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Cisco ASA Firewall vs Meraki MX comparison

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Executive Summary
Updated on March 30, 2022

We performed a comparison between Cisco ASA Firewall and Meraki MX based on our users’ reviews in five categories. After reading all of the collected data, you can find our conclusion below.

  • Ease of Deployment: Cisco ASA Firewall received mixed reviews regarding the ease of its initial setup. Some reviewers say it is straightforward while others say it can be complex. Most Meraki MX reviewers say the initial setup is straightforward.
  • Features: Users of both products are happy with their performance, stability, and scalability. Cisco ASA Firewall reviewers mention being very satisfied with the remote VPN features. A few Cisco ASA Firewall users say the solution is difficult to configure. Meraki MX users write that it is secure, easy to use and flexible. Several Meraki MX users mention they would like to see improved monitoring capabilities.
  • Pricing: Cisco ASA Firewall users note that the price of the product is high. In contrast, most Meraki MX users say that the price of the product is fair.
  • ROI: Reviewers of both products report a significant ROI.
  • Service and Support: Reviewers of both products report being very satisfied with the level of support they receive.

Comparison Results: Meraki MX is the winner in this comparison. It is easier to set up and more user-friendly than Cisco ASA Firewall. In addition, Meraki MX is a less expensive solution than Cisco ASA Firewall.

To learn more, read our detailed Cisco ASA Firewall vs. Meraki MX report (Updated: March 2020).
Buyer's Guide
Cisco ASA Firewall vs. Meraki MX
March 2020
Find out what your peers are saying about Cisco ASA Firewall vs. Meraki MX and other solutions. Updated: March 2020.
607,127 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:
Pros
"With Cisco, there are a lot of features such as the network map. Cisco builds the whole network map of the machines you have behind your firewall and gives you insight into the vulnerabilities and attributes that the host has. Checkpoint and Fortinet don't have that functionality directly on the firewall.""When it comes to the integration among Cisco tools, we find it easy. It's a very practical integration with other components as well.""Firepower has reduced our firewall operational costs by about 25 percent.""The main thing that I love the most is its policy and objects. Whenever I try to give access to a user, I can create an object via group creation in the object fields. This way, I am not able to enter a user in the policy repeatedly.""The most valuable features of this solution are the integrations and IPS throughput.""I have access to the web version of Cisco Talos to see the reputation of IP addresses. I find this very helpful. It provides important information for my company to obtain the reputation of IP addresses. The information in Talos is quite complete.""Web filtering is a big improvement for us. The previous version we used, the AC520, did not have that feature included. It was not very easy for us, especially because the environment had to be isolated and we needed to get updates from outside, such as Windows patches. That feature has really helped us when we are going outside to pull those patches.""One of the most valuable features of Firepower 7.0 is the "live log" type feature called Unified Event Viewer. That view has been really good in helping me get to data faster, decreasing the amount of time it takes to find information, and allowing me to fix problems faster. I've found that to be incredibly valuable because it's a lot easier to get to some points of data now."

More Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall Pros →

"I think Cisco ASA Firewall is the most stable firewall solution.""The most valuable feature is the anti-malware protection. It protects the endpoints on my network.""The command line is the same as it is on the Cisco iOS router.""The interface is user-friendly.""It is a very user-friendly product.""The whole firewall functionality, including firewall policies and IPS policies, is valuable. It has all kinds of functionalities. It has IPS, VPN, and other features. They are doing quite a lot of stuff with their devices.""It's very stable and mature.""The Inline Mode configuration works really well, and ASA works very impressively."

