Compare Cisco ASAv vs. pfSense

Cisco ASAv is ranked 14th in Firewalls with 15 reviews while pfSense is ranked 3rd in Firewalls with 14 reviews. Cisco ASAv is rated 8.0, while pfSense is rated 8.6. The top reviewer of Cisco ASAv writes "Protects from external threats to our network as a firewall and VPN solution". 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 ASAv is most compared with Cisco Firepower NGFW, Cisco ASA NGFW and Azure Firewall, whereas pfSense is most compared with Sophos UTM, OPNsense and Fortinet FortiGate. See our Cisco ASAv vs. pfSense report.
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Cisco ASA NGFW Logo
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Most Helpful Review
Find out what your peers are saying about Cisco ASAv vs. pfSense and other solutions. Updated: January 2020.
397,082 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
For us, the most valuable features are the IPX and the Sourcefire Defense Center module. That gives us visibility into the traffic coming in and going out, and gives us the heads-up if there is a potential outbreak or potential malicious user who is trying to access the site. It also helps us see traffic generated by an end device trying to reach out to the world.The information coming from Talos does a good job... I like the fact that Cisco is working with them and getting the information from them and updating the firewall.The firepower sensors have been great; they do a good job of dropping unwanted traffic.Unfortunately in Cisco, only the hardware was good.The most important point is the detection engine which is now part of the next-generation firewalls and which is supported by Cisco Talos.The most valuable feature of this solution is AMP (Advanced Malware Protection), as this is really needed to protect against cyber threats.I like the Cisco ASDM (Adaptive Security Device Manager), which is the configuration interface for the Cisco firewall.The technical team is always available when we have problems.

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For business purposes, it's a very detailed solution, which is it's greatest benefit, as you can get almost any piece of information you need from the solution. It allows for admins to be able to troubleshoot pretty easily.A stable and solid solution for protection from external threats and for VPN connections.The best solutions for our company are those we have yet to implement so it will be even better in the future for us than it already is.The stability is good. Very simple. Upgrades are great.The feature I find most valuable is the Cisco VPN Interconnection.What I like about Cisco is the security zone. By default when you configure it, it gives you a security zone, which other firewalls don't have.We are using the Cisco AnyConnect for our end-user VPN with the ASA.The basic setup is fine. We're just one person. It's only when you want to do some more sophisticated setup like channeling and stuff like that that it's more complicated.

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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.This solution has helped our organization by protecting our network from attacks.I had some outages in the network and we provide services for our company. We sell mobile credits. The terminal gets access to our own server inside the network and if one internet fails, then the other one is still up and we have a back-up link on the devices.My company mainly works in the health and educational domain, schools and universities. I prevent the improper use of content from schools and universities. I defend the medical records for the patients in our hospitals. That is the main use case for me for the firewall.We generally use it because it's cheap. When we need something more robust we use Barracuda and Sony Wireless Routers. For certain clients, we use pfSense because it's compatible with the VoIP platform.Super easy to manage. Anyone who has been working with firewalls can handle it.There is good documentation with a fantastic community and enterprise support.The ability to perform packet captures on the command line and via the GUI is useful for diagnosing problems.

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Cons
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.Our latest experience with a code upgrade included a number of bugs and issues that we ran into. So more testing with their code, before it hits us, would help.The software was very buggy, to the point it had to be removed.In NGFW, Cisco should be aligned with the new technology and inspection intelligence because Cisco is far behind in this pipeline.Most users do not have awareness of this product's functionality and features. Cisco should do something to make them aware of them. That would be quite excellent and useful to organizations that are still using legacy data-center-security products.I have found that Cisco reporting capabilities are not as rich as other products, so the reporting could be improved.The Sandbox and the Web Censoring in this solution need to be improved.It will be nice if they had what you traditionally would use a web application scanner for. If the solution could take a deeper look into HTTP and HTTPS traffic, that would be nice.

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I'm working on a slightly older version, but what it needs is a better alert management. It's pretty standard, but there's no real advanced features involved around it.It is not the newest, cutting-edge technologyThe user interface is too complex for people who are not trained to or certified to engage with the product. The interface should be easier to use.They really need support for deployment.They should allow customers to talk to them directly instead of having to go through the reseller.I wish the Cisco interface was not so granular. Check Point was easier to create specific rules than with ASAv.I would like to see them release a patch for ASAv with cross-platform FirePower integration.The user interface is old fashioned.

