What users are saying about
26 Ratings
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Score 8.1 out of 100
59 Ratings
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Score 8.9 out of 100

Feature Set Ratings

    Firewall

    Cisco Secure Web Appliance

    Feature Set Not Supported
    N/A
    8.5

    pfSense

    85%
    pfSense ranks higher in 11/11 features

    Identification Technologies

    N/A
    0 Ratings
    8.7
    87%
    8 Ratings

    Visualization Tools

    N/A
    0 Ratings
    7.8
    78%
    7 Ratings

    Content Inspection

    N/A
    0 Ratings
    7.3
    73%
    9 Ratings

    Policy-based Controls

    N/A
    0 Ratings
    8.4
    84%
    9 Ratings

    Active Directory and LDAP

    N/A
    0 Ratings
    7.9
    79%
    8 Ratings

    Firewall Management Console

    N/A
    0 Ratings
    9.7
    97%
    8 Ratings

    Reporting and Logging

    N/A
    0 Ratings
    8.6
    86%
    9 Ratings

    VPN

    N/A
    0 Ratings
    8.8
    88%
    9 Ratings

    High Availability

    N/A
    0 Ratings
    8.9
    89%
    9 Ratings

    Stateful Inspection

    N/A
    0 Ratings
    8.9
    89%
    9 Ratings

    Proxy Server

    N/A
    0 Ratings
    8.2
    82%
    9 Ratings

    Attribute Ratings

    • pfSense is rated higher in 1 area: Likelihood to Recommend

    Likelihood to Recommend

    6.1

    Cisco Secure Web Appliance

    61%
    8 Ratings
    9.1

    pfSense

    91%
    22 Ratings

    Usability

    9.0

    Cisco Secure Web Appliance

    90%
    1 Rating

    pfSense

    N/A
    0 Ratings

    Support Rating

    6.4

    Cisco Secure Web Appliance

    64%
    4 Ratings

    pfSense

    N/A
    0 Ratings

    Likelihood to Recommend

    Cisco Secure Web Appliance

    We have both scenarios where we can describe that. For example, in the HQ, where we have about 3,000 users, Cisco IronPort Web Security Appliance is the ideal solution, because we can consolidate all the Internet access, policies, rules, etc. in the same box. However, if you have small offices with a few users, it's hard to justify one big and expensive box that could cost more than the whole office infrastructure.
    Eduardo Viero | 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

    Pros

    Cisco Secure Web Appliance

    • SMA gave us central control over multiple servers, simplifying management.
    • Performance of the Appliance VM exceeded that of our old physical appliance-based solution.
    • Convenient licensing for virtualized environments that allows easy scaling.
    Anonymous | 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

    Cisco Secure Web Appliance

    • The default metrics on the dashboard visualization are not that useful. It is not much customizable too. Some of the dashboard features like load, volume, etc. can have a hide option.
    • The false negatives are more than false positives. A lot of the times, it verdicts the same email as malicious and non-malicious. This can be reduced.
    Kuntal Das | 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

    Pricing Details

    Cisco Secure Web Appliance

    General

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

    Starting Price

    Cisco Secure Web Appliance Editions & Modules

    Additional Pricing Details

    pfSense

    General

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

    Starting Price

    $179 per appliance

    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

    Usability

    Cisco Secure Web Appliance

    Cisco Secure Web Appliance 9.0
    Based on 1 answer
    Because it's one of those products you almost don't realize it exists from the end user. From the administrator perspective, you can do everything on its web interface and it's very intuitive to manage, once you know the concepts behind identities, acls, etc. Also, once you build the control structure, I mean, you link 'local' groups with your own Active Directory groups, as we did here, you don't need to be managing those things on the appliance itself.
    Eduardo Viero | TrustRadius Reviewer

    pfSense

    No score
    No answers yet
    No answers on this topic

    Support Rating

    Cisco Secure Web Appliance

    Cisco Secure Web Appliance 6.4
    Based on 4 answers
    Our experience with Cisco's support was terrible. Other than the fact that they don't respond to service-related emails with urgency, they also keep on changing the policies that affected us. Recently, they came up with a new look for the same software, which was insanely slow. Renewal of keys for the old interface took months. Overall, the support was not very friendly from the users' point of view.
    Kuntal Das | TrustRadius Reviewer

    pfSense

    No score
    No answers yet
    No answers on this topic

    Alternatives Considered

    Cisco Secure Web Appliance

    At home I have a McAfee service that does similar tasks and helps manage the users of my internet. McAfee seems more user friendly and easier to set exceptions.
    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

    Return on Investment

    Cisco Secure Web Appliance

    • Security! Security! Security! We are financial company that work with very sensitive information. A lot of unsafe traffic was blocked on the Cisco IronPort WSA over years of using it. We did not earn on it but absolutely sure that we did not lose 'gazillion' of dollars being infected or scammed.
    • Easy to configure and use, no need to teach new personnel how work with this product (hopefully saving time = saving money).
    • Unfortunately the price of license subscription made financial managers push IT dept. to look for something cheaper.
    Valeryi Mezentsev | 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

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