How does Fortinet FortiGate compare with WatchGuard Firebox?

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3 Answers

Real User
Oct 28, 2021

In my organization, we use Fortinet’s Fortigate. We find it to be very powerful, cost-efficient, and reliable. The user interface is friendly, and it is easy to create policies and set rules. As an NGFW, you can upgrade the firewall cluster firmware without disturbing the user. The graphic interface is very intuitive. The endpoint and email protection are on point, and you don’t have to worry about downtime.

FortiGate offers malware and spyware protection, with advanced capabilities like proxy-based antivirus. It has advanced network protection features and a powerful intrusion prevention system with anti-spam and web filtering capabilities. For all the capabilities it offers, the price is reasonable.

FortiGate has downsides though: the technical support is not great, and there is not a lot of documentation available. It is also kind of hard to configure.

We reviewed WatchGuard before choosing FortiGate. WatchGuard offers a comprehensive advanced network security platform with enterprise-grade security. The router is rich in security features like antivirus, APT blocker, and spam blocker. It is simple to use and applicable for various use cases. It offers web filtering, application control, and monitoring.

We liked that the GUI interface seemed intuitive and easy to use. It integrates with Active Directory, so it is a good fit for MS enterprise users. You can also schedule backups with ease.

WatchGuard is, however, lacking in features for application control and we found the DNS server functionality to be poor. The firewall policies don’t point to a domain, only to IP addresses. While it is excellent that it integrates with Active Directory, the single-sign-on sometimes doesn’t refresh users’ permissions when they log on and off.


Fortinet Fortigate is undoubtedly a powerful and established next-generation firewall, and with all the features and capabilities, it is a better and more cost-effective solution than WatchGuard. WatchGuard would be better for organizations that use MS products.

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Apr 4, 2022

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.

Real User
Top 5
Oct 25, 2021

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.

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Fortinet FortiGate vs. WatchGuard Firebox comparison
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:...
Download Fortinet FortiGate vs. WatchGuard Firebox comparison ReportRead more

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