I found this Cisco solution (Cisco ASA 5505 Firewall Edition Bundle - security appliance) and I also want to know what is the diffrence between this and the one following;

Cisco ASA 5510 Appliance

Can someone recommend/explain me is that enough or too much, or do I need anything else with it etc.. ?



  • 2
    You haven't really given us anything to go by for determining what might suit your needs. The term "small business" is too vague and will mean different things to different people and/or places. The more details you can provide about your needs the better the answers are likely to be. – John Gardeniers Oct 18 '09 at 21:21

Both the Cisco ASA 5505 and 5510 share roughly the same basic set of features. The 5510, however, comes with additional tools and scalability, like : IPS (intrusion protection), antivirus, anti-spyware, or file-content inspection features, VPN SSL ...
For a feature-by-feature comparison, please take a look to Cisco Models Comparison

  • Side note: the 5505 does get IPS with the addition of an SSC-AIP card. – GregD Oct 19 '09 at 12:32

You might want to consider ipcop. It can run on very lightweight hardware and has a good reputation.


One solution that I've heard a lot about is "Untangle". You install it as an operating system, and it turns the machine into a glorified firewall and security device. I haven't had a chance to try it out myself yet, but it looks easy enough to set up.


  • We use Untangle and it's quite nice. Much easier to set up than a Cisco and the out of the box spam filtering is quite nice. – user17642 Oct 18 '09 at 20:17

I've been using ebox-platform for some time a it works ok for me.


yes as many have said, lots of free firewall options you can choose.

to add your confusion, i give you more options: http://virtualmachinez.blogspot.com/search/label/firewall

also, pfsense is another good alternatives.

i tried some of them, and imho, ipcop is the easiest and simplest. but it does not (yet) support multiple wan (load balancing/fail-over)


From the budget point of view, ASA 5505 is an affordable box that covers a lot of basic networking needs. It has an integrated 8 port 10/100 switch with maximum 3 VLANs by default.

If you go with ASA 5510 you'll need another managed switch to do VLANs, which about doubles the cost. Sure, you can connect an unmanaged switch to 5510 interfaces, but forget about VLANs then.

It should be relatively easy to upgrade ASA 5505 to more expensive models if you need the additional scalability and features. I have seen medium-size companies (500-1000 employees) use 5505 as firewall and VPN box. On the other hand, small businesses with heavy traffic, like SaaS companies, probably need at least a 5510. Personally, I think a good scaling plan is to start with a 5505 and upgrade it to 5520 (with gigabit ethernet interfaces), if ever necessary.


After evaluating many open-source firewalls (ipcop, pfsense, untangle, etc) it looks like my corporation will be using an ASA 5510 solution. The combination of having a good vpn connection client (Cisco's) along with actually supporting the features advertised has led us to this path.

I personally found that while many of those open source solutions say they will do many options, when it comes to using them in a business environment they lack some basic needed functionality. A good example was content filtering bundled with captive portal - content filtering worked fine but the captive portal would not support Active Directory integration.

I guess the best advice I can give is to stay away from Sonicwall :-)

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