PfSense vs Cisco for up to 5000 or less users or even SMB

  • Does anyone have information as to what Cisco has that pfSense doesn't - feature wise and/or capability wise?  I am trying to provide case studies or even an educated response for prospective clients; under 100 users, under 1000 users, and even 5000 users, etc…

    I've already read the scaling of some users here, but it does NOT provide feature/capability differences.

    Even simple educated delta between the two would be helpful.

    Thank you.

  • Which Cisco devices are you comparing against?

  • Well that really depends on what features you need, and whether you're comparing a Cisco router or ASA.

    If you need a captive portal solution, Cisco won't work for you and pfSense will. If you need multi-WAN, you're out of luck with an ASA, but pfSense or a Cisco router will suit you fine. If you need Websense integration, only Cisco will work (though there are alternative content filtering solutions that will work with pfSense). If you need to NAT VPN traffic, Cisco will work and pfSense won't (though I'd never recommend NATing VPN traffic, if you have to connect two networks using the same IP address space you have to use NAT).

    Those are just a few examples. There are about a million different things you can do with pfSense and Cisco devices, some that pfSense can do and Cisco can't, some vice versa, and the vast majority that either can accommodate equally well. In most networks your only differentiator is going to be cost. On some networks only one or the other will be able to accommodate what you need, and there are just as many situations on each side. There are far too many variables and differences between networks and capabilities of the two to give you a definitive list.

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