More Cisco ASA Firewall Pros →

"Meraki makes it easy to be secure and know where the holes are to fix them. We have been fixing anything that we have ever found for 20 years. We keep up-to-date with firmware upgrades. We just try to stay on top of everything for security, like maintaining updates and getting rid of old systems. I feel like we're on top of it.""The most valuable feature is that we didn't have any problems with Meraki MX.""They have very good technical support and I have relied heavily on them.""The technical support people from Meraki are brilliant.""Its ease of configuration and management is very useful for us and for other companies that don't have an onsite IT person. It is easy to configure and easy to manage. It is easy to configure the VPN with the Auto VPN feature.""Point-to-point VPNs can dynamically follow IP changes with no need for static IPs.""It is very easy to use and manage. It is also very easy to scale.""It has the most advanced security features, for example, layer 3 and layer 7 firewall capabilities and the end team and IPS protection. It also has IPS, and it has very good functioning of cloning services. You don't actually have to touch the device. If you have multiple companies in different countries, you don't really require this device to be touched. You can get it delivered directly to any office of a country, and then you can simply put your configuration over the cloud. It's very simplified and easy to manage. It gives a very good granular visibility about your network. Earlier, a lot of things were lacking in the network. We were unable to identify where the problem was, but after implementing Meraki MX, we are able to dig down and identify where is the problem. We can easily and quickly identify the sources and the root causes of the issues."

More Meraki MX Pros →

Cons
"Most of the features don't work well, and some features are missing as well.""A major area of improvement would be to have more functionality in public clouds, especially in terms of simplifying it. The high availability doesn't work right now because of the limitations in the cloud.""FirePOWER does a good job when it comes to providing us with visibility into threats, but I would like to see a more proactive stance to it.""Cisco makes horrible UIs, so the interface is something that should be improved.""The initial setup can be a bit complex for those unfamiliar with the solution.""I would like it to have faster deployment times. A typical deployment could take two to three minutes. Sometimes, it depends on the situation. It is better than it was in the past, but it could always use improvement.""The price and SD-WAN capabilities are the areas that need improvement.""Implementations require the use of a console. It would help if the console was embedded."

More Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall Cons →

"They should improve their interface.""The price can be better.""It would be nice if you didn't have to configure using a command-line interface. It's a bit technical that way.""Cisco still has a lot of work to do. You can convert an ASA over to a Firepower, but the competitors, like Palo Alto and Juniper, are coming in. And believe it or not, they are a little bit more intuitive. Cisco has a little bit more work to do. They're playing catch up.""Nowadays, nobody is in the office, so I need to figure out how to put the firewall outside. If I could have a centralized firewall that also receives information from external locations, like peoples' home offices, that would help us consolidate everything into one appliance.""The virtual firewalls don't work very well with Cisco AnyConnect.""The annual subscription cost is a bit high. They should try to make it comparable to other offerings. We have a number of Chinese products here in Pakistan, which are already, very cheap and have less annual maintenance costs compared to Cisco.""The cost is very high. Most organizations cannot afford it."

More Cisco ASA Firewall Cons →

"In general, the SD-WAN feature needs to be improved. The load sharing and load balancing of the traffic should be improved. I have had some problems with these features in the past.""Meraki tech support staff have a lot more visibility into your network than you do, which is frustrating at times. I understand the approach is to keep the dashboard easier to understand. This will frustrate more advanced users at times.​""You cannot use switching behaviors as you see on the Meraki switch.""The whole Cisco Meraki range requires easier access for cameras. For a security center, it would be helpful to have easier access to cameras through the portal. Its licensing cost could also be better.""In the next release, because the security is pretty basic, I think they could include additional security features.""Management can be improved in Meraki MX.""When we do API integrations with Meraki, they have always been hard as well as tedious to build. The data that we want out of the API integrations has been only recently available. Six months ago, it was hard to get someone to build something correctly or useful with Meraki APIs. Recently, they have made more data available on the API, but it is just a start. They need to do more.""The security is not as strong as it could be"

