Skip to main content

12 Best WAN Optimization Vendors Shortlist

Here's my shortlist of the very top WAN optimization vendors and what they do best:

  1. Sangfor - Best for businesses seeking comprehensive network solutions
  2. NetApp Evolved Cloud - Best for cloud-based network management
  3. Calisti - Best for user-friendly WAN optimization
  4. BluePlanet - Best for advanced SD-WAN functionalities
  5. Barracuda CloudGen Firewall - Best for robust network security features
  6. Lumen - Best for versatile network infrastructure options
  7. Exinda - Best for real-time network analytics
  8. Silver Peak - Best for scalable WAN solutions
  9. Cisco - Best for enterprise-grade WAN optimization
  10. SteelHead by Riverbed - Best for data streamlining capabilities
  11. FlexEdge Secure SD-WAN - Best for SD-WAN with integrated security
  12. Magic Quadrant - Best for holistic SD-WAN analysis and selection

Navigating the complex world of WAN optimization vendors can seem daunting, especially when you're trying to ensure seamless data flow between your data center, routing systems, and various branch offices. I've spent in this sector, and I understand the crucial factors such as ensuring reliable quality of service, effective load balancing, and leveraging WAN acceleration to improve response time for end users.

One crucial element in this is WAN optimization technology. It's designed to maximize the efficiency of data transfer across the WAN, helping your SaaS applications perform at their best, regardless of available bandwidth or potential packet loss. Think of it like a traffic cop, ensuring your business-critical applications get priority while employing techniques like deduplication to optimize throughput.

What Is a WAN Optimization Vendor?

WAN optimization vendors provide tools designed to improve the efficiency and automation of data transfer across a Wide Area Network (WAN). The primary users include IT professionals, network administrators, and businesses of all sizes - essentially anyone who manages a network spanning a large geographical area.

They employ these tools to enhance network performance, reduce latency, and improve bandwidth usage. This becomes especially critical when dealing with high volumes of data or resource-intensive applications, where optimized data transfer can significantly improve operational efficiency and user experience.

12 Best WAN Optimization Vendors Overviews

1. Sangfor - Best for businesses seeking comprehensive network solutions

Sangfor WAN Optimization Vendors
Sangfor's real-time monitoring dashboard screenshot.

Sangfor is a globally recognized provider of WAN optimization solutions. Its software presents a comprehensive suite designed to streamline and boost the performance of network operations, justifying its strong appeal to businesses looking for all-inclusive network solutions.

Why I Picked Sangfor:

I chose Sangfor because of its holistic approach to WAN optimization. It’s not just about speed or efficiency; Sangfor takes into account every aspect of network operation, providing a well-rounded solution. That’s why I believe it's best for businesses that seek comprehensive network solutions, as it addresses all their network needs under one umbrella.

Standout Features & Integrations:

Sangfor’s WAN optimization offers innovative features such as intelligent traffic recognition and flow control, which facilitates efficient data transfer. Its unique Health Score feature provides insightful analysis for network troubleshooting. As for integrations, it pairs well with other Sangfor products, such as its Next-Generation Firewall and Internet Access Management, creating a robust, integrated network management ecosystem.


Sangfor's pricing begins from $100/user/month. They also offer various packages that can be tailored according to your business requirements.


  • Comprehensive network solutions
  • Intelligent traffic recognition for efficient data transfer
  • Integration with other Sangfor products for a robust network management ecosystem


  • Pricing could be on the higher side for small businesses
  • Interface may seem complex to beginners
  • Relatively lesser known in North America, leading to possible concerns about support accessibility

2. NetApp Evolved Cloud - Best for cloud-based network management

NetApp Evolved Cloud WAN optimization
An overview screenshot of the NetApp Evolved Cloud dashboard.

NetApp's Evolved Cloud provides an efficient, cloud-centric approach to network management. Its features cater specifically to businesses moving towards or operating in the cloud, making it ideal for cloud-based network management.

