Cisco Secure Firewall vs Fortinet FortiGate comparison

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58,582 views|32,836 comparisons
83% willing to recommend
Fortinet Logo
123,063 views|89,961 comparisons
90% willing to recommend
Comparison Buyer's Guide
Executive Summary
Updated on Nov 23, 2022

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

  • Ease of Deployment: Users of Cisco Secure Firewall say if you are familiar with Cisco products, the deployment is easy. However, if you do not have experience using their products, it can be complex. In contrast, Fortinet Fortigate users overwhelmingly agree that deployment is easy and the initial setup is straightforward.
  • Features: Reviewers of both solutions praise their stability. Valuable features of Cisco Secure Firewall include intrusion detection and prevention, application control, URL filtering, command-line interface, good reports, great visibility, remote VPN, ACL, and role-based access. Some of the features that users mention are lacking include better encryption, a less overwhelming user interface, stronger policy-based routing, and better configuration.

    Valuable features of Fortinet Fortigate include UTM shared bundle, SD-WAN network monitoring and features, Industrial Databases, Internet of Things, Detection, VPN, intuitive administration panel, a good user interface, great templates, Advanced routing (RIP, OSPF, BGP, PBR), web filtering, application control, intrusion protection, link load balancing, reliability, user-friendliness, two-factor authentication, content filtering switches, and unified threat management capabilities. Users mention there are areas where the solution could be improved, including better monitoring and reporting, more improvements on the WiFi controller and the SSL-VPN, better performance and speed, and more flexibility for some of the cloud-based features.
  • Pricing: Users of Cisco Secure Firewall say the pricing is expensive. Fortinet Fortigate users share mixed opinions, with some users expressing they think the pricing is affordable and fair and some users mentioning they think it is on the more expensive side.
  • Service and Support: Users of Cisco Secure Firewall feel that service and support is excellent, noting that you have access to it 24/7. Users of Fortinet Fortigate are satisfied with the service and support they receive, reporting that they have had positive experiences and fast turnaround times.
  • ROI: Cisco Secure Firewall users confirm that they have seen an ROI by avoiding attacks and protecting their network. Fortinet Fortigate users also say they have definitely seen an ROI.

Comparison Results: Based on the parameters we compared, Fortinet Fortigate comes out on top. Its ease of deployment combined with its solid set of features and excellent service and support ratings make it a more desirable solution than Cisco Secure Firewall.

To learn more, read our detailed Cisco Secure Firewall vs. Fortinet FortiGate Report (Updated: March 2024).
767,496 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 am used to the ASA syntax, therefore it is quite easy to make up new rules. I have found that DNS doctoring rules are useful.""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.""It provides security for our company and users.""I like the ASDM for the firewall because it is visual. With the command line, it is harder to visualize what is going on. A picture is worth a thousand words.""Protecting our landscape in general and being able to see logging when things aren't going as set out in policies are valuable features. Our security department is keen on seeing the logging.""They provide DDoS protection and multi-factor authentication. That is a good option as it enables work-from-home functionality.""The most important features are the intrusion prevention engine and the application visibility and control. The Snort feature in Firepower is also valuable.""Implementing Cisco Secure Firewall has saved us time because we rely on most of the out-of-the-box signatures. It has reduced the time and effort spent in configuration within the security network."

More Cisco Secure Firewall Pros →

"The most valuable feature of Fortinet FortiGate is load balancing. It can provide central management and VPNA. Additionally, it has enhanced our security environment.""The solution is stable.""The network security and cloud security are most valuable.""The FortiGate controls the user's activities and maximizes my bandwidth use overall.""The most valuable features are simplicity, management, and that it's constantly evolving.""Overall, the pricing of the solution is very good. The product offers good value.""The solution is very user friendly. The user interface in particular is quite nice.""The secure web gateway module and the application control module are valuable. HA operations are very easy."

More Fortinet FortiGate Pros →

Cons
"This solution could be more granular and user-friendly.""More intuitive support for SIP services are needed. This took a long time to configure properly for the user.""I would like to see them update the GUI so that it doesn't look like it was made in 1995.""The initial setup could be simplified, as it can be complex for new users.""When comparing the graphical interface of this solution to other vendors it is more difficult to configure. There is a higher learning curve for administrators in this solution.""The one thing that the ASAs don't have is a central management point. We have a lot of our environments on FTD right now. So, we are using a Firewall Management Center (FMC) to manage all those. The ASAs don't really have that, but they are easy to use if you physically go into them and manage them.""The integration between different tools could be improved. For example, with SecureX, I am yet to find out how to forward security events to different tools such as Microsoft Sentinel, which is what we use for log detection.""Cisco Firepower is not completely integrated with Active Directory. We are trying to use Active Directory to restrict users by using some security groups that are not integrated within the Cisco Firepower module. This is the main issue that we are facing."

