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Sophos Network Access Control OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

Sophos Network Access Control is the #5 ranked solution in our list of top Network Access Control (NAC) tools. It is most often compared to Aruba ClearPass: Sophos Network Access Control vs Aruba ClearPass

What is Sophos Network Access Control?
Sophos NAC Provides comprehensive, easy-to-deploy network access control that protects enterprise networks from the threats posed by non-compliant, compromised, or misconfigured endpoint computers. The software solution is vendor-neutral and works with existing network infrastructure and security applications. Computers are permitted or denied access to the network, based on a centrally defined, policy-driven assessment - and isolated, quarantined for remediation, automatically remediated, or sent alerts. Administrators can define and manage policies uniquely for managed and guest computers, including checking their security status and ensuring that no unwanted applications are run.
Buyer's Guide

Download the Network Access Control (NAC) Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: September 2021

Sophos Network Access Control Customers
Rushmoor Borough Council
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Sophos Network Access Control Reviews

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Marco-VIVALDELLI
CEO at MARVIV SRLS
Real User
Top 5
Great security with a user-friendly interface and excellent stability

Pros and Cons

  • "The installation is very straightforward."
  • "The interface on the cloud could be a bit better - just to give more performance on it."

What is our primary use case?

I have been using the solution in order to manage the security aspect of access control. It guarantees that the people can access the infrastructure in a correct way when using different kinds of firewalls like Sophos, Cisco, MikroTik, et cetera, for example. 

It's used for security hosting in terms of firewalls, which is a router with firewall performance and can really control the access from that side. It's able to manage such a level of security due to the fact that it's working on Layer 2 according to the HESA standard.

What is most valuable?

The feature that I like the best is the level of security that it can provide.

The interface is very user-friendly and it makes it easy to manage the product due to the fact that you have complete control over the system and you can set up everything in a very easy way.

The solution is quite scalable. You can expand it if you need to. It's designed to be modular.

We've found the solution to be very stable. The performance is great.

The installation is very straightforward.

What needs improvement?

The interface on the cloud could be a bit better - just to give more performance on it. However, it's just a very little thing that can be improved. Overall, the product has a very good level of quality.

In terms of features, at this point it truly satisfies out needs and nothing is really missing from the offering.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for a few years at this point. It's my primary go-to system. It's been more than three years, I would say.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is good overall. There are no bugs or glitches. It doesn't crash or freeze. It's reliable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is excellent. If a company needs to expand it, it can do so easily. It's not a problem. It's a very modular product which makes it easy to expand upon.

It depends of the situation, however, typically, you can start with five users or up to around to 100. The product is very flexible from this point of view. There is not really a limit on that as you can manage a very huge amount of users according to the needs of the customer.

We do plan to continue to use the product into the future as we are largely quite happy with it.

How are customer service and technical support?

I've used technical support and have been very satisfied with them so far. They are largely helpful and responsive.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I haven't really used another product previously. I do occasionally use other products, however, I prefer to work with Sophos.

For example, I'm using MikroTik products and another brand of product that I'm using for a client project. They can be integrated together and compliment each other, and therefore their services don't exactly conflict.  

Normally, I use Sophos for control of access to the infrastructure of the company and I can use another product behind Sophos just to extend the functionality inside or to improve the performance of the network or give the customer a different level of control on the system. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is not difficult. It's very straightforward. A company shouldn't have any issues with the process.

Typically you can deploy everything in one day. It's not a long process.

For the maintenance, you need just one person and that normally is the IT manager inside the company that just needs to be familiar with items such as the level on the assessments to understand how to manage the system. They mainly just need an understanding of the company's architecture and they can manage the process. The product can reach its maximum level of performance if you know exactly how the product is working and which features the product can provide. If you have someone that doesn't understand, there is no way to really appreciate what the product can do.

What about the implementation team?

I handed the implementation myself. I did not need an integrator or consultant or any outside help. It was all handled by me in-house. I have all of the capabilities needed to handle the task.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The licensing is modular. That means, you typically buy a base license and then add on what you need to increase its functionality.

If you want to, for example, install a main gateway, or if you want to increase your data just to improve the level of security, you can buy some additional licenses just for these specific needs. This is up to you and it just depends on what you want to have and level of security. 

If you like, you can start with a base solution, and after, you can buy an additional module according to your needs. It's not mandatory to start with an entire package at the same time.

What other advice do I have?