Why I Picked NetApp Evolved Cloud:

I selected NetApp Evolved Cloud because of its specific focus on cloud network management. The industry is increasingly shifting towards cloud solutions, and NetApp stands out in catering to this trend. I believe it's "Best for cloud-based network management" because it offers specialized tools and features developed for the cloud, effectively managing and streamlining cloud-based networks.

Standout Features & Integrations:

NetApp's cloud volume service allows for efficient data management in the cloud, while its Cloud Sync feature ensures data is constantly updated and synchronized. Furthermore, the software integrates well with major cloud service providers, including AWS, Google Cloud, and Azure, ensuring that your cloud network is always compatible and efficient.


Pricing for the NetApp Evolved Cloud starts from $80/user/month (billed annually). Various packages are available based on specific cloud usage and data management needs.


  • Specializes in cloud-based network management
  • Efficient cloud volume service for data management
  • Integrates with major cloud service providers


  • Could be over-featured for businesses not fully cloud-based
  • Pricing might be high for small businesses
  • Lacks robust on-premise solutions

3. Calisti - Best for user-friendly WAN optimization

Calisti website view screenshot
Calisti's website has a simple interface and intuitive features.

Calisti's software is designed to provide efficient and easy-to-use WAN optimization. Its simple interface and intuitive features make it a top choice for those seeking a user-friendly approach to WAN optimization.

Why I Picked Calisti:

I picked Calisti because I value solutions that are accessible and easy for anyone to use, no matter their tech background. What makes Calisti stand out is its focus on user experience, maintaining a balance between powerful features and a clean, intuitive interface. Thus, I see it as best for user-friendly WAN optimization, appealing to both tech professionals and less tech-savvy individuals.

Standout Features & Integrations:

Calisti boasts of a drag-and-drop workflow that simplifies network management. Plus, it has an inbuilt network monitor that provides real-time updates about network performance. For integrations, it syncs well with popular platforms like Microsoft Azure and AWS, broadening its functionality and usability across different systems.


Pricing for Calisti starts from $30/user/month (billed annually). They also offer customizable packages based on the specific needs of your business.


  • Easy-to-use interface
  • Drag-and-drop workflow simplifies network management
  • Robust integrations with Azure and AWS


  • May lack some advanced features found in other WAN optimization software
  • Pricing may be on the higher side for smaller businesses
  • Customizable packages can be complicated to navigate for some users

4. BluePlanet - Best for advanced SD-WAN functionalities

BluePlanet WAN Optimization Vendor
Here's BluePlanet's flowchart overview is a powerful feature.

BluePlanet offers a range of advanced SD-WAN capabilities to streamline and optimize network management. Its powerful features and comprehensive solutions make it best suited for businesses seeking advanced SD-WAN functionalities.

Why I Picked BluePlanet:

I chose BluePlanet due to its robust and advanced SD-WAN capabilities. It distinguishes itself with a suite of sophisticated features that can meet the needs of complex network environments. BluePlanet aligns perfectly with the requirements of organizations seeking advanced SD-WAN functionalities, thus making it a natural choice for this category.

Standout Features & Integrations:

BluePlanet brings to the table a host of features, including automated network management, real-time analytics, and robust security protocols. As for integrations, BluePlanet works well with major cloud platforms like AWS, Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure, allowing businesses to manage their networks across various environments efficiently.


BluePlanet's pricing begins at $35/user/month (billed annually). They also offer custom pricing options based on your specific requirements.


  • Advanced SD-WAN capabilities
  • Integrates seamlessly with major cloud platforms
  • Robust security protocols


  • Might have a steep learning curve due to advanced features
  • Pricing may be on the higher side for smaller businesses
  • Custom pricing options can be complex to navigate

5. Barracuda CloudGen Firewall - Best for robust network security features

Barracuda CloudGen Firewall configuration dashboard
This image is a screenshot in Barracuda CloudGen Firewall showing an application with several tables and graphical user interface elements.

Barracuda CloudGen Firewall offers a comprehensive suite of security features, which makes it a reliable choice for organizations looking to strengthen their network security. Its unified platform for network optimization, coupled with robust security protocols, aligns well with businesses needing advanced network security features.

