Cisco ISE (Identity Services Engine) vs Fortinet FortiNAC comparison


Comparison Buyer's Guide

Executive SummaryUpdated on Oct 3, 2022

Categories and Ranking

Cisco ISE (Identity Service...
Ranking in Network Access Control (NAC)
Average Rating
Number of Reviews
Ranking in other categories
Cisco Security Portfolio (1st)
Fortinet FortiNAC
Ranking in Network Access Control (NAC)
Average Rating
Number of Reviews
Ranking in other categories
No ranking in other categories

Mindshare comparison

As of June 2024, in the Network Access Control (NAC) category, the mindshare of Cisco ISE (Identity Services Engine) is 26.7%, down from 31.5% compared to the previous year. The mindshare of Fortinet FortiNAC is 21.0%, up from 14.8% compared to the previous year. It is calculated based on PeerSpot user engagement data.
Network Access Control (NAC)
Unique Categories:
Cisco Security Portfolio
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Q&A Highlights

Aug 18, 2023

Featured Reviews

Nov 8, 2020
Good support, stability, and interconnection with the ecosystem
It is a good product, but in order to use all of the functions of the product, you must have a good understanding of the product. You must know how to use and manage it. It is a little bit complicated to configure and manage. It must be simplified to make it easy to manage for end users. In the initial stage, we found ISE complicated for end users. It was not easy to manage it or to write authentication and authorization protocol. They must improve its management and make it easy for end users. The monitoring and reporting capabilities can be improved because end users want to quickly see what is happening in their network. There were some restrictions in working with other vendors. It should also have a better and easy integration with other vendors.
Jan 16, 2024
Adds an extra layer of security, and is user-friendly, but the device compatibility can be improved
We use Fortinet FortiNAC to control user access and enforce system policies Fortinet FortiNAC helps add an extra layer of security. The ease of deployment is valuable. Fortinet FortiNAC's device compatibility could be improved, particularly for VoIP devices. I have been using Fortinet FortiNAC…

Quotes from Members

We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use. Here are some excerpts of what they said:


"Member Access Control and the ability to integrate all Cisco wireless, Cisco networking, switches, routers, and firewalls."
"When we use ISE, one of the helpful things is that I can go through the dashboard and get every step along the way of how a device was authenticated. If it's failing, why did it fail? Why is it unauthorized? If there's an error, what is the error and how can I fix that error? If it's something that, if they should be passing, why are they failing?"
"The most valuable feature is the integration with StealthWatch and DNA as one fabric."
"For customers, it's great. It has a GUI, so the customers themselves can edit ACLs or even modify the policies. It's also an all-in-one solution with RADIUS and TACACS."
"It is scalable because we use a network load balancer at the front of the PSN. It can be extended as we want to multiply. It's scalable to our environment. We have around 8,000 users and we are planning to expand it."
"Since migrating towards doing wired ports over ISE with 802.1X and MAB authentication, our organization's security risk has been better. We have been able to establish better layouts, so devices can move and we don't have to worry about where they need to go."
"It has all of the features available, in fact, more than what you need."
"The most valuable feature is the visibility element, the ability for customers to be able to see what devices are actually on their network. Without a solution like ISE, they would have no idea what devices are connected to their network. It offers them the ability to authenticate devices via mobile."
"This solution is very easy to implement and use. The interface is user-friendly."
"The interface is good and simple to use."
"The most valuable feature of Fortinet FortiNAC is compliance, which we can do with the clients and the endpoints on the network."
"Compliance checks are a good feature. Compliance check is for windows updates and for antivirus updates, etc."
"The most valuable aspect of Fortinet FortiNAC is the control it offers."
"The tool provides us with a list of devices that tries to connect to our network. It offers us a lot of network visibility."
"The solution is good at giving a deep dive into each product. It tells you, for example, what is connected to the network. It gives us good reporting tools."
"The network segmentation is the most important part of the solution. The integration with the Zero Trust Access solution is a crucial part of segmenting your network."


