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Most Helpful Review
Find out what your peers are saying about WatchGuard Firebox vs. pfSense and other solutions. Updated: March 2020.
523,975 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
"I like the way Firepower presents the data. It gives you two classifications for the evidence, something based on the priority of the evidence and another classification based on the impact of the evidence in your environment. This makes it very easy to spot the evidence that is most impactful to my environment. Instead of having to go through all the evidence based on that priority, I can focus on the evidence that has the most impact on my environment.""The most valuable feature of the Firepower solution is FireSIGHT, which can be easily managed and is user-friendly.""Once you add Firepower onto to it and you start enabling some of its features, you get some IDS/IPS involved with it and you can even do web filtering.""The most valuable features of Cisco firewalls are the IPS and IDS items. We find them very helpful. Those are the biggest things because we have some odd, custom-made products in our environment. What we've found through their IPS and IDS is that their vulnerability engines have caught things that are near-Zero-day items, inside of our network.""The IPS, as well as the malware features, are the two things that we use the most and they're very valuable.""The protection and security features, like URL filtering, the inspection, and the IPS feature, are also very valuable for us. We don't have IT staff at most of the sites so for us it's important to have a robust firewall at those sites""We can easily track unauthorized users and see where traffic is going.""With the FMC and the FirePOWERs, the ability to quickly replace a piece of hardware without having to have a network outage is useful. Also, the ability to replace a piece of equipment and deploy the config that the previous piece of equipment had is pretty useful."

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"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.""Good basic firewall features.""The initial setup is easy.""The initial setup was simple and fast.""The documentation is very good.""At our peak time, we have reached more than 5,000 concurrent connections."

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"One of my favorite features is the Geolocation service, where you can actually block specific activity or IP addresses registered to certain countries. For example, I don't want any web traffic from Russia or North Korea. I may even lock down certain policies down to 'I only want U.S. IP addresses.' I find that very useful.""They've done a lot of work with their SD-WAN, which we do use, to have our old internet service with our new internet service. If anything goes down on a particular interface, I can have different rules applied. Most of my users don't even know when our primary internet goes down anymore... I don't have to be here to do anything to switch it to our backup internet or to switch it back.""One of the most valuable features is the Geolocation. Because we aren't a multinational corporation, it allows me to look at things which might be suspicious to make sure that they are legitimate transactions rather than people sniffing around the network.""It's pretty simple to use. It's pretty simple to understand, and there's plenty of documentation. It does a pretty good job of what it is meant to do.""The throughput is great. It's perfect. We have no issues whatsoever. The management features are very powerful...""HostWatch makes it so I can see, in real-time, activity in the event that there is something weird happening on the network. This simplifies my job.""The product's usability is good. It is straightforward and simple. One of the benefits is that it is easy to navigate and intuitive.""[A] valuable feature would be the branch office. We have five offices throughout the United States, and it coordinates the connections of those offices."

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Cons
"Also, they have a Firepower source file that I can work on the ASA device and on Firepower devices. A problem here lies in the way that you manage these devices. Some devices do not support the FMC, and some devices have to be managed through ASDM, and others have to be managed through FMC.""I would like to see the inclusion of more advanced antivirus features in the next release of this solution.""In Firepower, there is an ability to search and dig into a search, which is nice. However, I'm not a super fan of the way it scrolls. If you want to look at something live, it's a lot different. You're almost waiting. With the ASDM, where it just flows, you can really see it. The second someone clicks something or does something, you'll see it. The refresh rate on the events in Firepower is not as smooth.""The worst part of the entire solution, and this is kind of trivial at times, is that management of the solution is difficult. You manage FireSIGHT through an internet browser. I've had Cisco tell me to manage it through Firefox because that's how they develop it. The problem is, depending on the page you're on, they don't function in the same way. The pages can be very buggy, or you can't resize columns in this one, or you can't do certain things in that one. It causes a headache in managing it.""For the new line of FTDs, the performance could be improved. We sometimes have issues with the 41 series, depending what we activate. If we activate too many intrusion policies, it affects the CPU.""The user interface for the Firepower management console is a little bit different from traditional Cisco management tools. If you look at products we already use, like Cisco Prime or other products that are cloud-based, they have a more modern user interface for managing the products. For Firepower, the user interface is not very user-friendly. It's a little bit confusing sometimes.""We would like to see improvement in recovery. If there is an issue that forces us to do recovery, we have to restart or reboot. In addition, sometimes we have downtime during the maintenance windows. If Cisco could enhance this, so that upgrades would not necessarily require downtime, that would be helpful.""We had an event recently where we had inbound traffic for SIP and we experienced an attack against our SIP endpoint, such that they were able to successfully make calls out... Both CTR, which is gathering data from multiple solutions that the vendor provides, as well as the FMC events connection, did not show any of those connections because there was not a NAT inbound which said either allow it or deny it."

More Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall Cons »

"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.""Layer 7 advanced firewall features are not included in the solution.""As an open-source solution, there are so many loopholes happening within the product. By design, no one is taking ownership of it, and that is worrisome to me.""ClamAV AntiVirus can cause some crashes. That service should be improved.""The technical support needs to be improved.""It needs to be more secure."

More pfSense Cons »

"Reporting is something you've got to set up separately. It's one of those things that you've got to put some time into. One of the options is to set up a local report server, which is what I did. It's not great. It's okay... Some of the stuff is a little complicated to get up and running. Once you do, it becomes very user-friendly and easy to work with, but I find there are some implementation headaches with some of their stuff.""The drawbacks are just sometimes not having the technical information that we need in order to easily make connections with all of our Internet-based clients.""Last year, I had an issue with one of the Fireboxes going down. It was overheated, because my server room became overheated and this fried it.""The software base, the management piece that goes onto a server, is not as user-friendly as I would like. There are three different pieces that you have to manage, so it's a little bit convoluted, in my opinion.""Sometimes, the writing rules are a little confusing in how am I doing them.""We were able to take from an older configuration, build a new one quickly, and get it up and running, which didn't take long, but there was some pain around it.""In terms of the reporting and management features — and this isn't necessarily a WatchGuard issue, this seems to be more of an industry-wide issue — you get reports, but a lot of times you don't know what you're looking at. You're so overwhelmed with the data. You're getting a lot of stuff that doesn't matter, so it takes time to parse through it, to actually get what you want to know.""I'd like to have better access to workstation monitoring, connection monitoring, and the amount of time an address is being used, to better gauge proper network utilization. If I knew that something was connected to a particular external location for an extended period that seems abnormal, I'd be able to act upon it."

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Pricing and Cost Advice
"The price of this solution is not good or bad.""The Firepower series of appliances is not cheap. I just got a quote recently for six firewalls that was in the range of over half-a-million dollars. That's what could push us to look to other vendors...""Our subscription costs, just for the firewalls, is between $400,000 and $500,000 a year.""Cisco's pricing is high, at times, for what they provide.""The one-time cost is affordable, but the maintenance cost and the Smart Net costs need to be reduced. They're too high.""We normally license on a yearly basis. The hardware procurement cost should be considered. If you're virtual maybe that cost is eradicated and just the licensing cost is applied. If you have hardware the cost must be covered by you. All the shipping charges will be paid by you also. I don't thing there are any other hidden charges though.""Cisco pricing is premium. However, they gave us a 50 to 60 percent discount.""There are additional implementation and validation costs."

More Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall Pricing and Cost Advice »

"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 »

"We had a trade-in offer at the end of our first three-year term. As a result, we pretty much got a free device by buying the three-year subscription. It was around $3,000 for the three-years.""I think we might be subscribed to one or two of the premium features.""We pay about $3,500 every three years.""Their price point worked, which is the reason why we stayed with WatchGuard.""I buy a three-year renewal on the main device, which is usually around $3,000 to $4,000. They usually upgrade the device when I do it. You get a big discount when you do three years.""It costs me about $800 a year.""The cost was somewhere in the vicinity of $2,000 to $3,000 for each one...""We don't have any other costs other than the licensing stuff."

