F5 Advanced WAF Overview

F5 Advanced WAF is the #4 ranked solution in our list of top Web Application Firewalls. It is most often compared to Microsoft Azure Application Gateway: F5 Advanced WAF vs Microsoft Azure Application Gateway

What is F5 Advanced WAF?

At F5, we give our customers the freedom to securely deliver every app, anywhere—with confidence. All F5 products are highly programmable and integrate into any environment, whether on premises or in any cloud. To date, 48 of the Fortune 50 companies rely on F5 to deliver apps that customers and employees can securely access at any time, on any device, from any location.

F5 Advanced WAF Buyer's Guide

Download the F5 Advanced WAF Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: July 2021

F5 Advanced WAF Customers
MAXIMUS, Vivo, American Systems, Bangladesh Post Office, City Bank
F5 Advanced WAF Video

Pricing Advice

What users are saying about F5 Advanced WAF pricing:
  • "F5 bundles up services and the bundle is what you pay for rather than individual components."
  • "Its price is fair. We have done a couple of deals where they were able to give some kind of discount to the customers. The price was initially high for the customers, but after a couple of negotiations, it came within their budget. They were happy with that."
  • "Licensing fees for this solution are paid on a yearly basis."
  • "After buying the program, you just pay for the support every year."
  • "It is expensive. Its price should be better. Its licensing is on a yearly basis. Its licensing is also based on the model. There are no additional costs."
  • "It's more expensive than other solutions and depending on the modules, there can be additional fees."

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Jamshaid Dayar
Network Engineer at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
Real User
Top 20
It is very stable as as a load balancer or a web application firewall

What is our primary use case?

There is the Simple WAF and the Advanced WAF. We are currently working on the Advanced WAF, but previously, before the Advanced WAF came out, we were just using the Simple WAF. We use the on-prem version because the cloud solution is not that popular here. I have a customer here who has multiple applications dealing with the day to day operations. We have deployed the application firewall in the network and most of their web traffic from outside of their network comes into that WAF. This includes the email application Outlook and their own in-house application tools deployed that they use to… more »

Pros and Cons

  • "In terms of F5 Advanced WAF's most valuable features, I would definitely say its stability. F5 is one the most stable products. Either as the load balancer or the web application firewall, it is very stable."
  • "I would say their graphical interface, the GUI. I don't like the GUI as much as before."

What other advice do I have?

My advice is that if you need a web application firewall you should go for F5. It is one of the best solutions in the past six or seven years. F5 has been the leader in this field. It's a stable solution. One just has to decide their organization's goals in the beginning for the next five years or so. Because if they wrongly select the hardware module, they cannot do the scalability if they want to add a number of modules in the future. So selecting the product should be done with great care. Otherwise, I guess it's okay. If you want a good web application firewall go for F5. On a scale of one…
ZN
Executive Director IT Security at a printing company with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
Top 20
Time and patience in customizing this solution are rewarded in creating a solid line of defense

What is our primary use case?

What a WAF is happens to be exactly what we are using F5 WAF for: a firewall for our web applications. It is a totally customizable solution. You have our signature-based rule sets and then we can customize to our heart's content depending on what our application can and can not do or what we are trying to protect against. So we are using this for anything that is internet-facing. We are applying the WAF there and we are putting it in block mode wherever possible.

Pros and Cons

  • "There is no need to worry about updating signatures because WAF will automatically update the signatures for you."
  • "The support experience is better than average."
  • "The contextual-based component needs a lot of help to catch up with the next-gen products."
  • "There is a learning curve that extends the time of implementation."

What other advice do I have?

Advice that I would give to people considering F5 WAF is to look at and consider other products as well. They have to make sure they know what they are getting into. That is key to finding the right solution. I think WAF requires a lot of time and patience as well as an understanding of your applications in order to make the best use of its capabilities. On a scale from one to ten (where one is the worst and ten is the best), I would rate the F5 Advanced WAF as a solid eight-out-of-ten.
Learn what your peers think about F5 Advanced WAF. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: July 2021.
522,946 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Georges Samaha
Security Consultant at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
Reseller
Top 5Leaderboard
Extremely stable hardware with great plug-ins and excellent features

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use the solution to protect web and API applications. You can choose either web classic or API to protect against different types of attacks.

Pros and Cons

  • "Feature-wise, they are always cutting edge and up-to-date. Many features aren't available via competitors. There's always a lot of enhanced critical features that just aren't available through anyone else, or, if they are, are too lightweight."
  • "We usually use a third-party tool for logging and reporting. It would be nice if we could do that right on this solution. They have one, but it's not very stable. Logging and reporting effectively would be a big enhancement."

What other advice do I have?

We're an integrator. We have a big customer base, therefore we always have to be up to date with the latest versions. We feed to constantly look at things so that we know the new features. I highly recommend the solution to other companies. F5 has a huge portfolio of plug-ins. You can add it to the top of the web. On the same appliance, you can have your balancer, you can have your application authentication, and those things that turn on. You can have multiple other features on the same hardware. It is definitely a technology that adapts. I can use the application in different ways beyond…
Priyesh MP
Solution Architect at a computer software company with 201-500 employees
Real User
Top 10
Good stability, valuable features, and fair price

What is our primary use case?

