What users are saying about
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Top Rated
679 Ratings
41 Ratings

AlienVault USM

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Top Rated
679 Ratings
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Score 7.5 out of 100
41 Ratings
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Score 9.3 out of 100

Likelihood to Recommend

AlienVault USM

At this point I'm saying a 4. While the marketing material make it appear to be easy to use and it was relatively easy to set up, as previously mentioned, each event description is based upon the individual asset making it nearly impossible for the administrator to be a SME for each asset. For example, if one of the assets reporting is a router, the administrator monitoring alerts would need to know what the various events are that can be triggered as an event for the particular router; however, if the asset is a workstation, the administrator would need to know the various events that are triggered for workstations.
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer

pfSense

For fast-growing or SME companies, pfSense is quite suitable because pfSense already had many advanced features such as VPN and multiple WAN / LAN. As a result, we just need to pay for expensive router frequently to upgrade our infrastructure.
Allan Leung | TrustRadius Reviewer

Feature Rating Comparison

Security Information and Event Management (SIEM)

AlienVault USM
7.2
pfSense
Centralized event and log data collection
AlienVault USM
7.1
pfSense
Correlation
AlienVault USM
7.7
pfSense
Event and log normalization
AlienVault USM
7.7
pfSense
Deployment flexibility
AlienVault USM
6.7
pfSense
Integration with Identity and Access Management Tools
AlienVault USM
6.9
pfSense
Custom dashboards and views
AlienVault USM
6.9
pfSense
Host and network-based intrusion detection
AlienVault USM
7.7
pfSense

Firewall

AlienVault USM
pfSense
7.2
Identification Technologies
AlienVault USM
pfSense
3.0
Visualization Tools
AlienVault USM
pfSense
6.0
Content Inspection
AlienVault USM
pfSense
8.0
Policy-based Controls
AlienVault USM
pfSense
7.0
Active Directory and LDAP
AlienVault USM
pfSense
4.0
Firewall Management Console
AlienVault USM
pfSense
8.0
Reporting and Logging
AlienVault USM
pfSense
6.0
VPN
AlienVault USM
pfSense
10.0
High Availability
AlienVault USM
pfSense
9.0
Stateful Inspection
AlienVault USM
pfSense
9.0
Proxy Server
AlienVault USM
pfSense
9.0

Pros

AlienVault USM

  • AlienVault USM is simple and easy to deploy. Sensors can be deployed in as little as 15 minutes through the setup wizard.
  • The USM UI is easy to understand. I've trained multiple analysts who are able to perform their duties on their first day, in part because of USM Anywhere's ease of use.
  • Top-notch built-in compliance templates and reporting features.
Matthew Stacks | TrustRadius Reviewer

pfSense

  • pfSense is an excellent firewall - It logs all of your traffic. It has packages you can install to snort bad traffic.
  • pfSense has a tool called "p0f" which allows you to see what type of OS is trying to connect to you. You can filter these results and you can also block a specific OS from connecting to you.
  • pfSense is an excellent load-balancer: (Multi-WAN and Server Load Balancing) The fail-over/aggregation works very well. This is perfect if your business uses multiple ISP's to ensure your customers are always able to access their data. Also helps with bandwidth distribution as well.
  • VPN's - I am not entirely sure if this package was free with pfSense, but it does offer the ability to use OpenVPN which is what I am familiar with.
  • They also have IPsec in the settings as well, but I am not familiar with that enough to go into any detail with it.
  • As I mentioned I do use OpenVPN the only thing I don't care for with it is I can create OpenVPN configs for each user I want to be able to VPN into the network and I assumed each one would be "unique" but this does not seem to be the case. I could be doing it wrong, but if I create a config for a specific employee I would expect only that employee should be able to use that config, but I have been able to login to everyone that I made using my credentials.
  • I mentioned earlier that pfSense had a GUI.
  • I personally really think it is cool because it has a bunch of reporting graphs for monitoring your networks. I think when I become the full-time admin at the company I am going to try to talk them into getting me a TV I can mount on the wall and display all the graphs and real-time info pfSense shows so I can monitor what is going on with the network(s) at all times. Plus I think it would look rad.
Charles R. Coggins III | TrustRadius Reviewer

Cons

AlienVault USM

  • Personally, I've wished I could purchase a service that would configure AV for my environment. I get a lot of traffic on a daily basis and I almost need to hire an analyst that just works on AV.
  • Some of the filters when looking for a specific alert aren't that easy to use.
Christian Holton | TrustRadius Reviewer

pfSense

  • There is no API for making changes. This can be a hindrance in environments where auto-deploying something needs firewall rules or HAProxy configs updated. Since all settings are stored in an XML file and then configs are generated from that, even manually updating config files cannot be done.
  • Beware that some network cards can have issues. pfSense is based on FreeBSD, so it's best to look on their compatibility list before deploying.
Aaron Smith | TrustRadius Reviewer

