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Fortinet FortiGate vs Zscaler Internet Access comparison

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Q&A Highlights
Question: Looking Into Implementing a Web Security Solution.
Answer: IT really depends on the type of business you had currently. These days almost all security vendors are offering Virtual Appliances so it's a preference based decision. Almost all vendors are offering basic features with some add-ons / additional features with differences among others competitors. Look at 1. FortiGate, 2. Cisco Meraki, 3. SOPHOS Products they all provide you flexibility to have physical and virtual appliances and are the best vendors in market.
Featured Review
Buyer's Guide
Fortinet FortiGate vs. Zscaler Internet Access
July 2019
Find out what your peers are saying about Fortinet FortiGate vs. Zscaler Internet Access and other solutions. Updated: July 2019.
622,645 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Quotes From Members
We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use.
Here are some excerpts of what they said:
Pros
"The most valuable feature is the access control list (ACL).""The feature set is fine and is rarely a problem.""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.""Provides good integrations and reporting.""Its Snort 3 IPS has better flexibility as far as being able to write rules. This gives me better granularity.""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.""IPS and Snort are very important because they also differentiate Cisco from other vendors and competitors.""The most valuable features of this solution are advanced malware protection, IPS, and IDS."

More Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall Pros →

"The most valuable features are the enterprise modeling and the simple interface.""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.""FortiGate has a very strong unified threat management system.""User-friendly and affordable security solution that's recommended for SMB customers. This solution has good technical support.""The interface is very good.""I have found Fortinet FortiGate to be scalable.""Its administrative panel is very intuitive and simple. It is simpler than the other solutions that we had. As an administrator, we are always looking for the easiest solution to manage network policies. We are able to filter everything on our network and also use the VPN feature, which is important these days when people are working remotely during COVID.""The license management is very valuable. You can get a new license each year, or you can enroll every two to four years. You can get the logs, and you will get the information on the risk in your network and the entire organization. With this information, you can take action on your actives, computers, or devices. You can bring your own device as an SSE."

More Fortinet FortiGate Pros →

"Overall, we're very happy with our product.""The protection is most valuable.""Zscaler Internet Access has helped us reduce the time that we spend managing security policies by about four hours a week. We can use this time to focus on other things, especially the IT team.""For our needs, the cloud-native proxy architecture is a very good solution. We are moving away from on-prem appliances and moving more toward cloud-based solutions. Zscaler is a good fit for our strategy. This architecture helps with cyber threats because we inspect most of the traffic and we can see that a lot of threats are stopped directly in the secure web gateway.""The solution is scalable and stable.""Zscaler Internet Access protects using data loss prevention. If you have a CASB exposing your cloud out into the network, then Zscaler Internet Access will go ahead and control that unknown cloud application in the CASB, protecting it. There is also data detection with exact data match. This improves the data coming into your cloud so you are protecting it.""Zscaler Internet Access's roaming user feature is most valuable and is much better compared to other secure web gateways.""The most valuable features I found in Zscaler Internet Access are the restriction of users for a particular URL, the security feature related to stopping DDoS, and the VPN."

More Zscaler Internet Access Pros →

Cons
"When you make any changes, irrespective of whether they are big or small, Firepower takes too much time. It is very time-consuming. Even for small changes, you have to wait for 60 seconds or maybe more, which is not good. Similarly, when you have many IPS rules and policies, it slows down, and there is an impact on its performance.""My team tells me that other solutions such as Fortinet and Palo Alto are easier to implement.""The change-deployment time can always be improved. Even at 50 seconds, it's longer than some of its competitors. I would challenge Cisco to continue to improve in that area.""The performance should be improved.""Cisco makes horrible UIs, so the interface is something that should be improved.""The application detection feature of this solution could be improved as well as its integration with other solutions.""The main problem we have is that things work okay until we upgrade the firmware, at which point, everything changes, and the net stops working.""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."

More Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall Cons →

"The command line is complicated, and the interface could be better.""Technical support is good but the response time could be faster.""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.""The customization could be improved. Cisco, for example, is much better at this. They need to work to be at least as good as they are.""We had some issues in the beginning while setting it up, but after doing the firmware update, it is working fine.""Price, of course, can always be more competitive or better.""The solution needs to improve its integration with cybersecurity.""Backup can be improved."

More Fortinet FortiGate Cons →

"What could be improved in Zscaler Internet Access is its price. It could be cheaper.""There are a few features that are not compatible with the Azure cloud.""Sometimes, support isn't available.""They could provide more time for the onboarding the training of an IT person.""One thing that they could improve is the ability to import rules from other platforms.""The performance needs improvement. Some areas create performance issues and, depending on the use cases, require reconfiguration to perform again.""Zscaler needs to add client-to-client communication. It's always client-to-server communication. The cloud and branch connectors could be improved because we're still dependent on traditional firewalls. They should eliminate this. They should also provide WAN devices should to compete with the SD-WAN solutions also.""Zscaler Internet Access's troubleshooting is very limited, and their textbook logs need to be more informative."