"One of the issues that we used to have was with profiling because we're working with a service provider that uses a lot of bring your own devices."
"The tracking mechanism in Cisco ISE is relatively costly, especially its vendor-specific protocol."
"The initial setup was a little bit complex. It's not that simple because it requires a lot of prerequisites for the solution to get a hold on."
"The initial setup process is complex since there are so many big components."
"The opinion of my coworkers, and it's mine as well, is that the user interface could use some tender loving care. It seems counterintuitive sometimes. If you go to the logs, it's hard to figure out which one you need to look at."
"I'm frustrated by the resource consumption and how many resources it needs to run. It takes a lot of RAM. It takes a lot of space and a lot of IO power. It's frustrating to do upgrades because it takes a long time."
"Cisco ISE requires a lot of time-consuming administration."
"The one main thing that it can improve on is the GUI. As the newest addition to the team, I struggle a little bit to get around it just because it has so many features."
"The dashboard needs to improve."
"This solution could be more agile."
"The GUI in Fortinet FortiNAC could improve."
"The reporting capability needs to be improved."
"Our users have been asking for simpler documentation and training materials to facilitate the deployment process."
"For our organization and our clients, the price is the main concern. They should work to make it more competitive."
"Its technical support needs improvement."
"There could be better integration with legacy equipment. It integrates perfectly with all Fortinet solutions, but if you look at other third-party integrations—not on the networking part; but more on the security infrastructure part—it's more limited."

Pricing and Cost Advice

"It is not that pricey."
"Cisco has actually transitioned to a lot of subscription models, fees, and licenses."
"Cisco is expensive, but it's the cost for all the functions and value it brings. Functions like internet solutions, integrations, security, and many more features are important, but it's expensive for some clients."
"There is a license to use this solution and the price is reasonable."
"The pricing is good. The last time we purchased four new appliances the price was doable for any organization of our size."
"Hardware appliances are expensive...Now moving to DNA-styled licensing, we have subscription-based licensing for everything. I hope it will continue to be fair, but we will have to wait and see."
"The SMARTnet technical support is available at an additional cost."
"I have complaints. I don't enjoy the licensing model. Once we moved from 2.7 to 3.1, switching from Base, Plus, and Apex to Essential and Advantage in Premier, we went from a perpetual, with our base licenses, to now a subscription-base. So, we will have to renew those licenses every year, and I'm not a fan of that for our base licenses. Apex/Premier, we already expected, which is fine, but for basic connectivity, I am not a fan of that."
"It is a reasonable product."
"Fortinet FortiNAC is reasonably priced."
"The price of Fortinet FortiNAC is less than Cisco's solution. However, the price could improve by being reduced."
"I rate Fortinet FortiNAC's pricing an eight out of ten."
"It's a subscription-based license, which is based on the usage and number of concurrent users."
"FortiNAC's price has gone up in the last year. However, compared to other solutions, such as Cisco ISE, it is cheaper."
"The price is fair and reasonable for our clients."
"The price of the license required is based on how many users are going to be using the solution. If you want more users you can upgrade your license."
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Top Industries

By visitors reading reviews
Educational Organization
Computer Software Company
Financial Services Firm
Educational Organization
Computer Software Company
Manufacturing Company

Company Size

By reviewers
Large Enterprise
Midsize Enterprise
Small Business

Questions from the Community

Which is better - Aruba Clearpass or Cisco ISE?
Aruba ClearPass is a Network Access Control tool that gives secure network access to multiple device types. You can adapt the policies to VPN access, wired, or wireless access. You can securely ...
What are the main differences between Cisco ISE and Forescout Platform?
OK, so Cisco ISE uses 802.1X to secure switchports against unauthorized access. The drawback of this is that ISE cannot secure the port if a device does not support 802.1x. Cameras, badge readers, ...
How does Cisco ISE compare with Fortinet FortiNAC?
Cisco ISE uses AI endpoint analytics to identify new devices based on their behavior. It will also notify you if someone plugs in with a device that is not allowed and will block it. The user exper...
What is the biggest difference between Aruba ClearPass and FortiNAC?
I've done quite a lot of work with ClearPass, and not a lot with FortiNAC/Bradford. ClearPass incorporates a number of different functions including ClearPass Guest for creating complex wireless g...
What do you like most about Fortinet FortiNAC?
The support responds to our queries within two to four hours.
What is your experience regarding pricing and costs for Fortinet FortiNAC?
The product itself is inexpensive, but the licensing is expensive.

Also Known As

Cisco ISE
FortiNAC, Bradford Networks, Bradford Networks Sentry, Network Sentry Family

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Sample Customers

Aegean Motorway, BC Hydro, Beachbody, Bucks County Intermediate Unit , Cisco IT, Derby City Council, Global Banking Customer, Gobierno de Castilla-La Mancha, Houston Methodist, Linz AG, London Hydro, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Molina Healthcare, MST Systems, New South Wales Rural Fire Service, Reykjavik University, Wildau University
Isavia, Pepperdine University, Medical University of South Carolina, Columbia University Medical Center, Utah Valley University
Find out what your peers are saying about Cisco ISE (Identity Services Engine) vs. Fortinet FortiNAC and other solutions. Updated: May 2024.
789,728 professionals have used our research since 2012.