We performed a comparison between Cisco Secure Firewall and Meraki MX based on our users’ reviews in five categories. After reading all of the collected data, you can find our conclusion below.
Comparison Results: Meraki MX is the winner in this comparison. It is easier to set up and more user-friendly than Cisco ASA Firewall. In addition, Meraki MX is a less expensive solution than Cisco Secure Firewall.
"The most valuable feature would be the IP blocking. It gets rid of things that you don't need in your environment."
"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."
"The features I have found most valuable are the ASA firewalls. I like to have features like most integrated systems in ACI."
"It's protecting the organization against the impact of cyber threats and cybersecurity. We run manufacturing plants that have hazardous material, and we don't want that manufacturing process to be impacted by break-in exposure, cyber threats, or any other similar thing."
"Cisco Secure Firewall is a scalable solution."
"If you compare the ASA and the FirePOWER, the best feature with FirePOWER is easy to use GUI. It has most of the same functionality in the Next-Generation FirePOWER, such as IPS, IPS policies, security intelligence, and integration and identification of all the devices or hardware you have in your network. Additionally, this solution is user-friendly."
"The features I've found most valuable are the packet captures and packet traces because they help me debug connections. I like the logs because they help me see what's going on."
"Application inspection, network segmentation, and encrypted traffic detection or encrypted traffic analysis (ETA) are valuable for our customers."
"Point-to-point VPNs can dynamically follow IP changes with no need for static IPs."
"The most valuable feature of Meraki MX is I can manage the solution from anywhere remotely, I can throttle bandwidth, and create all rules. Additionally, it is secure for our customers."
"Its ease of configuration and management is very useful for us and for other companies that don't have an onsite IT person. It is easy to configure and easy to manage. It is easy to configure the VPN with the Auto VPN feature."
"Dual WAN connections are greatly simplified and point-to-point VPNs automatically connect regardless of what WAN connection is active."
"The solution is easy to set up."
"What I like best about Meraki MX is that it's easy to deploy remotely. The product works. It has automatic updates. I also like that Meraki MX is a brilliant device. You turn it on, stick the key in there, activate it, and then you're done. Meraki MX does what my customers need at the end of the day, so I also like that."
"To me, the analytics feature is one of the most valuable in Meraki MX. I also find that it has good usability as it's cloud-based. Another valuable feature of Meraki MX is that it's simple to use and it's user-friendly."
"I think cloud management is key. The cloud management and support are the two things that make the product great."
"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."
"One thing that Cisco could improve is the GUI. The graphic user interface should be more user-friendly."
"I have a lot of difficulties with the solution's Firewall Management Center (FMC) and the GUI. Neither is responsive enough and should be improved."
"The scalability has room for improvement."
"It is hard to control the bandwidth of end-users with a Cisco Firewall. That is the main issue I've faced. I used Mikrotik for many years for this very reason. Mikrotik has the option to set a bandwidth restriction for a single IP or complete segments. Cisco should add this option to their firewall."
"The most valuable features of the product are the VPN and the NextGen firewall features such as application control, URL filtering, etc."
"It doesn't have Layer 7 security."
"The integration between the on-prem proxy world and the cloud proxy would benefit us. One single policy setting would make sense."
"We had minor issues with Meraki MX. We had a couple of RMAs, so that could be an area for improvement, but in terms of how the RMAs went, the turnaround time and getting those back into redeployment were quick. Another area for improvement in Meraki MX is that when you're scaling for multiple locations, you need to use the same model, but the model you'd need is only available for a short time. The specific model you require could be out of stock, or Meraki isn't making that model anymore, so Meraki should improve that."
"It is very expensive."
"Meraki tech support staff have a lot more visibility into your network than you do, which is frustrating at times. I understand the approach is to keep the dashboard easier to understand. This will frustrate more advanced users at times."
"We have been having a problem with the VPN. When the energy goes down and is back again, the VPN link doesn't get established. We have to manually turn off the modems and other pieces of equipment and manually establish the VPN. It has been around one month since we have been having this problem, and we don't have enough support from Meraki to solve the problem."
"MX can only be managed via a web interface, but I'm accustomed to using a CLI or a graphical interface. I would also like to see more reporting features. It doesn't provide enough information for me to know precisely about some clients."
"Meraki has some hidden features and information that is only privy to their engineers. If that information became available to us, then it would improve our ease of management, and we would be able to make certain adjustments instead of having to go to them."
"An area for improvement in Meraki MX is that it needs some provision, as supplying the unit through Cisco can be tedious at times, but as far as the product itself and its offerings, Meraki MX is five-star all the way."
"Meraki MX firewalls are great for small to medium-sized businesses, but other solutions are better for enterprise-sized companies."
Cisco Secure Firewall, including Firepower, is a powerful perimeter security solution used for network security, data center protection, advanced malware protection, and site-to-site VPNs. Its most valuable features include NGIPS, application visibility and control, VLAN implementations, intrusion prevention, threat defense, and NAT.
The solution has helped organizations discover their environment, improve security, implement dynamic policies, reduce operational costs, and protect against threats from outside and within the data center. Overall, Cisco Secure Firewall is a valuable tool for securing organizations and providing visibility into threats.
