We performed a comparison between Meraki MX and pfSense based on our users’ reviews in five categories. After reading all of the collected data, you can find our conclusion below.
Comparison Results: The main difference between the two solutions is that Meraki MX is expensive, while pfSense is an open-source solution and is free of charge. In addition, Meraki’s monitoring capabilities could use improvement.
"The Fortinet FortiGate local partners were good. I did not have direct contact with Fortinet support."
"The pricing is great and very reasonable."
"The multi-tenancy feature is most valuable. It integrates very well with FortiManager and FortiAnalyzer."
"Its user interface is good, and it is always working fine."
"The tool is a nice product and easy to handle. The software's user interface is also good. You can easily implement remote access in the solution."
"Their interface is very easy to use, it is without bugs."
"I like that you are able to manage FortiGate from the FortiManager to create a more centralized environment."
"Overall security features and performance routing is good."
"Point-to-point VPNs can dynamically follow IP changes with no need for static IPs."
"Since it has an integrated dashboard for all the products, customers can get complete network analytics regarding what the user is doing, monitoring, and observing."
"Ease of management is the best thing about the solution."
"MX is easy to manage, configure and install."
"Easy to deploy with a simple configuration."
"It's flexible, easy to configure, and easy to manage."
"To me, the analytics feature is one of the most valuable in Meraki MX. I also find that it has good usability as it's cloud-based. Another valuable feature of Meraki MX is that it's simple to use and it's user-friendly."
"The solution is easy to set up."
"pfSense is a nice product, and I find that there's a lot of information out there. There are some good tutorials on YouTube and other websites with helpful information."
"Sophos Intercept X is scalable. Currently, we have almost 30 people using it in our company."
"The product’s documentation is good."
"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. Did you forget a printer port? Most attacks at the moment are happening through printers, and they can tell you immediately that you forgot to close the port of the printer. There are more than one million printers that are in danger, and everybody knows that hackers are using them to enter the network. So, you can download plugins to protect your network."
"I like pfSense's reports and how I can control access to the policies on the firewall."
"My technicians find the pfSense's web interface very useful. It is very easy to use. pfSense is very reliable and stable. We like the OpenVPN clients that can be deployed using pfSense very much."
"It is a very good solution for enterprises that need a VPN for their employees. It is the best way to provide a remote work facility to employees at a very low cost. Other solutions that I have had in the past were very expensive. Enterprises don't always have that kind of money to invest."
"Some of the terminologies were more familiar to me than it was when I first encountered Cisco."
"From a reporting perspective, there's room for improvement. They're providing FortiAnalyzer through which one can get some enhancements, but the visibility and reporting still need slight improvement."
"Fortinet FortiGate needs to improve the logging and reporting. Additionally, the next-generation application's policies should be improved. When they were released they had bugs."
"A sandbox would be good in order to be able to inspect the emails containing spam and be able to validate the emails that contain malware, prior to delivering to the customer."
"I would like to see improvements in the product's application rules."
"With the reports, you can see it, and you can get good feelings so upper management can go, "Oh, wow. That looks pretty." However, it's very basic."
"When we cluster the two Fortinet FortiGate boxes together we have some issues."
"The solution lacks sufficient filtering."
"The support we receive when we need to upgrade is not satisfactory and has room for improvement."
"It is very expensive."
"Meraki has some hidden features and information that is only privy to their engineers. If that information became available to us, then it would improve our ease of management, and we would be able to make certain adjustments instead of having to go to them."
"The solution's pricing should be reduced."
"An area for improvement in Meraki MX is that it needs some provision, as supplying the unit through Cisco can be tedious at times, but as far as the product itself and its offerings, Meraki MX is five-star all the way."
"The configuration options for firewall and IPS have limitations."
"They're very complacent and I find the rule set to be a little arcane."
"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."
"We have been having a problem with the VPN. When the energy goes down and is back again, the VPN link doesn't get established. We have to manually turn off the modems and other pieces of equipment and manually establish the VPN. It has been around one month since we have been having this problem, and we don't have enough support from Meraki to solve the problem."
"Ease of use is a problem for a user who is unfamiliar with this product because, in the interface, everything has to be set manually."
"Other solutions provide more scope for growth. For instance, we can have only 10 to 20 employees on VPN, but other solutions can support more users. We also have more capabilities to increase the performance of the solution."
"The solution could be more user-friendly, and the graphical interface needs some work so that someone without an IT background can use the application. I would like the ability to manage the on-premise appliance from the cloud. When I'm not in the office, it would be great to connect to the pfSense server and administer the network remotely."
"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 solution could improve by having centralized management and API support online."
"The solution’s interface must be improved."
"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."
"Also, the GUI is helpful, but it's not user-friendly. It's complicated. It should be more intuitive for the average user and have an excellent graphical view. Of course, the user will typically know about network administration, but it still should be easy to understand."
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.”
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:
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:
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.”
pfSense is a powerful and reliable network security appliance primarily used for security purposes such as firewall and VPN or traffic shaping, network management, and web filtering. It is commonly used by small businesses and managed service providers to protect their customers' networks and enable remote access through VPNs.
The solution is praised for its stability, user-friendly interface, scalability potential, open-source nature, free cost, easy installation, firewall capabilities, security features, flexibility, and simplicity. Overall, pfSense is a cost-effective solution for enterprises that need a VPN for their employees.
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."
Meraki MX is ranked 3rd in Unified Threat Management (UTM) with 21 reviews while Netgate pfSense is ranked 2nd in Firewalls with 22 reviews. Meraki MX is rated 7.8, while Netgate pfSense is rated 8.6. The top reviewer of Meraki MX writes "Provides good visibility, easy to configure and manage, and good for small businesses". On the other hand, the top reviewer of Netgate pfSense writes "Feature-rich, well documented, and there is good support available online". Meraki MX is most compared with Cisco Secure Firewall, Palo Alto Networks NG Firewalls, Sophos XG, SonicWall NSa and SonicWall TZ, whereas Netgate pfSense is most compared with OPNsense, Sophos XG, Untangle NG Firewall, Sophos UTM and Azure Firewall. See our Meraki MX vs. Netgate 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.