MikroTik Routers and Switches vs. pfSense

Overview
ProductRatingMost Used ByProduct SummaryStarting Price
MikroTik Routers and Switches
Score 8.7 out of 10
N/A
Latvian company MikroTik offers routers and switches.N/A
pfSense
Score 9.2 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
MikroTik Routers and SwitchespfSense
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
MikroTik Routers and SwitchespfSense
Free Trial
NoNo
Free/Freemium Version
NoNo
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
NoNo
Entry-level Setup FeeNo setup feeNo setup fee
Additional Details
More Pricing Information
Community Pulse
MikroTik Routers and SwitchespfSense
Considered Both Products
MikroTik Routers and Switches
Chose MikroTik Routers and Switches
UBNT has more stable Wi-Fi, but the price is higher and not so flexible so it cannot be "tweaked" beyond intended use.
Also Ruijie Network can perform better on high density Wi-Fi scenario with comparable price, but still it lack flexibility to be tweaked beyond factory intended …
pfSense
Chose pfSense
Real competition was between Pfsense and OpnSense that integrates first the bootstrap Twitter framework. But with OpSense there are configurations that create some problems with a specific client (we've experienced that by creating an IPSec tunnel both with OpSense and …
Top Pros
Top Cons
TrustRadius Insights
MikroTik Routers and SwitchespfSense
Highlights

TrustRadius
Research Team Insight
Published

MikroTik and pfSense both offer firewall solutions that leverage software to allow devices to function as network firewalls.  MikroTik primarily provides routers and switches, but their RouterOS software acts as a software based firewall solution.  pfSense is an open source firewall solution that businesses are able to access for free.  Most likely due to pricing, pfSense is most popular with small businesses.

Features

MikroTik and pfSense can both be used to protect business networks through firewalls, but they also have a few standout features that set them apart from each other.

MikroTik’s RouterOS software is very low demand and flexible enough to fit on most devices or virtual machines without taking up much space.  MikroTik RouterOS can also be installed on all sorts of drives, from USB to SATA.  This makes MikroTik a good choice for organizations looking for software that can function on low performance machines.

pfSense firewall is an open source tool, making it highly customizable for a skilled team that can take advantage of access to the source code. Additionally, pfSense includes advanced features such as SSL encryption and customizable content filtering.  pfSense is an ideal choice for businesses looking for a highly customizable, high performance firewall option. 

Limitations

MikroTik and pfSense both provide essential firewall features, such as customizable routing, but they also have a few limitations that are important to consider. 

MikroTik RouterOS is a proprietary firewall solution, so it isn’t as accessible, or as customizable as open source solutions like pfSense.  Additionally, MikroTik provides excellent routing features but is weaker when it comes to features like SSL encryption.  Businesses looking for more powerful security features may prefer a solution like pfSense.

pfSense offers significant flexibility and powerful features, but it is also a heavier piece of software compared to RouterOS.  Businesses looking for the lightest possible software that can run on very low power machines may prefer Mikrotik’s firewall solution.  Support for pfSense is also limited for businesses that use pfSense for free rather than purchasing hardware from pfSense.

Pricing

Pricing for bothe MikroTik firewall solutions and pfSense firewall solutions is highly dependent on how it is used.  MikroTik hardware including their firewall solutions start as low as $70.00

Businesses can access and utilize pfSense firewall for free, but it is also included in their hardware and cloud packages.  Cloud pricing starts as low as $0.08 per hour.  In contrast, hardware packages including firewalls start as low as $150.00.

Features
MikroTik Routers and SwitchespfSense
Firewall
Comparison of Firewall features of Product A and Product B
MikroTik Routers and Switches
-
Ratings
pfSense
7.6
11 Ratings
11% below category average
Identification Technologies00 Ratings5.110 Ratings
Visualization Tools00 Ratings7.08 Ratings
Content Inspection00 Ratings4.111 Ratings
Policy-based Controls00 Ratings10.011 Ratings
Active Directory and LDAP00 Ratings7.19 Ratings
Firewall Management Console00 Ratings9.510 Ratings
Reporting and Logging00 Ratings8.011 Ratings
VPN00 Ratings10.011 Ratings
High Availability00 Ratings10.011 Ratings
Stateful Inspection00 Ratings7.111 Ratings
Proxy Server00 Ratings6.111 Ratings
Best Alternatives
MikroTik Routers and SwitchespfSense
Small Businesses

No answers on this topic

Sophos XG Firewall
Sophos XG Firewall
Score 9.6 out of 10
Medium-sized Companies
Cisco Routers
Cisco Routers
Score 8.4 out of 10
Sophos XG Firewall
Sophos XG Firewall
Score 9.6 out of 10
Enterprises
Cisco Routers
Cisco Routers
Score 8.4 out of 10
Next-Generation Firewalls - PA Series
Next-Generation Firewalls - PA Series
Score 9.2 out of 10
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User Ratings
MikroTik Routers and SwitchespfSense
Likelihood to Recommend
9.0
(6 ratings)
9.7
(24 ratings)
Usability
9.0
(1 ratings)
10.0
(1 ratings)
Support Rating
9.5
(2 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
User Testimonials
MikroTik Routers and SwitchespfSense
Likelihood to Recommend
Mikrotik
MikroTik is suited for large companies that require advanced distributions in terms of contracted bandwidth, and in the same way, allows a single device to specify filtering and firewall rules without acquiring an additional device. There is a range for small companies which is more economical and less robust, but in case it's not necessary, such a strict control over the data consumption of the company is not a feasible solution.
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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.
Read full review
Pros
Mikrotik
  • Affordable, it has more features compared to other brand at the same price.
  • Widely available, by today it's easy to obtained one, even online retailers sell it.
  • Highly customizable, you may write a powerful script to enhance the function.
  • Flexible, you can make different configuration approach based on you needs.
Read full review
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.
Read full review
Cons
Mikrotik
  • Some of the wiki articles have not been updated or are not accurate enough. We spent a couple of days trying to find an example of implementing a mobile IPSec client solution. But once this has been implemented, it has been solid (always worked). A bigger community would help, and I am finding it hard to find the time to contribute to these articles.
Read full review
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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Usability
Mikrotik
Almost perfect, despite some issue that need to be addressed by the manufacturer. If this issue has been addressed, a full 10 mark will be given.
Read full review
Netgate (Rubicon Communications, LLC)
The interface is simple, has sane defaults, and is consistent throughout.
Read full review
Support Rating
Mikrotik
There is no SOC, NOC, where you can contact to try to resolve any difficulties. The problems that these devices have are solved largely through the community, with workaround alternatives, or if the support team responds to a request, the response times are too high for the current needs of technological communications.
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Netgate (Rubicon Communications, LLC)
No answers on this topic
Alternatives Considered
Mikrotik
Cisco Routers are one of the best in the market, however they are also very expensive and not suitable for a small deployment or any deployment which requires just a couple of routers. MikroTik on the other hand are less expensive and provides many features that you require for a small scale deployment. they fit in with the budget and do what you need them to.
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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
Read full review
Return on Investment
Mikrotik
  • First of all it's cheaper than Cisco routers.
  • It has more functionality than Cisco routers that cost 4 times more.
  • It has a GUI. But it has CLI too.
Read full review
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.
Read full review
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