Fortinet FortiGate vs WatchGuard Firebox comparison

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Comparison Buyer's Guide
Executive Summary
Updated on Mar 16, 2022

We performed a comparison between Fortinet Fortigate vs. WatchGuard Firebox based on our users’ reviews in four categories. After reading all of the collected data, you can find our conclusion below.

  • Ease of Deployment: FortiGate users say one of the things they like is that the initial setup is effortless and straightforward. It does require technical skills, though. WatchGuard users also say the initial setup is easy, and it takes only a few minutes to activate the device.
  • Features: FortiGate users say one of the best features is that it can be deployed both on the cloud or on premises. Users also like that you can log in via FortiCloud access. Advanced routing, SSL inspections,, and ric logging options are among users' preferred features. Other valued features include the single pane of management, the VPN, advanced routing, SD-WAN, Wi-Fi, and switch controllers. On the downside, some users would like improvement in the switch management feature - namely, to be able to relegate some of the ports and avoid the need to buy extra switches. Users also complain that you cannot use multiple interfaces unless you set them in a lag.

    WatchGuard users mention the policy monitoring and allowing of different traffic flows, but while the data loss protection works well, users say it is challenging to configure.
  • Pricing: FortiGate reviewers feel that the price is very competitive. While WatchGuard only charges for one license, which makes it more cost-effective, some users find the pricing to be on the higher side.

  • Service and Support: Users of both solutions are happy with the level of support. Users of FortiGate say the support is strong. The support team is knowledgeable and responsive. The best response comes from level 3 technicians. WatchGuard users mention the advantage of getting responses from engineers from a similar time zone.

Comparison Results: Based on the parameters we compared, Fortinet FortiGate came out ahead of WatchGuard because of its stronger support and better pricing.

To learn more, read our detailed Fortinet FortiGate vs. WatchGuard Firebox Report (Updated: November 2022).
653,522 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Q&A Highlights
Question: How does Fortinet FortiGate compare with WatchGuard Firebox?
Answer: Looking at the latest reports from Gartner, at least in the SDN part, I think there is no comparison. Fortinet is leading a large part of the network virtualization market and above all it is positioning itself as the option to have value-added services on the base layer of SDN and I mean security features that today, according to the consumption of the branch are more demanded by bringing the secure perimeter to each point of the network, consuming public services and direct navigation is already a fact.
Featured Review
Quotes From Members
We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use.
Here are some excerpts of what they said:
Pros
"The Inline Mode configuration works really well, and ASA works very impressively.""I have experience with URL filtering, and it is very good for URL filtering. You can filter URLs based on the categories, and it does a good job. It can also do deep packet inspection.""It's got the capabilities of amassing a lot of throughput with remote access and VPNs.""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.""The configuration capabilities and the integration with other tools are the most valuable features. I really like this product. Cisco is one of my favorite brands, and I always think Cisco solutions are very reliable, easy to configure, and very secure.""The solution offers very easy configurations.""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 most valuable features of this solution are the integrations and IPS throughput."

More Cisco Secure Firewall Pros →

"It's very easy to configure.""The most valuable features of Fortinet FortiGate are the APIs. They are the most widely known.""The interface is very user-friendly and I like it very much.""All of the features of Fortinet FortiGate are useful and the security protection is good.""Their interface is very easy to use, it is without bugs.""The solution is very user friendly. The user interface in particular is quite nice.""I like several features that this product has, such as antivirus and internet navigation inspection. It is also simple to use.""It is easy to manage, and it doesn't need much knowledge from the team. It is a stable device, and there are many features that are included out of the box."

More Fortinet FortiGate Pros →

"Firebox's best feature is the access portal.""The ports that I have assigned appear to be unattainable to outside 'mal-actors,' unless they have an address registered on the internet that this thing is expecting. That's a layer of security.""There are no problems with the technical support. If a problem occurs it gets resolved immediately with our technical support partners.""The main features of the solution are the control of the site-to-site network access and the overall features.""Two of the functionalities we use most are the traffic monitoring and the full panel dashboard. Those are two things that are very useful for us... In addition, it provides us with layered security. It allows us to determine what types of access, to which networks, we want to allow or deny.""This product offers great protection using the default settings.""The set up was quite straightforward and we handled it in-house. It took a few hours to deploy the product.""The most valuable features of the WatchGuard Firebox are all the security and updated features. You are able to configure the solution from the cloud platform and the application and web interface are very nice."

