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Sophos Firewall updates no longer free of charge

The time when you could get Sophos Firewall firmware updates for free will soon be over. Only customers with a valid support license will receive SFOS updates. Sophos itself states that 80% of customers are not affected, because they already have such a license. For the remaining 20%, there are only firmware updates, with a valid license.

Which customers are affected by the changes?

You have a valid license bundle:
– Standard Protection
– Xstream Protection
– Epic Protection

Applies to Enhanced and Enhanced Plus
None, you will continue to get firmware updates as long as you have a valid license.
You have a valid support single license:
– Enhanced Support
– Enhanced Plus Support
None, you will continue to get firmware updates as long as you have a valid license.
You do not have a support license, only a base license or a single license.You still get the v19 MR1 update and the next three upgrades. After that there are no more updates, unless you buy a support license.
Using a trial licenseThe trial license is valid for 30 days and during this time you can of course make updates.
Use of a home licenseThere is no change for you, you will continue to get free updates.

What about pattern updates and hotfixes?

These updates will continue to be free until the product is End of Life.

Why does Sophos want money for the updates in the future?

Sophos itself writes the following:

While this requirement is new for us (with the exception of Sophos Switch), it has been standard practice for many competitive network security products for quite some time.

Sophos email to Sophos partner

So translated this means: Hey dear customers, we have given you something for free until now, for which we can actually charge money. Does that bother you? Competitors have been doing this for years, so we’re not doing anything bad.

That is of course very exaggeratedly expressed and so as concerned now perhaps think. Sophos has also tried to justify itself again and again in recent years, pointing to its competitors. You don’t always have to do what the others do either.

The fact is, however, that developing software costs money. At least Sophos developers want to be paid, otherwise they would have joined an open source project, although money often flows there too. Only very few people would like to have software without updates, and this is probably not recommended, especially in the security sector.

In fact, most of our customers have a bundle license and are not affected by this change. For all others I have to say that SFOS, unlike the UTM, includes many features in the Base License that require a license with the UTM, e.g. IPsec VPN or SSLVPN (network protection).

How do you continue to get free updates?

If the price for an update to a license bundle or the support license is too expensive for you, there is also the following way, which is a bit more complex. But hey, it works.

  1. Create a backup of your Sophos Firewall configuration
  2. Creates a USB stick to reinstall the firewall
  3. Restore backup, as explained in the instructions in point 1
  4. Ready.

Downloading an ISO file with the latest SFOS version is still free of charge. But whether the effort here is actually worth it, I’ll leave up to you, and with an HA cluster, the effort is even higher.

Read more: FAQs: Sophos Firewall v19 MR1 Adds Support Requirement for Future Firmware Upgrades


Patrizio is an experienced network specialist with a focus on Sophos firewalls, switches and access points. He supports customers or their IT department in the configuration and migration of Sophos firewalls and ensures optimal network security through clean segmentation and firewall rule management.

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