I am not necessarily using the latest version of the solution. I am using different kinds of versions. It depends on the customer's needs. Normally, I approach the client to try to understand their needs, and, following this, I will choose which is product can satisfy them.

The deployments also differ according to the client's needs. Typically, it is on-premises. That said, this product can also work in Cloud which means the servers can be shared between on-premise and on the cloud. This is mainly, for a double level of security. In this way, the product can be managed on-premise and can be managed with that access on the Cloud. 

I can usually propose a simple solution and a simple model. In other situations, however, I have to use products that are more sophisticated in terms of hardware and in terms of the performance that is required.

I would recommend the solution to others. The product has the capabilities to satisfy all kinds of needs that a company may have. You can find the right solution without spending a lot of money. The solution is very powerful from this point of view.

I'd rate the solution at a ten out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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IkechukwuOnwumere
Manager at a financial services firm with 201-500 employees
Real User
Top 10
Integrates endpoints and firewall: Endpoints missing a patch will be disconnected from the network

Pros and Cons

  • "What Sophos has done is integrate almost the entire OSI layer infrastructure. It gives me visibility across my infrastructure. It gives me visibility into all the mobile devices that are on my network and into the security I have on those mobile devices."
  • "What needs to be improved on is the fact that Sophos consumes a lot of processor resources and, once it starts scanning, the RAM utilization is very high."

How has it helped my organization?

If there is an infected system, the firewall will alert me and we can actually take that system off the network and isolate it. The Sophos people will resolve that issue and then bring the system back to the network.

What is most valuable?

Sophos has an endpoint side, a firewall side, access control, and a phishing side. It is an entire network security solution.

What Sophos has done is integrate almost the entire OSI layer infrastructure. It gives me visibility across my infrastructure. It gives me visibility into all the mobile devices that are on my network and into the security I have on those mobile devices. I also have visibility into my users, my servers, and into what is happening at all my gateways, as well as visibility on my switches. So it gives me a global view of my infrastructure.

The beautiful thing about it is that it has an integration between the endpoint and the firewall. So if any of my endpoints, systems like desktops or laptops, does not have an updated patch, it will be disconnected from the network.

What needs improvement?

What needs to be improved on is the fact that Sophos consumes a lot of processor resources and, once it starts scanning, the RAM utilization is very high. I am a little bit worried about where Sophos is. A system with 4 GB would struggle. Even when it scans systems that have 8 GB, they struggle.

Also, one of the things that Sophos has not been able to tidy up properly — and I asked them about it — is that it would be nice if a person who is using Sophos on mobile devices could connect to the office using some type of multi-factor authentication. I would like to see a mobile app that generates a token inside our system and then it signs you into our network.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using Sophos for a few years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is easy to scale the product.

How are customer service and technical support?

Sophos support is okay because we have people here, Sophos technical partners, in Nigeria. We are not really dependent on Sophos outside the country. They are in UK, but we have not had to depend on them there to resolve many issues. We have asked them to help one or two times.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is straightforward.

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend Sophos, including Intercept X which is their anti-virus software for endpoints. I would also advise, if you are getting Sophos, to make sure you upgrade systems from 4 GB to 8 GB and make sure you upgrade your systems from Windows 7 to Windows 10, so you will be fully protected.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Find out what your peers are saying about Sophos, Aruba Networks, Cisco and others in Network Access Control (NAC). Updated: September 2021.
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Marco-VIVALDELLI
CEO at MARVIV SRLS
Real User
Top 5
Great scalability, stability and performance

Pros and Cons

  • "The scalability of the system and the performance of the system and the solution's most valuable features."
  • "The solution could increase the integration with other platforms or other systems. This would be very useful."

What is our primary use case?

I primarily use the solution to manage all of our devices.

What is most valuable?

The scalability of the system and the performance of the system and the solution's most valuable features.

What needs improvement?

The solution could increase the integration with other platforms or other systems. This would be very useful.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for more than three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is quite stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution is quite scalable. We have plans to increase and to distribute the system into other departments internally within the company in the near future.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is good. There is a chat system that is very useful and it's quite easy to receive support on different questions through it.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

For on-premises I used a different solution but it's not so easy to compare the solutions because they are both on a different level. We used a Bitdefender-like private solution, but this solution is not really comparable. With Sophos, you have data control also on their hardware interface because the system is completely integrated with the infrastructure of the company. And the private solution doesn't provide the same level for infrastructure. This feature is not so easy to make a one-to-one comparison.