Cisco Meraki MX appliances are next-generation firewalls with all the advanced security services needed for today’s IT security. The appliances are ideal for organizations considering a unified threat management (UTM) solution for branch offices, data centers, distributed sites, or campuses. Since Meraki MX is 100% cloud-managed, installation and remote management are simple and zero-touch.
Meraki MX’s hardware and virtual appliances are configurable in Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS), and Google Cloud Platform, and private cloud support is offered through Cisco NFVIS and Alibaba Cloud.
Organizations of all sizes and across all industries rely on Meraki MX to deliver secure connectivity to hub locations or multi-cloud environments, as well as application quality of experience (QoE) through advanced analytics with machine learning.
Cisco Meraki’s advanced QoE analytics offers:
Cisco Meraki’s SD-WAN offers:
The Meraki MX’s SD-WAN is unique in that it can be easily extended to deliver optimized access to resources in public and private cloud environments with virtual MX appliances. Its SD-WAN lowers operational costs and improves the performance of remotely-accessed resources. Users can ensure the availability of the apps and services their employees use most through dynamic path selection, policy-based routing, support for application-layer profiles, and VPN.
Meraki MX offers industry-leading cloud management that has template-based settings which can scale easily from small deployments to tens of thousands of devices. It features an intuitive web-based dashboard for managing mobile devices, united firewalls, switching, and wireless LAN. Users can also benefit from role-based administration, configurable email alerts for a variety of important events, and easily auditable change logs. Meraki MX is capable of producing summary reports with device, user, and application details archived in the cloud.
Meraki MX Key Features
MX has a robust suite of network services in an all-in-one device, which saves you money by eliminating the need for multiple appliances. These services include:
Reviews from Real Users
Meraki MX stands out among its competitors for a number of reasons. Two major ones are its easy management and its ability to be accessed remotely. Below is some feedback from PeerSpot users who are currently using Meraki MX as their firewall security solution.
Craig B., a central services engineer at Liberty Technology, writes, “The web console for managing everything keeps everything on Meraki and keeps us from going somewhere else. It is why I think a lot of people like Meraki. Comparing it to SonicWall or even a different Cisco firewall, like traditional ASAs, managing Meraki is a thousand times easier because of fluidity. You don't have to rebuild a table just to change one rule. It's much more readable for a human.”
Edgardo C., an IT director, notes,”By using the VPN, we can connect remotely. We have two offices, and we could connect them through the VPN. We could establish a network between two sites, and that has improved and increased communication and productivity. Our remote site is able to access the server remotely.”
Cisco Secure Firewall is ranked 2nd in Firewalls with 115 reviews while Meraki MX is ranked 3rd in Unified Threat Management (UTM) with 9 reviews. Cisco Secure Firewall is rated 8.2, while Meraki MX is rated 8.8. 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 Meraki MX writes "Provides good visibility, easy to configure and manage, and good for small businesses". Cisco Secure Firewall is most compared with Fortinet FortiGate, Palo Alto Networks WildFire, pfSense, Juniper SRX Series Firewall and Sophos XG, whereas Meraki MX is most compared with Fortinet FortiGate, Palo Alto Networks NG Firewalls, Sophos XG, pfSense and SonicWall NSa. See our Cisco Secure Firewall vs. Meraki MX report.
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.
Meraki is designed for zero deployments and no in-house firewall specialist personnel. Best to secure Networks like remote offices, branches or home offices. Also to protect Internet Access (your computer accesses the internet).
Cisco ASA is more of a professional firewall, not only protecting internet access but also providing security for publishing services like web servers, data centers, central services. They will need a specialist to install and support them. Therefore offer much more sophisticated protection features.
So you can't really compare these solutions, as they are targeting different markets.
You might compare Cisco to Sophos, but again, these are different protection solutions, one for network protection, the other for client protection. If you look only at the firewall part, you miss a lot in the total protection approach with Sophos.
Cisco Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA) software is the operating software for the Cisco ASA suite. It supports network security and firewall options. We researched both Meraki and ASA. We liked that ASA provides a solid VPN setup and integrates with other Cisco security offerings.
Cisco ASA is great for routing and accessing remote office locations via the remote VPN. We also liked the high availability and customizable nating (Network Access Translation). It is very reliable and easy to use. You can easily configure a site-to-site VPN to connect multiple sites. The support is great - they respond 24/7/365 and there is a lot of documentation available.
The downside is that ASAs are aging. Therefore, Cisco ASAs are best suited to small businesses. If you need something affordable that gets the job done, ASA is a good option.
We chose Cisco Meraki, because, in our opinion, it is a step forward from ASA. The level of security and intrusion detection is great, and because it is cloud-based, it is easy to change the configuration without downtime. Logging is very comprehensive, and management is very simple.
The best feature is content filtering with granular control. Cisco Meraki offers advanced malware protection, including traffic shaping. Another feature we really like is that you can pre-configure devices before they arrive at the installation.
It doesn’t work with DMVPN, which is a downside. Another feature that could use some improvement is reporting, which is not real-time. The price can get expensive but if you can afford it, a full-stack Cisco Meraki system does a great job keeping your network secure.
If you want a robust but basic firewall, ASA is your best choice. Cisco Meraki is a better choice if you are looking for a next-generation firewall with advanced security features and easy management.