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What are Sophos Firewall Alternatives and Competitors?

Sophos Group is a British security software and hardware company. Endpoint communication, encryption, network security, email security, mobile security, and unified threat management are all services provided by Sophos. Sophos specializes in offering security software to businesses with 100 to 5,000 seats.

The firm provides faultless protection and finds hidden dangers. It is capable of isolating an infected machine and gives extensive traffic insights, system status reports, and quick access to active firewall rules. Its deployment, management, maintenance, and cloud capabilities, on the other hand, are highly regarded, making it a popular choice among many enterprises. Support for AWS and Azure is provided. The Sophos XG series is a next-generation firewall that protects against unknown attacks by combining threat intelligence and intrusion prevention. To identify zero-day attacks, the Sophos XG Series threat intelligence employs deep learning. This allows the firewall to take automated actions, such as quarantining dangerous content to prevent it from propagating to other computers.

Sophos Firewall offers companies to rethink how they examine and respond to security threats on their networks. The next-generation firewall security system is solely intended to detect hidden network threats and automatically respond to breach events to prevent known and new attacks. The server security solution automatically detects troubled users, nameless and unwanted applications, cyber-attacks, dubious payloads, encrypted communications, and much more for the benefit of the enterprise.

Are you looking for alternatives to Sophos? It's important to what factors Sophos users took into account while making their purchase. Potential buyers assess competencies in categories such as evaluation and contracting, integration and deployment, service and support, and particular product capabilities when comparing alternative solutions. We'll look at and list the various firewalls in this detailed article to discover which one provides you with the best deal.

It can be stated that Sophos Firewall's top competitors are Zenarmor (Sensei), SonicWall, and Microsoft.

Sophos Firewall's other competitors can be listed as pfSense® software, Palo Alto Networks, Fortinet, Cisco Adaptive Security Appliance, Juniper Networks, WatchGuard Network Security, and Barracuda.

1. Zenarmor

Zenarmor®, formerly known as Sensei, is one of the competitors. Zenarmor's lightweight and strong appliance-free technology enables businesses to quickly build instant firewalls and protect environments as small as home networks or as large as multi-cloud deployments. The packet inspection core is robust enough to guard against encrypted attacks while simultaneously being lightweight and agile enough to work in contexts with limited resources.

Unlike basic packet filtering firewalls, Zenarmor from Sunny Valley Networks provides powerful, enterprise-class content filtering engine that detects and blocks advanced malware as well as highly sophisticated threats. It can be installed instantly on any platform with a network connection, thanks to its appliance-free, all-in-one, all-software, lightweight, and simple design. This technology provides state-of-the-art, next-generation features not yet accessible in open source firewalls such as OPNsense. If you're using an L4 firewall (all open source firewalls fall into this category) and want capabilities like Application Control, Network Analytics, and TLS Inspection, Zenarmor can help.

  • The product's underlying technology is a small but powerful packet inspection core that can perform a wide range of enterprise-grade network security operations.
  • Organizations can install instant firewalls on-demand and quickly protect settings as small as home networks or scale to multi-cloud deployments thanks to lightweight and powerful appliance-free technologies.
  • The packet inspection core is strong enough to guard against encrypted threats while simultaneously being lightweight and agile enough to fit in contexts with limited resources.
  • Deploy zero-latency security without having to backhaul data packets between POPs and data centers. The single-pass architecture used by Zenarmor processes packets just once, for all security measures.
  • All policies and network installations are under the control of cloud-based management.
  • When you configure a policy in the cloud or in the local OPNsense user interface, all of your local and cloud policies are instantaneously synced, so you don't have to worry about manually configuring the other side.
  • Cloud Central Management, Zenconsole, enables you to stream all of your reports to a single project-specific reporting instance. 256-bit AES encryption secures communication between your firewall and Cloud servers. 2048-bit RSA keys and Mutual TLS (mTLS) authentication are used to ensure communication between the firewall and Sunny Valley Networks Instances is secure and reliable.
  • Zenarmor provides Next Generation Firewall Features and currently available for:
    • OPNsense® (OPNsense 19.x - 22.x, fully integrated into the OPNsense WebUI)
    • FreeBSD®(FreeBSD 11,12,13)
    • pfSense® software (pfSense 2.5.x, pfSense 2.6.x)
    • Ubuntu Linux (Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, 20.04 LTS, 21.04)
    • Debian Linux (Debian 10, 11)
    • Alma Linux (AlmaLinux 1)
    • Centos Linux (Centos 7, 8)
  • Depending on your demands and budget, Zenarmor provides a Free Edition and three premium membership plans: The Free Edition is completely free.