How was the initial setup?

If you have the correct knowledge base, the initial setup is not complex. Deployment took less than a week and took about three people. For maintenance, we only need one person to manage it.

What about the implementation team?

I handled the implementation myself apart from one section that was related to the hardware, but mainly for the integration with the other devices internally to the company. In this case, I needed to have a person with more expertise in charge. 

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Licensing is on a yearly basis.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We didn't evaluate other options before choosing Sophos.

What other advice do I have?

We're a Sophos partner. We tend to use both deployment models. Mainly, the hardware is on-premise, but all the management is on the cloud. For me, it's a better way to use this solution.

The system right now covers all my needs and it's very comfortable to work with.

For those considering implementing the solution, they need to be sure to have a complete overview of the system at the beginning. They need to know how they want to solve the need and the problems that they have. Everyone should start with an overview from the top.

I'd rate the solution nine out of ten.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
KM
Network Engineer at kamla raheja vidyanidhi institute for architecture
Real User
Top 20
Scalable and reliable but needs more than one access point

Pros and Cons

  • "The pricing is very reasonable and you can negotiate on the price."
  • "In order to provide better management, it would be ideal with they offered better plugins for their firewall."

What is most valuable?

There is good documentation that helps to deploy a new wireless access point and a controller in a very easy way.

The initial setup is very easy.

We've found the solution to be very reliable.

The scalability is quite good.

Technical support has been very good so far. 

The pricing is very reasonable and you can negotiate on the price. 

What needs improvement?

We would like to be able to implement an access point range. There are a number of clients we have at one time and only one access point.

In order to provide better management, it would be ideal with they offered better plugins for their firewall. 

The solution could always offer better security.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've only been using the solution for one year at this point. It hasn't been that long. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is very stable and very reliable. The performance is good. There are no bugs or glitches and the solution does not crash or freeze. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

A company can easily scale the solution If it needs to. The scalability is very good.

How are customer service and technical support?

We've been in touch with technical support and they are very helpful. they respond in a timely manner. We are quite satisfied with their level of attention. 

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I'm also familiar with Ruckus and Aruba.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is not too complex and we did not find it to be difficult. The solution is easy to set up and deploy. A company shouldn't have any issues with the process. 

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The solution requires us to pay an annual license fee. I'm happy with the pricing. Basically, we negotiate the pricing and they provide for our needs.

What other advice do I have?

We're just a customer and an end-user. We're an educational institution. We don't have a business relationship with Sophos. 

We are using the Sophos Firewall model number XG 310. The Access Point model number is 740.

The client has many options when it comes to solutions like this. Other options include Ruckus and Aruba. 

I'd rate the solution at a seven out of ten. It's been okay.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Darren Hengherr
Technical Operations Manager at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
MSP
Top 5
Offers amazing Wi-Fi control and top-notch security

Pros and Cons

  • "The wifi control is fantastic and makes it very easy to administer."
  • "I would like to see mobile administration capabilities in the next release so that we can administer the device from a mobile device."

What is our primary use case?

Within our organization, there are roughly 450 users, using this solution.

Currently, I would say we're only using about 50% of the full functionality of the device. We definitely will keep using this solution in the future. 

What is most valuable?

The feature I love the most is probably the wifi. The wifi control is fantastic and makes it very easy to administer. The security is also top-notch. Since we've been using this product, we've not had any problems with regards to threats. I'm very happy with this solution.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see mobile administration capabilities in the next release so that we can administer the device from a mobile device.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Sophos Network Access Control for three years. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Sophos Network Access Control is both very scalable and stable.

How are customer service and technical support?

We've only ever needed technical support once and we resolved the problem in about half an hour. I am very pleased with the customer support.

The customer support speed is good. The only problem I had was my time zone because I am in Africa and we don't have any local support in Africa. So the support I receive is always via Europe, so Internet access always causes some delays.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We used to use Cisco; and before Cisco, we used Microsoft Proxy Server. We moved from Microsoft to Cisco, and then from Cisco to Sophos. We switched because Cisco was too expensive and complex.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was very easy. That was one of the reasons why we selected the product — it's both easy and reliable.

I believe we deployed all three sites in just two days.

What about the implementation team?

We implemented the solution internally — I did it myself. 

What other advice do I have?