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We would like to see ready-made profiles to cover most users' needs.This product needs improvements with respect to reporting and auditing.Adjustment in the interfaces: I had to adjust those interfaces manually and of course that is a great feature that you can restore it but it is immediately also one point for improvement. If you don't have to adjust, if it's just stamped and it works, that's great.pfSense is not user-friendly. I hope to have something to make the interfaces more user-friendly.I would like to see SD1 integration into the software. That would be fantastic.It needs better parsing of logs. At the moment, you have to use an external server for this if you want a deeper analysis.I would like to see multiple DNS servers running on individual interfaces.It is not centrally managed, where you log into the website and can see all your services there. We would like to be able to see is all the configurations from a central interface on all our pfSenses.

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Pricing and Cost Advice
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.Always consider what you might need to reduce your wasted time and invest it in other solutions.We are in the process of renewing our three-year license, which costs approximately $24,000 USD for the thirty-six months.The pricing for Cisco products is higher than others, but Cisco is a very good, strong, and stable technology.The program is very expensive.The cost of this solution is high.Some of our customers would be more likely to standardize on Cisco equipment if the cost was lower because a lot of people install cheap equipment.

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It would be nice if pricing could do more to reflect the economy of the country where the product is being implemented.This solution might be expensive, but it is economical in the long run.With AnyConnect, it depends on your license. It depends on the number of concurrent users you want to connect.I bought a license for three years and it was really affordable.We are partners with Cisco. They are always one call away, which is good. They know how to keep their customers happy.With the Cisco ASA, you do get what you pay for. What would really be awesome is to see Cisco blow out a real cheap version where you can use the sandbox, but leave it step-wise and go to another product relatively easily, like getting you hooked on candy.Purchasing from the AWS Marketplace was easy. It was just point and click.It is pay-as-you-go, so it much cheaper than buying in the plants.

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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.It is a free solution.It is economical (i.e., free).From Sonic Wall, their price is much higher, because for every feature that you want to add, you have to pay. I can do the same things with pfSense, but everything is included in one price.There are a few features not included, and when you have to use those features, you have to pay for them.It is an open source solution. Therefore, the price is good.

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Top Comparisons
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Also Known As
Cisco ASA, Adaptive Security Appliance, ASA, Cisco Sourcefire FirewallsAdaptive Security Virtual Appliance
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Overview

Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA) is Cisco's end-to-end software solution and core operating system that powers the Cisco ASA product series. This software solution provides enterprise-level firewall capabilities for all types of ASA products, including blades, standalone appliances and virtual devices. Adaptive Security Appliance provides protection to organizations of all sizes, and allows end-users to access information securely anywhere, at any time, and through any device.

Adaptive Security Appliance is also fully compatible with other key security technologies, and so provides organizations with an all-encompassing security solution.

Block more threats and quickly mitigate those that do breach your defenses with the industry’s first threat-focused NGFW.


The Adaptive Security Virtual Appliance is a virtualized network security solution. It supports both traditional and next-generation software-defined networks (SDN), as well as Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) environments. The ASAv provides policy enforcement and threat inspection across heterogeneous, multisite environments.

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 ASA NGFW
Learn more about Cisco ASAv
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.BluelockNerds 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 Firm19%
Manufacturing Company10%
Comms Service Provider9%
Software R&D Company6%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Software R&D Company28%
Comms Service Provider18%
Media Company8%
Retailer5%
REVIEWERS
Financial Services Firm29%
Comms Service Provider21%
Government21%
Energy/Utilities Company7%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Software R&D Company36%
Comms Service Provider18%
Manufacturing Company9%
Healthcare Company7%
REVIEWERS
University19%
Comms Service Provider14%
Energy/Utilities Company10%
Construction Company10%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Software R&D Company20%
Comms Service Provider18%
Media Company9%
Manufacturing Company7%
Company Size
REVIEWERS
Small Business36%
Midsize Enterprise24%
Large Enterprise40%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Small Business37%
Midsize Enterprise19%
Large Enterprise44%
REVIEWERS
Small Business24%
Midsize Enterprise29%
Large Enterprise48%
REVIEWERS
Small Business65%
Midsize Enterprise20%
Large Enterprise15%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Small Business54%
Midsize Enterprise36%
Large Enterprise10%
Find out what your peers are saying about Cisco ASAv vs. pfSense and other solutions. Updated: January 2020.
397,082 professionals have used our research since 2012.
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.