Cisco Umbrella vs Fortinet FortiGate SWG comparison

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Comparison Buyer's Guide
Executive Summary
Updated on Jul 12, 2022

We performed a comparison between Cisco Umbrella and Fortinet FortiGate SWG 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 both solutions say that their initial setup is straightforward.
  • Features: Users of both products are happy with their stability and scalability.

    Cisco Umbrella users say it is flexible, fast, secure, and easy to manage. Several users mention that they would like better integration options.

    Fortinet Fortigate users like its security for endpoints feature and say that it performs well but that its reporting tools need to be improved.
  • Pricing: Most reviewers of both solutions feel that their prices are high.
  • ROI: Cisco Umbrella reviewers report seeing an ROI. Fortinet FortiGate SWG users do not mention ROI.
  • Service and Support: Users of both solutions report being satisfied with the level of support they receive. Fortinet FortiGate users note that sometimes the response time can be slow.

Comparison Results: Cisco Umbrella is the winner in this comparison. It is a powerful and reliable tool with a proven ROI. It also received higher marks in the Support category.

To learn more, read our detailed Cisco Umbrella vs. Fortinet FortiGate SWG Report (Updated: September 2023).
734,156 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:
"The protection offered by the product is the most valuable feature. It detects vulnerabilities or traps on our users' phones and then prompts them to clean up their devices. Tools we used previously would only discover, which required us to gather information on the backend, so Lookout is a welcome upgrade.""The most valuable features are the antivirus as a whole, the anti-malware, and all of the protection features that scan our enterprise devices."

More Lookout Pros →

"I haven't needed to reboot the servers for years due to their excellent stability.""The most valuable feature is its ability to detect if a URL has malware or is vulnerable.""The insight into what our users are doing via Cisco Umbrella is valuable. Knowing that we're protecting our users as they leave our network is also valuable now because we've got more hybrid working.""One of the most important features is the security posture check which Umbrella offers when a user accesses any website. That is one of the most unique features that it offers.""By using Cisco Umbrella, you are sure of inspecting all the traffic. Whenever the user machine is connected to your network, it is inspected. That's the best thing. It means you are sure that nothing is being exported or imported without your choice. That is the best feature.""When we have laptops that leave the building, they could connect to public WiFi before they establish a VPN connection back into the company. For that duration or that period of time when they're not docked in the network or on a VPN, they effectively don't have that full layer of security that I provide inside the building. This tool stands in during that period of time, and we extend the security settings through their basic firewall or their cloud-based firewall at that time. So, we do content filtering and control access, but they also are looking at new domains, IP addresses, and bad requests. They're blocking them on my behalf when a laptop is not sitting behind our security appliances.""It is user-friendly. It is easy to manage the solution.""The most valuable features are the dashboard, visibility, and reporting capabilities. Our customers can see how much Umbrella is protecting their organization. If you don't know what you've got, you can't protect it. With Umbrella, you get the visibility and see the protection that it's providing. We can get PDF reports on a weekly basis of any malware activities and any denial of service or command-and-control-type activities."

More Cisco Umbrella Pros →

"FortiGate is a great solution, although initially, it faced challenges in the Brazilian market due to lower brand recognition than Cisco. However, explaining and demonstrating its product format and offerings has proven easy. The cost-effectiveness and better features of FortiGate have made some clients skeptical. We set up a trial period, and they eventually opted for it. Many clients were convinced it was great after experiencing the solution's capabilities firsthand.""The most valuable feature of Fortinet FortiGate SWG is inspection.""Web filtering is the most useful feature.""The user interface is intuitive. Anyone can configure the firewall with little knowledge of the product. The back-end is robust with good security.""We have found the product to be scalable.""The solution is superior to Cisco in terms of security.""FortiGate SWG's most valuable feature is integration with vulnerability management.""It offers web filtering capabilities at a more affordable price compared to other solutions like PSMs or NETGEAR."

