Top 8 Firewalls Reviewed by Users – Q1 2017

IT Central Station’s crowdsourced user review platform helps technology decision makers around the world to better connect with peers and other independent experts who provide advice without vendor bias.

Our users have ranked their solutions according to their valuable features, and have also discussed where they see room for improvement. You can read user reviews for the top 8 firewalls here, to help you decide which solution is best for you.

Users compare and give feedback on the firewalls that they’ve used — based on product reviews, ratings, and comparisons.

firewall reviews

#1 Fortinet FortiGate

Fortinet FortiGate is ranked by our users as the number one solution of the end of Q1 2017, but what do users really think of the solution?

Simon Chaba writes that, “You can create multiple virtual domains (VDOMs) which are treated as separate firewall instances. The reporting you get out of this appliance is excellent and you don’t need an external management system.”

Fabrizio Volpe shares that “the main complaint I have heard is about the technical support. My personal experience is the same of many people that are not happy with this aspect of the service offered by Fortinet.

Often, your problem is diverted to local partners and I have to say that I had mixed results with them. While some partners are professional, many are not skilled enough and have costs that are not equivalent to their quality.”

#2 Cisco ASA

IT Central Station users rank Cisco ASA as the number two solution of the end of Q1 2017.

Eric Garcia describes that he “especially values Change Management and Compliance. They are most valuable because we are required to comply with regulations regarding credit card processing (PCI) and protecting patient data (HIPAA).”

Alberto E. Luna Rodriguez explains that the “Only problem, in my opinion, is ease of use. You really need to know your way around the CLI and complex feature set to get things working. The ASDM GUI is good for some things but for the most part, you’ll need to stick to the CLI which is a bit difficult especially if you don’t have a lot of experience around Cisco equipment.”

#3 pfSense

pfSense is ranked by our users as the number three solution of the end of Q1 2017.

Dania Seun lists several valuable features:

  • Fail-over of between multiple ISPs
  • Firewall
  • Graphs
  • Real-time interface monitoring
  • The web UI gives you an overview of everything you want to see
  • For an open-source solution, it has performed fantastically
  • OSPF
  • It contains loads of optional packages e.g Snort (IDS), asterix (PBX), network monitors etc.

Seun also writes that “The load balancing can be improved as it uses tier levels to balance. For it to function most effectively, you often need to have the same bandwidth on the ISPs.”

#4 Sophos UTM

IT Central Station users rank Sophos UTM as the number four solution of the end of Q1 2017.

Juan C. Sanchez Pignalosa explains that “the web filter and the ATP (Advanced Threat Protection) are great and easy to manage, and the integrated WAF (Web Application Firewall) allows the administrator to seamlessly protect HTTP/S services without having to pay thousands of dollars. The just introduced Sandstorm system for protection, which is awesome as well.”

Pignalosa adds that “Sophos UTM has many improvements that I would suggest, but the main one is for the Application Control to be managed with users as well, and with timeframes (schedules) for the administrator to allow certain apps outside a specific timeframe, or vice versa.”

#5 Palo Alto Networks Wildfire

Palo Alto Networks Wildfire is ranked by our users as the number five solution of the end of Q1 2017.

Jesus Guadalupe Torres Araujo describes that “It has one of the best WebUIs that I have used, because at a glance looks simple, but offers us a lot of options to secure all the traffic that is passing through the device (or all traffic that the user decides to pass through).”

At the same time, he’d “like to see a wizard to create IPSec VPNs. They need to  improve the graphics to show the network behavior.”

#6 Sophos Cyberoam UTM

IT Central Station users rank Sophos Cyberoam UTM as the number six solution of the end of Q1 2017.

Anthony Fernandes writes that the “Most valuable feature I am using I would say is the bandwidth management for users. I have users who misuse the net and I have given them caps so it is properly utilized.

Another feature I use is the VPN. I have an entity that requires 24x7x365 connectivity and the Cyberoam is very simple when it comes to monitoring that or refreshing that connection.”

Fernandes then shares that “Not many things would need to be added but I strongly feel it could be made more robust. For example, the cooling system in the device could do with a good revamp. There are times when the device gets too hot and begins to misbehave.”

#7 WatchGuard XTM

WatchGuard XTM is ranked by our users as the number seven solution of the end of Q1 2017.

Somono Chek finds that “The proxy-based policy in Policy Manager is the best feature.

It helps me:

  • Create many different firewall policies for different networks and services
  • In tracking problems in the policy rule in the traffic monitor of Firebox System Manager.”

For areas that need improvement, Chek writes:

  • It is difficult to configure WatchGuard with your internet settings.
  • I would like to see more granularity on each IP bandwidth that is used
  • It cannot block Internet Download Manager nor the Torrent application “BitComet”.
#8 Dell SonicWALL TZ

IT Central Station users rank Dell SonicWALL TZ as the number eight solution of the end of Q1 2017.

Aaron Krytus lists several valuable features:

  • Easy to use GUI
  • VPN (Site-to-Site and Client-to-Site)
  • Gateway Security
  • Built in A/V options
  • Content Filtering

Krytus then adds that he “would love to see more detailed logs and filtering. Wireless versions have weak signal strength in comparison to other wireless routers.”

Read more firewall reviews by real users at IT Central Station.