Compare SonicWall NSA vs. pfSense

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Cisco ASA Firewall Logo
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18,500 views|15,348 comparisons
Most Helpful Review
Find out what your peers are saying about SonicWall NSA vs. pfSense and other solutions. Updated: January 2021.
456,719 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
"The greatest benefit for the organization is the confidence that we are secured.""Its ability to discover attacks is a valuable feature. All of the other features that have to do with security are good.""I haven't had any major problems so I haven't had to open a ticket with technical support.""The IPS (In-plane switching) is the most valuable feature.""I like the user interface because the navigation is very easy, straightforward on your left side pane you have all the sites that you need to browse. Unlike any other firewalls, it's pretty straightforward.""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.""The initial setup was completely straightforward.""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."

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"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.""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.""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.""This solution has helped our organization by protecting our network from attacks.""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.""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."

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"Our old firewall was running as HA (High Availability) on two different but identical rack mounted servers. Moving to SonicWall allowed the company to move to one unit, yet accommodate more connections because it had sixteen ports and handled fail-over better than the old firewall solution.""I really like the performance; there are no delays and no latency, which is a unique quality in firewalls nowadays.""With the deployment of the SonicWall NSA solution, we never suffered a problem due to invasion or contamination of any kind.""It allows us to block applications, i.e., websites by application type category. It is far more capable than content filtering alone.""Support has improved dramatically since their separation from Dell.""Setup is easy. Anyone with basic firewall experience can do it.""The most valuable features are that it is reasonably-priced and works well.""The most valuable feature is the Global Management System."

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Cons
"There may have been one or two incidences of malicious threats.""Some of the features, like the stability, need to be improved.""In the past though, colleagues have had issues during the upgrade process. The failover didn't work and production was down.""At times the product is sluggish and slow""If I need to download AnyConnect in a rush, it will prompt me for my Cisco login account. Nobody wants to download a client to a firewall that they don't own.""Most of the time, when I try to run Java, it is not compatible with ASA's current operating systems.""We have to rely on Cisco ASDM to access the firewall interface. This needs improvement. Because we have a web-based interface, and it is a lot more user-friendly.""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."

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"I would like to see SD1 integration into the software. That would be fantastic.""pfSense is not user-friendly. I hope to have something to make the interfaces more user-friendly.""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.""This product needs improvements with respect to reporting and auditing.""We would like to see ready-made profiles to cover most users' needs.""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."

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"I feel that the SSL VPN client software needs a lot of improvement.""The cloud services may be in need of some improvement.""This product is unable to secure access to endpoints for our external employees.""The anti-spam requires a specific Java version on the server side (do not update it, otherwise it will break).""They are not ready for managed security services. Their Cloud GMS product is weak, barely out of beta (buggy).""Do not even consider NetExtender - probably one of the most horrific, nightmare grade Java-based VPN clients. We have but all given up trying to make it work reliably.""I would like U.S.-based technical support.""Having to deal with too many lower-level people in technical support means that it takes longer to resolve issues, so escalating support tickets should be faster."

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Pricing and Cost Advice
"Licensing is expensive compared to other solutions.""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.""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.""Watch out for hidden licensing and incredibly high annual maintenance costs.""I bought a license for three years and it was really affordable.""With AnyConnect, it depends on your license. It depends on the number of concurrent users you want to connect.""This solution might be expensive, but it is economical in the long run.""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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"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 »

"Considering the market, I believe that the price of this solution is great.""In our evaluation, we found that the costs of deploying the solution, and also purchasing the hardware and licenses, were very attractive.""Licensed features provide application control, content filtering, antivirus, and anti-malware all in a single appliance.""The CPUs are not able to compete with a similar price point to the Fortinet, WatchGuard, or Palo Alto product.""A firewall doing anti-spam might be a low cost solution, but it is not your best strategy.""You need their analyzer to properly generate reports. This is an expensive, licensed feature, with a complex application or appliance back-end.""If you want to connect more than five concurrent users by VPN then you have to pay an additional fee.""SonicWall is a one-time purchase and there is no renewal license."

