We performed a comparison between Fortinet FortiGate-VM and pfSense based on our users’ reviews in five categories. After reading all of the collected data, you can find our conclusion below.
Features: Fortinet FortiGate-VM is highly regarded for its robust security features, including geofencing, firewalling, IPS, and antivirus. Additionally, users appreciate its intuitive interface. pfSense is praised for its ability to block IPs effectively and its user-friendly dashboards. Furthermore, its open-source nature and cost-effectiveness are also seen as valuable attributes.
Fortinet FortiGate-VM needs enhancements in key activation processes, log management, cloud management, MFA offerings, web filter options, application inspection, IPsec failover, monitoring tool, hardening guidelines, product availability, setup and configuration, firmware updates, GUI capabilities, and technical support. pfSense requires improvements in instructional videos, web interface clarity, stability, mobile application, VPN functionality, reporting, integration, WAF knowledge, URL filtering, centralized management, GUI version for SMBs, sandboxing, documentation, user-friendliness for non-IT users, configuration processes, and SD-WAN integration.
Service and Support: Customers have provided mixed feedback on the customer service of Fortinet FortiGate-VM. Some commend the support team for their prompt responses and expertise, while others express a need for improvement in technical support. pfSense's customer service also receives mixed reviews as well. Certain users appreciate the technical assistance they received during the setup and configuration process, while others highlight limited support for the open-source nature of the product.
Ease of Deployment: The setup process for Fortinet FortiGate-VM is generally easy and straightforward, with support and assistance available. It may require knowledge of Fortinet products. pfSense is considered user-friendly and intuitive, with a straightforward installation. However, some users recommend clearer guidance or a configuration wizard.
Pricing: Fortinet's cost is competitive and encompasses licensing fees, whereas pfSense provides a free open-source solution, albeit with a learning cost. Fortinet's pricing is adaptable and may rise with scaling, while pfSense does not entail additional fees for updates.
ROI: Fortinet FortiGate-VM provides enhanced security and stability, leading to a favorable return on investment. It is important to select the appropriate size initially to prevent any monetary drawbacks. pfSense is a cost-efficient option that enables businesses to maximize profits and attain a substantial ROI.
Comparison Results: Fortinet FortiGate-VM is the preferred product when compared to pfSense. Users appreciate Fortinet FortiGate-VM for its strong security capabilities, such as geofencing, firewalling, IPS, antivirus, and intrusion prevention systems. They also find it easy to use, deploy, and scale, thanks to its intuitive interface.
"Overall security features and performance routing is good."
"Fortinet FortiGate has many valuable features, such as IDS, and intrusion detection. It has security features that are in part with the technologies that are available in the market."
"The most valuable features are the enterprise modeling and the simple interface."
"It increases security posture and is helpful for firewall reporting, intrusion protection, web filtering, and SD-WAN implementation."
"The reporting and monitoring are very good."
"I'm pretty happy with its reliability. It is also very scalable."
"The network security and cloud security are most valuable."
"The most valuable feature of Fortinet FortiGate is security. They are known for efficiency and are on the top of Gartner Quadrant reviews. Fortinet FortiGate has an easy-to-use platform with a good graphical interface. The configuration is simple and the solution provides an overall good layer of security."
"The most valuable features of Fortinet FortiGate-VM are the servers, analyzer, and track protection."
"We like FortiGate-VM's IPS features and its ability to create multiple virtual firewalls."
"We work in the archiving domain where a secure environment is very important. We have some special requirements regarding the security of infrastructure."
"The thing that I like the most is that they're very willing to work with us to resolve issues that they haven't taken care of before in their product."
"I like the visibility and monitoring features because they're easy to use to monitor traffic. Features like geo-blocking and more have AI, and we're currently using all of it. But for now, we're only using geo-blocking, and we're able to block traffic from different countries. I also like that it's highly responsive. VM04 is also very powerful."
"The most valuable features of Fortinet FortiGate-VM are the ease of use, IPS system, application filter, web filtering, and email security. Additionally, there is a migration tool that other vendors do not provide. We only need to upload the configuration file to the tool, and it converts everything, except the passwords, and gives us the new configuration, which we can directly upload on the firewall. This migration process takes a maximum of 15 minutes."
"FortiGate integrates well."
"The ease of access and user-friendly setup is a valuable feature. Fortinet proves to be particularly straightforward to configure, offering simplicity without complexity. Moreover, visibility is easily attainable due to certain factors. Price, implementation, and budget considerations play a role. When it comes to Cisco implementation, the process tends to be more intricate, which many customers find unfavourable for their business needs."
"The most valuable features of pfSense are security, user-friendliness, and helpful online management."
"The initial setup is not complex."
"Sophos Intercept X is scalable. Currently, we have almost 30 people using it in our company."
"The initial setup was simple and fast."
"The classic features such as content inspection, content protection, and the application-level firewall, are the most important."
"Its scalability is a strong point."
"The firewall sensor is highly effective, and it's easy to deploy. You can deploy pfSense with limited hardware resources. It's not necessary to have an appliance with much RAM to make it work. It's cost-effective and performs well."
"pfSense allows us to spread the hours of connection and do the filtering on the pfSense site."
