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Cisco ASA Firewall vs WatchGuard Firebox comparison

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Featured Review
Find out what your peers are saying about Cisco ASA Firewall vs. WatchGuard Firebox and other solutions. Updated: March 2020.
563,327 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Quotes From Members
We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use.
Here are some excerpts of what they said:
Pros
"It's got the capabilities of amassing a lot of throughput with remote access and VPNs.""The most valuable feature that Cisco Firepower NGFW provides for us is the Intrusion policy.""Feature-wise, we mostly use IPS because it is a security requirement to protect against attacks from outside and inside. This is where IPS helps us out a bunch.""We get the Security Intelligence Feeds refreshed every hour from Talos, which from my understanding is that they're the largest intelligence Security Intelligence Group outside of the government.""I have integrated it for incidence response. If there is a security event, the Cisco firewall will automatically block the traffic, which is valuable.""I have access to the web version of Cisco Talos to see the reputation of IP addresses. I find this very helpful. It provides important information for my company to obtain the reputation of IP addresses. The information in Talos is quite complete.""The most important features are the intrusion prevention engine and the application visibility and control. The Snort feature in Firepower is also valuable.""The most valuable feature is stability."

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"The user interface is easy to navigate.""Simple to deploy, stable.""I think Cisco ASA Firewall is the most stable firewall solution.""The features that are most valuable within the firewall are the IPS as well as the Unified Communications. We also really like the dynamic grouping.""It's very stable and mature.""Cisco ASA provides us with very good application visibility and control.""I have found the most valuable feature to be the access control and IPsec VPN.""On the network side, where you create your rules for allowing traffic — what can come inside and what can go out — that works perfectly, if you know what you want to achieve. It protects you."

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"As a whole, it has a very low requirement for ongoing interaction. It's very self-sufficient. If properly patched, it has very high reliability. The total cost of ownership once deployed is very low.""WatchGuard has a very easy VPN and branch office VPN setup, so we use those pretty extensively.""The features that I have found most valuable are the FireWall features. The management side of WatchGuard is quite easy because it supports two ways to manage it - by the web and the other one they call WatchGuard systems manager. I used to be familiar with WSM only, but they improved their GUI in the web browser and now it is much easier to do it within the web browser.""Policy VPN, site-to-site VPN, traffic monitoring, anti-spam filters, and all other advanced features are valuable.""The set up of the VPN is pretty straightforward. Being able to build VPNs on the fly for certain users, if need be, is also valuable.""The policy monitoring and allowing different traffic flows are the most useful features for us; regulating which traffic comes in and out.""All of the features have been valuable. There's nothing on my M270 that I'm not using. If you have remote access, you can see how many users are coming from the outside world to be connected to the systems, through the virus systems that we have behind the firewall, in order to gain access to their files and do their work. We can also see how long they stay online and whether these connections are closed forcefully or for any other reasons, such as a glitch or some kind of misbehavior, to see if internet traffic is optimized and if that particular traffic is under company policies, concerning which websites were visited.""I like that this product has very few issues."

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Cons
"Web filtering needs improvement because sometimes the URL is miscategorized.""My team tells me that other solutions such as Fortinet and Palo Alto are easier to implement.""One issue with Firepower Management Center is deployment time. It takes seven to 10 minutes and that's a long time for deployment. In that amount of time, management or someone else can ask me to change something or to provide permissions, but during that time, doing so is not possible. It's a drawback with Cisco. Other vendors, like Palo Alto or Fortinet do not have this deployment time issue.""The intelligence has room for improvement. There are some hackers that we haven't seen before and its ability to detect those types of attacks needs to be improved.""We cannot have virtual domains, which we can create with FortiGate. This is something they should add in the future. Additionally, there is a connection limit and the FMC could improve.""They need a VTI. I know it's going to be available in the next software version, which is the 6.7 version. However, the problem with that is that the 6.7 is going to deprecate all the older IKEv1 deployment tunnels. Therefore, the problem is that we have a lot of customers which are using older encryptions. If I do that, update it, it's not going to work for me.""An area of improvement for this solution is the console visualization.""Report generation is an area that should be improved."

