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Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall vs Fortinet FortiGate comparison

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Executive Summary
Updated on March 21, 2022

We performed a comparison between Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall and Fortinet FortiGate based on our users’ reviews in four categories. After reading all of the collected data, you can find our conclusion below.

  • Ease of Deployment: Reviewers of both solutions agreed that deployment was quick and easy.
  • Features: Fortinet FortiGate has excellent features, including great stability and an excellent firewall and VPN solution. However, there were quite a few mixed reviews when it came to the interface, with many feeling it was overly complex, and there were many complaints on the reporting feature.

    Valuable features of Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall include Unified Event Viewer, a fantastic UI, backup VTI tunnel, Dynamic Access Policies, Dynamic Objects, AnyConnect, Next-Generation Intrusion Prevention System, its stability, its speed, and its ease of use. Features that users feel are lacking include its limited data storage, the fact that it is missing some older ASA firewall codes, the slower speed at which policies are deployed, and slow load times.
  • Pricing: Users of both solutions feel that the pricing is expensive.
  • Service and Support: Fortinet FortiGate users mention that the software needs better and quicker support. In contrast, users of Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall say that technical support is brilliant, and that they do everything they can to help you.

Comparison Results: All other things being equal, Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall slightly edges out Fortigate for the simple fact that their service and support are superior.

To learn more, read our detailed Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall vs. Fortinet FortiGate report (Updated: July 2022).
Buyer's Guide
Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall vs. Fortinet FortiGate
July 2022
Find out what your peers are saying about Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall vs. Fortinet FortiGate and other solutions. Updated: July 2022.
620,987 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
"I have experience with URL filtering, and it is very good for URL filtering. You can filter URLs based on the categories, and it does a good job. It can also do deep packet inspection.""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.""The Adversity Malware Protection (AMP) feature is the most valuable. It is also very easy to use. Every technical user can operate this solution without any difficulty. The dashboard of Cisco Firepower has every tool that a security operator needs. You can find every resource that you need to operate through this dashboard.""A good intrusion prevention system and filtering.""If you compare the ASA and the FirePOWER, the best feature with FirePOWER is easy to use GUI. It has most of the same functionality in the Next-Generation FirePOWER, such as IPS, IPS policies, security intelligence, and integration and identification of all the devices or hardware you have in your network. Additionally, this solution is user-friendly.""The integration of network and workload micro-segmentation helps a lot to provide unified segmentation policies across east-west and north-south traffic. One concrete example is with Cisco ACI for the data center. Not only are we doing what is called a service graph on the ACI to make sure that we can filter traffic east-west between two endpoints in the same network, but when we go north-south or east-west, we can then leverage what we have on the network with SGTs on Cisco ISE. Once you build your matrix, it is very easy to filter in and out on east-west or north-south traffic.""The content filtering is good.""I like the firewall features, Snort, and the Intrusion Prevention System (IPS)."

More Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall Pros →

"The most valuable features are the enterprise modeling and the simple interface.""Advanced routing (RIP, OSPF, BGP, PBR). It gives you a seamless and simple integration into a large network.""Fortinet FortiGate has many valuable features, such as IDS, and intrusion detection. It has security features that are in part with the technologies that are available in the market.""The most valuable feature of Fortinet FortiGate is URL filtering.""It's great for capturing the traffic and troubleshooting it.""The security on offer is very good.""The application control features, such as Facebook blocking and Spotify blocking, are the most valuable.""The notable features that I have found most valuable are that it includes the antivirus, and also IPS, and even SD-WAN."

More Fortinet FortiGate Pros →

Cons
"I think they need to review their whole UI because it feels like it was created by a whole bunch of different teams of developers who didn't fully talk to each other. The net policy screen is just a mess. It should look like the firewall policy screen, and they should both act the same, but they don't. I feel like it's two different buildings or programming, who don't talk to each other, and that really annoys me.""The main problem we have is that things work okay until we upgrade the firmware, at which point, everything changes, and the net stops working.""We only have an issue with time sync with Cisco ASA and NTP. If the time is out of sync, it will be a disaster for the failover.""Its interface is sometimes is a little bit slow, and it can be improved. When you need to put your appliance in failover mode, it is a little difficult to do it remotely because you need to turn off the appliance in Cisco mode. In terms of new features, it would be good to have AnyConnect VPN with Firepower. I am not sure if it is available at the moment.""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.""The initial setup was a bit complex. It wasn't a major challenge, but due to our requirements and network, it was not very straightforward but still easy enough.""On the VPN side, Firepower could be better. It needs more monitoring on VPNs. Right now, it's not that good. You can set up a VPN in Firepower, but you can't monitor it.""It would be great if some of the load times were faster."

More Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall Cons →

"Its filtering is sometimes too precise or strict. We sometimes have to bypass and authorize some of the sites, but they get blocked. We know that they are trusted sites, but they are blocked, and we don't know why.""The solution could have licensing fees reduced in the future.""The solution needs to improve its integration with cybersecurity.""FortiLink is the interface on the firewall that allows you to extend switch management across all of your switches in the network. The problem with it is that you can't use multiple interfaces unless you set them up in a lag. Only then you can run them. So, it forces you to use a core type of switch to propagate that management out to the rest of the switches, and then it is running the case at 200. It leaves you with 18 ports on the firewall because it is also a layer-three router that could also be used as a switch, but as soon as you do that, you can't really use them. They could do a little bit more clean up in the way the stacking interface works. Some use cases and the documentation on the FortiLink checking interface are a little outdated. I can find stuff on version 5 or more, but it is hard to find information on some of the newer firmware. The biggest thing I would like to see is some improvement in the switch management feature. I would like to be able to relegate some of the ports, which are on the firewall itself, to act as a switch to take advantage of those ports. Some of these firewalls have clarity ports on them. If I can use those, it would mean that I need to buy two less switches, which saves time. I get why they don't, but I would still like to see it because it would save a little bit of space in the server rack.""The initial setup is complex.""It would be good if they had fewer updates.""I'm not sure if it's something that they already have or are developing something, however, we need some dedicated features for container security.""Fortinet FortiGate is a firewall solution and once it's deployed, you can rest assured that your system is secure."

More Fortinet FortiGate 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 →

  • "It's very affordable."
  • "Setup cost may be not so low, as you expect, because it depends on different factors, but TCO for 5 years may pleasantly surprise you."
  • "The Indian market is different than the European and American markets. When you compare they need to be a bit more aggressive on pricing."
  • "I think that the pricing is fair."
  • "For our organization, the licensing costs are approximately $7,000 per year."
  • "It's an expensive solution."
  • "The price is okay."
  • "If you purchase a one-year subscription with the hardware and then you want to renew for the second year, it is very costly."
  • More Fortinet FortiGate Pricing and Cost Advice →

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    Questions from the Community
    Top Answer: When you compare these firewalls you can identify them with different features, advantages, practices and usage at large. In my opinion, Fortinet would be the best option and l use… more »
    Top Answer: The Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall is a very powerful and very complex piece of anti-viral software. When one considers that fact, it is all the more impressive that the setup is a fairly… more »
    Top Answer:It is easy to integrate Cisco ASA with other Cisco products and also other NAC solutions. When you understand the Cisco ecosystem, it is very simple to handle. This solution has traffic inspection and… more »
    Top Answer:From my experience regarding both the Sophos and FortiGate firewalls, I personally would rather use FortiGate. I know the firewalls change every 5 to 7 years as stated but you really do need to… more »
    Top Answer:As a solution, Sophos UTM offers a lot of functionality, it scales well, and the stability and performance are quite good. The most valuable features for me are their web and email filtering. I would… more »
    Top Answer:We have Meraki Mx devices now, we are looking to replace them. But that is because the Meraki MX platform lacks SSL Inspection, Granular Firewall rules (Block only, no allow setting), client vpn… more »
    Ranking
    5th
    out of 48 in Firewalls
    Views
    45,810
    Comparisons
    30,188
    Reviews
    46
    Average Words per Review
    957
    Rating
    8.2
    1st
    out of 48 in Firewalls
    Views
    159,647
    Comparisons
    125,008
    Reviews
    149
    Average Words per Review
    440
    Rating
    8.4
    Comparisons
    Also Known As
    Cisco Firepower NGFW, Cisco Firepower Next-Generation Firewall, FirePOWER, Cisco NGFWv
    FortiGate 60b, FortiGate 60c, FortiGate 80c, FortiGate 50b, FortiGate 200b, FortiGate 110c, FortiGate
    Learn More
    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. "

    Fortinet FortiGate is an innovative line of firewalls that aim to protect organizations from all types of web-based network threats. They come in a wide variety of product types. Fortinet FortiGate’s solutions are available in a large range of sizes and form factors and are key components of the Fortinet Security Fabric, which enables immediate, intelligent defense against known and new threats throughout the entire network.

    Fortinet FortiGate provides users with next-generation firewall solutions that provide proven protection with unmatched performance across the network, from internal segments to data centers to cloud environments. You can protect every part of your network without exception. Additionally, your protections can be managed from a single central location. This ensures that the task of protecting your network is infinitely easier to accomplish.

