OpenDNS Competitor Alternatives for Web Filtering

If your business is currently using a Cisco Umbrella DNS filtering and Internet security package – formerly the enterprise version of OpenDNS – WebTitan Cloud is one of the best OpenDNS competitor alternatives for web filtering in terms of price, capabilities, customer support, and ease of use.

In 2015, Cisco Systems Inc. acquired OpenDNS for $635 million. The new owners retained the OpenDNS brand for personal and family DNS filters but redesigned the former OpenDNS Enterprise product into a series of packages – “Professional”, “Insights”, and “Platform” – each tier having an increasing number of capabilities to meet the different needs of different customers.

More recently, as Cisco evolved toward Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) solutions, the range of DNS filtering and Internet security packages was again renamed. Currently, the range consists of “DNS Essentials”, “DNS Advantage”, and “SIG Essentials”, with a fourth tier added – “SIG Advantages” – that includes even more advanced capabilities.

However, although the diversity of the packages is supposed to meet the different needs of different customers, the range doesn´t provide a suitable DNS filtering and Internet security solution for most businesses until the Secure Internet Gateway (SIG) options. The DNS Essentials package lacks SSL inspection – thus enabling encrypted threats to avoid detection – while the filtering options in the DNS Advantage package lack granularity.

As the SIG options are not cheap and may include many capabilities that a business may pay for but never use, many businesses are investigating OpenDNS competitor alternatives for web filtering – ideally those that do not include a premium for unnecessary or unusable capabilities. However, the hunt for Cisco OpenDNS competitor alternatives is complicated due to the fact that performing an accurate Cisco Umbrella price comparison is difficult.

Why Performing an Accurate Cisco Umbrella Price Comparison is Difficult

Like most software vendors, Cisco prices its DNS filtering and Internet security packages on a sliding scale depending on the number of users and the length of subscription. This alone would not make an accurate Cisco Umbrella price comparison difficult if it were not for the multiple unpriced add-ons (for example, technical support) which also vary in price according to the number of users and length of subscription.

Additionally, Cisco does not publish prices on its website. Instead, you either have to contact the company for a quote (which is not as straightforward as it appears) or find a reseller who has published prices on the Internet and who is willing to discuss Cisco Umbrella prices without having to commit to a trial. This too can be difficult due to resellers offering discounts or introductory offers that reduce prices below those quoted by Cisco.

By asking former customers of Cisco Umbrella that have selected WebTitan Cloud after evaluating OpenDNS competitor alternatives for web filtering, we discovered that the Cisco Umbrella price for DNS Essentials ranges between $1.50 and $3.70 per user per month and that the Cisco Umbrella price for DNS Advantage ranges between $2.25 and $5.56 per user per month depending on the number of users and length of subscription.

Compared to these prices (some of which do not include the mandatory costs for onboarding and technical support), the cost of deploying WebTitan Cloud as an Open DNS alternative for web filtering ranges between $0.90 and $1.95 per user per month depending on the number of users and length of subscription, with no additional costs for onboarding and technical support, and no additional optional extras. Everything is included in WebTitan Cloud.

How Does WebTitan Cloud Compare to Cisco Umbrella in Terms of Capabilities?

This is also a difficult comparison to make as we would be comparing the capabilities of a single product (WebTitan) against the capabilities of four products (Cisco Umbrella). Nonetheless, according to the snapshot of Cisco packages below, the capabilities of WebTitan Cloud would fall between those of the DNS Advantage package and SIG Essentials package.

There are a few additional considerations to take into account when comparing WebTitan Cloud to a mid-point between DNS Advantage and SIG Essentials inasmuch as WebTitan Cloud has:

  • More granular filtering capabilities than the DNS Advantage package
  • Free telephone technical support and support portal
  • More extensive API set with more customizable options
  • Twice as many customizable reports than any Cisco package
  • Group-ranking AD integration which is easier to use than Cisco´s policy-ranking integration
  • Data transmitted regionally, rather than randomly via Cisco´s AnyCast system
  • The opportunity for MSPs to rebrand and customize WebTitan Cloud
  • The option to host WebTitan Cloud in a private cloud (not available through Cisco)

It is additional features such as these that contribute to WebTitan Cloud frequently receiving high scores on comparison sites. Indeed, in the January 2023 comparison of WebTitan Cloud vs Cisco Umbrella on, WebTitan Cloud outperformed Cisco Umbrella in all but two categories (Note: it is not known which package Cisco reviewers were using at the time of the review).

OpenDNS competitor alternatives vs WebTitan Cloud

Technical Support Comparisons are Much Easier

Whereas price and capability comparisons between Cisco OpenDNS competitor alternatives can be difficult, a technical support comparison between WebTitan Cloud and Cisco Umbrella is easier. With WebTitan Cloud you get free, focused 24/7/365 technical support by phone included in the price, whereas Cisco Umbrella customers can pay for either mandatory “enhanced support” or optional “premium support” – which gives your query priority over anyone who has only paid for “enhanced support”.

Response times for Cisco´s technical support service vary according to the nature of your issue and how much you have paid for support. If you have a technical question or configuration issue that impacts your ability to use Cisco Umbrella, you will get a response within 30 minutes. If you have a question about how a feature works or want to request a password reset, you have to wait up to two hours before you´ll receive an answer – or the next working day if you try to message technical support out of hours..

The speed of support is one of the main complaints from Cisco Umbrella customers (who, remember, have paid extra for the service), whereas WebTitan consistently receives excellent feedback for the level of support provided, with the company proud of providing industry-leading customer service and post-sales technical support to customers. You really can’t put a price on friendly, helpful support staff – so we didn’t. WebTitan technical support is always included in the price and always available 24/7/365.

Why Ease of Use is so Important

Being able to use a product without having a very steep learning curve is important. Ease of use is important because, if security teams or system administrators find the solution difficult to use, the risk exists that mistakes will be made in the configuration stages that could result in threats entering the network undetected. Similarly, if the solution is too time-consuming to manage, it won´t get used.

With WebTitan Cloud everything is at your fingertips. You can deploy the solution within minutes and configure it with ease. Thereafter, It is possible for system administrators to apply policies, create allow and block lists, and drill down into the customizable suite of reports to obtain real-time oversight of Internet activity in your business with a couple of clicks of a mouse.

Try Our Cisco OpenDNS Competitor Alternatives for Free

If your business is using Cisco Umbrella or any other OpenDNS competitor alternatives, you are invited to take a free trial of WebTitan Cloud or WebTitan Cloud for Wi-Fi in order to evaluate our DNS-based web filtering solution in your own environment. Alternatively, you can watch an instant live demo of WebTitan Cloud in action simply by sending us your email address or contact us for more information.

If you have any questions before starting your free trial or after watching our demo, do not hesitate to contact us. Our team will be happy to answer your questions and can organize a second demonstration tailored to your specific needs if required. This is the path followed by Managed Service Provider Network Needs, who switched from Cisco OpenDNS to WebTitan Cloud to provide a flexible solution for 1,200 clients in multiple locations. Network Needs´ Technical Director Ryan Lockhead later said:


You can read the case study here.