Cisco Secure Firewall vs Fortinet FortiGate comparison

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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: November 2022).
655,711 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
"We definitely feel more secure. We have more control over things going in and out of our network.""All the rules are secure and we haven't had a significant malware attack in the five years that we've been using ASA Firewall. It has been a tremendous improvement for our network. However, I can't quantify the benefits in monetary terms.""I like the IPS feature, it is the most valuable.""The most valuable feature is the anti-malware protection. It protects the endpoints on my network.""Since the product is stable, we do not have to spend additional money to buy other firewalls. Once deployed, we can use the product for a long time. Thus, it is cost effective.""The configuration was kind of straightforward from the command line and also from the ASDM. It was very easy to manage by using their software in Java.""Cisco's technical support is the best and that's why everybody implements their products.""The technical support is excellent. I would rate it as 10 out of 10. When there has been an issue, we have had a good response from them."

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 main reason why I purchased the particular unit was that it had good reviews and what other people were saying as far as its completeness and its leading capabilities in terms of endpoint security was very good.""Security solution with a straightforward and quick setup. It's a stable and scalable product.""The license management is very valuable. You can get a new license each year, or you can enroll every two to four years. You can get the logs, and you will get the information on the risk in your network and the entire organization. With this information, you can take action on your actives, computers, or devices. You can bring your own device as an SSE.""The most valuable features of Fortinet FortiGate are the ability to work in proxy mode, which other solutions, such as Palo Alto cannot. There are some features that are better that come at no extra license or subscriptions cost, such as basic SD-WAN. The DLT is useful, other solutions have the same feature too, such as Palo Alto.""Offers good security and filtering.""I like that you are able to manage FortiGate from the FortiManager to create a more centralized environment.""Fortinet FortiGate's most valuable features are ease of use, flexibility, and most of the configuration we can be done using the GUI. When we compare Fortinet FortiGate with other solutions the firewall policy are very easy to understand."

More Fortinet FortiGate Pros →

Cons
"We are still running the original ASAs. The software that you are running for the ASDM software and Java application has never been a lot of fun to operate. It would have been nice to see that change update be redesigned with modern systems, which don't play nicely with Java sometimes. Cybersecurity doesn't seem to love how that operates. For us, a fresher application, taking advantage of the hardware, would have been a better approach.""The graphical interface should be improved to make the configuration easier, to do things with a single click.""It needs to provide the next-generation firewall features that other vendors provide, like data analytics, telemetry, and deep packet inspection.""It can be improved when it comes to monitoring. Today, the logs from the firewalls could be improved a bit more without integrating with other devices.""There is limited data storage on the appliance itself. So, you need to ship it out elsewhere in order for you to store it. The only point of consideration is around that area, basically limited storage on the machine and appliance. Consider logging it elsewhere or pushing it out to a SIEM to get better controls and manipulation over the data to generate additional metrics and visibility.""It lacks management. For me, it still doesn't have a proper management tool or GUI for configuration, logging, and visualization. Its management is not that easy. It is also not very flexible and easy to configure. They used to have a product called CSM, but it is no longer being developed. FortiGate is better than this solution in terms of GUI, flexibility, and user-friendliness.""Cisco is not cheap, however, it is worth investing in these technologies.""When you make any changes, irrespective of whether they are big or small, Firepower takes too much time. It is very time-consuming. Even for small changes, you have to wait for 60 seconds or maybe more, which is not good. Similarly, when you have many IPS rules and policies, it slows down, and there is an impact on its performance."

More Cisco Secure Firewall Cons →

"Pricing for it is a bit high. It could be cheaper.""Fortinet FortiGate could improve by having a frequent ask questions(FAQ) area for people to receive quick answers to popular questions. Additionally, it would be beneficial to have an SMS notification feature. For example, if you cannot access your email you could receive an SMS message.""Fortinet FortiGate is a stable solution. However, my issue is the performance only. When I use all the profiles, this affects the performance. From the beginning, I should have had a better sizing of the box.""Fortinet FortiGate needs to improve to be on par with its competitors, such as Palo Alto and Sophos. They are the market leaders. Fortinet FortiGate needs to improve its capabilities. However, we are happy with Fortinet FortiGate.""Fortinet FortiGate could improve by adding enhancements to FortiMail, FortiSOAR, and FortiDeceptor.""FortiGate support could do some improvements on their IPv6 configuration. Right now it's still in the very early stage for utilizing in an enterprise level network environment.""I would like to see better pricing in the next release, as well as a simplification of the installation.""To some degree, it's almost a question as to why some of this stuff isn't simpler. For example, for an AP deployment, while it's integrated, the number of steps that you have to go through in order to get the AP up, seems like a lot."