More Fortinet FortiGate SWG Pros →

"We just submitted an enhancement request reflecting the main area we want to see improvement in; the APIs. Currently, we're able to build dashboards, but it's somewhat backward because we use our MDM API to create them. Lookout should provide API to customers so we can query our data and use it in our cloud, and this is the only outstanding area for improvement with the product right now.""From the analysis that we've done, they do seem to be maybe a step behind in trying to enter the market with a new solution. But when they do pick up, they do come out with some good products."

More Lookout Cons →

"Although Cisco Umbrella has an excellent global network footprint, there is still room for improvement and growth in this area. Additionally, there are bandwidth limitations associated with the connectors that need to be addressed. To be a viable solution for larger offices, Cisco Umbrella must continue to expand and improve its capabilities in these areas.""The design of the screens could be improved. Sometimes you're trying to look for information, for what you think is critical that should be on that first screen of the dashboard so that you can quickly take screenshots to have people help out, but you have to hop between screens to find little pieces of evidence.""It would be good to have more extensions to third-party products and a client for other device types.""I am unsure if Cisco Umbrella offers a Windows option for running the server.""The rule-making process for blocking sites or for blocking characteristics can use some simplification.""Having ready-to-go templates with best practices is definitely something that would be an improvement. Deployment, from day one, is something that definitely needs to be improved for Cisco customers.""Its reliability and the response time of the support team can be better.""Its price could be better."

More Cisco Umbrella Cons →

"What could be improved in Fortinet FortiGate SWG is its pricing because it's a bit higher. If it's cheaper, my company could pitch it to customers and engage with customers better about it. What I'd like to see in the next release of Fortinet FortiGate SWG is an improvement in its dashboard or GUI. I'd like it to be more user-friendly.""The product needs to drastically improve its reporting capability.""Integrating OpenVPN with FortiGate would provide a powerful combination of secure remote access and comprehensive network security.""The initial setup is medium complex and takes between five days and a week.""We can't identify which users are causing challenges when we have issues.""We also have FortiAnalyzer deployed here, so we want to enable the soft functionality of FortiGate and built-in compression for a firewall VPN use case. We want the ability to deploy a gateway for HTTPS enabled on this firewall. It is currently only for use in our headquarters.""Fortinet needs to continue to improve network traceability. Other than that, we haven't run into anything that would give me any concern.""The price could be improved."

More Fortinet FortiGate SWG Cons →

Pricing and Cost Advice
  • "The pricing is fair; it's comparable to our previous solution, and we carried out multiple POCs and POVs (proof of value). The product is worth the money we pay for it."
  • "Lookout is definitely on the lower end when it comes to price point and that seems to be the only differentiator. The technology is in place in this space and it's really about who is coming in at the better price point now."
  • More Lookout Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "We were using the free version, and we implemented the paid version about two months ago. I'm paying a fair price, but everything is negotiable with Cisco. One of the benefits that I got by having Cisco Umbrella is the licensing of the Cisco AnyConnect VPN client."
  • "There are no hidden costs with Umbrella. Everything is included in the package."
  • "There is room for improvement when it comes to the cost."
  • "The pricing is pretty fair. It's good."
  • "We have a security Enterprise Agreement with Cisco, so the pricing is good."
  • "The pricing is great and very competitive with the rest of the market."
  • "As an educational partner, we get better licensing structures. We are very happy with that. It has been very nice that Cisco has partnered with the educational sector to bring that."
  • "Its value exceeds its pricing."
  • More Cisco Umbrella Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "We pay about $4,000 for a yearly license, and there aren't any additional fees."
  • "The pricing for this solution is reasonable."
  • "Pricing for Fortinet FortiGate SWG is more suitable for enterprise or large-sized organizations because they are the ones who can afford it versus small and medium-sized organizations."
  • "FortiGate SWG is reasonably priced."
  • "When comparing the price of Fortinet FortiGate SWG to other solutions it is expensive. The price could be better."
  • "When comparing this solution to others, I would rate it a ten out of ten in terms of pricing. However, the issue of requiring a separate license for redundancy is a drawback, and I would rate it a nine out of ten."
  • "It is a cost-effective solution that meets the user's needs."
  • "The product is expensive."
  • More Fortinet FortiGate SWG Pricing and Cost Advice →