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"Some individuals find the setup and configuration challenging.""Security generally requires integration with many devices, and the management side of that process could be enhanced somewhat. It would help if there was a clear view of the integrations and what the easiest way to do them is.""They need to do an overhaul of the management console.""It lacks management. For me, it still doesn't have a proper management tool or GUI for configuration, logging, and visualization. Its management is not that easy. It is also not very flexible and easy to configure. They used to have a product called CSM, but it is no longer being developed. FortiGate is better than this solution in terms of GUI, flexibility, and user-friendliness.""They should improve their interface.""In the future, I would like to be able to use an IP phone over a VPN connection.""I have used Fortinet, Palo Alto, and Check Point previously and I prefer the process of everything working together.""The user interface isn't as good as it could be. They should work to improve it. It would make it easier for customer management if it was easier to use."

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"Its documentation could be improved. Sometimes, you need to search a bit longer to find what you are looking for.""The way Secure Sign-On authentication is happening needs to be improved. When the Secure Sign-On portal is turned on, anybody who comes into the campus, whether he or she is a staff member or a guest, has to go past the initial portal. One of the shortcomings is the username. It shouldn't allow permutations or combinations with upper or lower cases. For example, when there is a username abc, it shouldn't allow ABC or Abc. It should not allow the same username, but currently, two separate people can go in. Therefore, its authentication or validation should be improved, and the case sensitiveness should be picked up. If I have restricted someone to two devices, they shouldn't be able to use different combinations of the same username and get into the third or fourth device. It shouldn't allow different combinations of alphabets to be used to log in.""There's always room for improvement, especially if the threats are getting more sophisticated and the IT department cannot sufficiently meet this kind of sophistication with their own knowledge and experience. Knowing that this solution can get up to the level of addressing a lot of these threats is something that everybody wishes for. If we look at the dark web and the lawful web, they are two opposites, and if these two good and bad collide in the world of the internet, you want the best possible product—especially if you cannot get to that point of knowledge. I am just an individual and end user, with limited knowledge of usage. That's why I say there's always room for improvement, from their side and also from mine, because by knowing exactly what they can achieve and the knowledge that they can get on an everyday basis, and the portion that is understandable to me, it's an improvement for them as well.""I would like to see the devices made more flexible by adding modules to increase the ports that we can use.""The few issues that we have had, such as not knowing where to go, they have been answered quickly.""I would like to have a little more control over access points and the ability to see the bandwidth that is passing through a specific access point. We are not able to see that. We can see what traffic is passing through the Firebox itself, but we can't identify if it is coming from a particular access point or not.""This is a great product and offers great protection but they don't hear the customers' needs. They don't make improvements as per the customers' requests.""The solution is lacking a professional website, they should be updated more often."

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Pricing and Cost Advice
  • "Cisco pricing is premium. However, they gave us a 50 to 60 percent discount."
  • "There are additional implementation and validation costs."
  • "Cisco, as we all know, is expensive, but for the money you are paying, you know that you are also getting top-notch documentation as well as support if needed."
  • "This product requires licenses for advanced features including Snort, IPS, and malware detection."
  • "This product is expensive."
  • "For me, personally, as an individual, Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall is expensive."
  • "The price of Firepower is not bad compared to other products."
  • "The solution was chosen because of its price compared to other similar solutions."
  • More Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "In terms of costs, other solutions are more expensive than Cisco. Palo Alto is more expensive than Cisco."
  • "There is room for improvement in the pricing when compared to the market. Although, when you compare the benefits of support from Cisco, you can adjust the value and it becomes comparable, because you usually need very good support. So you gain value there with this device."
  • "When it comes to Cisco, the price of everything is higher. Cisco firewalls are expensive, but we get support from Cisco, and that support is very active."
  • "Cisco is expensive, but you do get benefits for the price."
  • "It's a brilliant firewall, and the fact that it comes with a perpetual license really does go far in terms of helping the organization in not having to deal with those costs on an annual basis. That is a pain point when it comes to services like the ones we have on Fortigate. That's where we really give Cisco firewalls the thumbs up."
  • "The licensing is a bit off because the physical firewall is cheaper than the virtual one. We only have the physical ones as they are cheaper than the virtual ones. We only use the physical firewalls because of the price difference."
  • "Always consider what you might need to reduce your wasted time and invest it in other solutions."
  • "Cisco is considered to be an expensive solution."
  • More Cisco ASA Firewall Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "We don't have any other costs other than the licensing stuff."
  • "I usually tell people that it's really affordable as well, particularly compared to Cisco."
  • "The pricing of WatchGuard is probably a little higher than the SonicWall, but it makes up for it in dependability. It's worth it to me, especially since it's not much higher. For just a little bit higher price you get the dependability of the firewall with the WatchGuard brand."
  • "The pricing was in line with everyone else; maybe slightly higher."
  • "I think the larger firewall packages are much better because a normal firewall is not enough for these times. You need IPS, APT, and all the security features of a firewall that you can buy."
  • "WatchGuard had a very competitive price. It was only 10 to 20 percent more than a single instance device but with that extra cost it provided a second load balancing device... unlike other brands whose method of hardware and software licensing would have doubled our cost."
  • "They license it. When we buy it, we buy it with a three-year license. That's the most cost-effective way to do it. So, if you're going to buy it, then buy it with the three-year licensing."
  • "I spent $600 or $800 on this product and I'm paying a couple of hundred dollars a year in a subscription service to keep the lights on, on it... It works out to $100 or $200 a year if you buy several years at once. It's fair."
  • More WatchGuard Firebox Pricing and Cost Advice →

