Cato Networks vs Cisco SD-WAN comparison

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Comparison Buyer's Guide
Executive Summary
Updated on Aug 1, 2023

We compared Cato Networks and Cisco SD-WAN across several parameters based on our users' reviews. After reading the collected data, you can find our conclusion below:

  • Features: Cato Networks provides useful features like continuous VPN, web filtering, and antivirus capabilities. Users appreciate its simplicity and efficiency. Cisco SD-WAN is praised for its service quality, real-time traffic visibility, and automation capabilities.

  • Room for Improvement: Cato Networks could enhance its security measures by incorporating a web application firewall feature and improving intrusion detection. Cisco SD-WAN should enhance its connectivity to prominent cloud providers and incorporate additional security features.

  • Ease of Deployment: Users have found the initial setup process for Cato Networks to be straightforward, and it takes only a short time. Cisco SD-WAN can be more complicated and may require expert help. While some users found it to be easy, others encountered difficulties and uncertainty during the setup.

  • Service and Support: Cato Networks' customer service is commended for its prompt and involved assistance during implementation. Some reported occasional issues with support consistency and internal communication. While some Cisco SD customers found the support to be outstanding, others encounter delays and challenges in connecting with the appropriate personnel.

  • Pricing: Cato Networks offers flexible pricing based on bandwidth and socket type, while Cisco SD-WAN has received mixed feedback regarding its cost. Cato Networks is regarded as competitively priced and affordable, whereas Cisco SD-WAN is perceived as pricier compared to its rivals.

  • ROI: Cato Networks provides noticeable cost savings and efficiency improvements within a year, resulting in a positive return on investment. Cisco SD-WAN offers flexibility and scalability, leading to long-term benefits and cost reduction.

Comparison Results: Cato Networks offers valuable features like always-on VPN and web filtering. However, it lacks advanced networking capabilities and a web application firewall. The pricing is reasonable but slightly higher compared to some competitors. Cisco SD-WAN is a highly scalable solution with a comprehensive feature set and scalability, but it requires improvements in stability and native connectivity to cloud providers. 

To learn more, read our detailed Cato Networks vs. Cisco SD-WAN Report (Updated: September 2023).
745,775 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Featured Review
Quotes From Members
We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use.
Here are some excerpts of what they said:
"It is quite simple and easy to use.""What I found most helpful in Cato Networks is that it works out of the box. One of its main advantages is that it's a simple product to deploy. You subscribe, and you're ready to run.""We appreciate the optimization and acceleration of the performance of SDP users.""The query and the SD-WAN are useful features of the solution.""When I first encountered Cato, I didn't know how to use it, but after a week of training, I could onboard our systems to it, so the solution was easy to learn and navigate.""The solution is stable.""The visibility control and security aspects are amazing.""Cato offers all the functionality found in other solution. The life cycle management is always very stable."

More Cato Networks Pros →

"Cisco products are rated to handle the heat and are very rugged, making them a good corporate standard.""The most useful feature is centralized telephony.""The integration of Layer 3 and application routing is great.""The initial setup is straightforward and easy to deploy.""The scalability is the most valuable feature.""The solution sufficiently provides ISPs.""The most valuable feature of Cisco SD-WAN is its compatibility and integration with the rest of the infrastructure.""It is very simple to deploy. It's a point-and-click type of deployment, so it's fairly simple."

More Cisco SD-WAN Pros →

"Cato Networks could improve their intrusion detection. There is not a lot in place.""There's no principal in Malaysia, only a distributor.""I am located in South Korea, and I can say that most people here have no idea about Cato Networks. I think Cato Networks should promote its network services in various countries.""The product must evolve into the endpoint domain.""The different languages in the user interface should be enhanced.""A little tweaking or improvement of the UI in terms of logging when troubleshooting would be an improvement because it's very detailed.""For a packaged solution, needing external intervention or a system integrator to get other features not offered by Cato Networks could be an area for improvement. Cato Networks does what it's meant to do and is even overstretching capabilities when introducing new features. The product can only have very few features added on top of what its currently doing. Managed service providers can deliver the extra features you'd need. It's a set of managed services, and what Cato Networks does is very comprehensive. So, for the time being, when the actual incarnation of the SASE solution is deployed, Cato Networks is a very effective product. Naturally, technology will evolve, so everybody knows that in three, four, or five years, there will be a new kid on the block, a new game. Still, at the moment, Cato Networks only needs to improve a little regarding SASE delivery. The product is doing very well, but one feature the Cato Networks team is doing right is preparing for the future through deploying the SSE 360, so the security service is at that edge. It's an excellent strategy to prepare for the future. SSE 360 is what Cato Networks should invest in the most to keep prospering.""The product may be complex for users with few years of experience."

