ASA Firewall vs Router Zone based Firewall

jskfan used Ask the Experts™
ASA Firewall vs Router Zone based Firewall

I would like to know what is the difference between ASA firewall and Zone based firewall configured on the router.
I mean if I have a router that support zone based firewall, then I do not need to have ASA firewall ?

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Qlemo"Batchelor", Developer and EE Topic Advisor
Top Expert 2015

Those are just different concepts. You do not need two firewalls, no matter which one you prefer.


here is a good article about it

Thanks and Regards,
Pete LongTechnical Consultant
>>I mean if I have a router that support zone based firewall, then I do not need to have ASA firewall ?

Well yes, and no - When I hear this argument it's usually from a (I want to save some money perspective) and that's fine, I suppose, but compare the Sec-9 Code price on the Router to a cheap ASA, for SOHO sized businesses its more expensive to get an ISR with a security licence than you can buy a small ASA for.

Plus your ASA is built and designed to filter traffic statefully, from an IOS perspective that just something the it can do. I've deployed ZBF before and I've deployed ASA. If I want a firewall Ill deploy a firewall If I need to route, I'll deploy a router.

Your going to get better VPN throughput on an ASA that has hardware designed to do that job. And you will get security updates a LOT quicker in the ASA code train that the sec router one.

Anyway that's just my 0.02p, best of luck :)
Top Expert 2011
It depends on what is most important to you. As Pete has stated VPN performance and firewall duties will perform much better on an ASA, but if you need features such as GRE, DMVPN, Route Based VPN's (ASA has only recently begin supporting and is still limited), then a Cisco router is the way to go. Ideally, like Pete said. You'd want both. Allow the router to do it's duties and the firewall its duties, but depending on your priorities the router may actually be the way to go in some cases.


Thank you Guys!

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