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Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall vs Meraki MX comparison

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Executive Summary
Updated on May 29, 2022

We performed a comparison between Cisco Firepower NGFW 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: Most users of both solutions say that their initial setup is straightforward.
  • Features: Users of both products are happy with their performance, stability, and ease-of-use. Cisco Firepower reviewers like its intrusion prevention system and say the solution is fast and reliable. Several users note that it can be difficult to scale. Meraki MX users praise its advanced filtering and write that it is secure, scalable, and flexible. Several Meraki MX users mention they would like to see improved monitoring capabilities.

  • Pricing: Most users of both solutions feel that they are fairly priced.
  • ROI: Users of both solutions report being satisfied with the ROI.
  • Service and Support: Reviewers of both products report being satisfied with the level of support they receive.

Comparison Results: Meraki MX has a slight edge in this comparison. According to its reviewers, it scales more easily than Cisco Firepower.

To learn more, read our detailed Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall vs. Meraki MX report (Updated: March 2020).
Buyer's Guide
Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall vs. Meraki MX
March 2020
Find out what your peers are saying about Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall vs. Meraki MX and other solutions. Updated: March 2020.
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
"The most valuable feature would be ASDM. The ability to go in, visualize and see the world base in a clear and consistent manner is very powerful.""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 most valuable feature that Cisco Firepower NGFW provides for us is the Intrusion policy.""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.""We get the Security Intelligence Feeds refreshed every hour from Talos, which from my understanding is that they're the largest intelligence Security Intelligence Group outside of the government.""One of the nice things about Firepower is that you can set it to discover the environment. If that is happening, then Firepower is learning about every device, software operating system, and application running inside or across your environment. Then, you can leverage the discovery intelligence to get Firepower to select the most appropriate intrusion prevention rules to use for your environment rather than picking one of the base policies that might have 50,000 IPS rules in it, which can put a lot of overhead on your firewall. If you choose the recommendations, as long as you update them regularly, you might be able to get your rule set down to only 1,000 or 1,500, which is a significant reduction in a base rule set. This means that the firewall will give you better performance because there are less rules being checked unnecessarily. That is really useful.""Another benefit has been user integration. We try to integrate our policies so that we can create policies based on active users. We can create policies based on who is accessing a resource instead of just IP addresses and ports."

More Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall Pros →

"We've had no issues with the scalability or the stability of this solution""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.""I think cloud management is key. The cloud management and support are the two things that make the product great.""Dual WAN connections are greatly simplified and point-to-point VPNs automatically connect regardless of what WAN connection is active.""Both the scalability and the scalability are great with Meraki MX.""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.""In general, Meraki MX is easy to work with.""It has very good features; it's easy to use, configure, set up, and deploy."

More Meraki MX Pros →

Cons
"The configuration in Firepower Management Center is very slow. Deployment takes two to three minutes. You spend a lot of time on modifications. Whereas, in FortiGate, you press a button, and it takes one second.""Cisco makes horrible UIs, so the interface is something that should be improved.""I believe that the current feature set of the device is very good and the only thing that Cisco should work on is improving the user experience with the device.""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.""Licensing is complex, and I'd like it to be simplified. This is an area for improvement.""They need a VTI. I know it's going to be available in the next software version, which is the 6.7 version. However, the problem with that is that the 6.7 is going to deprecate all the older IKEv1 deployment tunnels. Therefore, the problem is that we have a lot of customers which are using older encryptions. If I do that, update it, it's not going to work for me.""The intelligence has room for improvement. There are some hackers that we haven't seen before and its ability to detect those types of attacks needs to be improved.""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."

More Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall Cons →

"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.""They need to improve the link between Meraki and Active Directory.""As far as what needs to be improved — nothing really comes to mind. It does what we need it to do.""You can only have one tunnel in the whole infrastructure — one tunnel with one device.""In the next release, because the security is pretty basic, I think they could include additional security features.""We have been having a problem with the VPN. When the energy goes down and is back again, the VPN link doesn't get established. We have to manually turn off the modems and other pieces of equipment and manually establish the VPN. It has been around one month since we have been having this problem, and we don't have enough support from Meraki to solve the problem.""It would be nice if the different services, including the SIEM SOC and endpoint detection and response (EDR) were integrated into one, so that I don't have to go to different vendors for different services.""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."

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 →

  • "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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    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 »
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    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: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 »
    Top Answer: Cisco Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA) software is the operating software for the Cisco ASA suite. It supports network security and firewall options. We researched both Meraki and ASA. We liked… more »
    Top Answer:Meraki equipment requires a current license in order to operate. This also gets you hardware replacement and tech support while the license is current. Fortigate requires a current license for… more »
    Ranking
    5th
    out of 48 in Firewalls
    Views
    45,810
    Comparisons
    30,188
    Reviews
    46
    Average Words per Review
    957
    Rating
    8.2
    Views
    35,345
    Comparisons
    29,347
    Reviews
    10
    Average Words per Review
    670
    Rating
    8.0
    Comparisons
    Also Known As
    Cisco Firepower NGFW, Cisco Firepower Next-Generation Firewall, FirePOWER, Cisco NGFWv
    MX64, MX64W, MX84, MX100, MX400, MX600
    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. "

    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 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
    Hyatt, ONS
    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 Provider31%
    Pharma/Biotech Company13%
    Financial Services Firm13%
    Non Tech Company6%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Comms Service Provider26%
    Computer Software Company19%
    Government5%
    Retailer4%
    Company Size
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business40%
    Midsize Enterprise25%
    Large Enterprise35%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business26%
    Midsize Enterprise20%
    Large Enterprise55%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business56%
    Midsize Enterprise24%
    Large Enterprise20%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business34%
    Midsize Enterprise18%
    Large Enterprise47%
    Buyer's Guide
    Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall vs. Meraki MX
    March 2020
    Find out what your peers are saying about Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall vs. Meraki MX and other solutions. Updated: March 2020.
    620,987 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall is ranked 5th in Firewalls with 53 reviews while Meraki MX is ranked 2nd in Unified Threat Management (UTM) with 15 reviews. Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall is rated 8.2, while Meraki MX is rated 8.2. 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 Meraki MX writes "Makes it easy to stay on top of everything for security". Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall is most compared with Fortinet FortiGate, Cisco ASA Firewall, Palo Alto Networks WildFire, Check Point NGFW and pfSense, whereas Meraki MX is most compared with Fortinet FortiGate, Cisco ASA Firewall, Palo Alto Networks NG Firewalls, Sophos XG and SonicWall NSa. See our Cisco Firepower NGFW 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.