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Fortinet FortiGate vs Meraki MX comparison

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Executive Summary
Updated on March 21, 2022

We performed a comparison between Fortinet FortiGate 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: Most Fortinet FortiGate and Meraki MX reviewers agreed that deployment of both solutions was quick and easy.
  • Features: Fortinet FortiGate reviewers say it has great features, including excellent stability and a great firewall and VPN solution. However, there were many mixed reviews regarding the interface; many felt it was overly complex, and the reporting feature was subpar.

    Users of Meraki MX felt that there were great simplistic features and loved the software's ease of use, but there was a need for more monitoring capabilities.
  • Pricing: Users of Fortinet FortiGate felt that the software was expensive, especially since each feature needs a separate license. Reviewers of Meraki MX thought that the price was reasonable compared to other solutions on the market, but still on the expensive side.
  • Service and Support: Users of Fortinet FortiGate noted that, for the most part, it is supported by excellent technical support teams. Users of Meraki MX felt the service and support was at a minimum satisfactory, with many feeling it was great.
  • ROI: Fortinet FortiGate and Meraki MX reviewers both claimed they saw an ROI after implementing the product.

Comparison Results: Based on the parameters we compared, Fortinet FortiGate and Meraki MX have a similar user rating regarding ease of deployment, pricing, service and support, and ROI. In terms of features, users of Fortinet FortiGate had mixed reviews on the interface, and felt the reporting feature needed updating. On the other hand, users of Meraki MX felt there was a need for better and more monitoring capabilities.

To learn more, read our detailed Fortinet FortiGate vs. Meraki MX report (Updated: March 2020).
Buyer's Guide
Fortinet FortiGate vs. Meraki MX
March 2020
Find out what your peers are saying about Fortinet FortiGate vs. Meraki MX and other solutions. Updated: March 2020.
607,127 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
"Firepower has reduced our firewall operational costs by about 25 percent.""Another benefit has been user integration. We try to integrate our policies so that we can create policies based on active users. We can create policies based on who is accessing a resource instead of just IP addresses and ports.""One of the most valuable features of Firepower 7.0 is the "live log" type feature called Unified Event Viewer. That view has been really good in helping me get to data faster, decreasing the amount of time it takes to find information, and allowing me to fix problems faster. I've found that to be incredibly valuable because it's a lot easier to get to some points of data now.""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.""It is one of the fastest solutions, if not the fastest, in the security technology space. This gives us peace of mind knowing that as soon as a new attack comes online that we will be protected in short order. From that perspective, no one really comes close now to Firepower, which is hugely valuable to us from an upcoming new attack prevention perspective.""The most valuable features of this solution are the integrations and IPS throughput.""A good intrusion prevention system and filtering.""The most important feature is the intensive way you can troubleshoot Cisco Firepower Firewalls. You can go to the bit level to see why traffic is not handled in the correct way, and the majority of the time it's a networking issue and not a firewall issue. You can solve any problem without Cisco TAC help, because you can go very deeply under the hood to find out how traffic is flowing and whether it is not flowing as expected. That is something I have never seen with other brands."

More Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall Pros →

"We use a lot of function on the IPS and it works well for us.""All of the features of Fortinet FortiGate are useful and the security protection is good.""The integration with Active Directory is one of the good features. Most of the customers are now looking for the Single Sign-on feature. So, being able to integrate Active Directory with the firewall is useful. It is also easy.""The interface is very good.""The most valuable feature is the ease of use.""The performance is good.""Its user interface is good, and it is always working fine.""Some of the key features of the solution is that it has good reporting, you can receive many details from the connection, for example, clients and website information."