The following premium memberships provide you access to a full suite of next-generation firewall features:

  • Business Edition
  • SOHO Edition
  • Home Edition

2. SonicWall

SonicWall is a cybersecurity firm based in the United States that serves a range of Internet appliances aimed primarily at content restriction and network security protection. Devices that provide network firewalls, unified threat management (UTM), virtual private networks (VPNs), and anti-spam for email are among them. In addition to its products, the firm sells information subscriptions. Sonicwall Network Security Manager is a software tool that allows IT managers to control all firewalls, associated switches, and access points from a single location. Sonicwall Network Security Manager can be used in a cloud, SaaS, or web-based environment. Features of Sonicwall Network Security Manager can be listed as Access Management, Content Filtering, IP Filtering, Intrusion Detection System(IDS), Intrusion Prevention System(IPS), Network Monitoring, Policy Management, and Reporting/Analytics.

When comparing SonicWall to Sophos; The majority of the UTM's operations are handled by a single device, saving time and money by eliminating the hassle of installing many devices with SonicWall. Although the equipment is not cheap, its administrative and functional benefits, as well as the fact that it allows conducting internal tasks safely, make it worthwhile.

3. Microsoft

Windows Firewall is a Microsoft Windows firewall component that was previously known as Windows Defender Firewall in Windows 10. One of the biggest advantages of Microsoft Defender Antivirus is that it comes pre-installed with Windows. There's no need to install it, no hassles, and there's very little chance it'll interfere with anything else: it just works.

Microsoft Defender lacks features and can't quite match the industry leaders in terms of security, but it's simple to use and does a good job of keeping you safe in the middle. For example, there's on-demand and real-time malware prevention. Malicious URLs and files are automatically detected and blocked. A straightforward firewall. And there's some advanced low-level exploit protection that makes it much more difficult for malware to infiltrate your system.

Microsoft's parental controls are also smarter than they used to be, with features like content filtering for Microsoft Edge, the option to set limits on how much time your children can spend on their devices, and the ability to monitor all of your family's devices from one location.

To help you deal with your organization's network security concerns, Windows Defender Firewall includes the following features:

  • Assists in the prevention of cyber attacks.
  • The Windows Defender Firewall reduces the attack surface of a device, giving another layer to a defense-in-depth strategy.
  • Safeguards sensitive data and intellectual property.
  • The integration of Windows Defender Firewall with IPsec makes enforcing allowed, end-to-end network connections a breeze.
  • Enhances the value of existing assets.
  • Because Windows Defender Firewall is a host-based firewall that comes with the operating system, there is no need for additional hardware or software.

4. pfSense® Software

The pfSense® software project is a free network firewall distribution based on FreeBSD with a modified core and third-party free software packages for added capabilities. With the aid of the package system, the pfSense® software may deliver the same capability (or more) than commercial firewalls without any artificial constraints. Check Point, Cisco PIX, Cisco ASA, Juniper, Sonicwall, Netgear, Watchguard, Astaro, and other major commercial firewalls have all been successfully replaced in numerous installations.

The pfSense® software comes with a web interface for configuring all of the components. Users who are familiar with commercial firewalls will find the web interface simple, while there may be a period of adjustment for those who are not.

Unlike most commercial firewalls, the pfSense project is only concerned with the software side of the firewall. You may customize the hardware you pick to match the unique requirements of your environment. When it comes to hardware, you may buy a Security Gateway Appliance or you can create your solution.

pfSense® software is used by organizations all over the globe to deliver dependable, full-featured firewall security in the cloud.

The following are some of the most commonly used areas:

  • LAN/WAN Router
  • Wi-Fi hotspot or captive portal
  • VPN Router
  • Firewall
  • DHCP / DNS Server
  • Transparent Squid Proxy Server
  • Multi-WAN Router or Load Balancer
  • Port Forwarding / Network Address Translation (NAT)

There are many other reasons why you should utilize it, as well. The pfSense® software is adaptable, free, and open source. Software is simple to use and quite powerful. The pfSense® software has a lot of support.

5. Palo Alto Networks

Palo Alto Networks provides a cybersecurity platform for businesses that includes network security, cloud security, endpoint security, and other cloud-based security services. It's easy to set up and use, and it's a security solution that comes with a lot of fine customization choices for all circumstances. This has saved you from significant data loss on several occasions by acting in real-time and notifying you during the threat's longevity. Small and big enterprises, as well as branch offices and retail locations, may use the Palo Alto Series next-generation firewall to keep their apps secure while also defending them from new cyber threats and securing their largest data centers.

By sharing threat intelligence across the ecosystem, Palo Alto Networks keeps information for the firewall up to date.

