A Cisco Umbrella web filter alternative that is simple to deploy

DNSFilter was founded as a direct Cisco Umbrella alternative(formerly known as OpenDNS).

We’ve grown quickly to become the leader in DNS security, with features that now rival Cisco. While other Cisco Umbrella alternatives often leave you with a less-sophisticated solution, DNSFilter doeswhat Cisco Umbrella web filtering can do and more.
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A Cisco Umbrella web filter alternative that is simple to deploy

When it comes to comparing Cisco Umbrella to DNSFilter, the biggest strength of DNSFilter is the simplicity of the tool. With DNSFilter, you can get up and running in minutes—even with more advanced features enabled—and implement a brand new policy in as few as 3 clicks.

Cisco Umbrella can be simple to set up if you stick to the basic features. But as soon as you want to apply IP filtering or SSL decryption, you can encounter errors that may take days to resolve. And policy implementation means going deep into the tool and making a minimum of 8 clicks just to change one policy setting. Not to mention, policy changes are not instant like they are with DNSFilter. In many cases, policy changes take up to 15 minutes to take hold.

The biggest advantage that Cisco Umbrella seems to have is that it integrates with the rest of its product suite, but this isn’t quite true. Because Cisco has such a large portfolio of products, only some of them integrate well with one another. In most cases, when you subscribe to a bundle of Cisco products, you’re getting five separate tools as opposed to the all-in-one solution they insist they have.

Finally, DNSFilter is AI-driven above all else. Our AI is unique and has the ability to scan sites in real-time with our interstitial page feature to keep end users protected from 0-day malicious threats. We catch 0-day threats an average of over 5 days before traditional threat feeds.
DNSFilter vs Cisco Umbrella

Cisco Challenges:
What do customers encounter?

When a customer signs up for Cisco Umbrella, they face a slew of challenges. The first, and the one we hear repeatedly from our customers and prospects, is the total lack of support for the product. When you have an issue with Cisco Umbrella, it can be nearly impossible to get a hold of someone. This leads to impacted Cisco customers without any DNS security for large chunks of time.

The Cisco UI/UX is not intuitive and takes a more technical individual to implement the setup. This means you might need senior technical resources to take on a deployment they don’t have time for, as opposed to passing it over to a more junior engineer. Not to mention, within the Cisco Umbrella UI it is difficult to find things and some things are in multiple places, making it even harder to maintain a sense of where things are and where you can update them.

Other common Cisco challenges customers endure are long contracts that lock you in, no investment or innovation on the product (the UI has not evolved very much since its OpenDNS days), and a slower anycast network.

Cisco Umbrella comparison

Cisco URL Filtering Vs. DNSFilter DNS Filtering

While there is a Cisco URL filtering option, it has its limitations. You can block URLs, but you cannot allow them. So if you have use cases where you’d like to allow certain pages of a website but block the rest, that leaves you with the unwieldy task of blocking every single page (sometimes hundreds or thousands) except the ones you want to access.In addition to URL filtering, Cisco Umbrella advertises IP filtering which is really just IP allowing. There is no way to block IPs through Cisco Umbrella. Since IPs can bypass the entire domain name system, it doesn’t make sense to allow IPs. The main benefit of IP filtering would be to block IPs, which Cisco Umbrella does not do.But URL filtering isn’t necessarily the best option for web security. DNSFilter does DNS filtering, which is a much simpler solution for the end user that requires less management overall.

Cisco Umbrella Roaming Clients Vs. DNSFilter Roaming Clients

Roaming Clients give you the ability to deploy DNS security to your endpoints, and it’s a useful tool if you’re interested in more granular reporting. Cisco Umbrella does not support every operating system when it comes to Roaming Clients, or “agents.” At DNSFilter, we support Windows, iOS, MacOS, and Android. Cisco Umbrella does not support Android devices.

Do the benefits of Cisco Web Security outweigh the negatives?

Roaming Clients give you the ability to deploy DNS security to your endpoints, and it’s a useful tool if you’re interested in more granular reporting. Cisco Umbrella does not support every operating system when it comes to Roaming Clients, or “agents.” At DNSFilter, we support Windows, iOS, MacOS, and Android. Cisco Umbrella does not support Android devices.

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Cisco Umbrella Vs. DNSFilter

Features
DNSFilter
Cisco Umbrella
Stable & Global Network
LAN Proxy/Virtual Appliance
Policy Change Update
INSTANT
UP TO 15 MIN
Desktop Roaming Clients
Mobile Roaming Clients
apple and android roaming clients
apple roaming clients
Imagery-based Anti-phishing
Whitelabeled for Resale
AI-based domain categorization
Bulk Block Lists

Cisco Umbrella Review Mentions

Hear from customers who ditched Cisco Umbrella for a better content filtering experience.

"Great Content Filtering / Easy to Use"

We switched from Cisco Umbrella to DNSFilter about 3 years ago, primarily to save some money.

We couldn't be happier with the switch. The speed is incredible, the interface is easy to use, it offers useful reporting and tools, and policy changes are implemented immediately instead of having to wait 15 minutes like with Umbrella.

"We've been incredibly happy with DNSFilter!"

...we switched from Cisco Umbrella to DNSFilter just before the 2019-20 school year and couldn't be happier. The initial setup only took 30 minutes or so, and that included creating a custom block page with our logo.

Filtering is set by categories, blacklists, and whitelists. In addition, there are options to block threats like cryptomining, malware, phishing, proxies, and others. You can also create different policies based on the source IP address. So, we could have the faculty and staff VLAN have one policy while the student VLANs have different policies. The pricing is also great in comparison to Cisco Umbrella.

“DNSFilter is a critical part of IT security defense in depth”

Don't need to overpay for Cisco Umbrella. DNSFilter is fast, well priced and has all the features you'll need. Very responsive support and dev departments to implement new ideas and tweak existing ones.