Software-Defined WAN Solutions

Top Rated Software-Defined WAN Products

These products won a Top Rated award for having excellent customer satisfaction ratings. The list is based purely on reviews; there is no paid placement, and analyst opinions do not influence the rankings. Read more about the Top Rated criteria.

Software-Defined WAN Solutions Overview

What is Software-Defined WAN?

Software-Defined WAN or SD-WAN connects enterprise networks, like branch offices and data centers, over a large geographical area.

Traditional WAN connects locations using dedicated MPLS circuits, but this is expensive and does not work well for cloud-based systems. SD-WAN works to deliver a secure and simplified WAN connection by using a combination of traditional circuits (like MPLS, broadband internet, and 4G/LTE) and software-based technology. It can be used to deliver basic WAN connectivity, or premium business services like VPN, WAN optimization, and application delivery control (ADC).

Companies looking to improve internet connectivity and security for multiple locations can benefit from SD-WAN. By using internet broadband connections and virtualization technology, companies can cut back on expensive dedicated circuits, allowing them to lower costs and improve security at the same time.

Software-Defined WAN Features & Capabilities:

  • WAN Optimization
  • Multi-Cloud Management
  • Centralized Orchestration
  • Zero-Touch Provisioning
  • Virtual Private Network (VPN)
  • WAN Optimization
  • Application Delivery Control
Traditional WAN used multiple routers and dedicated circuits to connect separate locations. Every location managed their own router, and information was backhauled through a central data center.

This worked for a time because all information was stored in the data center, but now most applications are hosted in the cloud, and sometimes multiple clouds. Backhauling this information through traditional WAN can cause performance issues and delays often referred to as latency. Latency issues are a main reason many companies are exploring SD-WAN.

WAN Optimization

Businesses should perform WAN optimization as part of an SD-WAN upgrade, especially if they are dealing with latency issues. Even with traditional WAN, optimization can increase app speeds using several methods:

  • Deduplication - deleting redundant or repeat information

  • Caching - storing information for faster access

  • Compression - shrinking files by removing non-essential information

By optimizing the WAN beforehand, companies can make the most of their SD-WAN upgrade.

Multicloud and Hybrid Cloud Management

Public clouds like Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services are popular these days because they are affordable, accessible and infinitely scalable. Multicloud refers to networks using multiple cloud-based products from more than one vendor, as long as they are all either public or private. Hybrid cloud refers to a mix of public and private clouds.

SD-WAN products improve connectivity and boost security in the multicloud by centralizing cloud management, making it easier. The right products can encrypt data across security points while providing firewalls and app-based security. SD-WAN can also use virtual private networks (VPNs to improve security).

Application Delivery Control (ADC)

Traditional WAN networks routed information through data centers using TCP/IP addresses and complex routing protocols. Software-defined WAN is a smarter system with app-level awareness, meaning that it prioritizes bandwidth for critical business applications while minimizing interference from non-essential and time-wasting apps. These networks can also improve app speeds by caching recent info for easy access.

Pricing Information

Due to the complexity of setting up an SD-WAN system, prices can only be determined by using the specific specs of each business. To get a clear idea of the price range, users should be able to provide the following information:
  • Number of locations (domestic and/or international)

  • Type of circuit (MPLS, broadband internet services, 4G/LTE)

  • Bandwidth available at each location

  • Firewalls in use (business’s equipment vs. vendor’s)

Management levels can be important when determining which vendor to use, and can also impact pricing. Unmanaged SD-WAN is purchased directly from a vendor and managed by the customer. Basic and premium SD-WAN systems are managed by vendors, carriers, or managed service providers (MSPs), but the management can add considerable costs ($60,000 or more).

