Cisco Secure Firewall vs Meraki MX 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 Meraki MX based on our users’ reviews in five categories. After reading all of the collected data, you can find our conclusion below.

  • Ease of Deployment: Cisco Secure Firewall received mixed reviews regarding the ease of its initial setup. Some reviewers say it is straightforward while others say it can be complex. Most Meraki MX reviewers say the initial setup is straightforward.
  • Features: Users of both products are happy with their performance, stability, and scalability. Cisco Secure Firewall reviewers mention being very satisfied with the remote VPN features. A few Cisco ASA Firewall users say the solution is difficult to configure. Meraki MX users write that it is secure, easy to use and flexible. Several Meraki MX users mention they would like to see improved monitoring capabilities.
  • Pricing: Cisco Secure Firewall users note that the price of the product is high. In contrast, most Meraki MX users say that the price of the product is fair.
  • ROI: Reviewers of both products report a significant ROI.
  • Service and Support: Reviewers of both products report being very satisfied with the level of support they receive.

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.

To learn more, read our detailed Cisco Secure Firewall vs. Meraki MX Report (Updated: November 2022).
657,849 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
"Web filtering is a big improvement for us. The previous version we used, the AC520, did not have that feature included. It was not very easy for us, especially because the environment had to be isolated and we needed to get updates from outside, such as Windows patches. That feature has really helped us when we are going outside to pull those patches.""I love the ASDM (Adaptive Security Device Manager) which is the management suite. It's a GUI and you're able to see everything at a glance without using the command line. There are those who love the CLI, but with ASDM it is easier to see where everything is going and where the problems are.""The solution offers very easy configurations.""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.""The user interface is very easy to manage and find rules. You can do object searches, which are very easy. Also, the logging is very simple to use. So, it is a lot easier to troubleshoot and find items inside the firewall.""I have integrated it for incidence response. If there is a security event, the Cisco firewall will automatically block the traffic, which is valuable.""I have found the most valuable feature to be the access control and IPsec VPN.""The CLI is the most valuable feature. This solution is very flexible and offers different functionality including firewalls and VPN connectivity."

More Cisco Secure Firewall Pros →

"Point-to-point VPNs can dynamically follow IP changes with no need for static IPs.""MX is easy to manage, configure and install.""They have very good technical support and I have relied heavily on them.""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.""It is easy to manage, which is one of the most important things for us. It is also flexible, stable, and scalable.""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.""Easy to deploy with a simple configuration.""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."

More Meraki MX Pros →

Cons
"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.""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.""They should work on making it a little more intuitive for users and not quite as complex. Still, it's a good product.""A major area of improvement would be to have more functionality in public clouds, especially in terms of simplifying it. The high availability doesn't work right now because of the limitations in the cloud.""Cisco ASA is starting to get old and Firepower is taking over. All the good things happening are with Firepower.""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.""It doesn't have Layer 7 security.""Other products are becoming easier to access and configure. They are providing UI interfaces to configure, take backup, synchronize redundant machines, and so on. It is very easy to take backup and upgrade the images in those products. Cisco ASA should have such features. If one redundant machine is getting upgraded, the technology and support should be there to upgrade other redundant machines. In a single window, we should be able to do more in terms of backups, restores, and upgrades."

More Cisco Secure Firewall Cons →

"Meraki MX firewalls are great for small to medium-sized businesses, but other solutions are better for enterprise-sized companies.""You cannot use switching behaviors as you see on the Meraki switch.""It would be nice if the different services, including the SIEM SOC and endpoint detection and response (EDR) were integrated into one, so that I don't have to go to different vendors for different services.""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.""The whole Cisco Meraki range requires easier access for cameras. For a security center, it would be helpful to have easier access to cameras through the portal. Its licensing cost could also be better.""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.""When we do API integrations with Meraki, they have always been hard as well as tedious to build. The data that we want out of the API integrations has been only recently available. Six months ago, it was hard to get someone to build something correctly or useful with Meraki APIs. Recently, they have made more data available on the API, but it is just a start. They need to do more.""They're very complacent and I find the rule set to be a little arcane."

