Meraki MX vs WatchGuard Firebox comparison

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Fortinet Logo
120,425 views|88,209 comparisons
90% willing to recommend
Cisco Logo
3,311 views|2,387 comparisons
93% willing to recommend
WatchGuard Logo
2,952 views|2,250 comparisons
95% willing to recommend
Comparison Buyer's Guide
Executive Summary
Updated on Sep 6, 2022

We performed a comparison between Meraki MX and WatchGuard Firebox based on our users’ reviews in five categories. After reading all of the collected data, you can find our conclusion below.

  • Ease of Deployment: The majority of reviewers of both products say the initial setup is straightforward.
  • Features: Users say both products have good stability and scalability.

    Meraki MX users like that the solution is flexible and easy to use and manage. Users of Meraki MX would like to see more monitoring capabilities and feel that the security is not as strong as it could be.

    WatchGuard users like the solution’s interface and advanced security features, and say that it is reliable. Reviewers say the data loss protection is challenging to configure and mention they would like to see better documentation.
  • Pricing: Some Meraki MX users say the pricing is expensive and think it could be lower. While WatchGuard only charges for one license, which makes it more cost-effective, some users find the pricing to be on the higher side. Others feel it is fair.
  • Service and Support: Users of both solutions find that the service and support are good.
  • ROI: Users of both solutions report a good ROI.

Comparison Results: Based on the parameters we compared, both solutions received similar ratings in all categories.

To learn more, read our detailed Meraki MX vs. WatchGuard Firebox Report (Updated: May 2024).
771,740 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Featured Review
Quotes From Members
We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use.
Here are some excerpts of what they said:
Pros
"It has improved our security capabilities.""Centralized monitoring, policy management, and virtualized appliances allow us to take control over our public and private infrastructure.""It performs very well.""I like that they have given me a solution at a fair price.""It works very well. It has a lot of different functionalities. Its cost is also fine for our customers.""FortiGate firewalls are easy to manage through a user-friendly web interface. They also have advanced features like DDoS and DLP. However, I wouldn't recommend enabling all of these features on one device because it can cause performance issues.""The reporting you receive out of this appliance is excellent. You will not need an external management system.""The multi-tenancy feature is most valuable. It integrates very well with FortiManager and FortiAnalyzer."

More Fortinet FortiGate Pros →

"The simplicity of configuration is the most valuable feature of the solution.""Real Auto VPN with load balancer without needing a public IP. It is simple and functional.""WAN optimization is the best feature of the solution.""The dashboard is very intuitive and easy to understand.""I love the simplicity of Meraki MX — specifically, the simplicity of the dashboard.""It prevents us from being hacked and delivers information about who and where the attack came from.""The technical support people from Meraki are brilliant.""The internet traffic shaping has been very valuable."

More Meraki MX Pros →

"I like that this product has very few issues.""Firebox operates effectively in the background, blocking potential threats without a need for constant monitoring.""The most valuable are the VPN and proxy features.""Among the most valuable features is the ease of use — love the interface — of both the web interface and of the WatchGuard System Manager.""Policy VPN, site-to-site VPN, traffic monitoring, anti-spam filters, and all other advanced features are valuable.""The policy monitoring and allowing different traffic flows are the most useful features for us; regulating which traffic comes in and out.""Their support is excellent, and the stability is very good.""All of the features have been valuable. There's nothing on my M270 that I'm not using. If you have remote access, you can see how many users are coming from the outside world to be connected to the systems, through the virus systems that we have behind the firewall, in order to gain access to their files and do their work. We can also see how long they stay online and whether these connections are closed forcefully or for any other reasons, such as a glitch or some kind of misbehavior, to see if internet traffic is optimized and if that particular traffic is under company policies, concerning which websites were visited."

More WatchGuard Firebox Pros →

Cons
"The support system could be improved.""One issue that I have had is that sometimes I need to monitor the traffic, so I need to filter it according to the user and which user is using it the most. I experience a bottleneck most of the time, particularly at the peak time when the number of contracts and users are at maximum.""Fortinet FortiGate could improve by having more storage in the hardware for log data.""Due to its higher cost, Fortinet FortiGate can lead to increased operational expenses.""Application management can be improved.""It can be a little bit more user-friendly in terms of policy definition and implementation. It seems a little bit complicated, and it could be simplified.""I think the only issue that needs improvement is the interface.""I need user-behavior analytics, to find threat scenarios from inside the organization, insider attacks. That would be very helpful for us. In addition, I would like next-generation features for small and medium businesses. These businesses require UTM, all in one product. Fortinet must include it."