I would absolutely recommend this solution, 100%. On a scale from one to ten, I would give this solution a rating of ten. I think this is one of the best products I've discovered in the last few years. I love this product, I just wish there was a bigger footprint in Africa.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Security Analyst at a tech company with 11-50 employees
Real User
Top 5
Very user-friendly, with good useability, but needs to offer better documentation

Pros and Cons

  • "The solution offers very good visibility."
  • "The solution could offer more useful documentation."

What is most valuable?

The solution offers very good visibility.

The fact that it is a single management solution is quite useful. Whether it's on-premises or on the cloud, we're able to manage it centrally.

The solution is quite user-friendly.

What needs improvement?

We don't have much experience with the solution just yet. It's only been a few months. I'm not sure which features are lacking.

A few items are complex when it comes to handling the initial setup.

The solution could offer more useful documentation. 

We found it difficult to find metrics on the solution. They should work to make this more intuitive.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been working with the solution for just about three months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is stable. I haven't seen any bugs or glitches. There haven't been any crashes. We can count on it. It's reliable. It's quite good.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is very, very good. They use very light containers. It's not hard to expand if a company needs to. However, pricing is based on the devices themselves. If a company needs additional devices, it becomes much less feasible. A large corporation won't have trouble with this, but a smaller organization might.

How are customer service and technical support?

I don't have enough experience with technical support to really comment on their level of service. The solution is still new to us.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We're also using Cisco and Fortinet solutions.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup has a moderate level of difficulty. Some things are simple. Others are more complex.

The deployment typically takes a week or two.

What about the implementation team?

I handled the deployment myself with the help of a team.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The pricing is okay, but the cost of scaling can be expensive if a company must buy more devices.

What other advice do I have?

I'd rate the solution eight out of ten. If the metrics were easier to find, we would rate it higher.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
HJ
IT Network Engineer at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Reseller
Top 10
Easy to configure and use, and the technical support is good

Pros and Cons

  • "The user interface makes it easy to configure and use."
  • "I would like to be able to fully customize the reports."

What is our primary use case?

We are a solution provider and this is one of the products that we implement for our clients.

What is most valuable?

The user interface makes it easy to configure and use.

The troubleshooting tool is helpful.

Technical support is fast and they have been good at resolving our problems.

What needs improvement?

This solution needs to including machine learning and AI functionality to assist with intrusion prevention. In Indonesia, there are a lot of false positives. For example, many websites from our government and local industries are blocked by the IPS.

More advanced security features could be added.

I would like to be able to fully customize the reports.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been working with Sophos Network Access Control for two years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is good but there are a lot of false positives in my country.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I think that scalability is good enough. Our customers are small and medium-sized companies.

How are customer service and technical support?

I am satisfied with technical support.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I have used similar security products by Hillstone, WatchGuard, and Palo Alto. I have found that the features in all of these products, overall, are the same.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is not complex. To complete the deployment, including the configuration, troubleshooting, and fine-tuning, takes two or three days.

What about the implementation team?

I deploy this solution for our clients and one person is enough for the job.

What other advice do I have?

Sophos Network Access Control is easy to implement, use, and manage, and I recommend it.

I would rate this solution an eight out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Reseller
ITCS user
Security Analyst at a tech company with 11-50 employees
Real User
Top 5
Good visibility in a single management solution

What is our primary use case?

We offer integration services to our customers. They are usually looking into solutions that are out there that are good, and which can work to support the organizational enterprise.

What is most valuable?

There is really good visibility for the appliance. They also have a single management solution be it on-premise or in the cloud. We've been able to manage it from a single solution.

What needs improvement?

The difficult thing was finding the metrics.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using Sophos Network Access Control for about three months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I have not seen any bugs so I believe it is a stable solution.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

What is our primary use case?

We offer integration services to our customers. They are usually looking into solutions that are out there that are good, and which can work to support the organizational enterprise.

What is most valuable?

There is really good visibility for the appliance. They also have a single management solution be it on-premise or in the cloud. We've been able to manage it from a single solution.

What needs improvement?

The difficult thing was finding the metrics.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using Sophos Network Access Control for about three months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I have not seen any bugs so I believe it is a stable solution.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is quite good. The very light containers are much better.

How was the initial setup?

A few of them are a little complex. A few of them are quite easy. The Cisco one is quite user friendly. Even the Exabeam network map solution is also user friendly. Usually, it takes about a week or two for deployment.

What about the implementation team?

We had the help of a team to do the initial setup.

What other advice do I have?

I would rate Sophos Network Access Control at an eight out of ten.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner