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Most Helpful Review
Find out what your peers are saying about Cisco IOS Security vs. pfSense and other solutions. Updated: July 2021.
523,230 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
"I like the way Firepower presents the data. It gives you two classifications for the evidence, something based on the priority of the evidence and another classification based on the impact of the evidence in your environment. This makes it very easy to spot the evidence that is most impactful to my environment. Instead of having to go through all the evidence based on that priority, I can focus on the evidence that has the most impact on my environment.""The most valuable feature of the Firepower solution is FireSIGHT, which can be easily managed and is user-friendly.""Once you add Firepower onto to it and you start enabling some of its features, you get some IDS/IPS involved with it and you can even do web filtering.""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."

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"I've found their network routing to be very good.""Cisco IOS allows us to keep the same security features as our principal offices.""The stability of this solution is excellent.""Technical support for this solution is very good.""The hardware is pretty stable. It's also a very good product performance-wise. Initially, it wasn't mature like a firewall and there were other leaders, but now they have included almost all the features of next-generation security. Basically, it's a good product to work with.""Cisco has always been a premium product. There's a lot of other entry-level solutions. This is more robust.""Completely integrates branch offices with perimeter security.""The capabilities for scalability with this product are huge"

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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
"Also, they have a Firepower source file that I can work on the ASA device and on Firepower devices. A problem here lies in the way that you manage these devices. Some devices do not support the FMC, and some devices have to be managed through ASDM, and others have to be managed through FMC.""I would like to see the inclusion of more advanced antivirus features in the next release of this solution.""In Firepower, there is an ability to search and dig into a search, which is nice. However, I'm not a super fan of the way it scrolls. If you want to look at something live, it's a lot different. You're almost waiting. With the ASDM, where it just flows, you can really see it. The second someone clicks something or does something, you'll see it. The refresh rate on the events in Firepower is not as smooth.""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."

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"I wish it would be more like the next generation firewall technology. There should be more selection between the application and filtering.""I think setup could be one area for improvement, because sometimes we don't have people inside so we have to move to the place.""In the next release of this solution, we would like to see support for the 100BT and 7000 models.""I would love it if it has a link-by-link feature, integration with Unified Threat Management (UTM), and load balancers. They haven't got any link-by-link feature right now, which can be a very attractive option. This link-by-link feature can also be made available for Cisco's UTM firewalls. The link-by-link feature is available in some of the other firewalls. Currently, integration with UTM is missing. Cisco IOS Security also doesn't have the load balancers and a few things that need to be done to get a good UTM firewall. Normally, other firewalls have UTM. As a next-generation firewall, it's good, but as a UTM, it has to do some work.""The company needs to make its solution more affordable to make it more accessible to larger markets. Otherwise, it's seen as an enterprise-level solution that small or medium-sized organizations can't afford and therefore they won't even look at it.""The pricing is the only con for this product.""The user interface needs to be improved.""Signatures and other critical definitions need to be updated more frequently."

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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."

More pfSense Cons »

Pricing and Cost Advice
"The price of this solution is not good or bad.""The Firepower series of appliances is not cheap. I just got a quote recently for six firewalls that was in the range of over half-a-million dollars. That's what could push us to look to other vendors...""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."

More Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall Pricing and Cost Advice »

"The licensing is on a subscription basis, and it is fairly costly. I would prefer a one-time payment.""The licenses for this solution are expensive.""It is an expensive solution.""The pricing is okay. It is competitive. It costs more when you need get more features.""Price is certainly something that the IOS technology has fallen behind the competition on.""It is necessary to pay for a license in order to use the solution. It is on a yearly basis and the price is high.""Palo Alto networks are more expensive than this solution and this is why you will see more products like this one in Mexico.""The price of the solution should be cheaper, and the license is purchase annually."

More Cisco IOS Security Pricing and Cost Advice »

"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: Ease of Use - GUI familiarities  and adoption level can differ from user to user. - Personally I found CISCO  ASA… more »
Top Answer: Cisco Firepower Family and it is a NGFW since ASA is just a FW.
Top Answer: One of the main features is that the hardware is extremely reliable.
Top Answer: Palo Alto networks are more expensive than this solution and this is why you will see more products like this one in… more »
Top Answer: I think they should bring back remote VPN for users. However, I understand the attempt is to have these functions inside… 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: I mostly like all of it. Whatever we use is valuable.
Popular Comparisons
Also Known As
Cisco Firepower NGFW, Cisco Firepower Next-Generation Firewall, FirePOWER, Cisco NGFWv
IOS Security
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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.

Cisco IOS Software delivers a sophisticated set of security capabilities for a comprehensive, layered security approach throughout your network infrastructure. Cisco IOS security technologies help to defend critical business processes against attack and disruption, protect privacy, and support policy and regulatory compliance controls.
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.
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Learn more about Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall
Learn more about Cisco IOS Security
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
Arup Group, Brunel University London, City of Biel, Gobierno de Castilla-La Mancha, K&L Gates , New South Wales Rural Fire Service, Offshore Northern Seas, Transplace
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 Provider23%
Financial Services Firm17%
Manufacturing Company9%
Government9%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Comms Service Provider35%
Computer Software Company20%
Government6%
Educational Organization4%
REVIEWERS
Financial Services Firm17%
Comms Service Provider17%
Transportation Company8%
University8%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Comms Service Provider40%
Computer Software Company20%
Financial Services Firm5%
Media Company5%
REVIEWERS
Comms Service Provider10%
University10%
Marketing Services Firm8%
Construction Company8%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Comms Service Provider42%
Computer Software Company15%
Government5%
Media Company5%
Company Size
REVIEWERS
Small Business41%
Midsize Enterprise28%
Large Enterprise31%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Small Business13%
Midsize Enterprise13%
Large Enterprise74%
REVIEWERS
Small Business29%
Midsize Enterprise42%
Large Enterprise29%
REVIEWERS
Small Business72%
Midsize Enterprise15%
Large Enterprise13%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Small Business56%
Midsize Enterprise12%
Large Enterprise31%
Find out what your peers are saying about Cisco IOS Security vs. pfSense and other solutions. Updated: July 2021.
523,230 professionals have used our research since 2012.

Cisco IOS Security is ranked 14th in Firewalls with 13 reviews while pfSense is ranked 2nd in Firewalls with 40 reviews. Cisco IOS Security is rated 8.4, while pfSense is rated 8.6. The top reviewer of Cisco IOS Security writes "Prevent unauthorized use of network resources and integrate branch offices with reliability". On the other hand, the top reviewer of pfSense writes "Feature-rich, well documented, and there is good support available online". Cisco IOS Security is most compared with Zyxel Unified Security Gateway, Fortinet FortiGate, Cisco ASA Firewall, Kerio Control and Palo Alto Networks Threat Prevention, whereas pfSense is most compared with OPNsense, Fortinet FortiGate, Sophos UTM, Untangle NG Firewall and Juniper SRX. See our Cisco IOS Security vs. pfSense report.

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