More SonicWall NSA 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: They provide DDoS protection and multi-factor authentication. That is a good option as it enables work-from-home… 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: One other big difference is that pfSense is FreeBSD based while Sophos UTM is linux based. It is also worth having a… more »
Top Answer: Basically the major difference between Sophos XG Firewall and PFsense is that Sophos is a nextgen firewall based on… more »
Top Answer: Both have some unique features and per my experience with both the vendors, Sophos has more features, functionalities… more »
Popular Comparisons
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Also Known As
Cisco Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA) Firewall, Cisco ASA NGFW, Cisco ASA, Adaptive Security Appliance, ASA, Cisco Sourcefire Firewalls, Cisco ASAvNSA 250M, NSA 2600, NSA 3600, NSA 4600, NSA 5600, Dell SonicWALL NSA
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SonicWall
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.Achieve a deeper level of security with the SonicWALL Network Security Appliance (NSA) Series of next-generation firewalls. NSA Series appliances integrate automated and dynamic security capabilities into a single platform, combining the patented, SonicWALL Reassembly Free Deep Packet Inspection (RFDPI) firewall engine with a powerful, massively scalable, multi-core architecture. Now you can block even the most sophisticated threats with an intrusion prevention system (IPS) featuring advanced anti-evasion capabilities, SSL decryption and inspection, and network-based malware protection that leverages the power of the cloud.
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Learn more about SonicWall NSA
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, FirespringOrange County Rescue Mission, First Source, Michaels & Taylor, Green Clinic Health System, Aspire Chiltern Skills and Enterprise Centre, UnitedStack, Faith Lutheran College Redlands, Celtic Manor Resort, Star Kay White, Air Works, Unimat Life, NHS Yorkshire and Humber Commissioning Support (YHCS), Hutt City Council, Mato Grosso do Sul, Nspyre
Top Industries
REVIEWERS
Financial Services Firm17%
Comms Service Provider14%
Manufacturing Company10%
Computer Software Company7%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Comms Service Provider34%
Computer Software Company22%
Media Company5%
Government4%
REVIEWERS
University16%
Comms Service Provider16%
Energy/Utilities Company8%
Healthcare Company8%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Comms Service Provider40%
Computer Software Company17%
Media Company7%
Government5%
REVIEWERS
Manufacturing Company19%
Educational Organization13%
Computer Software Company6%
Media Company6%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Comms Service Provider27%
Computer Software Company19%
Government5%
Construction Company5%
Company Size
REVIEWERS
Small Business35%
Midsize Enterprise25%
Large Enterprise39%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Small Business28%
Midsize Enterprise21%
Large Enterprise51%
REVIEWERS
Small Business72%
Midsize Enterprise15%
Large Enterprise13%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Small Business58%
Midsize Enterprise18%
Large Enterprise23%
REVIEWERS
Small Business69%
Midsize Enterprise14%
Large Enterprise17%
Find out what your peers are saying about SonicWall NSA vs. pfSense and other solutions. Updated: January 2021.
456,719 professionals have used our research since 2012.

pfSense is ranked 2nd in Firewalls with 22 reviews while SonicWall NSA is ranked 13th in Firewalls with 22 reviews. pfSense is rated 9.0, while SonicWall NSA is rated 7.8. 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". On the other hand, the top reviewer of SonicWall NSA writes "A rugged solution capable of defeating advanced threats". pfSense is most compared with OPNsense, Fortinet FortiGate, Sophos UTM, Untangle NG Firewall and Palo Alto Networks NG Firewalls, whereas SonicWall NSA is most compared with Fortinet FortiGate, Meraki MX, SonicWall TZ, WatchGuard Firebox and Juniper SRX. See our SonicWall NSA vs. pfSense report.

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