large Enterprise29%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Small Business13%
Midsize Enterprise12%
Large Enterprise74%
REVIEWERS
Small Business33%
Midsize Enterprise20%
Large Enterprise47%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Small Business16%
Midsize Enterprise14%
Large Enterprise70%
REVIEWERS
Small Business70%
Midsize Enterprise16%
Large Enterprise14%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Small Business60%
Midsize Enterprise11%
Large Enterprise29%
Find out what your peers are saying about Azure Firewall vs. pfSense and other solutions. Updated: September 2021.
534,057 professionals have used our research since 2012.

Azure Firewall is ranked 19th in Firewalls with 14 reviews while pfSense is ranked 3rd in Firewalls with 45 reviews. Azure Firewall is rated 7.4, while pfSense is rated 8.6. The top reviewer of Azure Firewall writes "Good value for your money, good URL filtering, supports intrusion prevention, and is stable". On the other hand, the top reviewer of pfSense writes "Feature-rich, well documented, and there is good support available online". Azure Firewall is most compared with Palo Alto Networks VM-Series, Palo Alto Networks NG Firewalls, Fortinet FortiGate-VM, Check Point NGFW and Meraki MX, whereas pfSense is most compared with OPNsense, Fortinet FortiGate, Sophos UTM, Untangle NG Firewall and Juniper SRX. See our Azure Firewall vs. pfSense report.

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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.