More Cisco Secure Firewall Cons →

"The integration with third-party tools may be something that they should work on.""I would like to see a more intuitive dashboard.""They should offer special pricing to premium partners and customers.""They should make the rule sets more understandable for the end user. When you're trying to explain to somebody how a computer network is secured, sometimes it's difficult for an end user or customer to understand. If there was a way to make the terminology more accessible to the end user, the set up could be easier. They should translate the technical jargon to an easily relatable and understandable conversation for the end user, the customer, that would be brilliant. Particularly in an environment where the IT structure is audited regularly, there's always pressure from the auditor to up the standards and up the security and you get your USCERT's that come out and there's a warning about this and the customer will want to lock out so much and when you apply it they run into issue where they can't search the internet or print to their remote office. Of course they can't print to your remote office, they just locked it up. They should make the language more understandable for the customer. If there's a product out there that made the jargon understandable to John Q. Public, I would buy that.""Stability and technical support are the two major issues I have found with Fortinet.""I would suggest that Fortinet add sandboxing to their solution.""The logs need to be better. They need to be more visible and easier to access.""It would be nice if FortiGate incorporated some built-in endpoint protection features. I would also like a built-in SOC dashboard for managing multiple Fortinet firewalls."

More Fortinet FortiGate Cons →

Pricing and Cost Advice
  • "Always plan ahead for three years. In other words, do not buy a firewall on what your needs are today, but try to predict where you will be three years from now in terms of bandwidth, security requirements, and changes in organizational design."
  • "I have to admit that the price is high. But I think it's worth it if the stability of your solution counts for you."
  • "It has a great performance-to-price value, compared to competitive solutions."
  • "Spec the right hardware model and choose the right license for your needs."
  • "Everything with Cisco is expensive. My advice is that there are a lot better options out in the market now."
  • "To discuss with Cisco Systems or their partners to gain the optimal price and to not consider, without verifying, the false information that Cisco ASA is very expensive."
  • "Cisco devices are for sure costly and budget could be an important constrain on selecting them as our security solution."
  • "​Price point is too high for features and throughput available.​"
  • More Cisco Secure Firewall Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "Fortinet has one or two license types, and the VPN numbers are only limited by the hardware chassis make."
  • "These boxes are not that expensive compared to what they can do, their functionality, and the reporting you receive. Fortinet licensing is straightforward and less confusing compared to Cisco."
  • "Go for long term pricing negotiated at the time of purchase."
  • "Work through partners for the best pricing."
  • "The value is the capability of having multiple services with one unique license, not having the limitation per user licensing schema, like other vendors."
  • "Easy to understand licensing requirements."
  • "​We saved a bundle by not needing all the past appliances from an NGFW.​"
  • "The cost is too high... They have to focus on more features with less cost for the customer. If you see the market, where it's going, there are a lot of players offering more features for less cost."
  • More Fortinet FortiGate Pricing and Cost Advice →

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    Comparison Review
    Anonymous User
    I have used both Sophos and Fortinet products in production and I have found the Sophos UTM appliances (hardware and virtual) to be a better fit most of the time -- with a few caveats which I will touch on below. In both instances, the transition from TMG will be mostly straightforward. The main hang-ups will be with the VIP/load balancing and SSL. For some reason that completely escapes me, both of these vendors make getting valid certificates onto their boxes unnecessarily difficult -- the Fortinet appliances more so than the Sophos UTM appliances. At one point a Fortinet engineer had to write an entire manual on how to get an SSL certificate uploaded successfully on the 4.x firmware Sophos: The one feature that is missing (and this makes some amount of sense) from the Sophos appliance is BITS caching for updates. Other than that, Sophos offers a full replacement for TMG on UTM9. The XG platform also offers a replacement for the TMG; however, some of the rumblings about upcoming releases suggests that Sophos is going to give XG the Apple iOS treatment and "streamline" the interface...potentially cutting out/hiding some functionality. On the effectiveness of the NGFW, Sophos is mostly good but has a few issues blocking all pieces of an application. For instance, we had to build custom blocking rules for OpenVPN (the vpn was being used to bypass the content filter) because the default Application Control wasn't effectively blocking the application. Fortinet: If it… Read more →
    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 Fortinet too.… more »
    Top Answer:One of our favorite things about Fortinet Fortigate is that you can deploy on the cloud or on premises. Fortinet Fortigate is very stable, reliable, and consistent. We like that we can manage the… 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
    4th
    out of 59 in Firewalls
    Views
    58,582
    Comparisons
    32,836
    Reviews
    100
    Average Words per Review
    700
    Rating
    8.3
    2nd
    out of 59 in Firewalls
    Views
    123,063
    Comparisons
    89,961
    Reviews
    48
    Average Words per Review
    661
    Rating
    8.4
    Comparisons
    Also Known As
    Cisco ASA Firewall, Cisco Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA) Firewall, Cisco ASA NGFW, Cisco ASA, Adaptive Security Appliance, ASA, Cisco Sourcefire Firewalls, Cisco ASAv, Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall
    FortiGate 60b, FortiGate 60c, FortiGate 80c, FortiGate 50b, FortiGate 200b, FortiGate 110c, FortiGate
    Learn More
    Overview

    Cisco Secure Firewall stands as a robust and adaptable security solution, catering to organizations of all sizes. It's designed to shield networks from a diverse array of cyber threats, such as ransomware, malware, and phishing attacks. Beyond mere protection, it also offers secure access to corporate resources, beneficial for employees, partners, and customers alike. One of its key functions includes network segmentation, which serves to isolate critical assets and minimize the risk of lateral movement within the network.

