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Looking to purchase an ASA device, need help understanding licensing

I am looking to purchase an ASA for a small business. I can't seem to find quality information regarding the (in my opinion) overly complicated licensing process for these devices. 


  1. I want to know if I buy a device (maybe a 5515-x or 5516-x), does it come with all stated features or are some of those only unlocked with the purchase of different licenses?
  2. Is there a chart that explains what the additional licenses offer?
  3. If I don't have to purchase a license right away, how long will the existing features last?
  4. If I buy a refurbished device, will it work or will I be required to buy a license package?


At the end of the day, I need a firewall with some basic routing functionality. IDS/IPS might be nice features depending on costs. And I want the ability to VPN into my network. The number of users and connections is relatively low, but we do want a rack mountable device (not a small footprint device like the 5506)

Marvin Rhoads
VIP Community Legend

Have you tried speaking with a reseller? They should be available and happy to help you with a 1-1 call.


Generally you choose a model based on your throughput (speed) needs. 5508-x, 5516-X, 5525-X etc. are all models with entry level throughput (< 1 Gbps).


Adding/activating IPS features generally reduces throughput and always requires a separate license (it can of course be part of the initial purchase bundle). IPS license types are IPS only, URL Filtering and Advanced Malware Protection.


Remote access VPN (vs. site-site), known as Anyconnect, beyond 2 users always requires a license.


All the licenses mentioned are term licenses and available terms range from 1-5 years.

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