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    Questions from the Community
    Top Answer:The most valuable features are the antivirus as a whole, the anti-malware, and all of the protection features that scan… more »
    Top Answer:Lookout comes in at a lower price point and that's how they get their foot in the door with customers. I respect that.
    Top Answer:I can really only speak about Lookout in the consumer space, not the enterprise space, but something that they are… more »
    Top Answer: Cisco Umbrella and Zscaler Internet Access are two broad-spectrum Internet security solutions that I have tried.… more »
    Top Answer:Cisco Umbrella is an integral component of the Cisco SASE architecture. It integrates security in a single, cloud-native… more »
    Top Answer:For us and for customers, it's the ease of integration with Meraki. It's just a couple of clicks. That allows us to… more »
    Top Answer:The solution is easy to implement and easy to configure. The most valuable feature is FortiGate’s content filtering.
    Top Answer:When comparing this solution to others, I would rate it a ten out of ten in terms of pricing. However, the issue of… more »
    Also Known As
    FortiGate SWG, FortiGate Secure Web Gateway
    Learn More

    Lookout is a well-established and powerful secure web gateway (SWG) solution that protects more than 200 million users from threats that can result from the penetration of unsecured web traffic into their networks. Lookout is designed to enable organizations to work remotely while maintaining a tight blanket of security over their confidential business data. It provides administrators with security that extends from their endpoints to the cloud service that they are using to run their organization’s network. 

    Users of Lookout are able to proactively detect threats and keep themselves secure from a field of threats that constantly evolves. IT teams can protect their organizations without having to rely on any other security solutions. This singular solution can run on multiple kinds of mobile devices. The privacy of individuals is preserved while keeping compliance rules intact. Additionally, users gain access to a number of tools that enable them to prevent security breaches from taking place.

    Lookout Benefits

    Some of the ways that organizations can benefit by deploying Lookout include:

    • Ease of deployment. Lookout is a solution whose design makes it easy for users to deploy it. It provides users with simple, step-by-step instructions that remove the need for organizations to devote extensive amounts of time to make sure that it is properly set up. Anyone can quickly set up the solution without undergoing technical training. 
    • Built-in support. Users of the Lookout application have access to built-in demos that can teach them how to use various solution features. Instead of spending time trying to figure out the application, users can watch the demo that is most relevant to them and see for themselves how that particular feature is used.
    • Easy-to-use user interface. Lookout’s user interface is laid out in an intuitive way that makes it easy for administrators to navigate. This interface is present in both the mobile and desktop versions of this solution. 
    • Settings customization. Lookout has a built-in settings customization menu. This makes it possible for administrators to easily customize their settings so that they best conform to their needs. 

    Lookout Features

    • Activity monitoring and activity tracking. Lookout’s activity monitoring and activity tracking capabilities enable users to keep a close eye on the activities that are taking place in their networks. IT teams and administrators have the ability to watch their networks for any unusual activity. These features ensure that organizations can keep ahead of any potential threats. They provide the kinds of insights and warnings that make the jobs of those IT teams and administrators much easier and more streamlined. 
    • Encryption. Organizations that employ Lookout can encrypt their networks and keep crucial business data from being read by unauthorized parties. This feature keeps the secrets organizations are trying to keep out of the wrong hands.
    • Anti-virus tools. Lookout provides users with tools to block threats from harming their networks. These tools can successfully block 99.6 percent of threats without raising false alarms. 

