Compare Sophos UTM vs. pfSense

pfSense is ranked 3rd in Firewalls with 19 reviews while Sophos UTM which is ranked 4th in Firewalls with 30 reviews. pfSense is rated 8.8, while Sophos UTM is rated 8.8. 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 Sophos UTM writes "Has a solid state hard drive and can boot in less than sixty seconds". pfSense is most compared with Sophos UTM, OPNsense and Fortinet FortiGate, whereas Sophos UTM is most compared with pfSense, Fortinet FortiGate and Sophos XG. See our Sophos UTM vs. pfSense report.
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Most Helpful Review
Anonymous User
Find out what your peers are saying about Sophos UTM vs. pfSense and other solutions. Updated: July 2019.
354,017 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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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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Configuration troubleshooting is eased by the use of the color-coded, live firewall log.The features that I've known to be most valuable are both the web security features as well as the web firewall capabilities. As a partner of Sophos firewall, we have some clients and they are using Sophos firewall UTM and we are using it as well.Sophos UTM has improved the porting section. It has improved security by seeing the gaps. For example, when you discover that an entry has been using a certain application, with Sophos UTM acting as a Layer 7 firewall, you can block the application, not the port.The most valuable feature is the IPS. It also protects us from malware.UTM 9 brings along IPSec as well as iPhone and iPad support. This seems small but it’s useful.The isolation of infected machines is a big feature. Also, the ability to detect external sources that change files on a file server is really big.Advanced protection (Sophos Sandstorm) - Protects against crypto viruses in real-time.It improved bandwidth utilization and provided link load balancing features for internet and intranet lease lines.

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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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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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Support for IKEv2 is needed in this solution.The only time we face a problem or issues is when we place a ticket. We have found that response is very slow.With Sophos UTM, there is a general rule in the firewall when the country blocking can block some countries from accessing your data. In the current version, you still need to add it by putting in the IP range. This feature would be helpful for administrators and it gives them the advantage to block stuff in less time.The solution could be improved by adding cloud soundboxing.We didn’t find any issues but I know there have been some in the last few years.It does have built-in policies, which enable you to disable USB devices, etc. It would be nice if they had more policies because there are not that many of them.There is still room for improvement in wireless protection. I don't mean their WiFi device is bad, but there are still things to improve on, such as WiFi roaming.Initially, there were issues with the wireless network as wireless access points were disappearing from the dashboard after some time.

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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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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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The biggest issue with Sophos is the pricing. It's definitely more expensive. As I said, we looked at Webroot, which is a big alternative, and Sophos was almost three times the price of Webroot. That's a pretty big difference.Sometimes more is less, meaning if you want more than three features, take the FullGuard licence.We purchased the appliance with five years onsite support and licenses.Pricing for the upgrade was very competitive as Sophos wanted to retain existing customers.The pricing and licensing are both good and better than Sophos's competitors. This is why we went with the product.The AWS Marketplace product should be a better fit, but it is a little pricier.Purchasing through the AWS Marketplace is pretty straightforward. Because were entirely on AWS and don't have anything anywhere else. It made the most sense for us as a one stop shop.The pricing is pretty reasonable. I don't think that it is overly expensive.

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Answers from the Community
Ramyamahesh Nk
Louis MillsUser

I'd agree with Karl's comment above. PfSense is a great product but treat it like a firewall and the big bonus is it's free. It's great at what it does.
Sophos UTM on the other hand can be a beast as it's an all in one solution and can get as complex as you would like it. We have failover clustering, load balancing and make use of all of their proxies. Very easy to make initial configuration errors until you know the product and how traffic flows etc.
It can also be fairly expensive with the subscriptions eg AV, sandstorm etc
If you can afford it, go for Sophos but pfSense can also play it's part too.

17 May 19
Luis CastroReal User

pfSense is opensource and has been the last 10 years in the top 10 best
firewall solutions in the world, it is free, stable, scalable, and easy to
administer ... and above all very safe, since it is one of the few systems
that could have been violated. It's free.

17 May 19
Bob AlfsonUser

In fact, Karl, the 50-IP free version is for home use only, and not even then if it also protects business assets. You did a great job of explaining the difference, so I won't comment further.

To the original poster, it's cheaper to hire a Sophos consultant to create your original configuration. It costs twice as much to get a configuration "repaired" that wasn't correctly designed. A Sophos Solution Partner that has a Sophos Certified Architect with plenty of experience and good referrals is probably your best bet.

16 May 19
Director with 11-50 employeesUser

With Sophos is easy to configure and you have the support from the frabicant, with pfSense you have to learn from the community and learning curve is a little hard, last occasion with pfSense it don't have support for vpn dynamic, with Sophos they have RED equipment that is an extension from the core, only you need the serial number from the remote equipment and you have the vpn , both are great equipment and software, depend of the budget, pfSense is free and they have support if you pay the license very cheap

16 May 19
Karl Hart, Acse, Ceh, Chfi, CisspReal User

pfSense is just a basic firewall with VPN and Captive Portal functionality but does its job great. Only needs minimum resources to function. Price is right (FREE)
Sophos UTM is much more, hence the UTM. It does firewall, advance threat protection, VPN, Secure web gateway, email protection (AV, Spam, Encryption, and DLP), endpoint protection, Mobile Device control, Web Application Firewall, User Portal, built in reporting, and central management. It does require more resources but you get a lot more out of it. Two options depending on the size of your office, commercial version or the Free version that you can build on your own hardware. The free version is restricted to 50 IP addresses. (https://www.sophos.com/en-us/products/free-tools/sophos-utm-home-edition.aspx)
I have used both and both have their place but using Sophos in my environment just because it offers a lot more functionality, nice dashboard, reports, and easy to use through the GUI.

16 May 19
IT Manager with 51-200 employeesUser

I´m afraid I am not able to help in this matter. We´ve decided to for FortiGate as services, based on our relationship with our IT security provider and the FortiGate reviews available on the net.

We used to use pfSence for one particular open network but let the full control on de FortiGate. During the investigation and analysis period we thought of Sophos but felt more comfortable going for FortiGate pretty much based on price and our relationship with our IT security provider. Hence my experience wouldn´t help in this case.

My best advice would is to refer to the article available on:
https://www.itcentralstation.com/products/comparisons/pfsense_vs_sophos-utm

16 May 19
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Also Known As
Cisco ASA, Adaptive Security Appliance, ASAAstaro
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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.

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.The global network of highly skilled researchers and analysts, protecting businesses from known and emerging malware - viruses, rootkits and spyware.
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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.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, FirespringOne Housing Group
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%
REVIEWERS
University19%
Comms Service Provider14%
Energy/Utilities Company10%
Construction Company10%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Financial Services Firm14%
Comms Service Provider13%
Manufacturing Company13%
Individual & Family Service11%
REVIEWERS
Healthcare Company12%
Financial Services Firm12%
Religious Institution6%
Pharma/Biotech Company6%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Manufacturing Company16%
Comms Service Provider11%
Construction Company10%
Financial Services Firm7%
Company Size
REVIEWERS
Small Business38%
Midsize Enterprise26%
Large Enterprise36%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Small Business41%
Midsize Enterprise26%
Large Enterprise33%
REVIEWERS
Small Business67%
Midsize Enterprise20%
Large Enterprise13%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Small Business50%
Midsize Enterprise40%
Large Enterprise10%
REVIEWERS
Small Business61%
Midsize Enterprise20%
Large Enterprise20%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Small Business47%
Midsize Enterprise27%
Large Enterprise26%
Find out what your peers are saying about Sophos UTM vs. pfSense and other solutions. Updated: July 2019.
354,017 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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