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    Questions from the Community
    Top Answer: 
    When you compare these firewalls you can identify them with different features, advantages, practices and… more »
    Top Answer: 
    The Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall is a very powerful and very complex piece of anti-viral software. When one considers… more »
    Top Answer: 
    It is easy to integrate Cisco ASA with other Cisco products and also other NAC solutions. When you understand the Cisco… more »
    Top Answer: 
    One of our favorite things about Fortinet Fortigate is that you can deploy on the cloud or on premises. Fortinet… more »
    Top Answer: 
    Cisco Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA) software is the operating software for the Cisco ASA suite. It supports… more »
    Top Answer: 
    When looking to change our ASA Firewall, we looked into Palo Alto’s WildFire. It works especially in preventing advanced… more »
    Top Answer: 
    We are providing our services to all WatchGuard customers in the region. 
    Top Answer: 
    We just use it as a secondary WiFi device. We're a small office and we needed to set up a WiFi device for a few of our… more »
    Top Answer: 
    We're a hospital and we use it for developing our incoming and outgoing policies, and we also use it for VPN.
    Comparisons
    Also Known As
    Cisco Firepower NGFW, Cisco Firepower Next-Generation Firewall, FirePOWER, Cisco NGFWv
    Cisco Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA) Firewall, Cisco ASA NGFW, Cisco ASA, Adaptive Security Appliance, ASA, Cisco Sourcefire Firewalls, Cisco ASAv
    Learn More
    Overview

    Cisco NGFW firewalls deliver advanced threat defense capabilities to meet diverse needs, from
    small/branch offices to high performance data centers and service providers. Available in a wide
    range of models, Cisco NGFW can be deployed as a physical or virtual appliance. Advanced threat
    defense capabilities include Next-generation IPS (NGIPS), Security Intelligence (SI), Advanced
    Malware Protection (AMP), URL filtering, Application Visibility and Control (AVC), and flexible VPN
    features. Inspect encrypted traffic and enjoy automated risk ranking and impact flags to reduce event
    volume so you can quickly prioritize threats. Cisco NGFW firewalls are also available with clustering
    for increased performance, high availability configurations, and more.
    Cisco Firepower NGFWv is the virtualized version of Cisco's Firepower NGFW firewall. Widely
    deployed in leading private and public clouds, Cisco NGFWv automatically scales up/down to meet
    the needs of dynamic cloud environments and high availability provides resilience. Also, Cisco NGFWv
    can deliver micro-segmentation to protect east-west network traffic.
    Cisco firewalls provide consistent security policies, enforcement, and protection across all your
    environments. Unified management for Cisco ASA and FTD/NGFW physical and virtual firewalls is
    delivered by Cisco Defense Orchestrator (CDO), with cloud logging also available. And with Cisco
    SecureX included with every Cisco firewall, you gain a cloud-native platform experience that enables
    greater simplicity, visibility, and efficiency.
    Learn more about Cisco’s firewall solutions, including virtual appliances for public and private cloud.

    Cisco ASA firewalls deliver enterprise-class firewall functionality with highly scalable and flexible VPN capabilities to meet diverse needs, from small/branch offices to high performance data centers and service providers. Available in a wide range of models, Cisco ASA can be deployed as a physical or virtual appliance. Flexible VPN capabilities include support for remote access, site-to-site, and clientless VPN. Also, select appliances support clustering for increased performance, VPN load balancing to optimize available resources, advanced high availability configurations, and more.