Palo Alto's PA-series Next-Generation firewalls improve reaction times by automating policy-based activities, and you may automate processes by integrating with administrative tools like ticketing systems or any RESTful API-enabled system. Security for all users, regardless of location, safely encrypted traffic, detection and prevention of cyber threats, and WildFire, which discovers unknown dangers using data from a worldwide community and instantly blocks them, are all features of Palo Alto Networks Firewalls. The Palo Alto firewalls also provide URL filtering tools that allow users to be detected and banned from visiting known phishing sites, as well as prevent users from giving corporate credentials to unfamiliar sites.

The company's offerings include physical appliances, virtualized solutions, and 5G-ready firewalls. Their firewall systems all have a Single-Pass Architecture and provide comprehensive traffic inspection. Regardless of device type or location, the NGFW will comprehensively evaluate all apps, threats, and content to match traffic to a user.

6. Fortinet

Fortinet offers network security solutions that protect your network, users, and data from a variety of attacks. Security consolidation and end-to-end security architecture are possible with top-rated solutions and centralized management.

Fortinet NGFWs deliver sector enterprise protection for every edge at any size with complete visibility and threat prevention. By integrating security into their hybrid IT system and developing security-driven networks, businesses may achieve the following objectives: FortiGuard Services delivers constant real-time protection, security processing units provide an exceptional user experience, automated procedures, and operational efficiency, and FortiGuard Services provides end-to-end security that is ultra-fast.

Fortinet has released a new line of firewalls called FortiGate, which is designed to protect enterprises from all types of web-based network threats. They come in a broad variety of product types. Fortinet FortiGate systems are available in a range of sizes and form factors, and they're important components of the Fortinet Security Fabric, which provides real-time, intelligent protection against known and undiscovered threats across the entire network.

Fortinet next-generation firewall solutions from internal sections to data centers and cloud settings, FortiGate provides users with proven security and unsurpassed performance. You have total control over every element of the security of your network. Furthermore, you may manage all of your security measures from one location. This ensures that your network's security task will never be fulfilled.

7. Cisco Adaptive Security Appliance

Cisco's firewall known as the Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA) is a security appliance that adapts to the needs of the user. Cisco ASA can do basic firewall functions as well as VPN, antivirus, and a variety of additional functions. The following are some of ASA's features:

  • Packet filtering: Packet filtering is a basic procedure of filtering incoming or outgoing packets based on criteria established in the device's ACL.
  • Stateful filtering: If a packet is produced from a higher security level to a lower security level, ASA executes stateful tracking by default.
  • Static routing, default routing, and dynamic routing protocols such as EIGRP, OSPF, and RIP are all supported by ASA.
  • ASA is a transparent firewall that can work in two modes:
  • Routed mode: In this mode, the ASA functions as a layer 3 device (router hop), and its interface must have two separate IP addresses (i.e., two different subnets).
  • Transparent mode: In this mode, the ASA runs at layer 2 and only requires a single IP address for ASA control because both the inner and outside interfaces act as a bridge.
  • AAA support: ASA can handle AAA services either locally or through an external server such as ACS (Access Control Server).
  • VPN support: ASA supports SSL-based VPNs as well as policy-based VPNs such as point-to-point IPsec VPNs (site-to-site VPN and remote-access VPN).
  • ASA supports IPv6 (new versions) Static and dynamic IPv6 routing are supported.
  • VPN load balancing is a Cisco-only function of the Cisco ASA firewall. At the same time, numerous customers can be shared over different ASA units.
  • Failover with a state: The high availability of a pair of Cisco ASA devices is supported by ASA. If one of the ASA devices fails, the functions of the other ASA device will continue to work normally.
  • Clustering is the process of grouping similar items together. Multiple Cisco ASA devices can be configured as a single logical device using Cisco ASA. The cluster can have up to 8 cohesive pieces in it. This gives in a high throughput while also providing redundancy.
  • Advanced Malware Protection (AMP): Cisco ASA supports Next-Generation Firewall (NGFW) characteristics, which can provide enhanced malware protection in a single device by combining traditional firewall and NGFW features.
  • MPF (Modular Policy Framework): MPF is a tool for defining policies for various traffic flows. It allows ASA to take advantage of advanced firewall functionalities like QoS, Policing, prioritizing, etc.

8. Juniper Networks

Juniper Networks is a provider of professional high-availability network security solutions across the world. Their scalable VPN and firewall solutions offer a good price-performance ratio. Inline network protection from worms, Trojans, spyware, keyloggers, and other malware is provided by Juniper Networks intrusion detection and prevention solutions. They assure the continued availability of business-critical applications by precisely recognizing application traffic.