More Meraki MX Cons →

Pricing and Cost Advice
  • "Cisco, as we all know, is expensive, but for the money you are paying, you know that you are also getting top-notch documentation as well as support if needed."
  • "This product requires licenses for advanced features including Snort, IPS, and malware detection."
  • "This product is expensive."
  • "For me, personally, as an individual, Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall is expensive."
  • "The price of Firepower is not bad compared to other products."
  • "The solution was chosen because of its price compared to other similar solutions."
  • "The price is comparable."
  • "It definitely competes with the other vendors in the market."
  • More Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "Always consider what you might need to reduce your wasted time and invest it in other solutions."
  • "Cisco is considered to be an expensive solution."
  • "It's very competitive with other products."
  • "We pay about $200 yearly and we have two firewalls."
  • "I'd say it's probably well-priced."
  • "The product cost is a little high. It is a little bit on the high side, and it should be a little bit cost-friendly."
  • "We pay about €2,000 ($2,400 USD) per year for licensing."
  • "If we compare it with FortiGate and the co-existing ASA, FortiGate is better in price."
  • More Cisco ASA Firewall Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "The price varies depending on the hardware platform as well as the type of license and whether you're adding security or not."
  • "The license cost depends on the box. We acquired a different product line. We are dealing with MX appliance now, that is, MX6, MX54, MX100, MX250, MX450. Every box has got an identity, and it has got its own specification. Every box has got a different license fee. We deployed Meraki MX in UAE when it was not a mature product. We took a risk, but we were successful. We saved a huge amount of money after implementing and removing all the MPLS and leased lines. We got a broadband connection because Meraki MX could work on a broadband connection. We have drastically saved a very good amount of money, which was one of the successful things apart from the successful solution."
  • "The price is slightly increased, but reasonable."
  • "It is a good global solution in terms of the price and features, but because we sell this solution in dollars, sometimes we don't get to sell this solution in Brazil because the dollar is very expensive. The price of every project is different. It varies depending upon the project, scenario, and client."
  • "The pricing could always be improved — especially with the shape the economy is in at the moment."
  • "Meraki is the best option — based on the price and the features available."
  • "Its licensing cost could be better."
  • "The price could be lower, but compared to the TCO of other products, it's not really that expensive."
  • More Meraki MX Pricing and Cost Advice →

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    Answers from the Community
    Netanya Carmi
    Frank Theilen - PeerSpot reviewerFrank Theilen
    Real User

    Meraki is designed for zero deployments and no in-house firewall specialist personnel. Best to secure Networks like remote offices, branches or home offices. Also to protect Internet Access (your computer accesses the internet).


    Cisco ASA is more of a professional firewall, not only protecting internet access but also providing security for publishing services like web servers, data centers, central services. They will need a specialist to install and support them. Therefore offer much more sophisticated protection features.


    So you can't really compare these solutions, as they are targeting different markets.


    You might compare Cisco to Sophos, but again, these are different protection solutions, one for network protection, the other for client protection. If you look only at the firewall part, you miss a lot in the total protection approach with Sophos.

    Questions from the Community
    Top Answer: When you compare these firewalls you can identify them with different features, advantages, practices and… more »
    Top Answer: The Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall is a very powerful and very complex piece of anti-viral software. When one considers… more »
    Top Answer:It is easy to integrate Cisco ASA with other Cisco products and also other NAC solutions. When you understand the Cisco… more »
    Top Answer:One of our favorite things about Fortinet Fortigate is that you can deploy on the cloud or on premises. Fortinet… more »
    Top Answer: Cisco Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA) software is the operating software for the Cisco ASA suite. It supports… more »
    Top Answer:When looking to change our ASA Firewall, we looked into Palo Alto’s WildFire. It works especially in preventing advanced… more »
    Top Answer:Its ease of configuration and management is very useful for us and for other companies that don't have an onsite IT… more »
    Top Answer:We just have to pay for the product and the license. We have a license for three years, and it is renewed every three… more »
    Top Answer:We use a Cisco LAN switch. Its model is CBS250, and it is a Cisco Small Business switch. It can be easily integrated… more »
    Comparisons
    Also Known As
    Cisco Firepower NGFW, Cisco Firepower Next-Generation Firewall, FirePOWER, Cisco NGFWv
    Cisco Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA) Firewall, Cisco ASA NGFW, Cisco ASA, Adaptive Security Appliance, ASA, Cisco Sourcefire Firewalls, Cisco ASAv
    MX64, MX64W, MX84, MX100, MX400, MX600
    Learn More
    Cisco
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    Overview

    Cisco Firepower Next-Generation Firewall (NGFW) is a firewall that provides capabilities beyond those of a standard firewall and delivers comprehensive, unified policy management of firewall functions, application control, threat prevention, and advanced malware protection from the network to the endpoint.