We are using it to secure a few applications for our customers.

Pros and Cons

  • "The valuable features vary from customers to customers. Some customers are okay with the basic features of the WAF, and some customers use advanced WAF with a few other features."
  • "It should be a little bit easy to deploy in terms of the overall deployment session. One of our customers is a bit unhappy about the reporting options. Currently, it automatically deletes event logs after some limit if a customer doesn't have any external Syslog server. It is a problem for those customers who want to review event logs after a week or so because they won't get proper reports or event logs. They should increase the duration to at least a month or two for storing the data on the device. F5 is not a leader in Gartner Quadrant, which affects us when we go and pitch this solution. Customers normally go and take a look at such annual reports, and because F5 is currently not there as a leader, the customers ask about it even though we are saying it is good in all things. F5 is not known for something totally different or unique. They were a major player in ADP, and they are just rebranding themselves into security. They should improve or increase their marketing as a security company now. They have already started to do that, but they should do it more so that when it comes to security, customers can easily remember F5. At the moment, if we say F5, load balancing comes to mind. With rebranding and marketing, all customers should get the idea that F5 is now mainly focusing on the security part of it, and it is a security company instead of load balancing. This is the first solution that should come to a customer's mind for a web application firewall."

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend this solution because it is overall a very good solution. As a company, they are very established and stable, and they have a long legacy in the industry. They have been there in the industry for a long time. On top of that, they have very good solutions. They can just improve their offerings and marketing in terms of the new rebranding. I would rate F5 Advanced WAF an eight out of ten.
SM
Technical Team Leader at a tech services company with 201-500 employees
Real User
Provides load-balancing and security for our enterprise-level clients

What is our primary use case?

We are a system integrator and we design solutions for our customers. We provide all kinds of networking solutions, as well as security, and we are sometimes responsible for the integration as well. We are partners with F5 and this is one of the solutions that we provide to our clients. Our customers are organizations, including government departments, who use their firewall for load-balancing purposes. However, for some time now, they have wanted to add an additional layer of security, which is why they implement this solution. We normally propose the on-premises deployment model to our… more »

Pros and Cons

  • "This solution is an enterprise-class firewall that provides both load-balancing and security."
  • "This solution can be made more user-friendly."

What other advice do I have?

My advice to anybody who is considering this solution is to have clarity with respect to their own scenario, or application. They have to know what they are expecting out of this deployment. As the system integrator, I may not be sure about the client's applications or how they work internally, so I have to rely on them. I would rate this solution a nine out of ten.
YT
IT Engineer at a tech vendor with 51-200 employees
Reseller
Enables our website to work faster and better and it has a lower impact on our server

What is our primary use case?

We use this program 24/7 as a firewall to block malicious requests. We update regularly.

Pros and Cons

  • "I definitely recommend this solution because of the time you save on analysis."
  • "One thing that can be improved, is to increase the quantity over predefine policy."

What other advice do I have?

I definitely recommend this solution because of the time you save on analysis. It is a stable program and you get additional features. The more you work on it, the more features you discover. I rate this solution ten out of ten.
IK
Security Expert at a aerospace/defense firm with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
A reliable and user-friendly solution that provides positive and negative security and has antivirus and DDoS mitigation capabilities

What is our primary use case?

We have several websites that are exposed to external users. We have a website for interaction with supply chain customers. We also have a website that gives access to CRM functionality to allow our customers to open tickets and disputes. F5 WAF is at the front for security and attack mitigation. It ensures that users are able to access only allowed pages.

Pros and Cons

  • "The web application firewall itself is most valuable. It provides positive security and negative security. In negative security, it blocks a task such as cross-site scripting, code injection, etc. In positive security, it lets you specify and enforce things, such as the parameters allowed in username and password fields and the number of characters allowed in a field."
  • "It also has antivirus and DDoS mitigation capabilities. We have enabled these features."
  • "It is also quite intuitive and user-friendly. They have several webinars that are actually like labs. You can use these webinars to learn about how to use all features of the product."
  • "Its price should be better. It is expensive."

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend this solution to other users. I will advise others to learn a little bit about how the HTTP protocol works. They should be familiar with the functionality of the product. They should not use it without understanding what they are actually doing. I would rate F5 Advanced WAF a nine out of ten.
YA
Senior Technical Specialist | Cloud Platforms at a financial services firm with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
Top 20
Good technical support and protection using attack signatures, but the auto scaling and BIG-IQ need improvement

What is our primary use case?

F5 is a web application firewall and load balancer. The primary use case of this solution is for data protection and security.

Pros and Cons

  • "I like all of the features, but the main one is the attack signatures."
  • "The BIG-IQ is supposed to centralize the management for all of the boxes but it's not very effective."

What other advice do I have?

If I would compare F5 with other solutions, the main differences are the support and the stability of the code, it has fewer bugs. For on-premises deployments I would recommend F5, but for the cloud, it would be questionable. I would rate this solution a seven of ten.
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Buyer's Guide
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