It detects and blocks both known and unknown network security threats, and it employs Juniper's SecIntel security information feed, as well as sandboxing and machine learning, to detect day-one threats. The following are some of Juniper's features:

  • ISG Series Integrated Security Gateways (for large enterprise, carrier, and data center networks)
  • SRX Series Services Gateways (networking and security services for business and service provider infrastructures and applications)
  • SSG Series Secure Services Gateways (For distant branches, regional offices, and small to big companies, Juniper Networks SSG Series Secure Services Gateways provide an optimal balance of performance and security with flexible LAN and WAN connectivity choices. The SSG Series offers a comprehensive range of Unified Threat Management solutions.)

9. WatchGuard Network Security

The WatchGuard XTM 1050 and XTM 2050 are two next-generation firewalls (NGFW) systems that provide fully expandable, enterprise-class security and protection. Both are intended for corporate offices, data centers, and security service providers who oversee security.

WatchGuard's next-generation devices provide true line-speed security inspection on all traffic as well as multi-gigabit packet filtering. Furthermore, this next-generation line provides businesses with unprecedented visibility into real-time and historical user, network, and security activities; connects offices via a unique drag-and-drop VPN; connects people via SSL and IPSec VPN; and provides businesses with unprecedented visibility into real-time and historical user, network, and security activities.

With WatchGuard technologies, businesses can develop, implement, and audit effective security and acceptable usage rules, resulting in increased employee productivity and reduced risk to critical intellectual property or customer data.

This all-in-one security solution combines LiveSecurity with IPS, Application Control, and other optional security services to save time and money by eliminating the need to manage multiple single-point security solutions. The WatchGuard Firewall Features:

  • Identification Technologies
  • Visualization Tools
  • Content Inspection
  • Policy-based Controls
  • Active Directory and LDAP
  • Firewall Management Console
  • Reporting and Logging
  • VPN
  • High Availability
  • Stateful Inspection
  • Proxy Server

The most common users of WatchGuard Network Security are Small Businesses (1-50 employees) and the Information Technology & Services industry.

10. Barracuda

Barracuda firewalls defend your digital assets against intrusions, malware, denial-of-service(DoS) attacks, and advanced persistent threats, as well as enforcing network access restrictions and regulating web traffic with integrated application awareness. You'll also benefit from having granular control over every person, application, and URL viewed in your company.

Barracuda cloud generation firewalls are built for the cloud age, outsourcing resource-intensive operations like virus and spyware scanning, content filtering, and reporting to the cloud to ensure network performance are not damaged. The Web Security Service, which is hosted in the cloud, delivers real-time updates to guarantee that you are always protected against the newest threats. A cloud-based interface makes it simple to administer the entire system.

Meanwhile, the on-premises appliance manages bandwidth-intensive operations such as packet forwarding and routing, application control, Intrusion Prevention (IPS), DNS/DHCP services, and VPN connection for safe access to your network resources - from anywhere, at any time.

Barracuda is one of the leading providers of firewall security solutions, with on-premise and cloud options. Web, mobile, and API applications are protected by Barracuda WAF from web threats and application-layer Denial of Service (DoS) attacks. Barracuda CloudGen firewalls secure and enhances your infrastructure by combining physical, virtual, and cloud-based firewalls. The Barracuda Firewall (for SMBs) and the Barracuda CloudGen Firewall are two cloud-generation firewalls offered by Barracuda (for distributed enterprises). The Barracuda CloudGen Firewall F-Series provides complete protection for the next generation. Barracuda NextGen Firewall for Microsoft Azure has the following features:

  • Security and policy management at the granular level
  • User awareness and complete visibility of the application
  • IPS, URL filtering, antivirus, and Advanced Threat Protection are some of the features available
  • Exceptional traffic visibility tools
  • Supplied with a high level of availability

What Should Be Considered While Choosing Sophos Alternatives?

Different firewall options serve different functions, and we've put up a list to help you figure out which one is best for your business or startup. It's crucial to know what aspects Sophos customers considered before making their decision. When evaluating various options, potential buyers evaluate competence in categories such as evaluation and contracting, integration and deployment, service and support, and specific product capabilities. As an alternative to Sophos, you can use the shared firewalls listed below.

What are the Best Sophos Firewall Alternatives for Enterprises?

Here are the best alternatives to the Sophos Firewall for Enterprise use.

  • Zenarmor
  • Palo Alto's PA-series Next-Generation firewalls
  • Fortinet NGFW
  • Cisco's firewall known as the Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA)

What are the Best Sophos Firewall Alternatives for Small Businesses?

Here are the best alternatives to the Sophos Firewall for Small Businesses.

  • Zenarmor: Best cloud-based instant firewall
  • WatchGuard: Fastest unified threat management (UTM) option
  • Sonic Wall: Cheaper than Sophos
  • pfSense software: One of the best open-source alternatives