    Cisco Umbrella offers flexible, cloud-delivered security according to users’ requirements Cisco Umbrella includes secure web gateway, firewall, and cloud access security broker (CASB) functionality all delivered from a single cloud security service. Cisco Umbrella’s protection is extended to devices, remote users, and distributed locations anywhere. As company employees work from many locations and devices, Cisco Umbrella is the easiest way to effectively protect users everywhere in minutes.

    Cisco Umbrella uses machine learning to search for, identify, and even predict malicious domains. By learning from internet activity patterns, this DNS-layer security solution can automatically identify attacker infrastructure being staged for the next threat. These domains are then proactively blocked, protecting networks from potential compromise. Cisco Umbrella analyzes terabytes of data in real time across all markets, geographies, and protocols.

    Cisco Umbrella works with leading IT companies to integrate its security enforcement and intelligence. Built with a bidirectional API, Cisco Umbrella makes it easy to extend protection from on-premises security appliances to cloud controlled devices and sites.

    Cisco Umbrella is suitable for small businesses without dedicated security professionals, as well as for multinational enterprises with complex environments.

    Why use Cisco Umbrella?

    • Simplify security management: Cisco Umbrella is the fastest and easiest way to protect all users within minutes and reduces the number of infections and alerts sent from other security products by stopping threats at the earliest point. With no hardware to install and no software to manually update, ongoing management is simple

    • Reliable reporting: Cisco Umbrella reports show activity for each device or network in the system. Users gain a more complete picture of the security risks facing their organization and can take action to remedy them.

    • Manage and control cloud apps: Umbrella provides visibility into sanctioned and unsanctioned cloud services in use across the enterprise. Users can uncover new services being used, see who is using them, identify potential risk, and block specific applications easily.

    Reviews from Real Users

    Cisco Umbrella stands out among its competitors for a number of reasons. Some of the major ones are its DNS-based protection, ability to protect users no matter where they are located, stability, and high performance.

    Daniel B., a network specialist at Syswind Kft, writes, “We primarily use the solution as cloud security for our branches. It protects us from direct internet outbreaks. It makes for good flexibility. The solution is very easy to manage. We found the initial setup, for example, to be quite simple. Efficient protection on the DNS level and even higher. The sandboxing feature analyses and handles the complicated security risks.”

    Victor M., SOC & Security Services Director at BEST, notes, “It provides security for the remote workers and it helps to improve enterprise security in a very easy way. We mainly enjoy web software protection capabilities. It prevents the end-users from getting into bad sites or sites that potentially could have malware or could be phishing. It helps end-users avoid the wrong sites. The solution works very smoothly. The user interface is good.”

    Fortinet FortiGate SWG is a comprehensive web security solution provided by Fortinet. FortiGate SWG combines web filtering, malware protection, data loss prevention (DLP), and application control capabilities into a single integrated platform. It is designed to protect organizations from web-based threats, enforce compliance policies, and provide secure access to web resources.

    FortiGate SWG Benefits:

    • Comprehensive web filtering and security features
    • Ease of use and management
    • Integration with other Fortinet products
    • Strong threat detection capabilities
    • Scalability and flexibility
    • Granular control over user access and activity

    FortiGate SWG Features:

    • Web Filtering: FortiGate SWG employs URL filtering and content categorization to control and enforce web access policies.
    • Malware Protection: The solution provides real-time protection against web-borne threats, such as malware, ransomware, and phishing attacks. 
    • Data Loss Prevention (DLP): FortiGate SWG helps prevent sensitive data from being leaked or exfiltrated through web channels.
    • SSL Inspection: The solution supports SSL/TLS decryption and inspection, allowing organizations to examine encrypted web traffic for threats and enforce security policies.
    • Application Control: FortiGate SWG enables granular control over web applications and protocols. 
    • Advanced Threat Intelligence: FortiGate SWG leverages Fortinet's threat intelligence services to provide up-to-date information about emerging threats and zero-day vulnerabilities. 
    • User Authentication and Access Control: The solution supports various authentication methods, including single sign-on (SSO) and integration with identity providers, to ensure secure user authentication and access control for web resources. 
    • Reporting and Analytics: FortiGate SWG provides comprehensive reporting and analytics capabilities. 