"There are some tiny bugs that sometimes affect the operations. In the past revision of it, there was a bug. Because of the bug, we had to downgrade the version. It happened only with the last revision."
"Fortinet FortiGate needs to improve the logging and reporting. Additionally, the next-generation application's policies should be improved. When they were released they had bugs."
"We sometimes have issues with FortiGate's routing table in the latest firmware update. We had to downgrade the device because our customers complained about bugs."
"They should offer special pricing to premium partners and customers."
"Its reporting and pricing need improvement."
"For the migration, everyone has a firewall in use and I am selling Fortinet. Typically, I am replacing another firewall. Previously, there was a tool available to convert configurations from one firewall, such as Palo Alto, to Fortinet, but this tool is no longer free. If it could be made free again, it would be very beneficial."
"The cloud features and integration could be improved."
"We had some issues in the beginning while setting it up, but after doing the firmware update, it is working fine."
"New versions are complicated with a big configuration."
"The costs could be lowered."
"Areas for improvement would be application control and web filtering."
"The log settings and filters could use some improvement."
"FortiGate's application load balancing has to be improved. They need to improve a lot on the load balancing and RAF side. They are far behind Citrix in that regard."
"Fortinet support needs improvement. The response times are lackluster. Fortunately, the product is stable and we seldom have issues. Also, it takes months for them to deliver hardware when we order it."
"We'd like to have more customization and easier customization of policies."
"The users must buy FortiSIEM to get advanced analytics."
"One concern I have with Netgate pfSense is related to packet filtering. Specifically, issues can arise with certain functionalities like GP, and, at times, there may be bugs."
"I expect a better interface with more log analysis because I create my own interface."
"Also, the GUI is helpful, but it's not user-friendly. It's complicated. It should be more intuitive for the average user and have an excellent graphical view. Of course, the user will typically know about network administration, but it still should be easy to understand."
"The product must provide integration with other solutions."
"ClamAV AntiVirus can cause some crashes. That service should be improved."
"Ultimately, we'd like something stronger, and something that can handle threats better in real-time."
"More documentation would be great, especially on new features because sometimes, when new features come out, you don't get to understand them right off the bat. You have to really spend a lot of time understanding them. So, more documentation would be awesome."
"The solution could be more user-friendly, and the graphical interface needs some work so that someone without an IT background can use the application. I would like the ability to manage the on-premise appliance from the cloud. When I'm not in the office, it would be great to connect to the pfSense server and administer the network remotely."
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:
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.”
FortiGate Virtual Appliances allow you to mitigate blind spots by implementing critical security controls within your virtual infrastructure. They also allow you to rapidly provision security infrastructure whenever and wherever it is needed. FortiGate virtual appliances feature all of the security and networking services common to traditional hardware-based FortiGate appliances. With the addition of virtual appliances from Fortinet, you can deploy a mix of hardware and virtual appliances, operating together and managed from a common centralized management platform.
pfSense is a powerful and reliable network security appliance primarily used for security purposes such as firewall and VPN or traffic shaping, network management, and web filtering. It is commonly used by small businesses and managed service providers to protect their customers' networks and enable remote access through VPNs.
The solution is praised for its stability, user-friendly interface, scalability potential, open-source nature, free cost, easy installation, firewall capabilities, security features, flexibility, and simplicity. Overall, pfSense is a cost-effective solution for enterprises that need a VPN for their employees.
pfSense Key Features
pfSense has many key features and capabilities, including:
Reviews from Real Users
Below is some feedback from PeerSpot Users who are currently using the solution.
Bojan O., CEO at In.sist d.o.o., says, “The classic features, such as content inspection, content protection, and the application-level firewall, are the most important."
Another PeerSpot user, a chef at a media company, explains what he finds most valuable about pfSense: "The plugins or add-ons are most valuable. Sometimes, they are free of charge, and sometimes, you have to pay for them, but you can purchase or download very valuable plugins or add-ons to perform internal testing of your network and simulate a denial-of-service attack or whichever attack you want to simulate. You can also remote and monitor your network and see where the gap is."
T.O., a VP of Business Development at a tech services company, mentions, "What I found most valuable is the cost of the platform, the flexibility of the platform, and the fact that the ongoing fees are not there as they are with the competitor."
Fortinet FortiGate-VM is ranked 8th in Firewalls with 27 reviews while Netgate pfSense is ranked 2nd in Firewalls with 16 reviews. Fortinet FortiGate-VM is rated 8.8, while Netgate pfSense is rated 8.2. The top reviewer of Fortinet FortiGate-VM writes "Flexible with good cloud management and a straightforward user interface". On the other hand, the top reviewer of Netgate pfSense writes "Feature-rich, well documented, and there is good support available online". Fortinet FortiGate-VM is most compared with Azure Firewall, Palo Alto Networks VM-Series, Fortinet FortiOS, OPNsense and Cisco Secure Firewall, whereas Netgate pfSense is most compared with OPNsense, Sophos XG, Sophos UTM, Untangle NG Firewall and Cisco Secure Firewall. See our Fortinet FortiGate-VM vs. Netgate pfSense report.
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