More Fortinet FortiGate Cons →

Pricing and Cost Advice
  • "If we compare it with FortiGate and the co-existing ASA, FortiGate is better in price."
  • "They seem to be at the top end in terms of pricing, but they are worth the price. They are probably a little bit lower than Palo Alto. If the customers are relying on Cisco products and they are thinking more in terms of scaling to another layer in a year, it is pretty much in a good price range."
  • "We're using the smart license for this firewall. The models that we have require licensing for remote access."
  • "There are licensing costs."
  • "I just bought it off the shelf, and I'm using it with my previous one, so I have not spent that much."
  • "The price is fair. It's not the cheapest, but it's not bad."
  • "For me, personally, as an individual, Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall is expensive."
  • "The product is very expensive."
  • More Cisco Secure Firewall Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "I think the price of Fortinet FortiGate is very reasonable."
  • "It's a very full-featured and it's priced well solution."
  • "The price of FortiGate is average and I would say that based on the top five products available on the market, it is in the affordable range."
  • "Fortinet bundles FortiGate with other products and because of this, the price is a little expensive to some SMB enterprises."
  • "When you look at these end security systems and firewalls, these firewalls even five years ago were $50,000 or perhaps $25,000 to implement in some types of customer sites. Now we're talking about tools that are $1,000. In this case, it might have been $500 or something like that."
  • "The price of FortiGate is good."
  • "We purchased a five-year bundle package, which worked out cheaper than competing solutions."
  • "We just pay a flat monthly fee to the vendor for the support."
  • 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: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
    2nd
    out of 48 in Firewalls
    Views
    99,561
    Comparisons
    66,518
    Reviews
    117
    Average Words per Review
    751
    Rating
    8.3
    1st
    out of 48 in Firewalls
    Views
    164,048
    Comparisons
    128,346
    Reviews
    130
    Average Words per Review
    437
    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

    The Cisco Secure Firewall portfolio delivers greater protections for your network against an increasingly evolving and complex set of threats. With Cisco, you’re investing in a foundation for security that is both agile and integrated- leading to the strongest security posture available today and tomorrow.

      From your data center, branch offices, cloud environments, and everywhere in between, you can leverage the power of Cisco to turn your existing network infrastructure into an extension of your firewall solution, resulting in world class security controls everywhere you need them.

      Investing in a Secure Firewall appliance today gives you robust protections against even the most sophisticated threats without compromising performance when inspecting encrypted traffic. Further, integrations with other Cisco and 3rd party solutions provides you with a broad and deep portfolio of security products, all working together to correlate previously disconnected events, eliminate noise, and stop threats faster.

      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 Secure Firewall
      Learn more about Fortinet FortiGate
      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.
      Pittsburgh Steelers, LUSH Cosmetics, NASDAQ, Verizon, Arizona State University, Levi Strauss & Co. Whitepaper and case studies here
      Top Industries
      REVIEWERS
      Financial Services Firm16%
      Comms Service Provider13%
      Computer Software Company9%
      Government8%
      VISITORS READING REVIEWS
      Comms Service Provider20%
      Computer Software Company19%
      Government7%
      Educational Organization5%
      REVIEWERS
      Comms Service Provider16%
      Financial Services Firm10%
      Computer Software Company9%
      Manufacturing Company7%
      VISITORS READING REVIEWS
      Comms Service Provider23%
      Computer Software Company19%
      Government6%
      Educational Organization5%
      Company Size
      REVIEWERS
      Small Business36%
      Midsize Enterprise24%
      Large Enterprise40%
      VISITORS READING REVIEWS
      Small Business28%
      Midsize Enterprise19%
      Large Enterprise53%
      REVIEWERS
      Small Business46%
      Midsize Enterprise24%
      Large Enterprise30%
      VISITORS READING REVIEWS
      Small Business30%
      Midsize Enterprise20%
      Large Enterprise50%
      Buyer's Guide
      Cisco Secure Firewall vs. Fortinet FortiGate
      November 2022
      Find out what your peers are saying about Cisco Secure Firewall vs. Fortinet FortiGate and other solutions. Updated: November 2022.
      655,711 professionals have used our research since 2012.

      Cisco Secure Firewall is ranked 2nd in Firewalls with 123 reviews while Fortinet FortiGate is ranked 1st in Firewalls with 141 reviews. Cisco Secure Firewall is rated 8.2, while Fortinet FortiGate is rated 8.4. The top reviewer of Cisco Secure 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 "A reliable and consistent solution that allows us to manage the entire network from one interface and supports on-premises and cloud deployments". Cisco Secure Firewall is most compared with Meraki MX, Palo Alto Networks WildFire, pfSense, Juniper SRX and Check Point NGFW, whereas Fortinet FortiGate is most compared with pfSense, Sophos XG, Check Point NGFW, Meraki MX 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.