    Cisco NGFW Firewalls include advanced threat defense capabilities to meet diverse needs, from small offices to high-performance data centers and service providers, and are deployed in leading private and public clouds. Available in a wide range of models, Cisco NGFW can be deployed as a physical or virtual appliance. Cisco NGFW firewalls are also available with clustering for increased performance, high availability configurations, and more.

    Key Features of Cisco NGFW Firewalls

    • Breach prevention and advanced security: Prevent attacks before they get inside. Cisco provides its firewalls with the latest intelligence to stop emerging threats and employs filtering to enforce policies on hundreds of millions of URLs. Cisco NGFW offers built-in sandboxing and advanced malware protection that continuously analyzes file behavior to quickly detect and eliminate threats.

    • Comprehensive network visibility: Constantly monitor your network so you can rapidly spot and stop bad behavior. Cisco NGFW provides a holistic view of all activity and provides a clear picture of threat activity across users, hosts, networks, and devices, as well as information on threats and website, application, and VM activities.

    • Flexible management and deployment options: Centrally deploy, customize, and manage all your appliances.

    • Fast detection: Detect threats in seconds and detect the presence of a successful breach within hours or minutes. Cisco NGFW allows you to deploy consistent policy that's easy to maintain, with automatic enforcement across all the different parts of your organization.

    • Automation and product integrations: Seamlessly integrate with Cisco tools and automatically share threat information, event data, policy, and contextual information with email, web, endpoint, and network security tools. Cisco NGFW automates security tasks like impact assessment, policy management and tuning, and user identification.

    Reviews from Real Users

    Cisco NGFW stands out among its competitors for a number of reasons. Two major ones are its extensive discovery abilities that enable you to constantly see what is happening on your network and take action when necessary, and the high level of protection it provides.

    Mike B., a director of IT security at a wellness & fitness company, writes, "It is one of the fastest solutions, if not the fastest, in the security technology space. This gives us peace of mind knowing that as soon as a new attack comes online that we will be protected in short order. From that perspective, no one really comes close now to Firepower, which is hugely valuable to us from an upcoming new attack prevention perspective."

    Zhulien K., the lead network security engineer at TechnoCore LTD, notes, " The most valuable feature that Cisco Firepower NGFW provides for us is the Intrusion policy. Again, with that being said, I cannot shy away from giving kudos to all of the other features such as AVC (Application Visibility and Control), SSL Decryption, Identity policy, Correlation policy, REST API, and more. All of the features that are incorporated in the Cisco Firepower NGFW are awesome and easy to configure if you know what you are doing. Things almost always work, unless you hit a bug, which is fixed with a simple software update. "

    Cisco ASA Firewall is a security device that combines firewall, intrusion prevention, virtual private network (VPN), and antivirus capabilities. Its main purpose is to provide proactive threat defense to stop attacks before they spread through the network.

    Cisco ASA Firewall Features

    Cisco ASA Firewall has many valuable key features, including:

    • Intrusion prevention system (IPS): Cisco ASA Firewall’s IPS provides contextual awareness.
    • Advanced threat protection: Gain protection against zero day threats (based on using global threat intelligence) .
    • Rapid threat containment: With Cisco ASA Firewall, you can proactively mitigate risks. If a threat is detected, additional security policies are applied to other network devices for increased protection.
    • High availability: Cisco ASA Firewall offers high availability for high resiliency applications
    • Integrated IPS, VPN, and unified communications capabilities
    • Multi-node clustering
    • Multi-site
    • High performance

    Cisco ASA Firewall Benefits

    Some of the benefits of using Cisco ASA Firewall include:

    • Superior protection from threats through CSC, IPS, and the like.
    • Better pricing means that TCO is reduced. 
    • High performance levels that can be scaled to achieve 10+ Gbps.
    • You can deploy new applications easily over secured layers.
    • Identity-based access helps you access business resources.
    • Identity-based access can be integrated with other services, such as LDAP and Microsoft Active Directory.
    • By implementing Cisco ASA Firewall, IT resources are freed up.
    • Because Cisco ASA Firewall offers effective prevention, your spyware cleanup costs decrease.