    FortiGate SWG is typically deployed as a hardware appliance or as a virtual appliance in on-premises environments, but it may also be available as a cloud-based service. It is part of Fortinet's broader security fabric ecosystem, allowing integration with other Fortinet products to provide a unified and coordinated security infrastructure.

    Reviews from Real Users

    Below are some reviews and helpful feedback written by FortiGate SWG users.

    David Carlson, CIO at Camco Mfg., says that "Non-IT people could plug it in, connect it to the fiber, and get it running without IT help".

    Suresh Vijayen, Product Manager at IX Telecom, writes that FortiGate SWG "Provides helpful technical support, but its dashboard needs to be more user-friendly".

    Chandan Munshi, Chief Technical Officer at Provision Technologies LLP, states that "The user interface is intuitive. Anyone can configure the firewall with little knowledge of the product. The back-end is robust with good security."

    Learn more about Lookout
    Learn more about Cisco Umbrella
    Learn more about Fortinet FortiGate SWG
    Sample Customers
    Chart Industries, City of Aspen, Eastern Mountain Sports, FLEXcon, George Washington University, Jackson Municipal Airport Authority, Ohio Public Library Information Network, PTC, Richland Community College, Smart Motors, Tulane University, VeriClaim
    Salt Lake County, Catholic College Bendigo, Azienda Unita Sanitaria
    Top Industries
    Computer Software Company20%
    Financial Services Firm10%
    Manufacturing Company10%
    Financial Services Firm15%
    Comms Service Provider11%
    Educational Organization8%
    Computer Software Company8%
    Computer Software Company18%
    Educational Organization15%
    Financial Services Firm9%
    Manufacturing Company7%
    Financial Services Firm17%
    Manufacturing Company17%
    Comms Service Provider17%
    Non Profit8%
    Computer Software Company16%
    Comms Service Provider10%
    Financial Services Firm6%
    Company Size
    Small Business22%
    Midsize Enterprise16%
    Large Enterprise62%
    Small Business38%
    Midsize Enterprise23%
    Large Enterprise39%
    Small Business20%
    Midsize Enterprise24%
    Large Enterprise56%
    Small Business46%
    Midsize Enterprise33%
    Large Enterprise21%
    Small Business28%
    Midsize Enterprise20%
    Large Enterprise52%
    Buyer's Guide
    Cisco Umbrella vs. Fortinet FortiGate SWG
    September 2023
    Find out what your peers are saying about Cisco Umbrella vs. Fortinet FortiGate SWG and other solutions. Updated: September 2023.
    734,156 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    Cisco Umbrella is ranked 1st in Secure Web Gateways (SWG) with 49 reviews while Fortinet FortiGate SWG is ranked 5th in Secure Web Gateways (SWG) with 17 reviews. Cisco Umbrella is rated 8.8, while Fortinet FortiGate SWG is rated 8.6. The top reviewer of Cisco Umbrella writes "We can see all of our locations in one place and only have to make changes once for all our locations". On the other hand, the top reviewer of Fortinet FortiGate SWG writes "Non-IT people could plug it in, connect it to the fiber, and get it running without IT help. ". Cisco Umbrella is most compared with Zscaler Internet Access, Microsoft Defender for Cloud Apps, Palo Alto Networks DNS Security, Prisma Access by Palo Alto Networks and Infoblox Advanced DNS Protection, whereas Fortinet FortiGate SWG is most compared with Fortinet FortiProxy, Forcepoint Secure Web Gateway, Netskope Next Gen Secure Web Gateway, Zscaler Internet Access and Skyhigh Security. See our Cisco Umbrella vs. Fortinet FortiGate SWG report.

    See our list of best Secure Web Gateways (SWG) vendors.

    We monitor all Secure Web Gateways (SWG) 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.