Cisco Umbrella vs. pfSense

Overview
ProductRatingMost Used ByProduct SummaryStarting Price
Cisco Umbrella
Score 8.8 out of 10
N/A
Cisco now offers OpenDNS Umbrella Web Filtering. Cisco acquired OpenDNS in August 2015, and rebranded the product as Cisco Umbrella.N/A
pfSense
Score 9.3 out of 10
N/A
pfSense is a firewall and load management product available through the open source pfSense Community Edition, as well as a the licensed edition, pfSense Plus (formerly known as pfSense Enterprise). The solution provides combined firewall, VPN, and router functionality, and can be deployed through the cloud (AWS or Azure), or on-premises with a Netgate appliance. It as scalable capacities, with functionality for SMBs. As a firewall, pfSense offers Stateful packet inspection, concurrent…
$179
per appliance
Pricing
Cisco UmbrellapfSense
Editions & Modules
No answers on this topic
SG-1100
$179
per appliance
SG-2100
$229
per appliance
SG-3100
$399
per appliance
SG-5100
$699
per appliance
XG-7100-DT
$899
per appliance
XG-7100-1U
$999
per appliance
XG-1537
$1,949
per appliance
XG-1541
$2,649
per appliance
Offerings
Pricing Offerings
Cisco UmbrellapfSense
Free Trial
YesNo
Free/Freemium Version
YesNo
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
YesNo
Entry-level Setup FeeNo setup feeNo setup fee
Additional Details
More Pricing Information
Features
Cisco UmbrellapfSense
Firewall
Comparison of Firewall features of Product A and Product B
Cisco Umbrella
-
Ratings
pfSense
7.6
11 Ratings
11% below category average
Identification Technologies00 Ratings5.010 Ratings
Visualization Tools00 Ratings7.08 Ratings
Content Inspection00 Ratings4.011 Ratings
Policy-based Controls00 Ratings10.011 Ratings
Active Directory and LDAP00 Ratings7.09 Ratings
Firewall Management Console00 Ratings9.510 Ratings
Reporting and Logging00 Ratings8.011 Ratings
VPN00 Ratings10.011 Ratings
High Availability00 Ratings10.011 Ratings
Stateful Inspection00 Ratings7.011 Ratings
Proxy Server00 Ratings6.011 Ratings
Best Alternatives
Cisco UmbrellapfSense
Small Businesses

No answers on this topic

Sophos UTM
Sophos UTM
Score 9.0 out of 10
Medium-sized Companies

No answers on this topic

Palo Alto Networks Next-Generation Firewalls - PA Series
Palo Alto Networks Next-Generation Firewalls - PA Series
Score 9.4 out of 10
Enterprises