More WatchGuard Firebox Pros →

Cons
"We have more than one Cisco firewall and it is difficult for me to integrate both on the single UI.""The visibility for VPN is one big part. The policy administration could be improved in terms of customizations and flexibility for changing it to our needs.""The solution is overcomplicated in some senses. Simplifying it would be an improvement.""The maturity needs to be better.""When comparing the graphical interface of this solution to other vendors it is more difficult to configure. There is a higher learning curve for administrators in this solution.""It is my understanding that they are in the process of discontinuing this device.""It would be good if Cisco made sure that the solution supports all routing protocols. Sometimes it doesn't.""It is hard to collaborate with our filtered environment."

More Cisco Secure Firewall Cons →

"Fortinet FortiGate could improve by having more capabilities for troubleshooting VPN connections. For example, I do get some feedback about the current status, but I could use some history and logging of important events. The information is logged in our Syslog server, but I could use that information from the device. If they could provide a GUI to have some more insight on what's going with my VPN would be useful.""The feedback that I have received is that the performance could be better, and the user experience is not as good compared to a previous solution we used. It could be more user-friendly. Of course, it still works fine for our operations.""The user interface could be improved.""FortiGate should have a better way of detecting and managing the system memory because otherwise if the memory is too low, a system restart is required.""There is a lot of improvement needed with SSL-VPN.""Lacks training for new features.""It should provide better visibility over the network and more information in the form of reports for the end users. Its installation should also be easier.""The support costs and licensing are sometimes so expensive."

More Fortinet FortiGate Cons →

"In terms of what could be improved, I would say their web blocker feature. It is still quite a confusing setup, especially when you want to filter out a particular category for granularity. For example, you do not want to filter Facebook but you do want to filter Facebook games only. It can be done, but the process to do it is very confusing.""There is room for improvement in the threat protection, data packet inspection, and performance of the solution. Generally, it's just a lower-end product. It does the job but doesn't do it very well.""An area for improvement is that when we use a web administration link, there is no security.""The only downside is that it is missing an API, that you can use to easily collect information from it.""Its documentation could be improved. Sometimes, you need to search a bit longer to find what you are looking for.""It's sometimes not easy to understand and can require specialist assistance.""I would like to see more training become available for us.""There could also be better reporting. For example, there should be more out-of-the-box management reports."

