pfSense vs. SolarWinds Network Device Monitor

Overview
ProductRatingMost Used ByProduct SummaryStarting Price
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
SolarWinds Network Device Monitor
Score 8.4 out of 10
N/A
SolarWinds Network Device Monitor is a network diagnostic tool, from Austin-based SolarWinds.N/A
Pricing
pfSenseSolarWinds Network Device Monitor
Editions & Modules
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
No answers on this topic
Offerings
Pricing Offerings
pfSenseSolarWinds Network Device Monitor
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
Features
pfSenseSolarWinds Network Device Monitor
Firewall
Comparison of Firewall features of Product A and Product B
pfSense
7.6
11 Ratings
11% below category average
SolarWinds Network Device Monitor
-
Ratings
Identification Technologies5.010 Ratings00 Ratings
Visualization Tools7.08 Ratings00 Ratings
Content Inspection4.011 Ratings00 Ratings
Policy-based Controls10.011 Ratings00 Ratings
Active Directory and LDAP7.09 Ratings00 Ratings
Firewall Management Console9.510 Ratings00 Ratings
Reporting and Logging8.011 Ratings00 Ratings
VPN10.011 Ratings00 Ratings
High Availability10.011 Ratings00 Ratings
Stateful Inspection7.011 Ratings00 Ratings
Proxy Server6.011 Ratings00 Ratings
Best Alternatives
pfSenseSolarWinds Network Device Monitor
Small Businesses
Sophos UTM
Sophos UTM
Score 9.0 out of 10
Auvik
Auvik
Score 8.3 out of 10
Medium-sized Companies
Palo Alto Networks Next-Generation Firewalls - PA Series
Palo Alto Networks Next-Generation Firewalls - PA Series
Score 9.4 out of 10
PingPlotter
PingPlotter
Score 9.5 out of 10
Enterprises
Palo Alto Networks Next-Generation Firewalls - PA Series
Palo Alto Networks Next-Generation Firewalls - PA Series
Score 9.4 out of 10
SolarWinds Network Configuration Manager (NCM)
SolarWinds Network Configuration Manager (NCM)
Score 8.8 out of 10
All AlternativesView all alternativesView all alternatives
User Ratings
pfSenseSolarWinds Network Device Monitor
Likelihood to Recommend
9.7
(24 ratings)
8.5
(19 ratings)
Usability
10.0
(1 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
User Testimonials
pfSenseSolarWinds Network Device Monitor
Likelihood to Recommend
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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SolarWinds
On its own, it's a solid choice for an SMB or Mid-size Enterprise if you're price sensitive and looking primarily for core functionality. SolarWinds has a large family of products that can also be leveraged in conjunction with SWNDM. Turning the product loose on a very large environment for discovery and mapping should be done with care and concern for a number of reasons but including the performance of the product for this task. If you're looking for an all-in-one product with some presumed supporting features built in (config manager, etc.) you'll need to look elsewhere.
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Pros
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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SolarWinds
  • Monitor for and record network device configuration changes.
  • Allow for the creation, or modification, of hardening standards for multiple vendors' network devices.
  • Automate the creation of alerts that can be sent to owners for correction of compliance violations.
  • Allow you to organize a visualization of your network devices.
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Cons
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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SolarWinds
  • More security put into the product, the Orion hack was not good news.
  • More frequent releases to address small bugs rather than big releases that are rare.
  • More IPv6 related features to make it easier for people familiar with IPv4 to learn IPv6.
  • Ability to edit dashboards using JSON or another similar language.
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Usability
Netgate (Rubicon Communications, LLC)
The interface is simple, has sane defaults, and is consistent throughout.
Read full review
SolarWinds
No answers on this topic
Alternatives Considered
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
SolarWinds
MS is meant for windows monitoring and up/down for mostly everything else. Moved away from MS System Center. Now we have better visibility and management can get reports. The other teams have added Linux to Solarwinds and also see improvements in monitoring. Whether you use snmp (v3), wmi or some other credentials to connect to you system, Solarwinds will more than likely be able to manage and monitor it.
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Return on Investment
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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SolarWinds
  • Reduced site visits and recurring issues by 25 to 35%
  • Enables proactive warning, thereby reducing downtime caused by unforeseen issues
  • Provides a central panel for monitoring the entire network at a glance
  • Allows for SLA management thereby increasing accountability by 50%
  • Reduced time to repair by 35% as techs are more informed of root cause
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ScreenShots