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Cisco Umbrella and Secure Client Alternative

OpenDNS has long been the 800lb gorilla within DNS content filtering.  Spinning off to Umbrella after the Cisco purchase  resulted in a hefty price increase for customers.

How We’re Similar

Both Umbrella and ScoutDNS use global anycast networks and cloud infrastructures to deliver fast and resilient content filtering with internet protection services to networks. Both solutions offer a variety of content categorization with rich policy customization. ScoutDNS and Umbrella offer direct to customer and MSP/reseller pricing.

How We’re Different

ScoutDNS offers a cleaner and more simple to navigate business class modern web UI.  Using object based configuration, administrators can manage and make changes across one to any number of protected networks with ease. With single click allow/block list additions, real time DNS RDATA/message inspection, and  aggregate views by TLD, record type, and more, ScoutDNS customers receive a best in class experience.  All this makes ScoutDNS a great Cisco Umbrella and OpenDNS alternative.

Cisco Secure Client

The Cisco Secure Client offers more functionality than ScoutDNS as it is a full web gateway whereas ScoutDNS is a Protective DNS Security solution. The Cisco Secure Client adds significant additional license costs and deployment/management complexity. Alternatively, ScoutDNS can function with a number of third party VPN and  ZTNA web gateways if this function is desired. 

What Customers Say

Customers choose ScoutDNS for better data insights, a more user friendly UI experience, greatly improved ease of management, and lower cost per user.

Key Differentiators

Roaming Client Encryption

ScoutDNS uses DNS-over-HTTPs or DoH as the default full time encryption protocol for all roaming clients. As DoH uses port 443, ScoutDNS roaming clients are always encrypted and can pass DNS through third party firewalls and most VPNs.

Cisco Umbrella relies heavily on the non RFC standards based DNSCRYPT for roaming agent deployments. 

Roaming Client Remote Management 

ScoutDNS offers certain remote management commands for roaming clients directly through the UI. This greatly improves remove client troubleshooting for your technicians. The remote command options include:

Disable: Tells the ScoutDNS agent to unbind from the loopback address and sets DNS to the network default for the device

Forget: Clears a roaming client from the UI. If the agent is still active it will appear again as long as the key is valid

Uninstall: Issues a remote uninstall command to the device 

Umbrella does not offer remote disable. You will need to build and execute a third-party script or remote into the device to top the service and set DNS back to network default. For uninstall, you will need touch the device to uninstall should it become disconnected from your remote management tools.  

Trusted TLD Filter Lists

ScoutDNS created a new method to manage and filter TLDs or Top Level Domains. Instead of just adding TLDs to a block list which you can still do if you choose, ScoutDNS offers trusted access TLD lists so that you can choose what TLDs are trusted. In this case all other TLDs are blocked by default and you don’t have to worry about new TLDs being added to the internet because they will be blocked unless specifically trusted first. 

ScoutDNS vs. Cisco Umbrella

Features ScoutDNS Cisco Umbrella
Global Anycast Network
Zero Touch Relay
Easy Roaming Clients
Requires Org File
Machine Learning Based Categorization
Safe Search & YouTube Safe Mode
Multi-Tenant with Single Log-in
Role Based Access
30 Days Log Access
TLD Filtering
As Blocklist Only
Inspect Raw RDATA/Message
Object Based Allow/Block Lists
Make Any Allow/Block List Global

ScoutDNS Advantages


Powerful Reporting

Searchable logs, Category, TLD, and Record Type aggregate view, full message inspection


TLD Filtering

Create and mange top level domain filtering lists for a zero trust TLD internet policy.

Group 41055

Save 30%-50%

Our highly efficient application model allows us to offer competitive features at reduced costs.

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