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.
"The implementation is pretty straightforward."
"I like that Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall is reliable. Support is also good."
"The most valuable feature would be ASDM. The ability to go in, visualize and see the world base in a clear and consistent manner is very powerful."
"IPS and Snort are very important because they also differentiate Cisco from other vendors and competitors."
"It has a good security level. It is a next-generation firewall. It can protect from different types of attacks. We have enabled IPS and IDS."
"Firepower NGFW has improved my organization in several ways. Before, we were trying to stamp out security threats and issues, it was a one-off type of way to attack it. I spent a lot of manpower trying to track down the individual issues or flare-ups that we would see. With Cisco's Firepower Management, we're able to have that push up to basically one monitor and one UI and be able to track that and stop threats immediately. It also gives us a little more granularity on what those threats might be."
"The content filtering is good."
"Its Snort 3 IPS has better flexibility as far as being able to write rules. This gives me better granularity."
"The most valuable feature is the ease of configuration."
"From the firewall perspective, the rules and policies are very sufficient and easy to use."
"The solution can scale well."
"Their interface is very easy to use, it is without bugs."
"The most valuable features of Fortinet FortiGate are the ability to work in proxy mode, which other solutions, such as Palo Alto cannot. There are some features that are better that come at no extra license or subscriptions cost, such as basic SD-WAN. The DLT is useful, other solutions have the same feature too, such as Palo Alto."
"We have found it to be very reliable and that's why our teams and various users in our company use it as our main firewall every day."
"The next-generation firewall is great."
"The management console is pretty simple, so anyone who understands networking can initially deploy the solution."
"I mostly like all of it. Whatever we use is valuable."
"A valuable feature is that the solution is open source."
"Sophos Intercept X is scalable. Currently, we have almost 30 people using it in our company."
"We've found the stability to be very good overall."
"Technical support is perfect, excellent."
"The built-in open VPN and the VPN Client Export are the solution's most valuable aspects."
"I especially like the VPN part. It works like a charm."
"I like pfSense's reports and how I can control access to the policies on the firewall."
"In a future release, it would be ideal if they could offer an open interface to other security products so that we could easily connect to our own open industry standard."
"I believe that the current feature set of the device is very good and the only thing that Cisco should work on is improving the user experience with the device."
"The solution could offer better control that would allow the ability to restrictions certain features from a website."
"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."
"Most of the features don't work well, and some features are missing as well."
"Implementations require the use of a console. It would help if the console was embedded."
"We cannot have virtual domains, which we can create with FortiGate. This is something they should add in the future. Additionally, there is a connection limit and the FMC could improve."
"The initial setup could be simplified, as it can be complex for new users."
"It is stable, but its stability can be improved."
"They sometimes hide some features and if you want to enable them, you have to go in the CLI, enable the feature and configure it through the CLI. Customers, typically, like everything to be done by the GUI."
"The central management for the FortiGate Fortinet Firewall needs improvement. They have the manager to do the essential management for both SD-WAN and for the security policy. They should also improve the SD-WAN function."
"The solution is very expensive."
"They've become quite expensive."
"There are SD-WAN network monitoring, SD-WAN features, Industrial Databases, Internet of Things, Detection, etc., however, we do have not licenses for those features. We thought that if you bought a product, you should have all of the features it offers. Why should you need to make so many extra purchases to enable features? They should have one price for the entire offering."
"Fortinet currently has many products bundled with FortiGate including the basic firewall and load balancer, and I think that that they need to have separate product portfolios for each of these specialized services."
"If they could extend their fabric towards other vendor environments for integration, that would be great."
"pfSense could improve by having a sandboxing feature that I have seen in SonicWall. However, maybe it is available I am not aware of it."
"The security could be improved."
"Lacks instructional videos."
"The integration of pfSense with EPS and EDS could be better. Also, it should be easier to get reports on how many users are connecting simultaneously and how sections connect in real-time."
"It needs to be more secure."
"The interface is not very shiny and attractive."
"We had training from an advisor for the configuring of this solution and it was not difficult. However, if we were not trained it would have been not as easy."
"The solution requires a lot of administration."
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
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:
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 166 reviews while pfSense is ranked 3rd in Firewalls with 61 reviews. Fortinet FortiGate is rated 8.4, while pfSense is rated 8.4. The top reviewer of Fortinet FortiGate writes "Stable, easy to set up, and offers good ROI". 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 ASA Firewall, Sophos XG, Check Point NGFW, Meraki MX and SonicWall TZ, whereas pfSense is most compared with OPNsense, Sophos XG, Untangle NG Firewall, Sophos UTM and Zyxel Unified Security Gateway. See our Fortinet FortiGate vs. pfSense report.
See our list of best Firewalls vendors.
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.