More Cato Networks Cons →

"We had some issues with Cisco SD-WAN but somehow we troubleshot it and things are going well. The issues have not been a large problem.""It would be better if it provided more visibility. At present, we can't troubleshoot in real time.""We recently found some bugs.""The user interface needs to be more friendly.""It's an expensive solution.""Some configurations or procedures could be more user-friendly. Adding a bandwidth management feature would make Cisco SD-WAN more scalable and less resource-intensive.""Cisco SD-WAN could improve on the ease of integration, the configuration should be easier. At the moment the process is more command line based and it would be better if it was able to be done through an interface.""One area for improvement in Cisco SD-WAN is reporting. The report needs to give more visibility to the customer. The security feature in Cisco SD-WAN also needs improvement, particularly if Cisco wants to challenge other brands, such as Fortinet."

More Cisco SD-WAN Cons →

Pricing and Cost Advice
  • "The pricing of this solution depends on what you need. It is based on bandwidth."
  • "I rate the price of Cato Networks a four out of five."
  • "Cato Networks is an expensive product, but it works out of the box, so that's the usual trade-off, make versus buy. If you decide to buy a product that doesn't require much programming, then you'd want to go for Cato Networks, which will work naturally, and immediately without any complex setup. However, the product is a little bit more expensive than the competitors. On a scale of one to five, I'd rate the pricing for Cato Networks as four."
  • "The product is very competitively priced, and that's compelling. They don't charge the customer based on the operational cost like other brands such as Palo Alto. Cato has its own fully-fledged cloud, with their own data centers, equipment, and so on, which is an advantage. I rate the solution five out of five for affordability."
  • "The price of Cato Networks is in the middle range compared to other solutions. NetFoundry is a less expensive solution than Cato Networks."
  • "The solution's pricing is flexible."
  • "The solution has reasonable pricing. It has a yearly subscription. The pricing depends on the permit to code. Sometimes, we need to increase the permit, and the cost will automatically change. There's no fixed cost. Unless we request additional modules such as DNS security, ELP, and decent features, there will be no additional cost."
  • "The solution is reasonably priced since Cato Networks provides features like SASE and monitoring, which I am very happy with currently."
  • More Cato Networks Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "The pricing is fair, and it's on par with the market vendors. But based on the competition, Cisco could work on the pricing, go deep on discounts and provide more commercially viable solutions to customers."
  • "When purchasing, there are so many features available that it's quite confusing deciding which to choose. And some of the devices force you to buy licenses you don't want."
  • "This is not a cheap option but if you move from Capex to Opex, I expect you should have lower costs."
  • "Cisco SD-WAN is more expensive than its competitors."
  • "It's costly. The cost is high compared to competitors."
  • "There is a monthly subscription to use this solution."
  • "For 600 links, the license for Cisco SD-WAN costs us US$250k a year."
  • "On a scale of one to five, I would rate Cisco's pricing as a three."
  • More Cisco SD-WAN Pricing and Cost Advice →

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    Questions from the Community
    Top Answer:It is a stable is a scalable solution.
    Top Answer:In my company, we use the solution for multiple purposes, including for our employees involved in remote work. Cato Networks is helpful for my company since we need it to connect our headquarters in… more »
    Top Answer:Cato Networks is a product for those who want their enterprise network service to provide them with SASE and some features similar to SD-WAN. The interface of Cato Networks is good. I am not sure of… more »
    Top Answer:The cloud environment, including cloud security integration, is very valuable because of the many API integrations with the SD-WAN.
    Top Answer:The pricing is neutral. However, there is room for improvement in the licensing model.
    Top Answer:In the transition from Viptela to Cisco SD-WAN, there have been very huge revision cycles in the last three to four years. This does not happen for a stable product. Still, it is because Cisco has… more »
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    Also Known As
    Viptela, Cisco vEdge Cloud Router
    Learn More

    Cato Networks is a leading SASE (Secure Access Service Edge) platform, combining SD-WAN and network security to obtain a cloud-native service. Cato Networks optimizes and secures application access for users and identities. The platform delivers a next-generation secure networking architecture that minimizes legacy IT infrastructures’ complexity, costs, and risks. The goal of Cato Suite is to connect any user to any application securely and optimally.

