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Featured Review
Find out what your peers are saying about Palo Alto Networks VM-Series vs. pfSense and other solutions. Updated: November 2021.
552,407 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
"One of the most valuable features is the AMP. It's very good and very reliable when it comes to malicious activities, websites, and viruses.""The most valuable features of this solution are the integrations and IPS throughput.""One of the most valuable features of Firepower 7.0 is the "live log" type feature called Unified Event Viewer. That view has been really good in helping me get to data faster, decreasing the amount of time it takes to find information, and allowing me to fix problems faster. I've found that to be incredibly valuable because it's a lot easier to get to some points of data now.""The solution offers very easy configurations.""The most valuable features of this solution are advanced malware protection, IPS, and IDS.""I have experience with URL filtering, and it is very good for URL filtering. You can filter URLs based on the categories, and it does a good job. It can also do deep packet inspection.""The feature set is fine and is rarely a problem.""Firepower has been used for quite a few enterprise clients. Most of our clients are Fortune 500 and Firepower is used to improve their end to end firewall functionality."

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"The most valuable aspects of this solution are that it's simple and stable. It has better security aspects compared to other similar solutions.""The most valuable features are security and support.""What I like about the VM-Series is that you can launch them in a very short time.""The most valuable features are the User ID, URL filtering, and application filtering.""The VM series has an advantage over the physical version because we are able to change the sources that the machine has, such as the amount of available RAM.""The most valuable features are web control and IPS/IDS.""It has excellent scalability.""The most valuable feature is the Posture Assessment."

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"The main features of this solution are customization and ease to use.""My technicians find the pfSense's web interface very useful. It is very easy to use. pfSense is very reliable and stable. We like the OpenVPN clients that can be deployed using pfSense very much.""It is a stable solution. It is also easy to install and can be deployed and maintained by one team member.""It has a good web cache. I used to use a DHCP server and DNS server. For my company, I use pfSense as a load balancing application.""The initial setup was simple and fast.""Content protection, content inspection, and the application level firewall.""The scalability is very good, where you can do an HA configuration and then bring in another box, if necessary.""The built-in open VPN and the VPN Client Export are the solution's most valuable aspects."

More pfSense Pros »

Cons
"The price and SD-WAN capabilities are the areas that need improvement.""The initial setup can be a bit complex for those unfamiliar with the solution.""The change-deployment time can always be improved. Even at 50 seconds, it's longer than some of its competitors. I would challenge Cisco to continue to improve in that area.""Report generation is an area that should be improved.""Web filtering needs improvement because sometimes the URL is miscategorized.""When you make any changes, irrespective of whether they are big or small, Firepower takes too much time. It is very time-consuming. Even for small changes, you have to wait for 60 seconds or maybe more, which is not good. Similarly, when you have many IPS rules and policies, it slows down, and there is an impact on its performance.""One issue with Firepower Management Center is deployment time. It takes seven to 10 minutes and that's a long time for deployment. In that amount of time, management or someone else can ask me to change something or to provide permissions, but during that time, doing so is not possible. It's a drawback with Cisco. Other vendors, like Palo Alto or Fortinet do not have this deployment time issue.""The intelligence has room for improvement. There are some hackers that we haven't seen before and its ability to detect those types of attacks needs to be improved."

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"The one issue that I didn't like is that the SNMP integration with interfaces didn't record the interface counters.""Integrative capabilities with other solutions should be addressed.""The user interface could use some improvement.""The command-line interface is something that some people struggle with and I think that they should have an option to go straight to the GUI.""They made only a halfhearted attempt to put in DLP (Data Loss Prevention).""The product needs improvement in their Secure Access Service Edge.""In the next release, I would like for them to develop an anti-malware functionality in which it checks for malicious files like Cisco has.""The implementation should be simplified."

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"The integration should be improved.""Layer 7 advanced firewall features are not included in the solution.""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 product could offer more integrated plugins.""In an upcoming release, the reporting could be more user-friendly. For example, the reporting in graphs and charts for the host can be cumbersome.""Many people have problems setting up the web cache for the web system.""The solution could use better reporting. They need to offer more of it in general. Right now, the graphics aren't the best. If you need to provide a report to a manager, for example, it doesn't look great. They need to make it easier to understand and give users the ability to customize them.""I would like to see different graphs available in the reporting."

More pfSense Cons »

Pricing and Cost Advice
"I like the Smart Licensing, because it is more dynamic and easier to keep track of where you are at. If we have a high availability firewall pair and they are deployed in active/standby rather than active/active, I would expect that we would only pay for one set of licenses because you are using only one firewall at any one time. The other is there just for resiliency. The licensing, from a Firepower perspective, still requires you to have two licenses, even if the firewalls are in active/standby, which means that you pay for the two licenses, even though you might only be using one firewall any one time. This is probably not the best way to do it and doesn't represent the best value for money. This could be looked at to see if it could be done in a fairer way.""When we are fighting against other competitors for customers, whether it is a small or big business, we feel very comfortable with the price that Firepower has today.""There are additional implementation and validation costs.""I know that licensing for some of the advanced solutions, like Intrusion Prevention and Secure Malware Analytics, are nominal costs.""The price is comparable.""The solution was chosen because of its price compared to other similar solutions.""I am happy with the product in general, including the pricing.""This solution is expensive and other solutions, such as FortiGate, are cheaper."

More Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall Pricing and Cost Advice »

"The price of this solution is very high for some parts of Africa, which makes it a challenge.""Palo Alto can be as much as two times the price of competing products that have twice the capabilities.""The cost of this product varies from customer to customer and the relationship with IBM, including how many offerings from IBM are already being used.""Because I work for a university and the URL is for the institution, it's a free license for us.""It is not the cheapest on the market. The total cost for two firewall instances is $75,000. This includes licenses, deployment fees, and support for two years.""The VM series is licensed annually."

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"pfSense is an open-source solution and free to use.""I like the fact that it is open-source.""pfSense is a free solution.""This solution provides enterprise-level features at a fraction of the cost of an enterprise firewall.""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.""pfSense is open-source, but the support is something that the customer pays for.""The solution software does not require a license, it is free. The support contract is about $600 dollars.""Our customers must pay for an annual license."

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:  The Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall is a very powerful and very complex piece of anti-viral software. When one considers… more »
Top Answer: It is easy to integrate Cisco ASA with other Cisco products and also other NAC solutions. When you understand the Cisco… more »
Top Answer: In the best tradition of these questions, Feature-wise both are quite similar, but each has things it's better at, it… more »
Top Answer: Both products are very stable and easily scalable. The setup of Azure Firewall is easy and very user-friendly and the… more »
Top Answer: The initial setup was straightforward.
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: Fortinet’s Fortigate is a firewall solution we use and are very much satisfied with its performance. We find Fortigate… more »
Top Answer: Two of the most common and well recognized firewalls, PfSense and OPNsense both support site-to-site IPsec VPN and… more »
Comparisons
Also Known As
Cisco Firepower NGFW, Cisco Firepower Next-Generation Firewall, FirePOWER, Cisco NGFWv
Learn More
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.

The VM-Series is a virtualized form factor of our next-generation firewall that can be deployed in a range of private and public cloud computing environments based on technologies from VMware, Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, Citrix and KVM.

The VM-Series natively analyzes all traffic in a single pass to determine the application identity, the content within, and the user identity. These core elements of your business can then be used as integral components of your security policy, enabling you to improve your security efficacy through a positive control model and reduce your incident response time though complete visibility into applications across all ports.

In both private and public cloud environments, the VM-Series can be deployed as a perimeter gateway, an IPsec VPN termination point, and a segmentation gateway, protecting your workloads with application enablement and threat prevention policies.

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 Palo Alto Networks VM-Series
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
Warren Rogers Associates
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%
Manufacturing Company8%
Non Profit8%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Comms Service Provider32%
Computer Software Company21%
Government7%
Manufacturing Company4%
REVIEWERS
Financial Services Firm23%
Government15%
Manufacturing Company15%
Healthcare Company8%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Computer Software Company30%
Comms Service Provider19%
Financial Services Firm5%
Government5%
REVIEWERS
Comms Service Provider11%
University9%
Marketing Services Firm9%
Computer Software Company7%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Comms Service Provider43%
Computer Software Company15%
Government6%
Media Company4%
Company Size
REVIEWERS
Small Business43%
Midsize Enterprise28%
Large Enterprise29%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Small Business22%
Midsize Enterprise13%
Large Enterprise66%
REVIEWERS
Small Business38%
Midsize Enterprise31%
Large Enterprise31%
REVIEWERS
Small Business71%
Midsize Enterprise17%
Large Enterprise12%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Small Business59%
Midsize Enterprise13%
Large Enterprise28%
Find out what your peers are saying about Palo Alto Networks VM-Series vs. pfSense and other solutions. Updated: November 2021.
552,407 professionals have used our research since 2012.

Palo Alto Networks VM-Series is ranked 11th in Firewalls with 16 reviews while pfSense is ranked 3rd in Firewalls with 53 reviews. Palo Alto Networks VM-Series is rated 8.6, while pfSense is rated 8.6. The top reviewer of Palo Alto Networks VM-Series writes "An excellent solution for the right situations and businesses". On the other hand, the top reviewer of pfSense writes "Feature-rich, well documented, and there is good support available online". Palo Alto Networks VM-Series is most compared with Azure Firewall, Fortinet FortiGate, Cisco ASA Firewall, Juniper SRX and Juniper vSRX, whereas pfSense is most compared with OPNsense, Fortinet FortiGate, Sophos UTM, Sophos XG and Juniper SRX. See our Palo Alto Networks VM-Series 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.