We performed a comparison between pfSense and Fortinet Fortigate based on our users’ reviews in five categories. After reading all of the collected data, you can find our conclusion below.
Comparison Results: Based on the parameters we compared, it seems that pfSense is the more favorable solution because it is open source and also offers great features.
"Initial setup is easy to configure."
"The multi-tenancy feature is most valuable. It integrates very well with FortiManager and FortiAnalyzer."
"It is useful for protecting and segregating the internal networks from the internet. Most of our customers also use the FortiGate client to connect to their offices by using the VPN client, and of course, they usually activate the antivirus, deep inspection, and intrusion prevention services. They are also using it for web filtering and implementing various policies dealing with forwardings, NAT, etc."
"Fortinet FortiGate's most valuable features are ease of use, flexibility, and most of the configuration we can be done using the GUI. When we compare Fortinet FortiGate with other solutions the firewall policy are very easy to understand."
"I have found Fortinet FortiGate to be scalable."
"The network security and cloud security are most valuable."
"Good performance, stability, and virtual domain ability."
"Their interface is very easy to use, it is without bugs."
"It is much simpler than other solutions such as Fortinet."
"I especially like the VPN part. It works like a charm."
"Some of the terminologies were more familiar to me than it was when I first encountered Cisco."
"I like pfSense's security features."
"A valuable feature is that the solution is open source."
"The solution has good customization abilities and plenty of features."
"pfSense allows us to spread the hours of connection and do the filtering on the pfSense site."
"The solution is very easy to use and configure."
"Fortinet FortiGate could improve by adding FortiAnalyzer to its solution, we should not have to use another solution. FortiAnalyzer can provide more detailed information."
"The security of Fortinet FortiGate could improve."
"The platform's interface could improve."
"If they could extend their fabric towards other vendor environments for integration, that would be great."
"The stability of Fortinet FortiGate could improve."
"The reporting in Fortinet FortiGate could improve. Customers are having to purchase additional reporting components. When I have used the Sophos solution it is a complete solution, in Fortinet FortiGate you have to use additional tools to have the features needed."
"I think that the infrastructure for the VPN could be improved. The way that it is bundled also made it difficult to use and sell as it is too expensive."
"Pricing for it is a bit high. It could be cheaper."
"The product could offer more integrated plugins."
"The usage reports can be better."
"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 integration could be improved."
"I have been using WireGuard VPN because it is a lot faster and more secure than an open VPN. However, in the latest version of pfSense, they have removed this feature, which is one of the main features that I need. They should include this feature."
"I would like to see pfSense integrate WireGuard. Currently, pfSense uses OpenVPN, and there's nothing wrong with it, but WireGuard is a lot leaner and meaner."
"There could be a way to remote to it through a mobile app. You can always browse through your browser on your mobile phone or tablet, but it would be good to have a dedicated app. I understand that iOS and Android developers are expensive, but there should be a mobile app."
"The VPN feature of the solution could improve by adding better functionality and providing easier configure ability."
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.”
pfSense is a free and open-source operating system for routers and firewalls, and is typically configured as DHCP server, DNS server, WiFi access point, VPN server, all running on the same hardware device. It is operated through a user-friendly web interface, making administration easy even for users with limited networking knowledge.
In addition, pfSense is feature-rich, has a mature platform, is customizable, is flexible by design, and can be used on a small home router as well as run the entire network of a large corporation. pfSense puts you in control of your networking, is regularly updated, and works to promptly patch security issues. pfSense has recently become the favored alternative to the industry leader, Cisco.
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 is ranked 1st in Firewalls with 82 reviews while pfSense is ranked 3rd in Firewalls with 39 reviews. Fortinet FortiGate is rated 8.4, while pfSense is rated 8.4. The top reviewer of Fortinet FortiGate writes "SSL proxy makes URL filtering easier because the encryption is done before the packet ever leaves ". On the other hand, the top reviewer of pfSense writes "Feature-rich, well documented, and there is good support available online". Fortinet FortiGate is most compared with Cisco Secure Firewall, Sophos XG, Meraki MX, Check Point NGFW and WatchGuard Firebox, whereas pfSense is most compared with OPNsense, Sophos XG, Untangle NG Firewall, Cisco Secure Firewall and Sophos UTM. See our Fortinet FortiGate vs. pfSense report.
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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.
Both are very good products, but some features that Sophos mentioned as new, FortiGate has been handling. If you are going to grow with several appliances I recommend Sophos, since the administration can be done from the cloud. With Fortinet, you have to pay a licensing fee. In terms of costs and all the options, they are very similar. Another detail to review is the support, at the beginning with Fortigate, I had enough details, but it is really improving significantly with respect to Sophos.
My comment is based on experience and I do not lean toward any of the brands. To reiterate, they are good types of equipment.