More WatchGuard Firebox Cons →

Pricing and Cost Advice
  • "This product is expensive."
  • "If we compare it with FortiGate and the co-existing ASA, FortiGate is better in price."
  • "They seem to be at the top end in terms of pricing, but they are worth the price. They are probably a little bit lower than Palo Alto. If the customers are relying on Cisco products and they are thinking more in terms of scaling to another layer in a year, it is pretty much in a good price range."
  • "We're using the smart license for this firewall. The models that we have require licensing for remote access."
  • "There are licensing costs."
  • "I just bought it off the shelf, and I'm using it with my previous one, so I have not spent that much."
  • "The price is fair. It's not the cheapest, but it's not bad."
  • "For me, personally, as an individual, Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall is expensive."
  • More Cisco Secure Firewall Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "The pricing is fair."
  • "It is too expensive for us. My organization is very small, and we have a total of ten users. We have three internal users and seven external users. The FortiGate 100D series is too expensive for renewing the licenses."
  • "I think the price of Fortinet FortiGate is very reasonable."
  • "It's a very full-featured and it's priced well solution."
  • "The price of FortiGate is average and I would say that based on the top five products available on the market, it is in the affordable range."
  • "Fortinet bundles FortiGate with other products and because of this, the price is a little expensive to some SMB enterprises."
  • "When you look at these end security systems and firewalls, these firewalls even five years ago were $50,000 or perhaps $25,000 to implement in some types of customer sites. Now we're talking about tools that are $1,000. In this case, it might have been $500 or something like that."
  • "The price of FortiGate is good."
  • More Fortinet FortiGate Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "I spent $600 or $800 on this product and I'm paying a couple of hundred dollars a year in a subscription service to keep the lights on, on it... It works out to $100 or $200 a year if you buy several years at once. It's fair."
  • "The primary reason that we went with Firebox was its cost. It is very economical and it provided us with all the security functions that we were looking for at the time. And the throughput was more than what we required, so it was a very cost-effective device to deploy on our network."
  • "I find the solution to be very affordable."
  • "It's fair pricing, but it could always be reduced."
  • "It has a very good price. It is not the most expensive one, and it is also not the cheapest one. It is just spot-on in terms of price."
  • "They have an annual subscription license. Initially, we had opted for three years. After that, we went for another three years, and after that, we have been doing it yearly. They also have a license for five years."
  • "The licensing contract we have is on a three-year basis. There aren't any costs in addition to the standard licensing fees—usually, every three years, we just purchase or renew the same license and we are okay. Every six years, we completely change the firewall, but that's the usual schema. So after three years, we just renew the licenses for another three years, and then after that particular period of time, we just purchase another firewall equivalent to the ones that we currently use."
  • "The licensing costs are comparatively lower than other providers, and I would rate the pricing as five out of five."
  • More WatchGuard Firebox Pricing and Cost Advice →

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    Answers from the Community
    Netanya Carmi
    Scott Morin - PeerSpot reviewerScott Morin
    Consultant

    Even though my experience with FortiGate products has been mostly positive, I am partial to the WatchGuard appliances. I find the FortiGate interface a bit odd. For example, some of the wizards within the interface make me feel like it is more of a consumer device, even though I know it is a very capable appliance. The WatchGuard interface is more complicated, but it is also more capable. I also find that the UTM features within the FortiGate products lack some of the granular control available with WatchGuard.  


    I believe WatchGuard is the better choice regarding the quality of support, available documentation, and training resources. 


    I see that another reviewer indicated that WatchGuard lacked application control features. That is incorrect. Although I do not use this feature in any of my environments, I assure you that the features are available, and my testing has shown it to be capable.


    WatchGuard appliances also can integrate their endpoint Threat Detection and Response client to an environment for a correlated view of the environment. 


    WatchGuard also offers multiple methods for managing an appliance. Although the GUI is very capable, I am not a fan of live changes to an appliance. There are instances when multiple changes must be made to achieve the desired outcome. When these circumstances arise, the WatchGuard Policy Manager software allows you to deploy multiple changes at once while maintaining an OH SH!T copy that you can quickly redeploy if you happen to make a mistake.


    When it hits the fan, and you must troubleshoot an appliance issue, WatchGuard is far superior to any firewall I have worked with, including Fortigate. The ability to quickly and easily adjust the policies' order of precedence is a huge advantage and can often save a great deal of time troubleshooting.  


    Please do not take this as a negative review of FortiGate products. I am only speaking about firewalls. I have not used any of the other FortiGate products. I am strictly speaking of my experience deploying and managing FortiGate and WatchGuard firewalls. From my experience, I find the WatchGuard a superior product.  


    As a Managed Service Provider, our preferred product is WatchGuard, with our second offering being the Fortigate.  We managed other firewall brands, but we only sell WatchGuard and FortiGate products under normal circumstances. There are exceptions based on the client's needs.  For example, CradlePoint devices are often the best solutions for a client that only has cellular connectivity as an option. I only point out this situation because FortiGate is now offering LTE/5G solutions. We have many rural clients and moving forward, this may impact what we recommend.  Unfortunately, at this time, I don't have enough knowledge to offer any intelligent input on these product offerings, only that they are on our radar.