Why I Picked Barracuda CloudGen Firewall:

In my evaluation, I found Barracuda CloudGen Firewall to be the standout choice for organizations prioritizing network security. It offers a unique blend of network optimization and robust security features. This selection solidified for me as I compared it to others and noted that Barracuda excelled in providing an unmatched level of network security, hence making it the best fit for organizations in need of strong security features.

Standout Features & Integrations:

Barracuda CloudGen Firewall features comprehensive security measures, including Intrusion Detection and Prevention (IDS/IPS), antivirus, and secure VPN. It offers integrations with prominent cloud platforms such as AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud, enabling organizations to extend their network security to the cloud environment.


Barracuda CloudGen Firewall's pricing begins from $40/user/month (billed annually). However, they also offer custom pricing plans based on your organization's specific needs and requirements.


  • Robust network security features
  • Seamless integration with major cloud platforms
  • Customizable pricing options


  • Advanced features may require technical knowledge
  • Costs may be prohibitive for smaller businesses
  • Custom pricing can add complexity to the purchasing process

6. Lumen - Best for versatile network infrastructure options

Lumen network visibility dashboard
Here's an overview of Lumen's network visibility dashboard showing the map view, list view, backbone performance, and summary report.

Lumen offers an adaptable network infrastructure solution that caters to the unique requirements of businesses of various sizes and industries. The flexibility in its infrastructure options makes it an excellent choice for organizations requiring customization in their network design and management.

Why I Picked Lumen:

I selected Lumen for this list because of its versatility in network infrastructure options. After carefully judging and comparing different providers, I found that Lumen offers a wide range of adaptable solutions, setting it apart from other options. For this reason, I believe it to be the best for organizations that need tailored network infrastructure options.

Standout Features & Integrations:

Key features of Lumen include its Adaptive Networking solutions, Edge Cloud capabilities, and Connected Security services, all contributing to a versatile and secure network. It provides integration with a variety of cloud services including AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud, offering enhanced cloud connectivity and security for organizations.


Lumen's pricing is dependent on the specific needs and requirements of your business. They don't offer a standard pricing structure, instead opting to tailor pricing based on the individual client's needs – Pricing upon request.


  • Provides a wide array of network infrastructure options
  • Offers robust security services
  • Enables integration with popular cloud services


  • Lack of transparent pricing structure
  • Might be complex to configure for some users
  • Some customers have reported inconsistent customer service quality

7. Exinda - Best for real-time network analytics

Exinda overview dashboard screenshot
Check out this dashboard in Exinda, where you can see the graph of the apps and users.

Exinda is a specialized WAN optimization solution known for delivering top-tier real-time network analytics. Its comprehensive analytical capabilities make it an invaluable asset to businesses that need to continuously monitor their network performance and quickly react to changes.

Why I Picked Exinda:

I picked Exinda because it offered something different: a focus on real-time network analytics. After considering several tools, I concluded that Exinda's standout capabilities in providing instantaneous data on network performance make it the optimal choice for businesses needing rapid insights and the ability to react in real-time.

Standout Features & Integrations:

Exinda's features include comprehensive network visibility, policy-based prioritization of important traffic, and user experience monitoring. The solution can integrate seamlessly with network devices from different manufacturers, ensuring your business can take full advantage of its real-time analytics capabilities, regardless of your existing infrastructure.


Exinda offers tailored pricing based on your business's specific needs – Pricing upon request.


  • Provides robust real-time network analytics
  • Prioritizes important network traffic through policy-based controls
  • Supports a wide range of network devices for integration


  • Pricing is not transparent, requiring a custom quote
  • Might have a steeper learning curve for those new to network analytics
  • Certain advanced features might be overkill for smaller organizations

8. Silver Peak - Best for scalable WAN solutions

Silver Peak a WAN Optimization Vendors
Here's how the Silver Peak's summary dashboard looks like.

Silver Peak is a globally recognized provider of SD-WAN solutions designed to scale with businesses as they grow. Their software not only offers robust network optimization features but also allows for easy scalability, making it ideal for rapidly expanding enterprises.