More Fortinet FortiGate Pros →

"They have very good technical support and I have relied heavily on them.""The most valuable feature is that we didn't have any problems with Meraki MX.""Meraki makes it easy to be secure and know where the holes are to fix them. We have been fixing anything that we have ever found for 20 years. We keep up-to-date with firmware upgrades. We just try to stay on top of everything for security, like maintaining updates and getting rid of old systems. I feel like we're on top of it.""Both the scalability and the scalability are great with Meraki MX.""It is easy to manage, which is one of the most important things for us. It is also flexible, stable, and scalable.""It has the most advanced security features, for example, layer 3 and layer 7 firewall capabilities and the end team and IPS protection. It also has IPS, and it has very good functioning of cloning services. You don't actually have to touch the device. If you have multiple companies in different countries, you don't really require this device to be touched. You can get it delivered directly to any office of a country, and then you can simply put your configuration over the cloud. It's very simplified and easy to manage. It gives a very good granular visibility about your network. Earlier, a lot of things were lacking in the network. We were unable to identify where the problem was, but after implementing Meraki MX, we are able to dig down and identify where is the problem. We can easily and quickly identify the sources and the root causes of the issues.""Point-to-point VPNs can dynamically follow IP changes with no need for static IPs.""I love the simplicity of Meraki MX — specifically, the simplicity of the dashboard."

More Meraki MX Pros →

Cons
"FirePOWER does a good job when it comes to providing us with visibility into threats, but I would like to see a more proactive stance to it.""One issue with Firepower Management Center is deployment time. It takes seven to 10 minutes and that's a long time for deployment. In that amount of time, management or someone else can ask me to change something or to provide permissions, but during that time, doing so is not possible. It's a drawback with Cisco. Other vendors, like Palo Alto or Fortinet do not have this deployment time issue.""The initial setup could be simplified, as it can be complex for new users.""This product is managed using the Firepower Management Center (FMC), but it would be better if it also supported the command-line interface (CLI).""One of the few things that are brought up is that for the overall management, it would be great to have a cloud instance of that. And not only just a cloud instance, but one of the areas that we've looked at is using an HA type of cloud. To have the ability to have a device file within a cloud. If we had an issue with one, the other one would pick up automatically.""I would like to see improvement when you create policies on Snort 3 IPS on Cisco Firepower. On Snort 2, it was more like a UI page where you had some multiple choices where you could tweak your config. On Snort 3, the idea is more to build some rules on the text file or JSON file, then push it. So, I would like to see a lot of improvements here.""One of my colleagues is using the firewall as an IPS, but he is worried about Firepower's performance... With the 10 Gb devices, when it gets to 5 Gbps, the CPU usage goes up a lot and he cannot manage the IPS.""FlexConfig is there as a bridge for features that are not yet natively integrated into Firepower. It is a way of allowing you to be able to configure things that wouldn't otherwise be possible until the development team can add them into Firepower's native capability. There is still some work that needs to be done around FlexConfig. There are still quite a few complex things, like policy-based routing, that have to be done in FlexConfig, and it doesn't always work perfectly. Sometimes, there are some glitches. It is recommended that you configure FlexConfig policies with Cisco TAC. It would be good to see Cisco accelerate some of those configurations that you can only do in FlexConfig into the platform, so that they are there natively."

More Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall Cons →

"The biggest "gotcha" is that if the client purchases what they call the UTM shared bundle, which has unified threat management on both, it's not as easy to manage if you have more than one firewall.""In the balance between links feature normally you can just choose one option to balance. It would be better for the solution to have more than one option, preferably three.""Fortinet FortiGate is not very easy to use. The navigation could be improved to make it easier to use.""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.""Fortinet FortiGate needs to improve the protection, it did not prevent us from being attacked. Additionally, Fortinet FortiGate could provide more features for WAF devices. I should not have to purchase two solutions, it would be a benefit to combine these features into one solution.""The cloud management and automation capability could be improved.""Currently, FortiGate is providing SSL VPN. But they're missing some features that are available in Palo Alto's SSL VPN.""The initial setup and configuration are not intuitive and require training."

More Fortinet FortiGate Cons →

"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.​""They need to improve the link between Meraki and Active Directory.""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.""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.""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.""You cannot use switching behaviors as you see on the Meraki switch.""In general, the SD-WAN feature needs to be improved. The load sharing and load balancing of the traffic should be improved. I have had some problems with these features in the past.""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."