More WatchGuard Firebox Pricing and Cost Advice »

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Questions from the Community
Top Answer: Ease of Use - GUI familiarities  and adoption level can differ from user to user. - Personally I found CISCO  ASA… more »
Top Answer: Cisco Firepower Family and it is a NGFW since ASA is just a FW.
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: I mostly like all of it. Whatever we use is valuable.
Top Answer: A free edition with a cheap support contract could be enough, especially if you use it as a double chance with other… more »
Top Answer: We are providing our services to all WatchGuard customers in the region. 
Top Answer: We just use it as a secondary WiFi device. We're a small office and we needed to set up a WiFi device for a few of our… more »
Top Answer: We're a hospital and we use it for developing our incoming and outgoing policies, and we also use it for VPN.
Popular Comparisons
Also Known As
Cisco Firepower NGFW, Cisco Firepower Next-Generation Firewall, FirePOWER, Cisco NGFWv
Learn More
Netgate
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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.

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.

WatchGuard's approach to network security focuses on bringing best-in-class, enterprise-grade security to any organization, regardless of size or technical expertise. Ideal for SMBs and distributed enterprise organizations, our award-winning Unified Threat Management (UTM) appliances are designed from the ground up to focus on ease of deployment, use, and ongoing management, in addition to providing the strongest security possible.

Offer
Learn more about Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall
Learn more about pfSense
Learn more about WatchGuard Firebox
Sample Customers
Rackspace, The French Laundry, Downer Group, Lewisville School District, Shawnee Mission School District, Lower Austria Firefighters Administration, Oxford Hospital, SugarCreek, Westfield
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
Ellips, Diecutstickers.com, Clarke Energy, NCR, Wrest Park, Homeslice Pizza, Fortessa Tableware Solutions, The Phoenix Residence
Top Industries
REVIEWERS
Comms Service Provider23%
Financial Services Firm17%
Manufacturing Company9%
Non Profit9%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Comms Service Provider35%
Computer Software Company20%
Government6%
Manufacturing Company4%
REVIEWERS
University10%
Comms Service Provider10%
Computer Software Company8%
Construction Company8%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Comms Service Provider42%
Computer Software Company15%
Government6%
Media Company5%
REVIEWERS
Manufacturing Company18%
Construction Company15%
Healthcare Company9%
University6%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Comms Service Provider34%
Computer Software Company17%
Government6%
Media Company4%
Company Size
REVIEWERS
Small Business41%
Midsize Enterprise28%
Large Enterprise31%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Small Business13%
Midsize Enterprise14%
Large Enterprise73%
REVIEWERS
Small Business71%
Midsize Enterprise15%
Large Enterprise13%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Small Business57%
Midsize Enterprise12%
Large Enterprise31%
REVIEWERS
Small Business67%
Midsize Enterprise21%
Large Enterprise13%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Small Business87%
Midsize Enterprise2%
Large Enterprise11%
Find out what your peers are saying about WatchGuard Firebox vs. pfSense and other solutions. Updated: March 2020.
523,975 professionals have used our research since 2012.

pfSense is ranked 3rd in Firewalls with 42 reviews while WatchGuard Firebox is ranked 2nd in Unified Threat Management (UTM) with 34 reviews. pfSense is rated 8.6, while WatchGuard Firebox is rated 8.6. The top reviewer of pfSense writes "Feature-rich, well documented, and there is good support available online". On the other hand, the top reviewer of WatchGuard Firebox writes "Geolocation allows us to lock down certain policies to only U.S. IPs". pfSense is most compared with OPNsense, Fortinet FortiGate, Sophos UTM, Untangle NG Firewall and Juniper SRX, whereas WatchGuard Firebox is most compared with Fortinet FortiGate, Sophos XG, SonicWall NSa, Cisco ASA Firewall and Barracuda CloudGen Firewall. See our WatchGuard Firebox vs. pfSense report.

See our list of .

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.