More Zscaler Internet Access 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 pricing is fair based on its competitive market."
  • "The price is competitive. It's not cheap and it's not expensive."
  • "The pricing for Zscaler Internet Access could be made cheaper."
  • "The price of Zscaler Internet Access should improve, it is expensive."
  • "We have found the solution to be expensive."
  • "Licenses are available on a per-host basis. Some features like sandboxing require an additional fee, but most standard features are included in the license."
  • "We pay around 6,500 INR per user per year, which is very expensive. I would rate Zscaler's pricing one out of five."
  • "Because it's a cloud solution, we pay on a yearly basis. It is affordable and includes tech support and all features."
  • More Zscaler Internet Access Pricing and Cost Advice →

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    Answers from the Community
    Anonymous User
    it_user563148 - PeerSpot reviewerit_user563148 (Head of IT Security at a retailer with 10,001+ employees)
    Real User

    Bluecoat and Forcepoint offer credible solutions. Think through where your users are and what they connect to. A mobile workforce may need an agent and a cloud gateway (unless you force them back to base over VPN) but may give problems if connecting to sites that whitelist you by IP. And not all providers have good global breakout points. Be particularly careful if you work in China.

    Alex D - PeerSpot reviewerAlex D
    Real User

    My recommendation is Cisco Meraki MX84 with advanced security license (its have two kind of license Advanced security and Enterprise licenses).

    it_user472803 - PeerSpot reviewerit_user472803 (User at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees)
    Real User

    I recommend Fortigate

    All FortiGate appliances are powered by the FortiOS™ operating system with the following features and benefits:

    Features. Firewall, Virtual Private Networking (VPN), AntiVirus, Intrusion Prevention, Web Filtering, DLP, and anti-spam; AntiVirus /Antispyware

    Rick Maxson - PeerSpot reviewerRick Maxson (ATOS)
    Real User

    Answer is , it depends... If you do any web based business with Banks or Governments then get a hardware solution like Bluecoat or Fortinet because web based providers can not provide you with a static source IP and you will fail security checks. I've been involved in corporate moves to the "cloud" using Zscaler and both went very wrong, very fast, a year later and they still have monthly outages because of the "cloud" providing random source IP's. If this is for a public internet access outside of your corporate network then you should be fine otherwise I suggest hardware you control.

    it_user218775 - PeerSpot reviewerit_user218775 (Manager, NetScaler Sales Development, EMEA at a tech vendor with 1,001-5,000 employees)
    Vendor

    This is a "how long is a piece of string?" type question. As the other vendors have said it is hard to recommend something fully without knowing all the background. Your background did stipulate that you had multiple sites and you were growing. Having a traditional deployment scenario will mean that you need to have a "box" at each site and add more boxes as you add more sites. Going with a more modern solution like Zscaler will allow more rapid growth opportunities - just add users, no matter where they are - also this allows you to restrict with a single policy in the cloud rather than on each device.

    AS others have said, be mindful of the proximity of the Zscaler because of latency, but they do have >100 POPS which you will probably find pretty local.

    Overall, there is a lot more research you can do, but I'm leaning towards a cloud offering from the branches. You might consider an SD-WAN device at each branch that also has FW built in. This would give you connectivity resilience at a much lower price, but perhaps this is a debate for another day :-)

    Wilson Cardenas - PeerSpot reviewerWilson Cardenas
    User

    Cisco Meraki is an excellent solution in the cloud, has AMP included and can be integrated with Umbrella and Thread Grid.

    Stuart Berman - PeerSpot reviewerStuart Berman
    Real User

    We use Fortigates for web filtering and security. We are a global company with > 10,000 users.
    This protects all users on our internal network. Remote users can use the Fortinet FortiClient for remote AV and web filtering protection.

    We used Zscaler several years ago but we were unhappy with latency for complex websites and managing PAC files was difficult.

    Chukwunenye Ekwe Jnr. - PeerSpot reviewerChukwunenye Ekwe Jnr.
    Real User

    Since you are going for a web security. Zscalar web security solution will be my recommendation considering its robust features and vast threat intelligence base. It is best you go for the cloud solution since you are working across sites.

    Questions from the Community
    Top Answer: When you compare these firewalls you can identify them with different features, advantages, practices and… more »
    Top Answer: The Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall is a very powerful and very complex piece of anti-viral software. When one considers… 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: Cisco Umbrella and Zscaler Internet Access are two broad-spectrum Internet security solutions that I have tried.… more »
    Top Answer:We researched Netskope but ultimately chose Zscaler. Netskope is a cloud access security broker that helps identify… more »
    Top Answer:The users are at different locations, and Zscaler helps us to put the organization's central security controls on these… more »
    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
    ZIA
    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.”

    Zscaler Internet Access is a cloud-native security service edge (SSE) platform. Its main purpose is to provide AI-powered protection for all users, all applications, and all locations. The solution replaces other legacy network security solutions to stop advanced attacks and prevent data loss by using a comprehensive zero trust approach.