More Meraki MX Cons →

Pricing and Cost Advice
  • "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."
  • "This is an expensive product, although when you buy this solution, you can do many things so it provides good value for the investment."
  • More Cisco Secure Firewall Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "Its licensing cost could be better."
  • "The price could be lower, but compared to the TCO of other products, it's not really that expensive."
  • "Like any Cisco product, the license is really expensive for small business clients. It needs to be cheaper. If you look it up, you might go, "That doesn't make any sense.""
  • "We just have to pay for the product and the license. We have a license for three years, and it is renewed every three years. It costs $1,200 for three years for one endpoint. Meraki had a good promotion for remote workers or remote workforce. The discount is very good. This promotion continues till the next fiscal year of Cisco."
  • "​Other content filtering solutions that I have used had more bells and whistles, but given the cost, complexity, and management overhead, I am very pleased with Meraki’s solution."
  • "I think the price is comparable with other solutions of the same kind. Depending on the use case it could be cheaper or more expensive, I think it offers good value."
  • "The price of Meraki MX is between $8 and $1,200. Additionally, we typically purchase a three-year enterprise license, and we pay approximately $899 and mark it up a bit."
  • "The pricing for Meraki MX is all right, but as the hardware needs to be licensed, the cost depends on the complexity of the device and the term. Pricing could be $100 to $10,000 yearly or even more for a more complex device."
  • More Meraki MX Pricing and Cost Advice →

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    Answers from the Community
    Netanya Carmi
    Frank Theilen - PeerSpot reviewerFrank Theilen
    Real User

    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.

    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: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 »
    Top Answer: 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… more »
    Top Answer:Meraki equipment requires a current license in order to operate. This also gets you hardware replacement and tech support while the license is current. Fortigate requires a current license for… more »
    Ranking
    2nd
    out of 48 in Firewalls
    Views
    99,561
    Comparisons
    66,518
    Reviews
    117
    Average Words per Review
    751
    Rating
    8.3
    Views
    36,182
    Comparisons
    29,267
    Reviews
    6
    Average Words per Review
    918
    Rating
    8.8
    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
    MX64, MX64W, MX84, MX100, MX400, MX600
    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.

      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:

      • End-to-end health of web applications at a glance across the LAN, WAN, and application server.
      • Autonomous machine-learned smart application thresholds applied to identify true anomalies that are based on past behavioral patterns.
      • Ability to monitor the health of all MX WAN links across an entire organization.
      • Ability to detail hop-by-hop VoIP performance analysis across all uplinks.

      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:

      • SD-WAN capabilities
      • SNORT®-based intrusion detection and prevention
      • Layer 7 fingerprinting
      • Web caching
      • Application-based firewalling
      • Anti-malware
      • Geo-based firewalling
      • Content filtering
      • Site-to-site auto VPN and client VPN
      • Web search filtering
      • Cisco Advanced Malware Protection (AMP)
      • 4G cellular failover
      • Dynamic path selection
      • Web application health and VoIP health

      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.”

      Offer
      Learn more about Cisco Secure Firewall
      Learn more about Meraki MX
      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.
      Hyatt, ONS
      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 Provider26%
      Financial Services Firm9%
      Performing Arts9%
      Consumer Goods Company9%
      VISITORS READING REVIEWS
      Computer Software Company19%
      Comms Service Provider16%
      Government6%
      Retailer5%
      Company Size
      REVIEWERS
      Small Business35%
      Midsize Enterprise24%
      Large Enterprise41%
      VISITORS READING REVIEWS
      Small Business28%
      Midsize Enterprise19%
      Large Enterprise53%
      REVIEWERS
      Small Business60%
      Midsize Enterprise23%
      Large Enterprise17%
      VISITORS READING REVIEWS
      Small Business36%
      Midsize Enterprise18%
      Large Enterprise46%
      Buyer's Guide
      Cisco Secure Firewall vs. Meraki MX
      November 2022
      Find out what your peers are saying about Cisco Secure Firewall vs. Meraki MX and other solutions. Updated: November 2022.
      657,849 professionals have used our research since 2012.

      Cisco Secure Firewall is ranked 2nd in Firewalls with 122 reviews while Meraki MX is ranked 2nd in Unified Threat Management (UTM) with 13 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 "Makes it easy to stay on top of everything for security". Cisco Secure Firewall is most compared with Fortinet FortiGate, Palo Alto Networks WildFire, pfSense, Juniper SRX and Check Point NGFW, whereas Meraki MX is most compared with Fortinet FortiGate, Palo Alto Networks NG Firewalls, Sophos XG, SonicWall NSa and pfSense. 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.