Compare Sophos UTM vs. pfSense

pfSense is ranked 3rd in Firewalls with 15 reviews while Sophos UTM is ranked 4th in Firewalls with 28 reviews. pfSense is rated 8.8, while Sophos UTM is rated 8.6. 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: January 2020.
390,245 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
For us, the most valuable features are the IPX and the Sourcefire Defense Center module. That gives us visibility into the traffic coming in and going out, and gives us the heads-up if there is a potential outbreak or potential malicious user who is trying to access the site. It also helps us see traffic generated by an end device trying to reach out to the world.The information coming from Talos does a good job... I like the fact that Cisco is working with them and getting the information from them and updating the firewall.The firepower sensors have been great; they do a good job of dropping unwanted traffic.Unfortunately in Cisco, only the hardware was good.The most important point is the detection engine which is now part of the next-generation firewalls and which is supported by Cisco Talos.The most valuable feature of this solution is AMP (Advanced Malware Protection), as this is really needed to protect against cyber threats.I like the Cisco ASDM (Adaptive Security Device Manager), which is the configuration interface for the Cisco firewall.The technical team is always available when we have problems.

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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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We find all of the features valuable because together they fit the needs of our customers.It allows me to easily connect with more than forty-five remote sites and more than fifty remote users between IPsec and SSL VPN, applying the web filter and application filter to ensure a secure connection.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.

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Cons
We were also not too thrilled when Cisco announced that in the upcoming new-gen ASA, iOS was not going to be supported, or if you install them, they will not be able to be managed through the Sourcefire. However, it seems like Cisco is moving away from the ASA iOS to the Sourcefire FireSIGHT firmware for the ASA. We haven't had a chance to test it out.Our latest experience with a code upgrade included a number of bugs and issues that we ran into. So more testing with their code, before it hits us, would help.The software was very buggy, to the point it had to be removed.In NGFW, Cisco should be aligned with the new technology and inspection intelligence because Cisco is far behind in this pipeline.Most users do not have awareness of this product's functionality and features. Cisco should do something to make them aware of them. That would be quite excellent and useful to organizations that are still using legacy data-center-security products.I have found that Cisco reporting capabilities are not as rich as other products, so the reporting could be improved.The Sandbox and the Web Censoring in this solution need to be improved.It will be nice if they had what you traditionally would use a web application scanner for. If the solution could take a deeper look into HTTP and HTTPS traffic, that would be nice.

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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.It is not centrally managed, where you log into the website and can see all your services there. We would like to be able to see is all the configurations from a central interface on all our pfSenses.

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We would like to have unique viewable IDs for rules and in the packet filter logfile, for easier debugging of old log files.I would like to see the SD-WAN feature improved.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.

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Pricing and Cost Advice
Pricing varies on the model and the features we are using. It could be anywhere from $600 to $1000 to up to $7,000 per year, depending on what model and what feature sets are available to us.We used Check Point and the two are comparable. Cost was really what put us onto the ASAs... the price tag for Check Point was exorbitantly more than what it is for the ASA solution.Always consider what you might need to reduce your wasted time and invest it in other solutions.We are in the process of renewing our three-year license, which costs approximately $24,000 USD for the thirty-six months.The pricing for Cisco products is higher than others, but Cisco is a very good, strong, and stable technology.The program is very expensive.The cost of this solution is high.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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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.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.There are a few features not included, and when you have to use those features, you have to pay for them.It is an open source solution. Therefore, the price is good.

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This solution is less expensive than FortiGate.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.

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Answers from the Community
Ramyamahesh Nk
author avatarLouis Mills
User

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.

author avatarLuis Castro
Real 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.

author avatarBob Alfson
User

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.

author avatarDirector with 11-50 employees
User

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

author avatarKarl Hart, Acse, Ceh, Chfi, Cissp
Real 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.

author avatarIT Manager with 51-200 employees
User

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

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Also Known As
Cisco ASA, Adaptive Security Appliance, ASA, Cisco Sourcefire FirewallsAstaro
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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
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Financial Services Firm20%
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Retailer5%
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University19%
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Small Business62%
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Large Enterprise19%
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Small Business53%
Midsize Enterprise17%
Large Enterprise31%
Find out what your peers are saying about Sophos UTM vs. pfSense and other solutions. Updated: January 2020.
390,245 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.