    Cisco ASAv is the virtualized version of the Cisco ASA firewall. Widely deployed in leading private and public clouds, Cisco ASAv is ideal for remote worker and multi-tenant environments. The solution scales up/down to meet performance requirements and high availability provides resilience. Also, Cisco ASAv can deliver micro-segmentation to protect east-west network traffic.

    Cisco firewalls provide consistent security policies, enforcement, and protection across all your environments. Unified management for Cisco ASA and FTD/NGFW physical and virtual firewalls is delivered by Cisco Defense Orchestrator (CDO), with cloud logging also available. And with Cisco SecureX included with every Cisco firewall, you gain a cloud-native platform experience that enables greater simplicity, visibility, and efficiency.

    Learn more about Cisco’s firewall solutions, including virtual appliances for public and private cloud.

    WatchGuard's approach to network security focuses on bringing best-in-class, enterprise-grade security to any organization, regardless of size or technical expertise. Ideal for SMBs and distributed enterprise organizations, our award-winning Unified Threat Management (UTM) appliances are designed from the ground up to focus on ease of deployment, use, and ongoing management, in addition to providing the strongest security possible.

    Offer
    Learn more about Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall
    Learn more about Cisco ASA Firewall
    Learn more about WatchGuard Firebox
    Sample Customers
    Rackspace, The French Laundry, Downer Group, Lewisville School District, Shawnee Mission School District, Lower Austria Firefighters Administration, Oxford Hospital, SugarCreek, Westfield
    There are more than one million Adaptive Security Appliances deployed globally. Top customers include First American Financial Corp., Genzyme, Frankfurt Airport, Hansgrohe SE, Rio Olympics, The French Laundry, Rackspace, and City of Tomorrow.
    Ellips, Diecutstickers.com, Clarke Energy, NCR, Wrest Park, Homeslice Pizza, Fortessa Tableware Solutions, The Phoenix Residence
    Top Industries
    REVIEWERS
    Comms Service Provider22%
    Financial Services Firm16%
    Manufacturing Company8%
    Non Profit8%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Comms Service Provider33%
    Computer Software Company21%
    Government7%
    Manufacturing Company4%
    REVIEWERS
    Financial Services Firm17%
    Comms Service Provider13%
    Manufacturing Company10%
    Computer Software Company7%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Comms Service Provider35%
    Computer Software Company21%
    Government5%
    Educational Organization4%
    REVIEWERS
    Manufacturing Company17%
    Construction Company14%
    Healthcare Company9%
    Retailer6%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Comms Service Provider35%
    Computer Software Company17%
    Government6%
    Wholesaler/Distributor4%
    Company Size
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business43%
    Midsize Enterprise28%
    Large Enterprise29%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business21%
    Midsize Enterprise13%
    Large Enterprise66%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business35%
    Midsize Enterprise26%
    Large Enterprise39%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business28%
    Midsize Enterprise16%
    Large Enterprise57%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business66%
    Midsize Enterprise23%
    Large Enterprise11%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business85%
    Midsize Enterprise3%
    Large Enterprise13%
    Find out what your peers are saying about Cisco ASA Firewall vs. WatchGuard Firebox and other solutions. Updated: March 2020.
    563,327 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    Cisco ASA Firewall is ranked 6th in Firewalls with 62 reviews while WatchGuard Firebox is ranked 3rd in Unified Threat Management (UTM) with 27 reviews. Cisco ASA Firewall is rated 8.0, while WatchGuard Firebox is rated 8.6. The top reviewer of Cisco ASA Firewall writes "Robust solution that integrates well with both Cisco products and products from other vendors". On the other hand, the top reviewer of WatchGuard Firebox writes "Competent, basic front-end; the ports that I have assigned appear to be unattainable to outsiders". Cisco ASA Firewall is most compared with Fortinet FortiGate, Palo Alto Networks WildFire, Meraki MX, Juniper SRX and SonicWall NSa, whereas WatchGuard Firebox is most compared with Fortinet FortiGate, Sophos XG, pfSense, SonicWall NSa and Azure Firewall. See our Cisco ASA Firewall vs. WatchGuard Firebox report.

    We monitor all Firewalls reviews to prevent fraudulent reviews and keep review quality high. We do not post reviews by company employees or direct competitors. We validate each review for authenticity via cross-reference with LinkedIn, and personal follow-up with the reviewer when necessary.