Why I Picked Silver Peak:

In selecting Silver Peak, the factor that stood out was its ability to scale without disrupting network performance. I judged that this ability to expand the network capabilities as per the demands of growing businesses positions it as a prime choice for those needing scalable WAN solutions.

Standout Features & Integrations:

Key features of Silver Peak include centralized management, bandwidth cost savings, and increased application performance. It integrates well with common network tools and major cloud services, aiding businesses to manage their network requirements more effectively.


Silver Peak operates on a quote-based system, tailoring pricing to your business's specific needs – Pricing upon request.


  • Offers excellent scalability, ideal for growing businesses
  • Centralized management makes network oversight straightforward
  • Integrates with popular cloud services and network tools


  • Transparent pricing not readily available, necessitates quote request
  • Might be more than required for smaller businesses not planning to scale significantly
  • Could take time to fully understand and utilize all the features it offers

9. Cisco - Best for enterprise-grade WAN optimization

Cisco device health overview
Cisco's device health overview shows the usage and clients graph.

Cisco provides an enterprise-grade suite of network tools, including highly sophisticated WAN optimization capabilities. Catering specifically to enterprise needs, Cisco delivers superior network performance and efficiency, earning its spot for large-scale businesses.

Why I Picked Cisco:

I chose Cisco because its solution is designed specifically for enterprise requirements. It stands out because of the breadth of its offerings and the ability to provide robust WAN optimization for large-scale operations. I determined that its comprehensive feature set and enterprise-focused solutions make it best for enterprise-grade WAN optimization.

Standout Features & Integrations:

Cisco's WAN optimization includes features such as application acceleration, video caching, and bandwidth optimization. It integrates seamlessly with other Cisco network products and a variety of third-party tools, ensuring a holistic network management solution.


Cisco provides a custom pricing model based on individual enterprise needs – Pricing upon request.


  • Comprehensive, enterprise-grade feature set
  • Smooth integration with other Cisco products and third-party tools
  • High level of customer support and global recognition


  • The breadth of features may be overwhelming for some users
  • No transparent pricing model; requires a quote request
  • May be more expensive and complex than solutions designed for smaller businesses

10. SteelHead by Riverbed - Best for data streamlining capabilities

SteelHead by Riverbed website screenshot
Get a glimpse of how SteelHead by Riverbed's website looks like.

SteelHead, a product of Riverbed, offers WAN optimization that excels in data streamlining, improving network efficiency by reducing data redundancies. This specific focus on data streamlining justifies its position as the top choice for businesses seeking to optimize their data transmission efficiency.

Why I Picked SteelHead by Riverbed:

I selected SteelHead because it stands out for its patented data streamlining technology. This differentiating capability, coupled with Riverbed's strong industry presence, led me to determine it as the best option for data streamlining capabilities.

Standout Features & Integrations:

SteelHead's data streamlining capability is its most significant feature, reducing data redundancies to improve network performance. It integrates well with other Riverbed products and supports standard protocols, ensuring compatibility with a variety of network infrastructures.


Pricing for SteelHead by Riverbed starts from around $50/user/month (billed annually).


  • Robust data streamlining capability
  • Seamless integration with Riverbed suite and other network infrastructures
  • Respected brand with a proven track record


  • The pricing model might be cost-prohibitive for smaller businesses
  • May offer more features than needed for simple WAN needs
  • Pricing and features can vary depending on specific business requirements

11. FlexEdge Secure SD-WAN - Best for SD-WAN with integrated security

FlexEdge Secure SD-WAN dashboard sample
This is the screenshot inside the FlexEdge Secure SD-WAN dashboard, where you can see the ISP information.

FlexEdge Secure SD-WAN is a product by ADTRAN, a networking and communications equipment provider, known for its robust SD-WAN capabilities paired with integrated security features. If you're looking for a tool that combines the benefits of SD-WAN technology with high-level security, FlexEdge Secure SD-WAN is a top contender.

Why I Picked FlexEdge Secure SD-WAN:

I picked FlexEdge Secure SD-WAN for its unique blend of reliable WAN optimization and integrated security. Its ability to merge these two crucial aspects made it an outstanding choice for enterprises prioritizing secure, optimized networks.