    Questions from the Community
    Top Answer: When you compare these firewalls you can identify them with different features, advantages, practices and… more »
    Top Answer:One of our favorite things about Fortinet Fortigate is that you can deploy on the cloud or on premises. Fortinet… more »
    Top Answer:It is easy to integrate Cisco ASA with other Cisco products and also other NAC solutions. When you understand the Cisco… more »
    Top Answer:From my experience regarding both the Sophos and FortiGate firewalls, I personally would rather use FortiGate. I know… more »
    Top Answer:As a solution, Sophos UTM offers a lot of functionality, it scales well, and the stability and performance are quite… more »
    Top Answer:We have Meraki Mx devices now, we are looking to replace them. But that is because the Meraki MX platform lacks SSL… more »
    Top Answer:We are providing our services to all WatchGuard customers in the region. 
    Top Answer:We just use it as a secondary WiFi device. We're a small office and we needed to set up a WiFi device for a few of our… more »
    Top Answer:We're a hospital and we use it for developing our incoming and outgoing policies, and we also use it for VPN.
    Comparisons
    Also Known As
    Cisco ASA Firewall, Cisco Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA) Firewall, Cisco ASA NGFW, Cisco ASA, Adaptive Security Appliance, ASA, Cisco Sourcefire Firewalls, Cisco ASAv, Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall
    FortiGate 60b, FortiGate 60c, FortiGate 80c, FortiGate 50b, FortiGate 200b, FortiGate 110c, FortiGate
    Learn More
    Cisco
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    Overview

    Cisco Secure Firewall is a suite of Cisco ASA Firewall and Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall among other Cisco products. 

    Anticipate, act, and simplify with Secure Firewall

    With workers, data, and offices located all over, your firewall must be ready for anything. Secure Firewall helps you plan, prioritize, close gaps, and recover from disaster—stronger.

    Turn intent into action

    Unify policy across your environment and prioritize what’s important. Having security resilience is about shoring up your architecture against threats and using automation to save time.

    Achieve superior visibility

    Regain visibility and control of your encrypted traffic and application environments. See more and detect more with Cisco Talos, while leveraging billions of signals across your infrastructure with security resilience.

    Drive efficiency at scale

    Only Secure Firewall includes license entitlement for Cisco SecureX, our open orchestration and XDR platform. The combination increases productivity across your teams and hybrid environments, while reducing threat dwell times.

    Make zero trust practical

    Secure Firewall makes a zero-trust posture achievable and cost-effective with network, microsegmentation, and app security integrations. Automate access and anticipate what comes next.

    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.”

    WatchGuard Firebox is a unified security platform that offers organizations protection from cyber threats through a powerful network security device that controls all traffic between an external network and a trusted network. The solution is ideal for small and midsize businesses as well as for distributed enterprises. WatchGuard Firebox protects the entire network from intrusions, phishing attempts, malware, and ransomware by using cloud and virtual firewalls, AI-powered malware protection, and enhanced network visibility.

    WatchGuard Firebox Features

    WatchGuard Firebox has many valuable key features, including:

    • Policy management
    • Strong security
    • High performance
    • Network configuration for multiple clients
    • Built-in SD-WAN
    • Application control
    • Threat detection and response
    • Network discovery
    • Intuitive interface

    WatchGuard Firebox Benefits

    Some of the benefits of using WatchGuard Firebox include:

    • IT administrators can create and implement policies for content filtering, VPNs, and network inspections.
    • The solution is easy to set up, manage, and maintain.

    Reviews from Real Users

    Below are some reviews and helpful feedback written by WatchGuard Firebox users.

    PeerSpot user Kelly C., IT Manager at a hospitality company, mentions, “One of the most valuable features is the Gateway AntiVirus. We scan all traffic as it's coming through. We also use spamBlocker to scrub spam. We use content filtering, which is critical in any corporate environment to make sure that people don't surf things they're not supposed to. WatchGuard has a very easy VPN and branch office VPN setup, so we use those pretty extensively too.It's very easy to use. In terms of performance, WatchGuard has always worked well for us. Regarding the reporting, I was in the Dimension server earlier today. It's very powerful. I like it. And the management features are easy to use. I like the fact that I can open up the System Manager client or I can just do it through the web if I'm making a quick change.”