    Reviews from Real Users

    Below are some reviews and helpful feedback written by Cisco ASA Firewall users.

    A Cisco Security Specialist at a tech services company says, “All the features are very valuable. Among them is the integration for remote users, with AnyConnect, to the infrastructure. All the security through that is wonderful and it's very easy. You connect and you are inside your company network via VPN. Everything is encrypted and it's a very good solution.” He goes on to add, “The intrusion prevention system, the intrusion detection, is perfect. But you can also integrate Cisco with an IPS solution from another vendor, and just use the ASA with AnyConnect and as a firewall. Cisco ASA also provides application control. You can block or prevent people from going to certain applications or certain content.”

    Jonathan M., Head of Information Communication Technology at National Building Society, comments, "The benefits we see from the ASA are connected to teleworking as well as, of course, having the basic functionality of a firewall in place and the prevention of attacks. The standard reports allow us to constantly monitor our environment and take corrective steps.

    Eric H., CEO at NPI Technology Management, explains, “The command-line interface is really useful for us. We script basic installations and modifications through the command-line, which is considered sort of old school, and yet it allows us to fully document the changes that we're making due to the fact that we can save the exact script that was applied and say, "Here are the changes that we made."

    Cisco Meraki MX appliances are next-generation firewalls with all the advanced security services needed for today’s IT security. The appliances are ideal for organizations considering a unified threat management (UTM) solution for branch offices, data centers, distributed sites, or campuses. Since Meraki MX is 100% cloud-managed, installation and remote management are simple and zero-touch.

    Meraki MX’s hardware and virtual appliances are configurable in Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS), and Google Cloud Platform, and private cloud support is offered through Cisco NFVIS and Alibaba Cloud.

    Organizations of all sizes and across all industries rely on Meraki MX to deliver secure connectivity to hub locations or multi-cloud environments, as well as application quality of experience (QoE) through advanced analytics with machine learning.

    Cisco Meraki’s advanced QoE analytics offers:

    • End-to-end health of web applications at a glance across the LAN, WAN, and application server.
    • Autonomous machine-learned smart application thresholds applied to identify true anomalies that are based on past behavioral patterns.
    • Ability to monitor the health of all MX WAN links across an entire organization.
    • Ability to detail hop-by-hop VoIP performance analysis across all uplinks.

    Cisco Meraki’s SD-WAN offers:

    The Meraki MX’s SD-WAN is unique in that it can be easily extended to deliver optimized access to resources in public and private cloud environments with virtual MX appliances. Its SD-WAN lowers operational costs and improves the performance of remotely-accessed resources. Users can ensure the availability of the apps and services their employees use most through dynamic path selection, policy-based routing, support for application-layer profiles, and VPN.

    Meraki MX offers industry-leading cloud management that has template-based settings which can scale easily from small deployments to tens of thousands of devices. It features an intuitive web-based dashboard for managing mobile devices, united firewalls, switching, and wireless LAN. Users can also benefit from role-based administration, configurable email alerts for a variety of important events, and easily auditable change logs. Meraki MX is capable of producing summary reports with device, user, and application details archived in the cloud.