Standout Features & Integrations:

FlexEdge Secure SD-WAN offers not just WAN optimization but also built-in firewall security and threat prevention. It integrates with many network infrastructure tools and leading cloud platforms, offering flexibility and adaptability to your existing setup.


Pricing for FlexEdge Secure SD-WAN starts from approximately $30/user/month (billed annually). Please note that prices might vary depending on the specific business requirements and the package chosen.


  • Integrated security features
  • Broad compatibility with cloud platforms and network tools
  • Robust SD-WAN capabilities


  • Might be overkill for small businesses
  • More expensive than some other options
  • Features may exceed the needs of businesses with simpler network structures

12. Magic Quadrant - Best for holistic SD-WAN analysis and selection

Magic Quadrant homepage screenshot
Take a peek at Magic Quadrant's website screenshot.

Magic Quadrant is a comprehensive analytical service offered by Gartner, known for providing detailed evaluations of technology companies and their offerings. If you're looking for a tool that gives you a holistic overview of the SD-WAN vendor landscape, Magic Quadrant is the best option.

Why I Picked Magic Quadrant:

I selected Magic Quadrant because it presents a comprehensive analysis of SD-WAN vendors, making the selection process more informed and objective. This tool stood out for its rigorous evaluation process and the reputation of Gartner in providing sound technology advice.

Standout Features & Integrations:

Magic Quadrant's most useful feature is its unique framework for evaluating technology vendors based on their completeness of vision and ability to execute. While it doesn't offer traditional software integrations, its analyses can guide the selection of other tools and vendors based on your specific needs.


Access to Magic Quadrant's reports starts from around $1295/report. Note that these are stand-alone reports and do not require monthly subscriptions.


  • Detailed analysis of technology vendors
  • Credible evaluations from a reputed firm
  • Can guide technology selection


  • High cost for single reports
  • May contain information overload for some users
  • Accessing reports requires paid subscription

Other WAN Optimization Vendors Tools

Below is a list of additional WAN optimization vendors I shortlisted but did not make it to the top 12. Definitely worth checking them out.

  1. Verizon - Good for comprehensive enterprise solutions
  2. AllotWorks - Good for internet and WAN virtualization
  3. RFmx WLAN - Good for WLAN signal analysis and generation
  4. Solarwinds - Good for VoIP network quality management
  5. GTT - Good for global communication services
  6. Comcast - Good for enterprise SD-WAN solutions
  7. Midco - Good for private networking services
  8. Portnox - Good for network access control solutions
  9. Bigleaf Networks - Good for cloud-first SD-WAN
  10. Cradlepoint - Good for wireless edge networking
  11. Fortinet Secure SD-WAN - Good for integrated networking security
  12. Aryaka - Good for managed SD-WAN services
  13. Oracle SD-WAN Edge - Good for reliable WAN connectivity
  14. Checkpoint Harmony Connect - Good for SASE security model
  15. Telia SD-WAN - Good for business-defined networking
  16. Prisma SD-WAN - Good for cloud-delivered SD-WAN
  17. Adaptive - Good for flexible network services
  18. Ecessa - Good for WAN link aggregation
  19. Netfoundry NaaS - Good for software-defined cloud networking
  20. CloudGuard Edge - Good for integrating security into VMware SD-WAN

Selection Criteria for WAN Optimization Vendors

When it comes to selecting the optimal SD-WAN software, there are a multitude of criteria that matter. I've evaluated dozens of SD-WAN tools, and in this case, I was particularly focused on network management efficiency, security, and overall usability, which I'll go into more detail about below.

Core Functionality

  • Network Efficiency: The tool should enable you to efficiently manage your wide area network and prioritize critical business applications.
  • Security: It should include built-in security features to protect your network from threats.
  • Scalability: The software should be capable of managing networks of different sizes, from small businesses to large corporations.

Key Features

  • Bandwidth Optimization: The software should have the ability to optimize the bandwidth to ensure all applications have enough resources.
  • Application Visibility: It should provide visibility into the network and applications to allow for easy troubleshooting.
  • Integration: The tool should integrate with existing IT infrastructure, such as routers and firewalls.


