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Cisco SD-WAN vs Fortinet FortiGate comparison

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Executive Summary
Updated on March 16, 2022

We performed a comparison between Fortinet Fortigate and Cisco SD-WAN based on our users’ reviews in four categories. After reading all of the collected data, you can find our conclusion below.

  • Ease of Deployment: For the most part, users of Fortinet Fortigate feel that deploying it is relatively easy and straightforward. One reviewer noted that Fortinet Fortigate is so easy to set up that it could be deployed in just a couple of clicks. Reviewers of Cisco SD-WAN feel that for the most part its deployment is straightforward as well. However, there is some disagreement as to whether it is easy.
  • Features: Fortinet Fortigate users find it to be reliable and point out that it has many valuable features, including its ability to be deployed either on the cloud or on-premises and its various security tools. However, reviewers say that its monitoring and reporting features leave room for improvement.

    Users of Cisco SD-WAN note that it is a stable solution. Furthermore, they note that its ability to be centrally managed is valuable. However, some users feel that its security features could be improved.
  • Pricing: Users of Fortinet Fortigate feel that it is pretty affordable. For the most part, reviewers of Cisco SD-WAN feel that it is an expensive solution to use. Users of both products feel that of these two, Fortinet Fortigate is the cheaper product.
  • Service and Support: Users of both solutions note that they are supported by excellent technological support teams.

Comparison of Results: Based on the parameters we compared, Fortinet Fortigate seems to be the superior solution. All other things being more or less equal, our reviewers found Cisco SD-WAN rather expensive to purchase, not as secure as it should be, and somewhat difficult to deploy.

To learn more, read our detailed Cisco SD-WAN vs. Fortinet FortiGate report (Updated: May 2022).
Buyer's Guide
Cisco SD-WAN vs. Fortinet FortiGate
May 2022
Find out what your peers are saying about Cisco SD-WAN vs. Fortinet FortiGate and other solutions. Updated: May 2022.
609,272 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Q&A Highlights
Question: Would you choose Cisco SD-WAN or Fortinet FortiGate?
Answer: Fortinet includes SD-WAN with no upcharge in the FortiGate NGFW
Featured Review
Quotes From Members
We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use.
Here are some excerpts of what they said:
Pros
"As compared to the other major vendors in the SD-WAN market, such as VeloCloud, Cisco, and others, the tunnel-free and secure vector routing technology is its major USP, which gives plenty of room to discuss with the customer why IPSec from 1998 is a bit outdated."

More Juniper Session Smart Router Pros →

"The solution is good to use and easy to handle and manage from the centralized location or from the cloud.""The solution is great at aggregating the traffic and then sending it in one direction.""The most valuable features are manageability, scalability, and simplicity.""The most valuable features are zero-disk provisioning and link load balancing on an application basis.""Any technical support we needed was great.""The user experience is pretty good.""If I have to give a neutral view of all the SD-WAN platforms that I have known so far, Cisco is good in routing.""Cisco SD-WAN's collaborative features are unique and sustainable. I also like the protocols, which use two SD-WAN."

More Cisco SD-WAN Pros →

"Advanced routing (RIP, OSPF, BGP, PBR). It gives you a seamless and simple integration into a large network.""This version is stable. I don't have any issues with this solution, in our environment, it works well.""The solution is stable.""The most valuable feature is the web filter.""The most valuable feature of Fortinet FortiGate is security. They are known for efficiency and are on the top of Gartner Quadrant reviews. Fortinet FortiGate has an easy-to-use platform with a good graphical interface. The configuration is simple and the solution provides an overall good layer of security.""We've found the solution to be pretty stable.""I like how we can achieve total integration.""I'm pretty happy with its reliability. It is also very scalable."

More Fortinet FortiGate Pros →

Cons
"The UI of the SSR conductor is the main part where improvements can be done. Today, for every configuration step, you have to do a series of clicks. What we are missing there are wizards. For example, I have two applications, and I want one application to be prioritized against the other. In such a case, a wizard for assigning policies to a service without configuring each step by hand would be very helpful. There should be an overhaul of the GUI of the conductor. The functionality they have got in the Mist portal should be baked into the conductor itself. It would be really great, but as we all know, that won't happen."

