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).
656,474 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 find all of its features very useful. Its main features are policies and access lists. We use both of them, and we also use routing.""It is a very user-friendly product.""I have access to the web version of Cisco Talos to see the reputation of IP addresses. I find this very helpful. It provides important information for my company to obtain the reputation of IP addresses. The information in Talos is quite complete.""Firepower NGFW has improved my organization in several ways. Before, we were trying to stamp out security threats and issues, it was a one-off type of way to attack it. I spent a lot of manpower trying to track down the individual issues or flare-ups that we would see. With Cisco's Firepower Management, we're able to have that push up to basically one monitor and one UI and be able to track that and stop threats immediately. It also gives us a little more granularity on what those threats might be.""The VPN feature is the most valuable to us because it accomplishes the task well. We're able to do everything we need to do.""Cisco ASA works very nicely from an administration perspective. The management of the device is very nice. The ASDM (Adaptive Security Device Manager) is the software that we use and it is very easy to configure using the GUI.""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.""We are mostly using it for remote access, so the remote access feature is the most valuable, but all other features are also needed and required. It is also a very straightforward and reliable solution."

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"FortiGate is flexible and easy to use.""It is easy to manage, and it doesn't need much knowledge from the team. It is a stable device, and there are many features that are included out of the box.""Fortigate represents a really scalable way of delivering perimeter network security, some level of layer 7 security, WAF, and also a way to create a meshed ADVPN solution.""It can expand easily.""Fortinet FortiGate is stable. It's used across all the countries, this is the way most multinationals run their system.""FortiGate Secure SD-WAN includes best-of-breed next-generation firewall (NGFW) security, SD-WAN, advanced routing, and WAN optimization capabilities, delivering a security-driven networking WAN edge transformation in a unified offering.""The most valuable features of Fortinet FortiGate are the ease of use and the UI. It has always provided me with what I needed. I have no need for additional costs that other solutions have, such as Sophos.""The simplicity of the configuration and the stability of the product are most valuable. The VPN concentrator is very useful."

More Fortinet FortiGate Pros →

Cons
"They need to do an overhaul of the management console.""The access layer of this solution could be improved in terms of the way the devices interconnect with our network. We need to be able to analyze the traffic between the different interconnection in these areas.""There is huge scope for improvement in URL filtering. The database that they have is not accurate. Their content awareness and categorization for URL filtering are not that great. We faced many challenges with their categorization and content awareness. They should improve these categorization issues.""The stability is not the best.""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.""An area of improvement for this solution is the console visualization.""The Firepower FTD code is missing some old ASA firewalls codes. It's a small thing. But Firepower software isn't missing things that are essential, anymore.""I would like more features in conjunction with other solutions, like Fortinet."

More Cisco Secure Firewall Cons →

"This product needs to have an analysis feature, rather than having the analysis done through the integration of a different product.""I would like to see improvements with the antivirus and IPS as they are not working properly all the time.""The stability of Fortinet FortiGate could improve.""Scalability for Fortinet FortiGate needs to be improved. SD-WAN security for this solution also needs some improvement.""Some of the web policy reports could be improved.""You do need some IT knowledge in order to effectively work with the solution.""There are just some services that aren't available. For example, the Ethernet or point-to-point protocols. They could add these services to their product offering - especially services for ISPs.""Technical support is good but the response time could be faster."

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 →

  • "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."
  • "Its price is affordable and lesser than Cisco. Cisco is expensive. In terms of licensing, there is only one issue. If a customer's license has expired a month ago and they do the renewal after one month, Fortinet renews the license from the start of the previous month. The activation of the product is done from the previous month, not from the date of renewal. The customers usually shout and complain that because they are paying today, the renewal should start from today. The support contract renewals or licensing should be renewed from the date of renewal, but Fortinet starts from the day it had expired. It is a loss for customers. They might have had some problems because of which they did not take the license one month before. Fortinet should work on this. Cisco doesn't do this. Cisco always starts from the day they apply for the license."
  • 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.
      656,474 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 136 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.