    Benefits of Fortinet FortiGate

    Some of the benefits of using Fortinet FortiGate include:

    • The ability to manage your firewalls from a centralized automated control console. Fortinet FortiGate’s FortiManager enables administrators to exercise control of their firewalls in a streamlined manner. Administrators have full visibility and control over their system from a single location. It utilizes automation that collects information in real time, which greatly simplifies and reduces the cost of running various types of workflows. Administrators can free up resources by automating the most basic tasks.
    • The ability to produce uniform, appropriate, and coordinated responses to threats across networks. Fortinet FortiGate’s FortiGuard feature generates system protections in near real time. This allows administrators to address threats to the system with custom-made solutions that can be uniformly enforced.
    • The ability to scale up your security to fit your changing security needs. Fortinet FortiGate’s design allows users to accelerate the transfer of data between users and escalate the number of users that are covered without compromising security of performance. This means that users can grow their networks and continue to collaborate without worrying about the system slowing down or coming under attack.

    Reviews from Real Users

    Fortinet FortiGate’s firewall solutions are cutting edge. They stand out from competitors for a number of reasons. Two major ones are the robustness and power of their firewalls. Fortinet FortiGate’s firewall provides users with many valuable features that allow them to maximize what they can do with the solution. These firewalls enable users to use a single piece of software to accomplish tasks that often require the use of multiple pieces of software.

    PeerSpot user Eric S., a Solutions Engineer and Consultant at a tech-services company, notes the robustness of this solution when he writes, "One of the nice things about FortiGate is that it can be deployed on the cloud or on-premises. You can actually do both. That's the biggest reason why I stick with this solution as opposed to something like Cisco Meraki. Another nice thing is that I can log directly into a FortiGate or get to it through their FortiCloud access products. They're pretty reliable and consistent. One of the reasons why I started using the product was their single pane of management. I can deploy their line of firewalls in conjunction with their switching and access points, and I can manage the entire network from one interface.”

    PeerSpot user Jim M., a network admin at Penobscot Valley Hospital, notes the power of Fortinet FortiGate’s security software when he writes, "It does a lot for you for intrusion protection and as an antivirus. The threat management bundle is worth the money. You don't need another company to monitor your web traffic for you. You can do everything yourself on the firewall. You restrict your own black list for people on the firewall.”

    Offer
    Learn more about Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall
    Learn more about Fortinet FortiGate
    Sample Customers
    Rackspace, The French Laundry, Downer Group, Lewisville School District, Shawnee Mission School District, Lower Austria Firefighters Administration, Oxford Hospital, SugarCreek, Westfield
    Pittsburgh Steelers, LUSH Cosmetics, NASDAQ, Verizon, Arizona State University, Levi Strauss & Co. Whitepaper and case studies here
    Top Industries
    REVIEWERS
    Comms Service Provider19%
    Financial Services Firm17%
    Government13%
    Manufacturing Company6%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Comms Service Provider29%
    Computer Software Company20%
    Government7%
    Manufacturing Company4%
    REVIEWERS
    Comms Service Provider16%
    Financial Services Firm10%
    Computer Software Company10%
    Manufacturing Company8%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Comms Service Provider34%
    Computer Software Company19%
    Government5%
    Manufacturing Company4%
    Company Size
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business40%
    Midsize Enterprise25%
    Large Enterprise35%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business26%
    Midsize Enterprise20%
    Large Enterprise55%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business47%
    Midsize Enterprise24%
    Large Enterprise29%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business28%
    Midsize Enterprise23%
    Large Enterprise49%
    Buyer's Guide
    Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall vs. Fortinet FortiGate
    July 2022
    Find out what your peers are saying about Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall vs. Fortinet FortiGate and other solutions. Updated: July 2022.
    620,987 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall is ranked 5th in Firewalls with 53 reviews while Fortinet FortiGate is ranked 1st in Firewalls with 166 reviews. Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall is rated 8.2, while Fortinet FortiGate is rated 8.4. The top reviewer of Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall writes "The ability to implement dynamic policies for dynamic environments is important, given the fluidity in the world of security". On the other hand, the top reviewer of Fortinet FortiGate writes "Stable, easy to set up, and offers good ROI". Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall is most compared with Cisco ASA Firewall, Meraki MX, Palo Alto Networks WildFire, Check Point NGFW and pfSense, whereas Fortinet FortiGate is most compared with pfSense, Cisco ASA Firewall, Sophos XG, Check Point NGFW and SonicWall TZ. See our Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall vs. Fortinet FortiGate report.

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    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.