Compare Palo Alto Networks VM-Series vs. pfSense

Palo Alto Networks VM-Series is ranked 9th in Firewalls with 12 reviews while pfSense which is ranked 3rd in Firewalls with 19 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 "A reliable tool with excellent support". 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". Palo Alto Networks VM-Series is most compared with Fortinet FortiGate, Juniper SRX and Meraki MX Firewalls, whereas pfSense is most compared with Sophos UTM, OPNsense and Fortinet FortiGate. See our Palo Alto Networks VM-Series vs. pfSense report.
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Most Helpful Review
Find out what your peers are saying about Palo Alto Networks VM-Series vs. pfSense and other solutions. Updated: July 2019.
353,345 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
Integration with all the other Cisco tools is valuable.We moved from a legacy firewall to the ASA with FirePOWER, increasing our Internet Edge defense dramatically.Cisco ASA NGFW significantly improves our bank. It protects any high-value products that we use from hackers, viruses, malware, and script-bots. It gives us metrics on network traffic as well as what kind of attacks we are getting from the outside.Right now, Cisco ASA NGFW has given us a lot of improvement. We are planning to move to a new facility and will be a much larger organization.The feature that I found most valuable is the overall stability of the product.The stability of Cisco ASA is excellent compared to other products on the market. Because of our customer experience as an integrator company, our clients never report any performance problems. We have a good performance reputation with Cisco ASA.I would say the Firepower module is most valuable. I'm trying more to transition to this kind firewall. I had to study a little on Palo Alto Networks equipment. There is a lot I have to learn about the difference.We have multiple secure internal networks linked with our plants. We are from a oil company, so we have multiple plant areas which need to have restricted network access. Therefore, we are using it for restricting access to the plant area.

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Embedding it into my application development lifecycle prevents data loss and business disruption, allowing the adoption to operate at the speed of my AWS Cloud.It has a good performance which helps you with the stability of your virtual environment.In AWS, Palo Alto provides us a better view than flow logs for network traffic.App-ID and User-ID have repeatedly shown value in securing business critical systems.It provides complete security posture from end-to-end. This has given us better visibility into what our security aspects are.You already can scale it if you put it in Auto Scaling groups. If you put it in a load balancer, it should already be able to scale.It allows us to see all our traffic to properly secure it and only allow what is needed through the firewall.It offers a single pane of glass for all the different types of installations.

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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
With regards to stability, we had a critical bug come out during our evaluation... not good.The product would be improved if the GUI could be brought into the 21st Century.Cisco should improve its user interface design. There is a deep learning curve to the product if you are a newcomer.There is no support here in Georgia. If something goes wrong, support is not always very helpful with the other firewalls or other products.One of my main concerns, an area that could use improvement is in adjusting the need to buy a license to enable features.Usually, the customers are satisfied, but I am going to recommend that all clients upgrade to FirePOWER management. I want Cisco to improve the feature called anti-spam. We use a Cisco only email solution, that's why we need the anti-spam on email facility.The installation and integration of Cisco ASA with FirePOWER can be improved. The management with Fortigate is easier than Cisco ASA on FirePOWER. The management side of Cisco ASA can be improved so it can be more easily configured and used.Most of the time, when I try to run Java, it is not compatible with ASA's current operating systems.

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It can definitely improve on the performance.It has to be more scalable for the deployment of VMs on the cloud.I would like to see a more thorough QA process. We have had some difficulties from bugs in releases.We have ran into issues with Palo Alto’s limitations for resolving large IP lists from DNS lookups, as well as the antivirus interfering with App-ID.The product could provide protection above Layer 3, which gets into the application layer and provides better visibility into those aspects of application security.On the cloud side, they need to come up with more HA solutions to support the multi-region.AWS doesn't integrate well with third-party firewalls.I would like a way to do everything programmatically, or be able to copy the configs from different prices at different levels.

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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.They need to take care of a few issues with the GUI. Occasionally, they don't update the configurations properly. I would also like them to firm up the VPN aspect of the software a bit and provide better monitoring software.

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Pricing and Cost Advice
Watch out for hidden licensing and incredibly high annual maintenance costs.We paid about $7,000 for the Cisco firewall, plus another small Cisco router and the lead switch. It was under the combined license. It's a final agreement.The cost is a big factor for us. This is why we are using it only in our restricted area. They are very much higher than their competitors in the market.Licensing is expensive compared to other solutions.Pricing is high, but it is essentially a corporate decision.The cost is a bit high compared to other solutions in the market.Cisco recently has become very expensive.The cost is a bit higher than other competitive solutions on the market.

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The pricing and licensing of this product on AWS should be from $1.28/hr or $4,500.00/yr. Then, it would be a good price for the performance that it delivers.We used BYOL, because of the cost to own.The pricing and licensing of this product on AWS for a three-year commitment is a great deal, if you can plan that far ahead.Because the solution was getting deployed on AWS, it was the best place to go and it was available there.One of the factors for selecting Palo Alto was they had flexible pricing. They had a pay-as-you-go model. Comparable to other products, such as Check Point, the price point was definitely a plus.The pricing was expensive but it was comparable to the competition.AWS is available as a AMI that you can purchase from the AWS Marketplace. Therefore, you need to purchase the licensing, since it is per AMI. Then, you deploy it on a regular EC2. Then, for on-premise, you can use both Palo Alto's software and hardware.The price is not bad. They have a yearly renewal fee, and the pricing is exactly where we expect it to be.

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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.In comparison to a lot of other solutions, it's very inexpensive.It is a great solution that is economical. It scales so the cost per protected MB is almost free.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.

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Top Comparisons
Compared 37% of the time.
Compared 22% of the time.
Compared 19% of the time.
Compared 14% of the time.
Also Known As
Cisco ASA, Adaptive Security Appliance, ASA
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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 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.
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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.Warren Rogers AssociatesNerds 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 Company12%
Comms Service Provider10%
University7%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Comms Service Provider21%
Financial Services Firm14%
Manufacturing Company11%
Transportation Company8%
No Data Available
REVIEWERS
University19%
Comms Service Provider14%
Healthcare Company10%
Energy/Utilities Company10%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Financial Services Firm14%
Comms Service Provider13%
Manufacturing Company13%
Individual & Family Service11%
Company Size
REVIEWERS
Small Business38%
Midsize Enterprise26%
Large Enterprise36%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Small Business41%
Midsize Enterprise26%
Large Enterprise33%
REVIEWERS
Small Business36%
Midsize Enterprise29%
Large Enterprise36%
REVIEWERS
Small Business67%
Midsize Enterprise20%
Large Enterprise13%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Small Business50%
Midsize Enterprise40%
Large Enterprise10%
Find out what your peers are saying about Palo Alto Networks VM-Series vs. pfSense and other solutions. Updated: July 2019.
353,345 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.
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