Firewall Comparison

Firewall Comparison

pfsense vs untangled vs ubiquiti

pfSense vs Untangle vs Ubiquiti

pfSense, Untangle and Ubiquiti firewalls are among the most popular firewall used by SMEs and Enterprises. The table below should help understand the technical and commercial reasons why one solution may be chosen over the other.

Comparison Table

FeaturesNetgate / pfSenseUntangleUSG/USG-ProUDM/UDM ProEdgeRouter
Can Run on Your Own HardwareYesYesNoNoNo
Operating SystemFreeBSDLinuxEdgeOS / UniFi SDNUbiOs Linux / UniFi SDNEdgeOS / UNMS
Centralized Management
noYesYesYesYes
OpenVPNYesYesYes (very basic)Yes (very basic)Yes (via command line)
IPsecYesYes (paid)YesYesYes
L2TP VPNYesYes (paid)YesYesYes (via command line)
WireguardComing in 2.6Yes (paid)nonono
Policy RoutingYesYes (paid)Yes (via command line)NoYes (via command line)
IDS/IPSSuricata or SnortYesYesYesno
DNS FilteringpfblockerYesnonono
GeoIP FilteringpfblockerYesBeta FeatureBeta Featureno
Web Filter / SSL inspection
squidYes (paid)novery basic DPI / NO SSLno
QoS / Traffic Shapingadvancedadvancedbasic on or offbasic on or offYes (via command line)
WAN FailoverYesYes (paid)YesUDM ProYes
Multi WAN Load Balancing
YesYes (paid)Yes (basic)NoYes (via command line)
Active Directory Intergration
YesYes (paid)NoNoNo
Captive PortalYesYesYes via SDN ControllerYes via SDN ControllerNo
Let's Encrypt Certificates
YesNoNoNoNo
HA ProxyYesNoNoNoNo

Table based on the comparison published by: Lawrence Systems

Quick Review

VPN options (OpenVPN, IPSec and L2TP) are extensive in pfSense and Untangle but rather basic on the Ubiquiti USG, UDM and EdgeRouters. Ubiquiti have some known interoperability issue with VPN from other vendors. Untangle requires additional fees to enable some of the VPN options.

Policy routing is only truly available in pfSense and Untangle although it is possible to configure some level of policy routing on Ubiquiti USG and EdgeRouters via command line.

IDS/IPS is very advanced in pfSense and Untangle with slightly different way to fine-tune the configuration. Ubiquiti only have basic on/off switch with no way to granularly control how threats are dealt with in the background.

Filtering is where Untangle really shine. Web Filtering as well as DNS and GeoIP are easily configurable and manageable on Untangle compared to pfSense. These feature are almost completely absent in the Ubiquiti USG and Edge Routers.

WAN failover and Load balancing are extensive on both pfSense and Untangle but they are a paid feature with Untangle.

Conclusions

Overall, pfSense is the most complete solution in terms of features included even though it currently lack of a centralised management interface.
The Ubiquiti firewall offering is often appealing being well integrated within the Ubiquiti dashboard and it is often a solution of choice when only basic firewall functionalities are required. Untangle is often chosen when filtering is a key requirement for the design of a security solution.

Video review from Tom Lawrence on Firewall Feature Comparison and Recommendations

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