What users are saying about
64 Ratings
Top Rated
151 Ratings
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Score 9.3 out of 100
64 Ratings
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Score 8.9 out of 100

Feature Set Ratings

  • Palo Alto Networks Next-Generation Firewalls - PA Series ranks higher in 1 feature set: Firewall

Firewall

9.7

Next-Generation Firewalls - PA Series

97%
8.5

pfSense

85%
Palo Alto Networks Next-Generation Firewalls - PA Series ranks higher in 11/11 features

Identification Technologies

9.9
99%
21 Ratings
8.7
87%
8 Ratings

Visualization Tools

9.2
92%
21 Ratings
7.9
79%
7 Ratings

Content Inspection

9.9
99%
21 Ratings
7.4
74%
9 Ratings

Policy-based Controls

10.0
100%
21 Ratings
8.5
85%
9 Ratings

Active Directory and LDAP

9.8
98%
20 Ratings
7.9
79%
8 Ratings

Firewall Management Console

9.9
99%
21 Ratings
9.7
97%
8 Ratings

Reporting and Logging

9.3
93%
21 Ratings
8.7
87%
9 Ratings

VPN

9.5
95%
21 Ratings
8.8
88%
9 Ratings

High Availability

10.0
100%
20 Ratings
8.9
89%
9 Ratings

Stateful Inspection

10.0
100%
20 Ratings
8.9
89%
9 Ratings

Proxy Server

9.2
92%
10 Ratings
8.2
82%
9 Ratings

Attribute Ratings

  • Palo Alto Networks Next-Generation Firewalls - PA Series is rated higher in 1 area: Likelihood to Recommend

Likelihood to Recommend

9.7

Next-Generation Firewalls - PA Series

97%
37 Ratings
9.1

pfSense

91%
22 Ratings

Likelihood to Renew

10.0

Next-Generation Firewalls - PA Series

100%
1 Rating

pfSense

N/A
0 Ratings

Usability

10.0

Next-Generation Firewalls - PA Series

100%
2 Ratings

pfSense

N/A
0 Ratings

Support Rating

8.4

Next-Generation Firewalls - PA Series

84%
18 Ratings

pfSense

N/A
0 Ratings

Likelihood to Recommend

Palo Alto Networks

Palo Alto firewall only affords by Large level infrastructure having a budget for Security Prospect. I will recommend it for the Card information industry & Confidential data solutions. Because it provides a bucket of security features that are not easily vulnerable.
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Netgate (Rubicon Communications, LLC)

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.
Read full review

Pros

Palo Alto Networks

  • The PA handles VPN connectivity without missing a beat. We have multiple VPN tunnels in use for redundancy to cloud-based services.
  • The PA has great functionality in supporting failover internet connections, again with the ability to have multiple paths out to our cloud-based services.
  • The PA is updated on the regular with various security updates, we are not concerned with the firewall's ability to see what packets are really flowing across the network. Being able to see beyond just IP and port requests lets you know things are locked down better than traditional firewalls.
  • It is a great overall kit, with URL filtering and other services that fill in the gaps between other solutions without breaking the bank.
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Netgate (Rubicon Communications, LLC)

  • 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.
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Cons

Palo Alto Networks

  • Our specific model is a bit slow and outdated and takes up to 10 minutes to commit a configuration change.
  • Nested security rules would be helpful instead of a linear approach. But rule creation in general is very simple.
  • Documentation gives a very straight forward answer to some items but is very vague in others.
  • Support could be a little better. An issue we had a tech was insistent it was the "other guy" and it ended up being the very latest PAN OS upgrade.
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Netgate (Rubicon Communications, LLC)

  • 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.
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Pricing Details

Next-Generation Firewalls - PA Series

Starting Price

Editions & Modules

Next-Generation Firewalls - PA Series editions and modules pricing
EditionModules

Footnotes

    Offerings

    Free Trial
    Free/Freemium Version
    Premium Consulting/Integration Services

    Entry-level set up fee?

    No setup fee

    Additional Details

    pfSense

    Starting Price

    $179 per appliance

    Editions & Modules

    pfSense editions and modules pricing
    EditionModules
    SG-11001791
    SG-21002292
    SG-31003993
    SG-51006994
    XG-7100-DT8995
    XG-7100-1U9996
    XG-153719497
    XG-154126498

    Footnotes

    1. per appliance
    2. per appliance
    3. per appliance
    4. per appliance
    5. per appliance
    6. per appliance
    7. per appliance
    8. per appliance

    Offerings

    Free Trial
    Free/Freemium Version
    Premium Consulting/Integration Services

    Entry-level set up fee?

    No setup fee

    Additional Details

    Likelihood to Renew

    Palo Alto Networks

    The PA5220s have far exceeded what we have expected out of them. It was a bit of a learning curve coming from another vendor, but everything falls into place now with ease. The capabilities of the solution still surprise us, allowing us to remove other costly hardware and providing a single point of management needed
    Read full review

    Netgate (Rubicon Communications, LLC)

    No answers on this topic

    Usability

    Palo Alto Networks

    In my opinion, the Palo Alto Firewall is the simplest firewall in terms of management interfaces; though it has more advanced options that apply to more advanced use cases. Configuring basic features on the firewall is nearly self-explanatory; configuring more advanced features can be met with very thorough vendor documentation.
    Read full review

    Netgate (Rubicon Communications, LLC)

    No answers on this topic

    Support Rating

    Palo Alto Networks

    We've run into a couple undocumented bugs, but that seems to happen with every brand and technology. Any time we've had to engage Palo Alto support they've always been professional, knowledgeable and prompt. In almost all cases we've been able to resolve our issues without having to escalate our tickets.
    Read full review

    Netgate (Rubicon Communications, LLC)

    No answers on this topic

    Alternatives Considered

    Palo Alto Networks

    No one can say any other companies in this time is better than Palo Alto Networks Next-Generatoin Firewalls. Palo Alto offers very advanced features which protect you[r] organization. Advanced malware protection, anti spam, lots of other threats.
    Read full review

    Netgate (Rubicon Communications, LLC)

    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).
    Read full review

    Return on Investment

    Palo Alto Networks

    • Overall, even though the device is very expensive (both hardware and licensing), the product does produce a decent ROI, given that one (or HA pair) of devices can do so many things, such as anti-virus, anti-malware, URL filtering, SSL decryption, SSL VPN, routing, etc.
    • There will definitely be sticker shock when you're renewal comes up annually (or after 3 years), so be sure to look very carefully at the recurring costs of this product, with respect to licensing and hardware/software maintenance.
    Read full review

    Netgate (Rubicon Communications, LLC)

    • 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.
    Read full review

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