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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.
610,229 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
"It's got the capabilities of amassing a lot of throughput with remote access and VPNs.""The most valuable feature is stability.""The features I've found most valuable are the packet captures and packet traces because they help me debug connections. I like the logs because they help me see what's going on.""If you compare the ASA and the FirePOWER, the best feature with FirePOWER is easy to use GUI. It has most of the same functionality in the Next-Generation FirePOWER, such as IPS, IPS policies, security intelligence, and integration and identification of all the devices or hardware you have in your network. Additionally, this solution is user-friendly.""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.""We have not had to deal with stability issues.""One of the nice things about Firepower is that you can set it to discover the environment. If that is happening, then Firepower is learning about every device, software operating system, and application running inside or across your environment. Then, you can leverage the discovery intelligence to get Firepower to select the most appropriate intrusion prevention rules to use for your environment rather than picking one of the base policies that might have 50,000 IPS rules in it, which can put a lot of overhead on your firewall. If you choose the recommendations, as long as you update them regularly, you might be able to get your rule set down to only 1,000 or 1,500, which is a significant reduction in a base rule set. This means that the firewall will give you better performance because there are less rules being checked unnecessarily. That is really useful.""The dashboard is the most important thing. It provides good visibility and makes management easy. Firepower also provides us with good application visibility and control."

More Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall Pros →

"The simplicity of the product is great. It's very easy to use, which is a compliment we get all the time in terms of feedback.""The most valuable feature of Fortinet FortiGate is load balancing. It can provide central management and VPNA. Additionally, it has enhanced our security environment.""Initial setup is easy to configure.""Overall security features and performance routing is good.""There are great templates, so you don't have to customize them if you don't want to. You do have the option to custom create some folders and some reports, however, with what is there, you don't really need to go through extra effort, as they already give you a lot of predefined views of reports and so forth.""The SD-WAN feature is the most valuable. This feature evolved from link load balancing. It has helped us in terms of our uptime and privatizing applications whenever we experience an outage. The SD-WAN feature has been a plus for us. Two-factor authentication has allowed us to add more users in terms of remote working. We have two-factor authentication for remote workers to authenticate them before they get on the network.""I like that you are able to manage FortiGate from the FortiManager to create a more centralized environment.""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. You don't need to pay some other company for another product to do that for you. The firewall can do that for you. So, it's an easy-to-use product for people to be independent. They don't need to rely on other vendors to do what the firewall can do. They can do everything."

More Fortinet FortiGate Pros →

"It is very easy to use and manage. It is also very easy to scale.""They have very good technical support and I have relied heavily on them.""Its ease of configuration and management is very useful for us and for other companies that don't have an onsite IT person. It is easy to configure and easy to manage. It is easy to configure the VPN with the Auto VPN feature.""It has very good features; it's easy to use, configure, set up, and deploy.""In general, Meraki MX is easy to work with.""Both the scalability and the scalability are great 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.""The technical support people from Meraki are brilliant."

More Meraki MX Pros →

Cons
"This product is managed using the Firepower Management Center (FMC), but it would be better if it also supported the command-line interface (CLI).""There is limited data storage on the appliance itself. So, you need to ship it out elsewhere in order for you to store it. The only point of consideration is around that area, basically limited storage on the machine and appliance. Consider logging it elsewhere or pushing it out to a SIEM to get better controls and manipulation over the data to generate additional metrics and visibility.""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.""I would like it to have faster deployment times. A typical deployment could take two to three minutes. Sometimes, it depends on the situation. It is better than it was in the past, but it could always use improvement.""The ability to better integrate with other tools would be an improvement.""Deploying configurations takes longer than it should.""Most of the features don't work well, and some features are missing as well.""The intelligence has room for improvement. There are some hackers that we haven't seen before and its ability to detect those types of attacks needs to be improved."

More Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall Cons →

"I don't really have anything negative to say as far as Fortinet firewalls are concerned. If anything, they can support a user a little bit better. They can stop being so time-sensitive about how much time the support call has taken, and they can help you do it yourself.""Quality control on their firmware versions needs improvement. When they introduce new firmware, there tend to be bugs.""Fortinet FortiGate needs to improve to be on par with its competitors, such as Palo Alto and Sophos. They are the market leaders. Fortinet FortiGate needs to improve its capabilities. However, we are happy with Fortinet FortiGate.""Fortinet FortiGate could improve by having more storage in the hardware for log data.""It's my understanding that more of the current generation features could be brought in. There could be more integration with EDRs, for example.""Fortinet FortiGate can improve by integrating the web application firewall and the DDoS protection part of the solution. Having a WAF feature, web application firewall, and proxy together would be a good benefit.""The renewal price and the availability could be improved.""It is stable, but its stability can be improved."

More Fortinet FortiGate Cons →

"As far as what needs to be improved — nothing really comes to mind. It does what we need it to do.""In the next release, because the security is pretty basic, I think they could include additional security features.""You cannot use switching behaviors as you see on the Meraki switch.""They need to improve the link between Meraki and Active Directory.""From the improvement perspective, we need more monitoring capabilities. We want to have full-based access visibility, such as, what is happening when something is trying to reach and it is denying. We cannot see some parts of it. The integration of active directory with this product is not very fruitful. It has some bugs or lacks in the functionality of active directory integration. We are unable to identify where exactly and whether it has really applied our policy.""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.​""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.""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."

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 Provider19%
    Financial Services Firm17%
    Government13%
    Computer Software Company6%
    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 Company19%
    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 Business40%
    Midsize Enterprise26%
    Large Enterprise34%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business26%
    Midsize Enterprise20%
    Large Enterprise55%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business47%
    Midsize Enterprise24%
    Large Enterprise29%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business28%
    Midsize Enterprise23%
    Large Enterprise49%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business56%
    Midsize Enterprise24%
    Large Enterprise20%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business34%
    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.
    610,229 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    Fortinet FortiGate is ranked 1st in Firewalls with 166 reviews while Meraki MX is ranked 2nd in Unified Threat Management (UTM) with 16 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, Palo Alto Networks NG Firewalls, Sophos XG, 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.