    Zscaler Internet Access Features

    Zscaler Internet Access has many valuable key features. Some of the most useful ones include:

    • Proxy (native SSL)
    • IPS and advanced protection
    • Cloud sandbox
    • DNS security
    • Cloud firewall
    • URL filtering
    • Bandwidth control
    • DNS filtering
    • Cloud DLP w/EDM and IDM
    • Cloud access security broker (CASB)
    • Cloud security posture management (CSPM)
    • CloudBrowser isolation
    • Cloud secure web gateway (SWG)
    • Zero trust network access (ZTNA)
    • Digital experience monitoring

    Zscaler Internet Access Benefits

    There are several benefits to implementing Zscaler Internet Access. Some of the biggest advantages the solution offers include:

    • Fast access with zero infrastructure: Zscaler Internet Access creates a fast, seamless user experience because of its direct-to-cloud architecture. With no infrastructure, Zscaler Internet Access helps you eliminate backhauling, which improves performance and simplifies network administration.
    • Threat intelligence: By using threat intelligence, Zscaler Internet Access can stop ransomware, zero-day malware, and advanced attacks via Inline inspection of all internet traffic, including SSL decryption, and a suite of AI-powered cloud security services. 
    • Consistent security: With Zscaler Internet Access, your security policy goes everywhere your users go. When you move security to the cloud, all users, applications, devices, and locations remain protected and secure based on identity and context.
    • Hybrid workforce: Zscaler Internet Access enables secure access to all external and internal apps from anywhere, so remote work is not an issue. You can also enforce business policies that follow the user, making security identical regardless of location.

    Reviews from Real Users

    Below are some reviews and helpful feedback written by Zscaler Internet Access users.

    A Service Manager at a construction company says, "There are a bunch of different capabilities that are valuable within the platform. We use quite a lot of them, but not everything. The ones that are most important to us are the URL Filtering and the application control. For our needs, the cloud-native proxy architecture is a very good solution. This architecture helps with cyber threats because we inspect most of the traffic and we can see that a lot of threats are stopped directly in the secure web gateway."

    Owen N., Security Architect at Claro Enterprise Solutions, explains that the solution’s most valuable features include “The integration of the gateway that inspects all ports and protocols. So, there is threat prevention; The cloud sandbox; VNS security; Access control that will protect URL filtering and the cloud firewall; Data protection that will protect your gateway, like your CASB or your cloud DLP; The capabilities of this will point your traffic to Zscaler Cloud.”

    An Architecture Senior Manager at an insurance company mentions, "The data loss prevention feature is the most valuable. It stops our users from inadvertently leaking our customers' data to the Internet or anywhere else it shouldn't go." He also adds, “The solution provides quick access to cloud services, securing our data and allowing us to inspect all our traffic.”

    Offer
    Learn more about Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall
    Learn more about Fortinet FortiGate
    Learn more about Zscaler Internet Access
    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
    Ulster-Greene ARC, BanRegio, HDFC, Ralcorp Holdings Inc., British American Tobacco, Med America Billing Services Inc., Lanco Group, Aquafil, Telefonica, Swisscom, Brigade Group
    Top Industries
    REVIEWERS
    Comms Service Provider19%
    Financial Services Firm17%
    Government13%
    Computer Software Company6%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Comms Service Provider29%
    Computer Software Company20%
    Government7%
    Manufacturing Company4%
    REVIEWERS
    Comms Service Provider16%
    Financial Services Firm10%
    Computer Software Company10%
    Manufacturing Company8%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Comms Service Provider34%
    Computer Software Company19%
    Government5%
    Manufacturing Company4%
    REVIEWERS
    Comms Service Provider28%
    Pharma/Biotech Company11%
    Computer Software Company11%
    Financial Services Firm11%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company25%
    Comms Service Provider21%
    Financial Services Firm7%
    Government6%
    Company Size
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business40%
    Midsize Enterprise25%
    Large Enterprise35%
    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 Business28%
    Midsize Enterprise6%
    Large Enterprise66%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business19%
    Midsize Enterprise15%
    Large Enterprise66%
    Buyer's Guide
    Fortinet FortiGate vs. Zscaler Internet Access
    July 2019
    Find out what your peers are saying about Fortinet FortiGate vs. Zscaler Internet Access and other solutions. Updated: July 2019.
    622,645 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    Fortinet FortiGate is ranked 1st in Firewalls with 166 reviews while Zscaler Internet Access is ranked 2nd in Secure Web Gateways (SWG) with 17 reviews. Fortinet FortiGate is rated 8.4, while Zscaler Internet Access is rated 8.6. The top reviewer of Fortinet FortiGate writes "Stable, easy to set up, and offers good ROI". On the other hand, the top reviewer of Zscaler Internet Access writes " AI decision-making on quarantined documents reduces manual work". Fortinet FortiGate is most compared with pfSense, Cisco ASA Firewall, Sophos XG, Check Point NGFW and SonicWall TZ, whereas Zscaler Internet Access is most compared with Cisco Umbrella, Netskope CASB, Microsoft Defender for Cloud Apps, Palo Alto Networks WildFire and Appgate SDP. See our Fortinet FortiGate vs. Zscaler Internet Access 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.