More Fortinet FortiGate Cons →

"It would be great if the Meraki devices let us see, in real time, the internet demand on a single device.""You can only have one tunnel in the whole infrastructure — one tunnel with one device.""More detail needed for configuration of the VPN.""FortiGate is cheaper than Meraki. Even the license renewal is less than Meraki.""We can’t access GUI management and CLI opening features when the Internet is unavailable.""When we do API integrations with Meraki, they have always been hard as well as tedious to build. The data that we want out of the API integrations has been only recently available. Six months ago, it was hard to get someone to build something correctly or useful with Meraki APIs. Recently, they have made more data available on the API, but it is just a start. They need to do more.""I need more UTM protection security features.""From the improvement perspective, we need more monitoring capabilities. We want to have full-based access visibility, such as, what is happening when something is trying to reach and it is denying. We cannot see some parts of it. The integration of active directory with this product is not very fruitful. It has some bugs or lacks in the functionality of active directory integration. We are unable to identify where exactly and whether it has really applied our policy."

More Meraki MX Cons →

"The data loss protection works well, but it could be easier to configure. The complexity of data loss protection makes it a more difficult feature to fully leverage. Better integration with third-party, two-factor authentication would be advantageous.""If they could make the traffic monitoring easier that would be great. I don't use it that frequently, but I would like to see some improvements in the ease of use of that component, so it makes more sense. I know it's a technical component so there's going to be some difficulty trying to make that easier.""The solution is lacking a professional website, they should be updated more often.""Last year, I had an issue with one of the Fireboxes going down. It was overheated, because my server room became overheated and this fried it.""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.""The pricing could be improved. It is definitely one of the more expensive products.""Some of the configuration options are somewhat confusing.""Due to their lack of investment in marketing, channel development, and certifications, WatchGuard faces challenges in gaining visibility and market share, especially in regions like Pakistan."

More WatchGuard Firebox Cons →

Pricing and Cost Advice
  • "Fortinet has one or two license types, and the VPN numbers are only limited by the hardware chassis make."
  • "These boxes are not that expensive compared to what they can do, their functionality, and the reporting you receive. Fortinet licensing is straightforward and less confusing compared to Cisco."
  • "Go for long term pricing negotiated at the time of purchase."
  • "Work through partners for the best pricing."
  • "The value is the capability of having multiple services with one unique license, not having the limitation per user licensing schema, like other vendors."
  • "Easy to understand licensing requirements."
  • "​We saved a bundle by not needing all the past appliances from an NGFW.​"
  • "The cost is too high... They have to focus on more features with less cost for the customer. If you see the market, where it's going, there are a lot of players offering more features for less cost."
  • More Fortinet FortiGate Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "It can always improve pricewise regarding throughput."
  • "It is more expensive than other solutions, but it is a cloud-managed network solution and support is given at the moment you call. That give a very big plus."
  • "The Meraki UTM is excellent when you buy the Advanced Security license. If you buy a different license you lost all the valuable functions."
  • "Pricing varies as per the type of license."
  • "Meraki is also expensive, but it's a little bit less expensive and it's easier to configure than Cisco ASA."
  • "The price varies depending on the hardware platform as well as the type of license and whether you're adding security or not."
  • "The license cost depends on the box. We acquired a different product line. We are dealing with MX appliance now, that is, MX6, MX54, MX100, MX250, MX450. Every box has got an identity, and it has got its own specification. Every box has got a different license fee. We deployed Meraki MX in UAE when it was not a mature product. We took a risk, but we were successful. We saved a huge amount of money after implementing and removing all the MPLS and leased lines. We got a broadband connection because Meraki MX could work on a broadband connection. We have drastically saved a very good amount of money, which was one of the successful things apart from the successful solution."
  • "The price is slightly increased, but reasonable."
  • More Meraki MX Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "Very competitive pricing regarding throughput compared to other alternatives."
  • "Cheap."
  • "The subscription that was purchased is for three years, but it is usually for one year at a time."
  • "The cheapest configuration, for maybe five people, is approximately $500."
  • "The price is so small that I don't pay attention to it anymore. I think we pay a few thousand dollars for two to three years, so about $100 per month. That's for all of our users. There is an additional cost if we want to go with a deeper licensing model, but we just pay for antivirus, IPS, and main product support."
  • "I haven't seen the pricing since 2017, but it was competitive. SonicWall, Barracuda, and WatchGuard were all about the same price when we did our last pricing."
  • "Each one, for the primary unit, was $8,600 and the High Availability unit was $2,000. That's with three years of subscription and support and the Total Security Suite."
  • "We only license our corporate one and the one we have at our DR site, we don't worry about the branches. It doesn't pay for us to license the ones at the branches. What they charge for what they call basic maintenance is extremely high for those little fireboxes."
  • More WatchGuard Firebox Pricing and Cost Advice →

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    Questions from the Community
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    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 Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA) software is the operating software for the Cisco ASA suite. It supports… more »
    Top Answer:Meraki equipment requires a current license in order to operate. This also gets you hardware replacement and tech… 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
    FortiGate 60b, FortiGate 60c, FortiGate 80c, FortiGate 50b, FortiGate 200b, FortiGate 110c, FortiGate
    MX64, MX64W, MX84, MX100, MX400, MX600
    Learn More
    Cisco
    Video Not Available
    Overview

    Fortinet FortiGate enhances network security, prevents unauthorized access, and offers robust firewall protection. Valued features include advanced threat protection, reliable performance, and a user-friendly interface. It improves efficiency, streamlines processes, and boosts collaboration, providing valuable insights for informed decision-making and growth.