More Juniper Session Smart Router Cons →

"Cisco SD-WAN is not as easy to deploy as the Meraki and FortiGate solutions. The zero-touch deployment could be a lot better. The deployment and initial setup are complicated and could be better.""The solution could be a bit cheaper.""Cisco could do more to offer bundling of the SD-WAN and other solutions.""Some competitors are much faster in providing out-of-the-box solutions, more innovative solutions. In terms of innovation, in many cases, they're lagging behind.""The installation is not easy. If you have experience and it is not your first time doing the installation, it can be easier.""Better pricing and greater security would be nice to see.""Technical support could be more helpful and responsive.""I would like them to add some more SD-WAN ports. We have seen one implementation where there were four ISPs. Currently, we have a maximum of two ports for ISP in this device. Therefore, we cannot connect directly, and we need other switches. There should be some option to have more than two ports for SD-WAN."

More Cisco SD-WAN Cons →

"I think there could be more QoS features""With the addition of some features, it is possible that FortiGate can be used in all verticals.""There are a lot of bugs I have found in the solution and it is difficult to upgrade. These areas need improvement.""The user interface could be improved.""Security is a continuous process. In every product, there is a requirement for improvement. Its pricing should also be improved according to Indian market requirements. They must also improve on the reporting part. Its reporting can be more precise. If we can get a real-time report in a specific format, it will be helpful for customers to know about the current status of their security.""Quality control on their firmware versions needs improvement. When they introduce new firmware, there tend to be bugs.""In terms of what could be improved, the SD-WAN is quite difficult, because if you install the new box, 15 is okay, but if you change from an old configuration, if there is already configuration and a policy when you change to SD-WAN, you must change the whole policy that you see in the interface.""Fortinet FortiGate needs to improve the logging and reporting. Additionally, the next-generation application's policies should be improved. When they were released they had bugs."

More Fortinet FortiGate Cons →

Pricing and Cost Advice
  • "We are currently renegotiating the offer for the licenses and the license bundle model. The license for an ISP has to be different from the license for an end customer. This is something we are currently renegotiating with Juniper, but, of course, the pricing for the licensing is always an issue when you want to get more customers."
  • More Juniper Session Smart Router Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "Cisco is more expensive than some competing products."
  • "SD-WAN as a service is probably something in the neighborhood of $100 to $200 a month per location."
  • "The costs are a bit on the high side."
  • "It is much cheaper than other solutions. Most of our clients are the top 500 companies, and they all have a corporate contract."
  • "The license model is too complex with too many flavors and options. You might not be able to see it from an end user's point of view, but from a telco point of view, their license model is too complex. They should have a flexible license model. If you want to have good pricing, you need to buy it for a two-year, four-year, or five-year license immediately. Some other vendors have much more flexible license models."
  • "It is going to be on a yearly basis. There are no additional costs."
  • "It is expensive. The license limitation is there in terms of bandwidth. Basically, Cisco is always good in terms of performance and related things. However, if you want to have a license, for example, for 100 Mbps, they charge you because of their 100 Mbps. If you want to go without the license of 300 Mbps, it is a bandwidth license as well. This is not happening with other vendors. That is the reason why we moved away from Cisco. The bill gets a little bit high. I do remember that one time we were trying to increase the bandwidth for at least five devices, and the license got as high as 20-grand for five devices, only for the license. It was expensive for us at the time. Our company is not a big company, but it is a solid company. The price was very high, and we moved away from Cisco because of the price."
  • "The pricing of this solution is very expensive."
  • More Cisco SD-WAN 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 →

