Compare Cisco Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA) Firewall vs. pfSense

Cancel
You must select at least 2 products to compare!
Most Helpful Review
Find out what your peers are saying about Cisco Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA) Firewall vs. pfSense and other solutions. Updated: September 2020.
437,208 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
Unfortunately in Cisco, only the hardware was good.The traffic inspection and the Firepower engine are the most valuable features. It gives you full details, application details, traffic monitoring, and the threats. It gives you all the containers the user is using, especially at the application level. The solution also provides application visibility and control.If we look at the Cisco ASA without Firepower, then one of the most valuable features is the URL filtering.It's easy to integrate ASA with other Cisco security products. When you understand the technology, it's not a big deal. It's very simple.The benefits we see from the ASA are connected to teleworking as well as, of course, having the basic functionality of a firewall in place and the prevention of attacks.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.If you have a solution that is creating a script and you need to deploy many implementations, you can create a script in the device and it will be the same for all. After that, you just have to do the fine tuning.They provide DDoS protection and multi-factor authentication. That is a good option as it enables work-from-home functionality.

More Cisco Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA) Firewall Pros »

The initial setup was simple and fast.The initial setup is easy.Great extensibility of the platform.Good basic firewall features.The solution is very robust.The most valuable features are the VPN and the capture photo.The scalability is very good, where you can do an HA configuration and then bring in another box, if necessary.This solution has increased the level of security, given us more control, provided a deep insight into network traffic, and is a great VPN solution.

More pfSense Pros »

Cons
In NGFW, Cisco should be aligned with the new technology and inspection intelligence because Cisco is far behind in this pipeline.Security generally requires integration with many devices, and the management side of that process could be enhanced somewhat. It would help if there was a clear view of the integrations and what the easiest way to do them is.One area where the ASA could be improved is that it doesn't have AMP. When you get an ASA with the Firepower model, ASA with FTD, then you have advanced malware protection.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.Cisco missed the mark with all the configuration steps. They are a pain and, when doing them, it looks as if we're using a very old technology — yet the technology itself is not old, it's very good. But the front-end configuration is very tough.Cisco provides us with application visibility and control, although it's not a complete solution compared to other vendors. Cisco needs to work on the application behavior side of things, in particular when it comes to the behavior of SSL traffic.It is expensive.We were also not too thrilled when Cisco announced that in the upcoming new-gen ASA, iOS was not going to be supported, or if you install them, they will not be able to be managed through the Sourcefire. However, it seems like Cisco is moving away from the ASA iOS to the Sourcefire FireSIGHT firmware for the ASA. We haven't had a chance to test it out.

More Cisco Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA) Firewall Cons »

ClamAV AntiVirus can cause some crashes. That service should be improved.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.User interface is a little clumsy.Layer 7 advanced firewall features are not included in the solution.The solution requires a lot of administration.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.I would like to see different graphs available in the reporting.We would like to see ready-made profiles to cover most users' needs.

More pfSense Cons »

Pricing and Cost Advice
Always consider what you might need to reduce your wasted time and invest it in other solutions.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.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.Cisco is expensive, but you do get benefits for the price.In terms of costs, other solutions are more expensive than Cisco. Palo Alto is more expensive than Cisco.Pricing varies on the model and the features we are using. It could be anywhere from $600 to $1000 to up to $7,000 per year, depending on what model and what feature sets are available to us.We used Check Point and the two are comparable. Cost was really what put us onto the ASAs... the price tag for Check Point was exorbitantly more than what it is for the ASA solution.

More Cisco Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA) Firewall Pricing and Cost Advice »

It is an open source firewall.This solution provides enterprise-level features at a fraction of the cost of an enterprise firewall.All costs are low compared to other solutions. The hardware is stable and cheap.There is no licensing fee except for the enterprise support, if you want it.This solution was about $150,000 cheaper than the closest competitor over a three year period.

More pfSense Pricing and Cost Advice »

report
Use our free recommendation engine to learn which Firewalls solutions are best for your needs.
437,208 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Questions from the Community
Top Answer: Fortinet FGs: Great devices, relatively easy to deploy and maintain. Cheaper than most devices of their kind. If you're looking for a lot of features at a relatively low price point this is the way to… more »
Top Answer: They provide DDoS protection and multi-factor authentication. That is a good option as it enables work-from-home functionality.
Top Answer: In terms of costs, other solutions are more expensive than Cisco. Palo Alto is more expensive than Cisco.
Top Answer: I'd agree with Karl's comment above. PfSense is a great product but treat it like a firewall and the big bonus is it's free. It's great at what it does. Sophos UTM on the other hand can be a beast as… more »
Top Answer: Basically the major difference between Sophos XG Firewall and PFsense is that Sophos is a nextgen firewall based on objects and services and works on layer 7. Instead, Pfsense is a layer 3 firewall… more »
Ranking
2nd
out of 55 in Firewalls
Views
67,223
Comparisons
50,354
Reviews
41
Average Words per Review
613
Avg. Rating
7.9
3rd
out of 55 in Firewalls
Views
97,545
Comparisons
79,394
Reviews
14
Average Words per Review
475
Avg. Rating
8.6
Popular Comparisons
Compared 20% of the time.
Compared 18% of the time.
Compared 15% of the time.
Compared 10% of the time.
Compared 2% of the time.
Also Known As
Cisco ASA Firewall, Cisco ASA NGFW, Cisco ASA, Adaptive Security Appliance, ASA, Cisco Sourcefire Firewalls
Learn
Cisco
pfSense
Video Not Available
Overview

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 Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA) Firewall
Learn more about pfSense
Sample Customers
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
Financial Services Firm20%
Manufacturing Company10%
Comms Service Provider9%
University8%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Computer Software Company28%
Comms Service Provider22%
Media Company6%
Government5%
REVIEWERS
University18%
Comms Service Provider14%
Construction Company9%
Energy/Utilities Company9%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Comms Service Provider23%
Computer Software Company22%
Media Company9%
K 12 Educational Company Or School6%
Company Size
REVIEWERS
Small Business35%
Midsize Enterprise25%
Large Enterprise40%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Small Business32%
Midsize Enterprise23%
Large Enterprise46%
REVIEWERS
Small Business68%
Midsize Enterprise18%
Large Enterprise14%
Find out what your peers are saying about Cisco Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA) Firewall vs. pfSense and other solutions. Updated: September 2020.
437,208 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Cisco Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA) Firewall is ranked 2nd in Firewalls with 45 reviews while pfSense is ranked 3rd in Firewalls with 15 reviews. Cisco Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA) Firewall is rated 7.8, while pfSense is rated 8.6. The top reviewer of Cisco Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA) Firewall writes "Gives us visibility into potential outbreaks as well as malicious users trying to access the site". On the other hand, the top reviewer of pfSense writes "The terminal gets access to our own server inside the network and if one internet fails, then the other one is still up". Cisco Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA) Firewall is most compared with Fortinet FortiGate, Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall, Meraki MX , SonicWall TZ and Juniper SRX, whereas pfSense is most compared with OPNsense, Sophos UTM, Fortinet FortiGate, Untangle NG Firewall and WatchGuard Firebox. See our Cisco Adaptive Security Appliance (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.