More Meraki MX Cons →

Pricing and Cost Advice
  • "Cisco, as we all know, is expensive, but for the money you are paying, you know that you are also getting top-notch documentation as well as support if needed."
  • "This product requires licenses for advanced features including Snort, IPS, and malware detection."
  • "This product is expensive."
  • "For me, personally, as an individual, Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall is expensive."
  • "The price of Firepower is not bad compared to other products."
  • "The solution was chosen because of its price compared to other similar solutions."
  • "The price is comparable."
  • "It definitely competes with the other vendors in the market."
  • More Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "It's very affordable."
  • "Setup cost may be not so low, as you expect, because it depends on different factors, but TCO for 5 years may pleasantly surprise you."
  • "The Indian market is different than the European and American markets. When you compare they need to be a bit more aggressive on pricing."
  • "I think that the pricing is fair."
  • "For our organization, the licensing costs are approximately $7,000 per year."
  • "It's an expensive solution."
  • "The price is okay."
  • "If you purchase a one-year subscription with the hardware and then you want to renew for the second year, it is very costly."
  • More Fortinet FortiGate Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "The price varies depending on the hardware platform as well as the type of license and whether you're adding security or not."
  • "The license cost depends on the box. We acquired a different product line. We are dealing with MX appliance now, that is, MX6, MX54, MX100, MX250, MX450. Every box has got an identity, and it has got its own specification. Every box has got a different license fee. We deployed Meraki MX in UAE when it was not a mature product. We took a risk, but we were successful. We saved a huge amount of money after implementing and removing all the MPLS and leased lines. We got a broadband connection because Meraki MX could work on a broadband connection. We have drastically saved a very good amount of money, which was one of the successful things apart from the successful solution."
  • "The price is slightly increased, but reasonable."
  • "It is a good global solution in terms of the price and features, but because we sell this solution in dollars, sometimes we don't get to sell this solution in Brazil because the dollar is very expensive. The price of every project is different. It varies depending upon the project, scenario, and client."
  • "The pricing could always be improved — especially with the shape the economy is in at the moment."
  • "Meraki is the best option — based on the price and the features available."
  • "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."
  • More Meraki MX Pricing and Cost Advice →

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    Comparisons
    Also Known As
    Cisco Firepower NGFW, Cisco Firepower Next-Generation Firewall, FirePOWER, Cisco NGFWv
    FortiGate 60b, FortiGate 60c, FortiGate 80c, FortiGate 50b, FortiGate 200b, FortiGate 110c, FortiGate
    MX64, MX64W, MX84, MX100, MX400, MX600
    Learn More
    Overview

    Cisco Firepower Next-Generation Firewall (NGFW) is a firewall that provides capabilities beyond those of a standard firewall and delivers comprehensive, unified policy management of firewall functions, application control, threat prevention, and advanced malware protection from the network to the endpoint.

    Cisco NGFW Firewalls include advanced threat defense capabilities to meet diverse needs, from small offices to high-performance data centers and service providers, and are deployed in leading private and public clouds. Available in a wide range of models, Cisco NGFW can be deployed as a physical or virtual appliance. Cisco NGFW firewalls are also available with clustering for increased performance, high availability configurations, and more.

    Key Features of Cisco NGFW Firewalls

    • Breach prevention and advanced security: Prevent attacks before they get inside. Cisco provides its firewalls with the latest intelligence to stop emerging threats and employs filtering to enforce policies on hundreds of millions of URLs. Cisco NGFW offers built-in sandboxing and advanced malware protection that continuously analyzes file behavior to quickly detect and eliminate threats.

    • Comprehensive network visibility: Constantly monitor your network so you can rapidly spot and stop bad behavior. Cisco NGFW provides a holistic view of all activity and provides a clear picture of threat activity across users, hosts, networks, and devices, as well as information on threats and website, application, and VM activities.

    • Flexible management and deployment options: Centrally deploy, customize, and manage all your appliances.

    • Fast detection: Detect threats in seconds and detect the presence of a successful breach within hours or minutes. Cisco NGFW allows you to deploy consistent policy that's easy to maintain, with automatic enforcement across all the different parts of your organization.