    report
    Use our free recommendation engine to learn which Software Defined WAN (SD-WAN) Solutions solutions are best for your needs.
    609,272 professionals have used our research since 2012.
    Questions from the Community
    Top Answer:As compared to the other major vendors in the SD-WAN market, such as VeloCloud, Cisco, and others, the tunnel-free and… more »
    Top Answer:We are currently renegotiating the offer for the licenses and the license bundle model. The license for an ISP has to be… more »
    Top Answer:The UI of the SSR conductor is the main part where improvements can be done. Today, for every configuration step, you… more »
    Top Answer:When we have had power outages for a few hours we have had no issue with Cisco SD-WAN coming back online and… more »
    Top Answer:It's one of the more expensive solutions out there. I would rate it two out of five in terms of affordability. All you… more »
    Top Answer:We had some issues with Cisco SD-WAN but somehow we troubleshot it and things are going well. The issues have not been a… more »
    Top Answer: When you compare these firewalls you can identify them with different features, advantages, practices and… more »
    Top Answer:As a solution, Sophos UTM offers a lot of functionality, it scales well, and the stability and performance are quite… more »
    Top Answer:I have experience on both from Disti and channel experience. Please find below my comments (nothing new as such)… more »
    Comparisons
    Also Known As
    128T Networking Platform, 128 Technology SD-WAN
    Viptela, Cisco vEdge Cloud Router
    FortiGate 60b, FortiGate 60c, FortiGate 80c, FortiGate 50b, FortiGate 200b, FortiGate 110c, FortiGate
    Learn More
    Overview

    The 128T Networking Platform (128T) natively provides network-based security, control, and insight across data centers, wide-area networks (WAN), and edge locations for enterprises, service providers, and cloud companies alike. 128T is reshaping the way organizations design, deploy, and operate real-world networks by making them dramatically simpler, smarter, and more secure — it’s going to fix the router — and ultimately the network — as we know it.

    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.”

    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 Juniper Session Smart Router
    Learn more about Cisco SD-WAN
    Learn more about Fortinet FortiGate
    Sample Customers
    Revation Systems
    Doyle Research, Ashton Metzler & Associates
    Pittsburgh Steelers, LUSH Cosmetics, NASDAQ, Verizon, Arizona State University, Levi Strauss & Co. Whitepaper and case studies here
    Top Industries
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Comms Service Provider37%
    Computer Software Company16%
    Retailer5%
    Government5%
    REVIEWERS
    Comms Service Provider48%
    Computer Software Company13%
    Financial Services Firm10%
    Transportation Company6%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Comms Service Provider34%
    Computer Software Company22%
    Manufacturing Company5%
    Government4%
    REVIEWERS
    Comms Service Provider16%
    Financial Services Firm10%
    Computer Software Company10%
    Manufacturing Company8%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Comms Service Provider33%
    Computer Software Company20%
    Government6%
    Manufacturing Company4%
    Company Size
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business16%
    Midsize Enterprise18%
    Large Enterprise67%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business43%
    Midsize Enterprise15%
    Large Enterprise42%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business18%
    Midsize Enterprise15%
    Large Enterprise66%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business47%
    Midsize Enterprise24%
    Large Enterprise29%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business29%
    Midsize Enterprise23%
    Large Enterprise49%
    Buyer's Guide
    Cisco SD-WAN vs. Fortinet FortiGate
    May 2022
    Find out what your peers are saying about Cisco SD-WAN vs. Fortinet FortiGate and other solutions. Updated: May 2022.
    609,272 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    Cisco SD-WAN is ranked 2nd in Software Defined WAN (SD-WAN) Solutions with 43 reviews while Fortinet FortiGate is ranked 1st in Software Defined WAN (SD-WAN) Solutions with 166 reviews. Cisco SD-WAN is rated 8.0, while Fortinet FortiGate is rated 8.4. The top reviewer of Cisco SD-WAN writes "Stable, cutting-edge, and robust". On the other hand, the top reviewer of Fortinet FortiGate writes "Stable, easy to set up, and offers good ROI". Cisco SD-WAN is most compared with Versa FlexVNF, VMware SD-WAN, Meraki SD-WAN, Silver Peak Unity EdgeConnect and Nuage Networks, whereas Fortinet FortiGate is most compared with pfSense, Cisco ASA Firewall, Sophos XG, Check Point NGFW and WatchGuard Firebox. See our Cisco SD-WAN vs. Fortinet FortiGate 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.