Likelihood to Renew

AlienVault USM

AlienVault USM 6.5
Based on 19 answers
The centralized logging and retention for PCI compliance was our main driver, and it is meeting that need. Otherwise there has been enough frustration with the lack of documentation and the need to customize through the CLI that I would be open to alternatives.
Aaron Rothstein | TrustRadius Reviewer

pfSense

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic

Usability

AlienVault USM

AlienVault USM 6.9
Based on 35 answers
Once you are able to navigate the different panels, finding what you need is quite easily. Before getting used it it can be a bit of challenge .Each panel is quite well laid out and the filtering search capabilities are quite strong.
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer

pfSense

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic

Reliability and Availability

AlienVault USM

AlienVault USM 6.4
Based on 3 answers
We do have issues with maintenance on the AlienVault USM as the disk fills up from time to time with other data sources. Sources for scanning logs and net flow data isn't calculated in regular disk maintenance and can easily fill up our disk if we do not keep an eye on it with some custom Nagios plugins. The system does properly trim logging data from logging sources properly.
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer

pfSense

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic

Performance

AlienVault USM

AlienVault USM 7.3
Based on 3 answers
With the latest release of AlienVault USM overall performance has not been an issue. We have noticed single source events per second does not scale well with the overall system. 2,000eps on a vmware system with a single source produces delays of up to an hour for us. Pages, reporting and even raw log searches are rather quick though.
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer

pfSense

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic

Support Rating

AlienVault USM

AlienVault USM 7.3
Based on 28 answers
The support we received from alienvault was excellent. They went above and beyond in making sure everything was working as it needed to be. They REALLY want their product implementation to be a success and our security goals be achieved. They are like a member of our security team.
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer

pfSense

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic

In-Person Training

AlienVault USM

AlienVault USM 4.5
Based on 1 answer
I did not have any experience with "in person" training directly. The free online classes offered for a half a day are based on the actual training offered. These little teasers are very good and well worth your time to learn a few quick and dirty ways of getting more information from your SIEM
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer

pfSense

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic

Online Training

AlienVault USM

AlienVault USM 8.5
Based on 6 answers
It was very well organized and helpful in using the product to the fullest extent. The instructor allowed time for folks who were involved with managed services to receive tuning tips in order to better support their customers. In addition, the course materials were automatically updated when the new version came out.
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer

pfSense

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic

Implementation Rating

AlienVault USM

AlienVault USM 6.4
Based on 39 answers
AlienVault USM was a very simple to implement and get up and running. We started with a trial version and had that up and going within an hour of receiving email instructions from the sales engineer. We never had to contact support to get the system up and going. It was extremely easy to convert over to a full license once we started with a paid version.
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer

pfSense

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic

Alternatives Considered

AlienVault USM

Splunk's ES is a paid add-on on top of an already pricey product. Finding a MSSP that supports Splunk and isn't a 6 figure annual commitment seems unlikely. LogRhythm did not have a cloud-based solution when we were considering SIEMs. Fantastic product though and have a good MSSP base.Devo did not have a MSSP partner base when we looked. Their product is fantastic too.AlienVault USM has good partners to choose from as well as an affordable cloud model, that's why we chose it.
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer

pfSense

Before pfSense we were using consumer and small business rated network appliances from Linksys, Cisco, Buffalo and Netgear. We were replacing them on average of every 6-12 months because they'd fail or would offer poor wifi availability.Switching to pfSense allowed us to use professional grade switches and wifi access points, offloading all of the services that the consumer grade products took care of, onto pfSense (DHCP, DNS, routing, firewall, VPN, etc).
Jim Rubenstein | TrustRadius Reviewer

Scalability

AlienVault USM

AlienVault USM 6.3
Based on 3 answers
The AlienVault USM is not very scalable. Some scalability can be achieved by installing additional sensors, but this only offers 500eps per sensor and is still overall limited by the installation type of VM or physical. We have also noticed the EPS (events per second) is rated overall and not towards a single source. A single source on a very healthy VMware partition tops out at 2,000eps for us, no matter how we configure it. Maybe this is a problem of the 5.2 release?
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer

pfSense

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic

Return on Investment

AlienVault USM

  • Once you hit the 150 asset mark, you have to jump to their unlimited license. There is no middle ground. We were only 10 or so assets above the 150 so we had to chose to either not monitor those assets or pay the price of the upgrade.
  • AlienVault brings all the information to one place which makes it much quicker to track down problems.
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer

pfSense

  • Moving to a FWaaS solution installed on a decent computer the initial investment was moderate to cover 50 to 250 users, but still being cheaper that a Fortinet, Cisco ASA, or a Sophos UTM.
  • Paying only for support can be a double edge knife, cause you need to identify what's the goal of the request, or your drown into a an endless list of requirements.
  • To stay in the top with the half of a regular investment pFSense gives a wide variety of plugins that will give you a deep knowledge of your security flaws and strong points.
Victor Arana | TrustRadius Reviewer

Screenshots

pfSense

Pricing Details

AlienVault USM

General

Free Trial
Yes
Free/Freemium Version
Yes
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
Yes
Entry-level set up fee?
Optional

AlienVault USM Editions & Modules

Edition
Essentials$1,0751
Standard$1,6951
Premium$2,5951
  1. per month
Additional Pricing Details

pfSense

General

Free Trial
Free/Freemium Version
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
Entry-level set up fee?
No

pfSense Editions & Modules

Edition
SG-1100$1791
SG-2100$2291
SG-3100$3991
SG-5100$6991
XG-7100-DT$8991
XG-7100-1U$9991
XG-1537$1,9491
XG-1541$2,6491
  1. per appliance
Additional Pricing Details

Rating Summary

Likelihood to Recommend

AlienVault USM
7.5
pfSense
9.0

Likelihood to Renew

AlienVault USM
6.5
pfSense

Usability

AlienVault USM
6.9
pfSense

Reliability and Availability

AlienVault USM
6.4
pfSense

Performance

AlienVault USM
7.3
pfSense

Support Rating

AlienVault USM
7.3
pfSense

In-Person Training

AlienVault USM
4.5
pfSense

Online Training

AlienVault USM
8.5
pfSense

Implementation Rating

AlienVault USM
6.4
pfSense

Scalability

AlienVault USM
6.3
pfSense

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