Software-Defined WAN Products

(1-25 of 48) Sorted by Most Reviews

Cisco 4000 Series Integrated Services Routers (ISR 4000)
42 ratings
54 reviews
Top Rated
Cisco 4000 Series Integrated Services Routers (ISR 4000) provides a scalable, flexible foundation so you can quickly integrate leading IT initiatives like SD-WAN and edge compute, while meeting the explosive network performance need driven by cloud-based application adoption.
Fortinet FortiGate
107 ratings
48 reviews
Top Rated
FortiNet FortiGate is a firewall option with high integrability. It offers a variety of deployment options and next-gen firewall capabilities, including integration with IaaS cloud platforms and public cloud environments.
Cisco Meraki MX
59 ratings
46 reviews
Cisco Meraki MX Firewalls is a combined UTM and Software-Defined WAN solution. Meraki is managed via the cloud, and provides core firewall services, including site-to-site VPN, plus network monitoring.
Cisco SD-WAN
68 ratings
33 reviews
Top Rated
Cisco SD-WAN gives users the ability to manage connectivity across their WAN from a single dashboard that simplifies day to day monitoring and operations. Cisco SD-WAN can be cloud-managed or deployed on premise offering comprehensive routing, security and policy control, along with advanced analyti…
Cisco 1000 Series Aggregation Services Routers (ASR 1000)
31 ratings
16 reviews
The Cisco 1000 Series Aggregation Services Routers (ASR 1000) is a SD-WAN ready router.
Cisco 1000 Series Integrated Services Routers (ISR 1000)
5 ratings
14 reviews
Cisco 1000 Series Integrated Services Routers (ISR 1000) provides software-defined WAN and integrated security features.
Cisco Routers
214 ratings
10 reviews
Cisco routers support secure, reliable enterprise connections. These enterprise routers help users implement an intent-based, future-ready WAN that is constantly learning, adapting, and protecting. Deploy routers for the branch, cloud, co-location, or the data center with any type of connectivity, i…
Barracuda CloudGen Firewall (formerly NG Firewalls)
11 ratings
8 reviews
Barracuda CloudGen Firewalls provides a wide range of security and connectivity features, including web filtering, NAC and SSL VPN and other features for remote access, as well as protection as edge devices and IoT security.
Riverbed SteelHead
10 ratings
5 reviews
San Francisco based Riverbed Technology offers Steelhead, a WAN optimization solution, which includes the SteelHead CX/GX delivering optimization for Hybrid WANs, accelerating the performance of applications to improve productivity and reduce costs, and SteelHead SD combining SD-WAN and WAN Optimiza…
VMware SD-WAN, by VeloCloud
2 ratings
3 reviews
VMware SD-WAN by VeloCloud aims to deliver high-performance, reliable branch access to cloud services, private data centers, and SaaS-based enterprise applications. VMware acquired VeloCloud in 2018.
Aruba Software Defined WAN (SD-WAN)
9 ratings
2 reviews
HPE company Aruba Networks launched their Software Defined WAN (SD-WAN) product in 2018.
Palo Alto Networks CloudGenix SD-WAN
1 rating
2 reviews
CloudGenix SD-WAN, now from Palo Alto Networks (acquired April 2020) offers an Autonomous SD-WAN solution, designed to provide app-policies aligned to business intent, along with direct access to multi-cloud and dev-ops frameworks to deliver unparalleled productivity gains, and cost-savings compared…
Cisco Meraki SD-WAN
14 ratings
2 reviews
Cisco Meraki SD-WAN is a software-defined WAN offering transport independence, application optimization, intelligent path control, and secure connectivity.
Cisco Cloud Services Router 1000V Series (CSR 1000V)
6 ratings
2 reviews
Cisco Cloud Services Router 1000V Series (CSR 1000V) offers routing, security, and network management as cloud services with multitenancy. The series is infrastructure agnostic and programmable across the LAN, WAN, and in the cloud.
SD-WAN Concierge
0 ratings
1 review
Windstream offers SD-WAN Concierge, a software-defined WAN solution which includes security policy, proactive monitoring and optimization, centralized management of routing policy, and other application and access management and optimization features.
0 ratings
1 review
Bigleaf Networks in Beaverton offers their cloud-first SD-WAN, providing enterprise-grade Internet connectivity for business’ critical Cloud technologies.
Forcepoint NGFW
0 ratings
1 review
Forcepoint Next Generation Firewall (NGFW) promises seamless and central management, whether physical, virtual or in the cloud. Administrators can deploy, monitor and update thousands of firewalls, VPNs and IPSs in minutes, all from a single console. The vendor says that the product reduces network …
Citrix SD-WAN (formerly Netscaler SD-WAN)
11 ratings
1 review
Citrix SD-WAN (formerly Netscaler SD-WAN) is a software-defined WAN solution, featuring WAN optimization.
Oracle SD-WAN (Talari)
1 rating
1 review
The vendor states that Oracle SD-WAN was created to solve the ongoing IT challenges network managers face every day—from expensive, sluggish, inflexible WANs to difficulties deploying new office WAN links and accessing cloud services. With Oracle SD-WAN, enterprises can benefit from internet economi…
Nuage Networks Virtualized Services Platform (VSP)
Nuage Networks, a Nokia company, offers the Nuage Networks Virtualized Services Platform (VSP), which provides software-defined networking (SDN) and policy-based automation for cloud deployments. Designed for large enterprises and service providers, the vendor boasts supporting clouds of all sizes a…
StarBox Voice Optimized SD-WAN (formerly Cloud Connection Manager)
StarBox Voice Optimized SD-WAN from Star2Star Communications, a BlueStar company, utilizes a hybrid architecture that combines aspects of cloud-based and on-premise unified communication systems. The StarBox appliance manages the traffic flow between your Star2Star phone system and Internet connecti…
Ciena Blue Planet Intelligent Automation Portfolio
Blue Planet, now a Ciena company, offers an open intelligent automation portfolio, that aims to let service providers use deep knowledge about the network to power adaptive optimization of the network and services. It facilitates the evolution toward more efficient and modernized operations by bring…
Cisco ONE for WAN
Cisco ONE for WAN provides capabilities for deploying hybrid WANs, automating deployment, and improving application performance.
Allstream SD-WAN
Allstream SD-WAN provides centralized network and cloud management, device provisioning, automatic link switchover, and comprehensive network connection quality control.
CenturyLink SD-WAN Solutions
CenturyLink® SD-WAN with hybrid connectivity is a complete WAN solution supporting scalable networks across a range of connectivity types. They integrate disparate connectivity types into seamless hybrid software-defined WAN.Gain complete visibility through a centralized customer portal. Branches c…