    A Director of Information Technology at a retailer says, “Among the most valuable features is the ease of use — love the interface — of both the web interface and of the WatchGuard System Manager. It's a stable platform. The devices are pretty rock-solid.”

    Jason M., IT Director at a healthcare company, explains, “The policy monitoring and allowing different traffic flows are the most useful features for us; regulating which traffic comes in and out. In terms of the throughput and performance, we don't have a problem or any bottleneck there. We downgraded the size of our appliance because we're a small facility, and what we had before was actually too big. The one we are now going with seems to be doing a great job.” He also adds, “The management feature is pretty nice.”

    Steve R., President and Owner at Peak Communication Systems, Inc., comments, "It saves us time in the respect that we now have the template built for it so we can get in and get it done. We've had much less problems supporting Voice over IP technologies from different companies. Because our client base has grown over the years, we're probably saving 20 to 30 man-hours a month now that we've got this on a good stable level."

    Offer
    Learn more about Cisco Secure Firewall
    Learn more about Fortinet FortiGate
    Learn more about WatchGuard Firebox
    Sample Customers
    There are more than one million Adaptive Security Appliances deployed globally. Top customers include First American Financial Corp., Genzyme, Frankfurt Airport, Hansgrohe SE, Rio Olympics, The French Laundry, Rackspace, and City of Tomorrow.
    Pittsburgh Steelers, LUSH Cosmetics, NASDAQ, Verizon, Arizona State University, Levi Strauss & Co. Whitepaper and case studies here
    Ellips, Diecutstickers.com, Clarke Energy, NCR, Wrest Park, Homeslice Pizza, Fortessa Tableware Solutions, The Phoenix Residence
    Top Industries
    REVIEWERS
    Financial Services Firm16%
    Comms Service Provider13%
    Computer Software Company9%
    Government8%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Comms Service Provider21%
    Computer Software Company19%
    Government7%
    Educational Organization5%
    REVIEWERS
    Comms Service Provider16%
    Financial Services Firm10%
    Computer Software Company9%
    Manufacturing Company7%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Comms Service Provider23%
    Computer Software Company19%
    Government6%
    Educational Organization5%
    REVIEWERS
    Manufacturing Company21%
    Construction Company12%
    Computer Software Company9%
    Healthcare Company7%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Comms Service Provider21%
    Computer Software Company18%
    Government6%
    Retailer5%
    Company Size
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business36%
    Midsize Enterprise24%
    Large Enterprise40%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business28%
    Midsize Enterprise19%
    Large Enterprise53%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business46%
    Midsize Enterprise24%
    Large Enterprise30%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business30%
    Midsize Enterprise20%
    Large Enterprise50%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business68%
    Midsize Enterprise23%
    Large Enterprise10%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business38%
    Midsize Enterprise20%
    Large Enterprise42%
    Buyer's Guide
    Fortinet FortiGate vs. WatchGuard Firebox
    November 2022
    Find out what your peers are saying about Fortinet FortiGate vs. WatchGuard Firebox and other solutions. Updated: November 2022.
    653,522 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    Fortinet FortiGate is ranked 1st in Firewalls with 149 reviews while WatchGuard Firebox is ranked 3rd in Unified Threat Management (UTM) with 22 reviews. Fortinet FortiGate is rated 8.4, while WatchGuard Firebox is rated 8.2. The top reviewer of Fortinet FortiGate writes "Stable, easy to set up, and offers good ROI". On the other hand, the top reviewer of WatchGuard Firebox writes "Competent, basic front-end; the ports that I have assigned appear to be unattainable to outsiders". Fortinet FortiGate is most compared with pfSense, Sophos XG, Check Point NGFW, Meraki MX and SonicWall TZ, whereas WatchGuard Firebox is most compared with pfSense, Sophos XG, Meraki MX, Sophos UTM and OPNsense. See our Fortinet FortiGate vs. WatchGuard Firebox 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.