    Cato Suite runs on a private global network of more than 65 PoPs (points of presence) connected via SLA-backed network providers. The service can connect branches, data centers, users, and clouds. Cato can be deployed in stages to augment legacy network services.

    Cato Suite delivers end-to-end route optimization for WAN and cloud traffic. The architecture is self-healing, enabling a high service uptime.

    Cato Features

    Cato Cloud has a global backbone to deliver a reliable, global network. Here are some key SD-WAN features of Cato Cloud.

    • Optimizes traffic flows: The Cato Suite can individually optimize traffic flows in the last mile - from the customer’s location to the point of presence, and also between PoPs. This feature eliminates the need for internet providers to hand off traffic to each other, avoiding the resulting latency and congestion.
    • Controls and manages bandwidth: The software-defined overlay is encrypted across the entire cloud infrastructure. This overlay uses application-aware routing, analyzing latency and loss data to choose the best route according to network conditions. These features, like protocol priority marking, enable the system to ensure the performance of real-time applications.
    • Delivers redundancy and failover: By connecting the points of presence with multiple Tier-1 IPs, Cato builds the redundancy needed to ensure security and highly available service.
    • Cloud-native: Cato is built as a scalable, resilient, and elastic cloud service.
    • Converged: The platform converges SD-WAN and network security into a single infrastructure framework.
    • Secures all edges: Cato Network can secure and optimize traffic from all users, locations, applications, and clouds.

    What challenges does Cato Network solve?

    • Migration to SD-WAN

    MPLS (multi-protocol label switching) networks are usually expensive and limited in their capacity. Cato simplifies migrating to a faster, higher-capacity internet and SASE cloud. Cato SD-WAN appliances enable customers to improve usable capacity and resiliency.

    • Global connectivity optimization

    Customers who suffer from the challenge of high latency and network inconsistency can use Cato to deliver a consistent connection and user experience to access on-premises and cloud applications.

    • Securing branch internet access

    Cato’s complete network security stack connects all branch locations to the Cato cloud, therefore protecting all traffic, both internet-bound and WAN, with enterprise-grade, cloud-based security services. This capability avoids having to backhaul internet traffic to a data center or hub or having to implement stand-alone cloud security solutions.

    • Cloud acceleration and control

    Organizations using Cato notice an acceleration of cloud traffic. Cato achieves this by routing all traffic from the edges to the PoP closest to the data center. Because of the close distance between the two, the latency is near zero.

    Reviews from Real Users

    An IT manager/project coordinator at a healthcare company says that “[Cato is] a cloud-based solution that integrates well with everything. They are the classic SaaS solution.”

    Yeong-Gi L., a network engineer at Snetsystems, notes that “The solution is very stable. The scalability is quite good. Technical support was always helpful and responsive. The integration capabilities are not a problem at all.”

    "The most valuable feature is that it also works as a next-gen firewall because it has security features," says Lorenzo S., senior solutions consultant Lead at MDI.

    Cisco SD-WAN is a software-defined WAN (wide area network) solution that provides for secure stable connections to applications for enterprises and organizations. Cisco SD-WAN works to speed up the seamless movement to the cloud. A very robust and reliable solution, Cisco SD-WAN is cutting-edge in threat security and stability of the complete network and has very low latency. Cisco SD-WAN uses Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Software as a Service (SaaS), data centers, and even the internet to smoothly advance the move to a SASE (Service Access Service Edge)-based architecture. The Cisco SD-WAN dashboard gives you a complete visual of your entire infrastructure; you can see everything in real time. You will also have simplified IT operations and gain advanced network capabilities, dependability, and security. One valued feature is the overlay management protocol (OMP), which applies to your entire network to speedily connect all your company data centers. Cisco SD-WAN has a very flexible architecture and can be deployed on premises, in the cloud, hybrid, and even has multi-cloud options. Cisco SD-WAN instantly discovers, authenticates, and provisions all devices, both existing and new.