    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:

    • End-to-end health of web applications at a glance across the LAN, WAN, and application server.
    • Autonomous machine-learned smart application thresholds applied to identify true anomalies that are based on past behavioral patterns.
    • Ability to monitor the health of all MX WAN links across an entire organization.
    • Ability to detail hop-by-hop VoIP performance analysis across all uplinks.

    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:

    • SD-WAN capabilities
    • SNORT®-based intrusion detection and prevention
    • Layer 7 fingerprinting
    • Web caching
    • Application-based firewalling
    • Anti-malware
    • Geo-based firewalling
    • Content filtering
    • Site-to-site auto VPN and client VPN
    • Web search filtering
    • Cisco Advanced Malware Protection (AMP)
    • 4G cellular failover
    • Dynamic path selection
    • Web application health and VoIP health

    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.”

    WatchGuard Firebox is a versatile security solution primarily used for security purposes such as firewalling, VPN, and protecting networks from outside and inside threats. It is also used for routing, multi-factor authentication, vulnerability management, and segregating industrial networks from corporate networks. 

    The product is praised for scalability, stability, user-friendliness, reasonable pricing, and good technical support. Some users use it for web filtering and hosting web pages, while others – for remote access connections and mobile VPNs. Firebox offers great protection, good performance, and flexibility without licensing limitations.

    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."

    Sample Customers
    1. Amazon Web Services 2. Microsoft 3. IBM 4. Cisco 5. Dell 6. HP 7. Oracle 8. Verizon 9. AT&T 10. T-Mobile 11. Sprint 12. Vodafone 13. Orange 14. BT Group 15. Telstra 16. Deutsche Telekom 17. Comcast 18. Time Warner Cable 19. CenturyLink 20. NTT Communications 21. Tata Communications 22. SoftBank 23. China Mobile 24. Singtel 25. Telus 26. Rogers Communications 27. Bell Canada 28. Telkom Indonesia 29. Telkom South Africa 30. Telmex 31. Telia Company 32. Telkom Kenya
    Hyatt, ONS
    Ellips, Diecutstickers.com, Clarke Energy, NCR, Wrest Park, Homeslice Pizza, Fortessa Tableware Solutions, The Phoenix Residence
    Top Industries
    REVIEWERS
    Comms Service Provider16%
    Computer Software Company9%
    Financial Services Firm8%
    Manufacturing Company7%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Educational Organization20%
    Computer Software Company15%
    Comms Service Provider8%
    Manufacturing Company6%
    REVIEWERS
    Comms Service Provider25%
    Computer Software Company13%
    Non Tech Company6%
    Healthcare Company6%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Educational Organization22%
    Computer Software Company16%
    Comms Service Provider5%
    Government5%
    REVIEWERS
    Manufacturing Company18%
    Construction Company11%
    Computer Software Company7%
    Real Estate/Law Firm5%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company18%
    Comms Service Provider11%
    Government6%
    Educational Organization5%
    Company Size
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business48%
    Midsize Enterprise23%
    Large Enterprise30%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business27%
    Midsize Enterprise32%
    Large Enterprise40%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business56%
    Midsize Enterprise26%
    Large Enterprise18%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business30%
    Midsize Enterprise32%
    Large Enterprise38%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business65%
    Midsize Enterprise22%
    Large Enterprise13%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business42%
    Midsize Enterprise19%
    Large Enterprise38%
    Buyer's Guide
    Meraki MX vs. WatchGuard Firebox
    May 2024
    Find out what your peers are saying about Meraki MX vs. WatchGuard Firebox and other solutions. Updated: May 2024.
    771,740 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    Meraki MX is ranked 2nd in Unified Threat Management (UTM) with 58 reviews while WatchGuard Firebox is ranked 3rd in Unified Threat Management (UTM) with 79 reviews. Meraki MX is rated 8.2, while WatchGuard Firebox is rated 8.4. The top reviewer of Meraki MX writes "Cost-effective, simplified, easy to manage, and reliable with advanced security features and granular visibility". On the other hand, the top reviewer of WatchGuard Firebox writes "Offers a streamlined deployment, intuitive interface and robust security features". Meraki MX is most compared with Palo Alto Networks NG Firewalls, Cisco Secure Firewall, Sophos XG, SonicWall TZ and Juniper SRX Series Firewall, whereas WatchGuard Firebox is most compared with Netgate pfSense, Sophos XG, OPNsense, SonicWall TZ and Cisco Secure Firewall. See our Meraki MX vs. WatchGuard Firebox report.

    See our list of best Unified Threat Management (UTM) vendors and best Firewalls vendors.

    We monitor all Unified Threat Management (UTM) 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.