    • Automation and product integrations: Seamlessly integrate with Cisco tools and automatically share threat information, event data, policy, and contextual information with email, web, endpoint, and network security tools. Cisco NGFW automates security tasks like impact assessment, policy management and tuning, and user identification.

    Reviews from Real Users

    Cisco NGFW stands out among its competitors for a number of reasons. Two major ones are its extensive discovery abilities that enable you to constantly see what is happening on your network and take action when necessary, and the high level of protection it provides.

    Mike B., a director of IT security at a wellness & fitness company, writes, "It is one of the fastest solutions, if not the fastest, in the security technology space. This gives us peace of mind knowing that as soon as a new attack comes online that we will be protected in short order. From that perspective, no one really comes close now to Firepower, which is hugely valuable to us from an upcoming new attack prevention perspective."

    Zhulien K., the lead network security engineer at TechnoCore LTD, notes, " The most valuable feature that Cisco Firepower NGFW provides for us is the Intrusion policy. Again, with that being said, I cannot shy away from giving kudos to all of the other features such as AVC (Application Visibility and Control), SSL Decryption, Identity policy, Correlation policy, REST API, and more. All of the features that are incorporated in the Cisco Firepower NGFW are awesome and easy to configure if you know what you are doing. Things almost always work, unless you hit a bug, which is fixed with a simple software update. "

    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.”

    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 Firepower NGFW Firewall
    Learn more about Fortinet FortiGate
    Learn more about Meraki MX
    Sample Customers
    Rackspace, The French Laundry, Downer Group, Lewisville School District, Shawnee Mission School District, Lower Austria Firefighters Administration, Oxford Hospital, SugarCreek, Westfield
    Pittsburgh Steelers, LUSH Cosmetics, NASDAQ, Verizon, Arizona State University, Levi Strauss & Co. Whitepaper and case studies here
    Hyatt, ONS
    Top Industries
    REVIEWERS
    Comms Service Provider20%
    Financial Services Firm18%
    Government11%
    Manufacturing Company7%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Comms Service Provider28%
    Computer Software Company21%
    Government7%
    Manufacturing Company4%
    REVIEWERS
    Comms Service Provider16%
    Financial Services Firm10%
    Computer Software Company10%
    Manufacturing Company8%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Comms Service Provider33%
    Computer Software Company20%
    Government6%
    Manufacturing Company4%
    REVIEWERS
    Comms Service Provider31%
    Financial Services Firm13%
    Pharma/Biotech Company13%
    Computer Software Company6%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Comms Service Provider26%
    Computer Software Company20%
    Government5%
    Retailer4%
    Company Size
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business41%
    Midsize Enterprise27%
    Large Enterprise32%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business26%
    Midsize Enterprise20%
    Large Enterprise55%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business47%
    Midsize Enterprise24%
    Large Enterprise29%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business29%
    Midsize Enterprise23%
    Large Enterprise49%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business56%
    Midsize Enterprise24%
    Large Enterprise20%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business35%
    Midsize Enterprise19%
    Large Enterprise47%
    Buyer's Guide
    Fortinet FortiGate vs. Meraki MX
    March 2020
    Find out what your peers are saying about Fortinet FortiGate vs. Meraki MX and other solutions. Updated: March 2020.
    607,127 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    Fortinet FortiGate is ranked 1st in Firewalls with 166 reviews while Meraki MX is ranked 1st in Unified Threat Management (UTM) with 15 reviews. Fortinet FortiGate is rated 8.4, while Meraki MX is rated 8.0. The top reviewer of Fortinet FortiGate writes "Stable, easy to set up, and offers good ROI". On the other hand, the top reviewer of Meraki MX writes "Makes it easy to stay on top of everything for security". Fortinet FortiGate is most compared with pfSense, Cisco ASA Firewall, Sophos XG, Check Point NGFW and SonicWall TZ, whereas Meraki MX is most compared with Cisco ASA Firewall, Sophos XG, Palo Alto Networks NG Firewalls, SonicWall NSa and pfSense. See our Fortinet FortiGate 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.