    The core features of Cisco Secure Firewall are multifaceted:

    • Advanced threat protection is achieved through a combination of intrusion prevention, malware detection, and URL filtering technologies.
    • For secure access, the firewall presents multiple options, including VPN, remote access, and single sign-on.
    • Its network segmentation capability is vital in creating barriers within the network to safeguard critical assets.
    • The firewall is scalable, effectively serving small businesses to large enterprises.
    • Management is streamlined through Cisco DNA Center, a central management system.

    The benefits of deploying Cisco Secure Firewall are substantial. It significantly reduces the risk of cyberattacks, thereby enhancing the security posture of an organization. This security also translates into increased productivity, as secure access means uninterrupted work. Compliance with industry regulations is another advantage, as secure access and network segmentation align with many regulatory standards. Additionally, it helps in reducing IT costs by automating security tasks and simplifying management processes.

    In practical scenarios, Cisco Secure Firewall finds diverse applications. It's instrumental in protecting branch offices from cyberattacks, securing remote access for various stakeholders, safeguarding cloud workloads, and segmenting networks to isolate sensitive areas.

    User reviews from PeerSpot reflect an overall positive experience with the Cisco Secure Firewall. Users appreciate its ease of configuration, good management capabilities, robust protection, user-friendly interface, and scalability. However, some areas for improvement include better integration capabilities with other vendors, maturity, control over bandwidth for end-users, and addressing software bugs.

    In summary, Cisco Secure Firewall is a comprehensive, versatile, and reliable security solution that effectively meets the security needs of various organizations. It offers a balance of advanced protection, user-friendly management, and scalability, making it a valuable asset in the realm of network security.

    Fortinet FortiGate enhances network security, prevents unauthorized access, and offers robust firewall protection. Valued features include advanced threat protection, reliable performance, and a user-friendly interface. It improves efficiency, streamlines processes, and boosts collaboration, providing valuable insights for informed decision-making and growth.

    Sample Customers
    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.
    1. Amazon Web Services 2. Microsoft 3. IBM 4. Cisco 5. Dell 6. HP 7. Oracle 8. Verizon 9. AT&T 10. T-Mobile 11. Sprint 12. Vodafone 13. Orange 14. BT Group 15. Telstra 16. Deutsche Telekom 17. Comcast 18. Time Warner Cable 19. CenturyLink 20. NTT Communications 21. Tata Communications 22. SoftBank 23. China Mobile 24. Singtel 25. Telus 26. Rogers Communications 27. Bell Canada 28. Telkom Indonesia 29. Telkom South Africa 30. Telmex 31. Telia Company 32. Telkom Kenya
    Top Industries
    REVIEWERS
    Financial Services Firm15%
    Computer Software Company12%
    Comms Service Provider12%
    Government8%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Educational Organization20%
    Computer Software Company16%
    Comms Service Provider9%
    Government6%
    REVIEWERS
    Comms Service Provider16%
    Computer Software Company9%
    Financial Services Firm8%
    Manufacturing Company7%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Educational Organization20%
    Computer Software Company15%
    Comms Service Provider8%
    Manufacturing Company6%
    Company Size
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business35%
    Midsize Enterprise24%
    Large Enterprise42%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business24%
    Midsize Enterprise30%
    Large Enterprise46%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business48%
    Midsize Enterprise23%
    Large Enterprise30%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business27%
    Midsize Enterprise32%
    Large Enterprise41%
    Buyer's Guide
    Cisco Secure Firewall vs. Fortinet FortiGate
    March 2024
    Find out what your peers are saying about Cisco Secure Firewall vs. Fortinet FortiGate and other solutions. Updated: March 2024.
    767,496 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    Cisco Secure Firewall is ranked 4th in Firewalls with 404 reviews while Fortinet FortiGate is ranked 2nd in Firewalls with 306 reviews. Cisco Secure Firewall is rated 8.2, while Fortinet FortiGate is rated 8.4. The top reviewer of Cisco Secure Firewall writes "Highlights and helps us catch Zero-day vulnerabilities traveling across our network". On the other hand, the top reviewer of Fortinet FortiGate writes "It's a reliable solution that's easy to install and cheaper than competitors ". Cisco Secure Firewall is most compared with Palo Alto Networks WildFire, Netgate pfSense, Meraki MX, Sophos XG and Palo Alto Networks NG Firewalls, whereas Fortinet FortiGate is most compared with Sophos XG, Netgate pfSense, Meraki MX, Check Point NGFW and WatchGuard Firebox. See our Cisco Secure Firewall vs. Fortinet FortiGate report.

    See our list of best Firewalls vendors.

    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.