    Cisco SD-WAN simplifies the management of multiple connections across the WAN, improves the end-user experience, improves overall application functionality and performance, and is a very cost-effective solution. Cisco SD-WAN integrates well with Microsoft 365, Salesforce, and many other cloud-based business solutions. Additionally, Cisco SD-WAN optimizes connectivity and streamlines workflows for Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Azure.

    Benefits of Cisco SD-WAN

    • Increased profitability - Cisco SD-WAN will improve performance and decrease overall connectivity costs.
    • Improved productivity - Cisco SD-WAN requires less staff to manage and secure the WANs so valuable resources can be allocated elsewhere in your organization, increasing total productivity.
    • Flexible scalability- Cisco SD-WAN’s flexible and easily scalable architecture will allow your organization to address significantly greater business opportunities, helping to consistently increase revenue.
    • Enhanced security - Cisco SD-WAN offers real-time policy enforcement, ensuring that downtime and unplanned outages are kept to a minimum.

    What real users have to say:

    Cisco SD-WAN is fast with lower costs: “Using SD-WAN to combine services can result in better up time, higher speeds, and much lower costs.”

    Cisco is a brand you can trust: “Cisco is an industry leader, so customers have a high level of trust with the brand - more so than with some newcomers that might have some more revolutionary solutions, but no name recognition.”

    Cisco SD-WAN offers load-balancing and real-time traffic monitoring: “Load balancing is a feature that allows us to take the best of our links and distribute the load intelligently, always with an eye on the end-customer experience.”

    Learn more about Cato Networks
    Learn more about Cisco SD-WAN
    Sample Customers
    Paysafe, AdRoll, Pet Lovers Centre, Arlington Orthopedics, Humphreys & Partners Architects
    Doyle Research, Ashton Metzler & Associates
    Top Industries
    Healthcare Company22%
    Insurance Company11%
    Energy/Utilities Company11%
    Computer Software Company27%
    Manufacturing Company8%
    Financial Services Firm6%
    Comms Service Provider6%
    Comms Service Provider47%
    Computer Software Company17%
    Financial Services Firm11%
    Manufacturing Company6%
    Educational Organization33%
    Computer Software Company15%
    Financial Services Firm6%
    Comms Service Provider5%
    Company Size
    Small Business44%
    Midsize Enterprise28%
    Large Enterprise28%
    Small Business25%
    Midsize Enterprise27%
    Large Enterprise48%
    Small Business41%
    Midsize Enterprise16%
    Large Enterprise43%
    Small Business16%
    Midsize Enterprise40%
    Large Enterprise44%
    Buyer's Guide
    Cato Networks vs. Cisco SD-WAN
    September 2023
    Find out what your peers are saying about Cato Networks vs. Cisco SD-WAN and other solutions. Updated: September 2023.
    745,775 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    Cato Networks is ranked 6th in Software Defined WAN (SD-WAN) Solutions with 12 reviews while Cisco SD-WAN is ranked 2nd in Software Defined WAN (SD-WAN) Solutions with 39 reviews. Cato Networks is rated 8.8, while Cisco SD-WAN is rated 8.0. The top reviewer of Cato Networks writes "It works out of the box, is simple to deploy, and has a responsive technical support". On the other hand, the top reviewer of Cisco SD-WAN writes "The initial setup is complex, and the price is high, but it is scalable and stable". Cato Networks is most compared with Zscaler SASE, Prisma Access by Palo Alto Networks, Fortinet FortiGate, VMware SD-WAN and Perimeter 81, whereas Cisco SD-WAN is most compared with Fortinet FortiGate, Meraki SD-WAN, VMware SD-WAN, Versa Unified Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) Platform and Aruba EdgeConnect SD-WAN Platform. See our Cato Networks vs. Cisco SD-WAN report.

    See our list of best Software Defined WAN (SD-WAN) Solutions vendors and best WAN Edge vendors.

    We monitor all Software Defined WAN (SD-WAN) Solutions reviews to prevent fraudulent reviews and keep review quality high. We do not post reviews by company employees or direct competitors. We validate each review for authenticity via cross-reference with LinkedIn, and personal follow-up with the reviewer when necessary.