Palo Alto PA-850 Next-Gen firewall review

Palo Alto is truly among the very top-rated names in cyber-security. And the PA-850 is an impressive mid-sized business firewall. It is very capable of safeguarding many sites across many countries, while keeping standards in place for firewall security, VPN access, and network routing. It can easily deliver the additional capacity needed to work from home, with its’ multiple gateway design. And the PA-850 is part of a family of Next-Generation firewalls that are the world’s first to be truly driven by Machine Learning.

In order to understand why this is a big deal, we need a decent working definition of ML, so here goes:

“Machine Learning is the science of getting computers to learn and act like humans do, and improve their learning over time in autonomous fashion, by feeding them data and information in the form of observations and real-world interactions.” This isn’t our definition, but it’s a pretty good one.

Why it’s a big deal

In short, ML is the science of getting computers to get smarter over time, on their own, like humans do. It is not exactly the same as Artificial Intelligence, but for our purposes, it’s close. There’s an old axiom about computers; they don’t do what you want them to; they do what you tell them to.

So it’s not hard to see why you might want a firewall that can think, spot patterns, and act without being specifically programmed. In other words, it does what you want, without having to be told. ML is simply a device harnessing data, observations, and interactions in order to correctly generalize to new settings.

Like Palo Alto says, “Don’t just react. Think ahead.” Reactive security can’t keep up with current threats — or prepare you for tomorrow’s. So rather than relying on signatures to identify threats, the PA-850 analyzes behaviors, then responds appropriately, and quickly.

Features of the Palo Alto PA-850

This is a complete package. You don’t have to worry about separate hardware for IPS/IDS. And it comes with important capabilities such as Anti-Virus, Anti-Spyware, Anti- Malware etc. built in. And, there’s URL Filtering, SSL decryption, deep packet inspection, etc. It’s all on a single management platform.

In addition, App ID and User ID features are very handy and the Firewall decryption capability is awesome. In addition, Palo Alto sends dynamic updates on regular basis. The Palo Alto High Availability feature works seamlessly.

The security modules alone set this solution apart from most others. The visibility into the traffic, rules integration, and the power behind the physical and virtual appliances are exceptional.


Total Firewall Throughput on the PA-850 is upwards of 2.1 Gbps, and Threat Prevention Throughput is up to 1.2 Gbps. IPsec VPN Throughput is 1.6 Gbps, and the PA-850 supports 13,000 new sessions per second.

You will enjoy how easy it is to use and manage the PA-850. The GUI is very straightforward. And it just makes sense without hiding behind technical jargon. It’s a firewall you don’t need a lot of experience working with to get up and running quickly. Their UI is so user-friendly it makes you feel like an IT pro.

And Palo Alto’s versatility is a real upside. It has the power to handle high volumes of connections while protecting against a multitude of different types of threats.

We’re excited about the PA-850, and we’d love to tell you more about it. So, why not give us a call at 877-449-0458, or reach out at [email protected]? Thanks for reading!

Palo Alto PA-850 highlights

Total Firewall Throughput: 2.1 Gbps
IPSec VPN Throughput: 1.6 Gbps
Threat Prevention Throughput: 1.2 Gbps
13,000 New Sessions per Second