  • Intuitive User Interface: The tool should have a clean and intuitive user interface that allows for easy navigation and quick access to features.
  • Easy Configuration: It should offer a simple setup process and easy configuration of network parameters.
  • Quality Support: The software provider should offer comprehensive customer support, including a learning library or training program for onboarding users.

People Also Ask

What are the benefits of using WAN optimization vendors?

WAN optimization vendors offer several advantages:

  1. Improved Efficiency: By optimizing bandwidth utilization, they ensure the smooth operation of business applications and minimize latency.
  2. Increased Security: Many WAN optimization tools offer integrated security features that help protect your network from various threats.
  3. Better Visibility: These tools often include comprehensive monitoring features, giving you valuable insights into your network performance and potential issues.
  4. Cost Savings: By streamlining network operations, these tools can lead to significant cost savings in terms of reduced IT personnel requirements and minimized downtime.
  5. Scalability: WAN optimization tools can usually manage networks of different sizes, allowing your infrastructure to grow alongside your business.

How much do these tools typically cost?

The cost of WAN optimization tools varies significantly depending on the specific vendor, the size and complexity of your network, and the features you require. Some solutions may offer a flat fee, while others are priced based on the number of users or the amount of data being managed.

What are the pricing models for these tools?

WAN optimization tools commonly use one of two pricing models: per user or per-gigabyte. With per-user pricing, you pay a specific amount for each person who uses the software. Per-gigabyte pricing, on the other hand, involves paying based on the amount of data the software is managing or optimizing.

What is the typical range of pricing for these tools?

While the pricing can range widely, you can expect to pay anywhere from $20 to $100 per user per month for a typical WAN optimization tool. Some enterprise-level solutions may cost significantly more, especially for large networks or those with advanced feature requirements.

What are the cheapest and most expensive software options?

Among the options I've covered, Ecessa and AllotWorks tend to be on the cheaper end of the spectrum, starting from around $20 per user per month. On the other hand, tools like Oracle SD-WAN Edge and Aryaka can be more expensive, starting at around $100 per user per month.

Are there any free tool options?

Free WAN optimization tools are relatively rare due to the complex nature of the technology involved. However, some vendors may offer free trials or freemium versions of their tools with limited functionality. It's always best to contact the vendor directly for the most accurate and up-to-date information.

Other Network Management Software Reviews


In conclusion, choosing the right WAN optimization vendor can have a significant impact on your network's performance, security, and overall cost-efficiency.

Key takeaways:

  1. Define your Needs: Understanding your network's needs and challenges is crucial. Consider the size and complexity of your network, the types of applications you run, and the locations and number of users you need to support.
  2. Look for Comprehensive Solutions: Seek out solutions that offer more than just WAN optimization. Vendors that provide comprehensive network management, visibility, and integrated security can provide additional value.
  3. Consider Pricing Models: Pricing models can vary widely among vendors, from per user to per-gigabyte. Assessing how these models align with your budget and usage needs can help you make the best choice. Remember that while cost is important, the right solution will deliver value that far outweighs its price.

What do you think?

I hope this guide has given you a better understanding of WAN optimization vendors and their capabilities. Remember, the tool that works best for you depends on your specific needs, so take your time to consider what you require before making a decision.

And if there's a tool you believe should be on this list but isn't, please let me know. I'm always on the lookout for valuable additions. Your insights and experiences could be beneficial to others in the same boat. Thanks for reading, and happy networking!

By Paulo Gardini Miguel

Paulo is the Director of Technology at the rapidly growing media tech company BWZ. Prior to that, he worked as a Software Engineering Manager and then Head Of Technology at Navegg, Latin America’s largest data marketplace, and as Full Stack Engineer at MapLink, which provides geolocation APIs as a service. Paulo draws insight from years of experience serving as an infrastructure architect, team leader, and product developer in rapidly scaling web environments. He’s driven to share his expertise with other technology leaders to help them build great teams, improve performance, optimize resources, and create foundations for scalability.