    Meraki MX Key Features

    MX has a robust suite of network services in an all-in-one device, which saves you money by eliminating the need for multiple appliances. These services include:

    • SD-WAN capabilities
    • SNORT®-based intrusion detection and prevention
    • Layer 7 fingerprinting
    • Web caching
    • Application-based firewalling
    • Anti-malware
    • Geo-based firewalling
    • Content filtering
    • Site-to-site auto VPN and client VPN
    • Web search filtering
    • Cisco Advanced Malware Protection (AMP)
    • 4G cellular failover
    • Dynamic path selection
    • Web application health and VoIP health

    Reviews from Real Users

    Meraki MX stands out among its competitors for a number of reasons. Two major ones are its easy management and its ability to be accessed remotely. Below is some feedback from PeerSpot users who are currently using Meraki MX as their firewall security solution.

    Craig B., a central services engineer at Liberty Technology, writes, “The web console for managing everything keeps everything on Meraki and keeps us from going somewhere else. It is why I think a lot of people like Meraki. Comparing it to SonicWall or even a different Cisco firewall, like traditional ASAs, managing Meraki is a thousand times easier because of fluidity. You don't have to rebuild a table just to change one rule. It's much more readable for a human.”

    Edgardo C., an IT director, notes,”By using the VPN, we can connect remotely. We have two offices, and we could connect them through the VPN. We could establish a network between two sites, and that has improved and increased communication and productivity. Our remote site is able to access the server remotely.”

    Offer
    Learn more about Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall
    Learn more about Cisco ASA Firewall
    Learn more about Meraki MX
    Sample Customers
    Rackspace, The French Laundry, Downer Group, Lewisville School District, Shawnee Mission School District, Lower Austria Firefighters Administration, Oxford Hospital, SugarCreek, Westfield
    There are more than one million Adaptive Security Appliances deployed globally. Top customers include First American Financial Corp., Genzyme, Frankfurt Airport, Hansgrohe SE, Rio Olympics, The French Laundry, Rackspace, and City of Tomorrow.
    Hyatt, ONS
    Top Industries
    REVIEWERS
    Comms Service Provider20%
    Financial Services Firm18%
    Government11%
    Computer Software Company7%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Comms Service Provider28%
    Computer Software Company21%
    Government7%
    Manufacturing Company4%
    REVIEWERS
    Financial Services Firm17%
    Comms Service Provider12%
    Manufacturing Company8%
    Government7%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Comms Service Provider35%
    Computer Software Company20%
    Government5%
    Manufacturing Company4%
    REVIEWERS
    Comms Service Provider31%
    Financial Services Firm13%
    Pharma/Biotech Company13%
    Logistics Company6%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Comms Service Provider26%
    Computer Software Company20%
    Government5%
    Retailer4%
    Company Size
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business41%
    Midsize Enterprise27%
    Large Enterprise32%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business26%
    Midsize Enterprise20%
    Large Enterprise55%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business35%
    Midsize Enterprise25%
    Large Enterprise40%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business27%
    Midsize Enterprise22%
    Large Enterprise51%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business56%
    Midsize Enterprise24%
    Large Enterprise20%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business35%
    Midsize Enterprise19%
    Large Enterprise47%
    Buyer's Guide
    Cisco ASA Firewall vs. Meraki MX
    March 2020
    Find out what your peers are saying about Cisco ASA Firewall vs. Meraki MX and other solutions. Updated: March 2020.
    607,127 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    Cisco ASA Firewall is ranked 6th in Firewalls with 65 reviews while Meraki MX is ranked 1st in Unified Threat Management (UTM) with 15 reviews. Cisco ASA Firewall is rated 8.0, while Meraki MX is rated 8.0. The top reviewer of Cisco ASA Firewall writes "Packet inspection with ASDM works well, but upgrading requires notable planning and effort". On the other hand, the top reviewer of Meraki MX writes "Makes it easy to stay on top of everything for security". Cisco ASA Firewall is most compared with Fortinet FortiGate, Palo Alto Networks WildFire, pfSense, Juniper SRX and Sophos XG, whereas Meraki MX is most compared with Fortinet FortiGate, Sophos XG, Palo Alto Networks NG Firewalls, SonicWall NSa and pfSense. See our Cisco ASA Firewall vs. Meraki MX report.

    We monitor all Firewalls 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.