No answers on this topic

Palo Alto Networks Next-Generation Firewalls - PA Series
Palo Alto Networks Next-Generation Firewalls - PA Series
Score 9.4 out of 10
All AlternativesView all alternativesView all alternatives
User Ratings
Cisco UmbrellapfSense
Likelihood to Recommend
9.0
(90 ratings)
9.7
(24 ratings)
Likelihood to Renew
8.5
(11 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
Usability
8.7
(7 ratings)
10.0
(1 ratings)
Availability
9.5
(8 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
Performance
8.0
(1 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
Support Rating
8.5
(62 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
Online Training
8.0
(1 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
Implementation Rating
8.6
(9 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
Ease of integration
8.4
(8 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
Product Scalability
8.0
(1 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
Vendor post-sale
8.0
(1 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
Vendor pre-sale
8.0
(1 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
User Testimonials
Cisco UmbrellapfSense
Likelihood to Recommend
Cisco
So the well-suited product, it's actually in two areas. One I already touched base on earlier which is the ability to have a federal model where we have the flexibility to set high-level policies from a group perspective while giving the independence of the business unit to operate and model the system to meet their needs. The second one, which is very powerful, especially in the last few years, is the remote workers. I'm able to protect and extend that edge of my security to their endpoint regardless if they are a Cisco Live or if they are at a bar or on a train basically anywhere. So as a chemical company, we have a lot of OT or ICS industrial control systems, which are highly regulated and highly scrutinized and usually require a physical presence while Cisco umbrella is mostly a cloud native type of product. So it doesn't fit well in that environment, which is detached from the internet doing well.
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Netgate (Rubicon Communications, LLC)
Because pfSense is built around open source software, it is very convenient to be able to deploy in the event of hardware failure. We once had a client with a proprietary router that failed. While the router was under warranty, the expected time for the new router to arrive was about 2 weeks. We decided to implement pfSense for the client as a stop gap and ultimately ended up deploying the full enterprise appliance. Being able to get up and running using commodity hardware was a huge win for the client. We've also had a great amount of success deploying pfSense hardware at apartment complexes. The DNS resolver works great and we've had no issues handling multiple VLANs with various DHCP scopes on it. Finally, we've had clients that require having a failover cluster. Utilizing the built in CARP capabilities, we've been able to provide a very robust failover system that requires little maintenance and no downtime in the event of equipment failure.
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Pros
Cisco
  • Effective prevention of ransomware and malware by blocking CNC traffic. rendering the malware useless.
  • Good reports, which are readable by non technical users
  • Using Talos for its threat database means that it rarely misses anything
  • Very good knowledgebase available which means that it is easy to learn how to use and implement the product
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Netgate (Rubicon Communications, LLC)
  • Easy to use. Good user interface design! Easy to understand and easy to set up.
  • Lower hardware requirement. 3 years ago, we used an old PC to run it. Now, we have changed to a router device with Celeron CPU and 8GB RAM. It runs smoothly with a 1000G commercial broadband.
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Cons
Cisco
  • Umbrella Virtual Appliances have been buggy in resolving local domain hosts.
  • Integration between other Cisco and Meraki products is complicated.
  • Reporting is not always accurate; for example, if you configure a Meraki access point to use an Umbrella Virtual Appliance, you lose device reporting. All reporting shows up under the AP's IP.
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Netgate (Rubicon Communications, LLC)
  • I did kind of mention a Con in the Pro section with OpenVPN.
  • When I create a config for an employee other employees are able to login to that config.
  • I could be doing something wrong when I am making it - I am not afraid to admit that as I am pretty new to all of this, but it seems like it builds a key and I would think the key would be unique in some way to each employee, but I could be wrong.
  • I actually do not have a lot of Con's for this software - I did not get to set this up on our work network so I am not sure of any downfalls when installing.
  • I installed this on my personal machine in a Hyper-V environment to get a feel for it before I started working on it at work and it seemed pretty smooth. I didn't run into any issues.
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Likelihood to Renew
Cisco
First off I never give anything a "10" unless it's perfect. LOL - I grade on the curve. I think OpenDNS/Umbrella is a very good product. I think that fact that Cisco absorbed them is one of the proofs of that. I have used the product back when it was free for companies our size. I have not always appreciated the cost - but in the post pandemic cyber chaos, I believe the cost benefit ratio is still very high. I have honestly not looked at other products because Umbrella continues to work to my satisfaction. I consider Umbrella to be one of the key layers in my cyber security strategy.
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Netgate (Rubicon Communications, LLC)
No answers on this topic
Usability
Cisco
Better features and easy to manage system with great customer support and overall usability is great as it works for hybrid environment with ease as it is having features for on prem users as wells as cloud users with great customer support and great team of trained engineers to support our opeartions.
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Netgate (Rubicon Communications, LLC)
The interface is simple, has sane defaults, and is consistent throughout.
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Reliability and Availability
Cisco
Cisco Umbrella's availability was great, they got back to me in less than an hour to get my problem solved.
We needed to get our Meraki AP's hooked up to Cisco Umbrella to monitor that specific traffic and they got back to me promptly, they guided me and explained every question I had.
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Netgate (Rubicon Communications, LLC)
No answers on this topic
Performance
Cisco
our experience with cisco products has always been awesome and same is the case with cisco umbrella .Under umbrella cisco provides flexible and scalable software solution to use across different dept and sites . These softwares are very user friendly ,pages load quickly as these applications are designed for minimum latency and reports are also provided quickely
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Netgate (Rubicon Communications, LLC)
No answers on this topic
Support Rating
Cisco
We have not had a chance to use Cisco support frequently, but when we needed to troubleshoot some issues that we were having with the agent installation, the support was very responsive and the solution that they offered worked. The only reason I give it one less point is that the turnaround time for non-critical issues is very long.
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Netgate (Rubicon Communications, LLC)
No answers on this topic
Online Training
Cisco
Quite easy to understand training modules prepared by knowledgeable trainers. Training modules have included all the desired features of these softwares and the content delivery is very good from the respective module trainers and it explains in details the features and apart from that further training material support is also provided if needed.
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Netgate (Rubicon Communications, LLC)
No answers on this topic
Implementation Rating
Cisco
At the time we were forced to move from Cloud Web Security to Cisco Umbrella, Cisco Umbrella was far from being a direct replacement. It was frustrating and difficult to migrate due to the lack of functionality. This has since been addressed, however we now have legacy rulesets that were built as bandaids that cannot be removed. Hopefully the migration to Secure Access will address this.
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Netgate (Rubicon Communications, LLC)
No answers on this topic
Alternatives Considered
Cisco
Auto SIG Tunnels is a feature that helps in provisioning tunnels automatically using Cisco Umbrella APIs and so this is one win for choosing Cisco Umbrella over others. With Cisco SD-WAN viptela, the Cisco Umbrella stacks up well because its the same vendor so less complexities and interoperability issues.
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Netgate (Rubicon Communications, LLC)
While you can get the performance out of other products, pfSense offers the unique ability to put other services on the same device. Products such as Untagle's NG Firewall and SonicWall's TZ series offer cost effective options for firewall and VPN services, having incoming load balancing and connection proxies on the same device as the firewall offers extremely easy configuration and day to day management of network services
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Scalability
Cisco
Cisco umbrella provides fleaxible and scalable software solutions which are easy deploy across multiple departments and sites wherever needed and this softwares are very easy to use and provides the best interface along with cisco support for other devices apart from cisco infrastructure but still there is scope for improvement on the inclusion of latest features
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Netgate (Rubicon Communications, LLC)
No answers on this topic
Return on Investment
Cisco
  • Cisco Umbrella has been an excellent investment for us. The extra protection it provides in a very simple way has been well worth the costs.
  • Cisco Umbrella is very easy to setup and manage and can do most of the things we need with little daily interaction so we are free to work on other systems that need more attention.
  • Utilizing the Cisco Umbrella reporting features, we can determine what systems might need additional attention. If we see systems attempting certain types of access, we quickly know there is likely something on the device that probably needs removed.
  • Specific Cisco Umbrella reports can help us determine if we need to do user education and develop cyber habits.
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Netgate (Rubicon Communications, LLC)
  • Using pfSense has allowed us to build a professional network in our small office without needing a lot of proprietary hardware, saving thousands of dollars in IT infrastructure investment.
  • The cost for using pfSense is free, so it's a great option for those who don't have a large IT budget
  • pfSense utilizes all of the industry standard services to provide all of it's functionality, so support for service-level issues is readily available
  • Because of how much work has been put into pfSense to make it rock solid and reliable, we're able to support our network with minimal IT staffing, saving us thousands of dollars/year in personnel alone.
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