Compare Cisco Firepower NGFW vs. Fortinet FortiGate

Cisco Firepower NGFW is ranked 4th in Firewalls with 22 reviews while Fortinet FortiGate is ranked 1st in Firewalls with 49 reviews. Cisco Firepower NGFW is rated 8.0, while Fortinet FortiGate is rated 8.6. The top reviewer of Cisco Firepower NGFW writes "Enables analysis, diagnosis, and deployment of fixes quickly, but the system missed a SIP attack". On the other hand, the top reviewer of Fortinet FortiGate writes "Don't underestimate FortiAnalyzer. It can give you a better understanding of what is going on in your network". Cisco Firepower NGFW is most compared with Palo Alto Networks WildFire, Meraki MX , Azure Firewall, Check Point Virtual Systems and Sophos XG, whereas Fortinet FortiGate is most compared with Meraki MX , pfSense, Sophos UTM, SonicWall TZ and Sophos XG. See our Cisco Firepower NGFW vs. Fortinet FortiGate report.
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Cisco ASA NGFW Logo
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Cisco Firepower NGFW Logo
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Fortinet FortiGate Logo
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Most Helpful Review
Find out what your peers are saying about Cisco Firepower NGFW vs. Fortinet FortiGate and other solutions. Updated: July 2020.
430,585 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:

Unfortunately in Cisco, only the hardware was good.The traffic inspection and the Firepower engine are the most valuable features. It gives you full details, application details, traffic monitoring, and the threats. It gives you all the containers the user is using, especially at the application level. The solution also provides application visibility and control.If we look at the Cisco ASA without Firepower, then one of the most valuable features is the URL filtering.It's easy to integrate ASA with other Cisco security products. When you understand the technology, it's not a big deal. It's very simple.The benefits we see from the ASA are connected to teleworking as well as, of course, having the basic functionality of a firewall in place and the prevention of attacks.On the network side, where you create your rules for allowing traffic — what can come inside and what can go out — that works perfectly, if you know what you want to achieve. It protects you.If you have a solution that is creating a script and you need to deploy many implementations, you can create a script in the device and it will be the same for all. After that, you just have to do the fine tuning.They provide DDoS protection and multi-factor authentication. That is a good option as it enables work-from-home functionality.

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Being able to determine our active users vs inactive users has led us to increased productivity through visibility. Also, if an issue was happening with our throughput, then we wouldn't know without research. Now, notifications are more proactively happening.One of the most valuable features is the AMP. It's very good and very reliable when it comes to malicious activities, websites, and viruses.The Firepower+ISE+AMP for endpoint integration is something that really stands it out with other vendor solutions. They have something called pxGrid and i think it is already endorsed by IETF. This allows all devices on the network to communicate.Firepower has been used for quite a few enterprise clients. Most of our clients are Fortune 500 and Firepower is used to improve their end to end firewall functionality.They wanted to leverage something which is equivalent that can give them the next gen features like application awareness and intrusion protection. So that is a major reason they were looking forward to this. The original ASA firewall did not have these features. This was the major reason the customer moved on to Cisco Firepower Threat Defense (FTD). Now they can go ahead and leverage those functionalities.With the FMC and the FirePOWERs, the ability to quickly replace a piece of hardware without having to have a network outage is useful. Also, the ability to replace a piece of equipment and deploy the config that the previous piece of equipment had is pretty useful.We can easily track unauthorized users and see where traffic is going.The protection and security features, like URL filtering, the inspection, and the IPS feature, are also very valuable for us. We don't have IT staff at most of the sites so for us it's important to have a robust firewall at those sites

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Advanced routing (RIP, OSPF, BGP, PBR). It gives you a seamless and simple integration into a large network.We use the FortiGate Sandbox to detect zero-day vulnerabilities, such as anomalies or malware, that are unknown and have not yet been discovered.We are a visual effects company, and there have been a number of high profile security issues in our industry. This has brought us to a higher standard of security, which our clients are very keen on these days.Virtual Domains (VDOMs) are a feature that we found valuable.SSL-VPN is very useful for us and has been very reliable.FortiGate Secure SD-WAN includes best-of-breed next-generation firewall (NGFW) security, SD-WAN, advanced routing, and WAN optimization capabilities, delivering a security-driven networking WAN edge transformation in a unified offering.The most valuable feature is the VDOM, which allows the customer to have multiple firewalls in a single campus.The security features are about the best that I've seen anywhere.

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In NGFW, Cisco should be aligned with the new technology and inspection intelligence because Cisco is far behind in this pipeline.Security generally requires integration with many devices, and the management side of that process could be enhanced somewhat. It would help if there was a clear view of the integrations and what the easiest way to do them is.One area where the ASA could be improved is that it doesn't have AMP. When you get an ASA with the Firepower model, ASA with FTD, then you have advanced malware protection.If I want to activate IPS features on it, I have to buy another license. If I want Cisco AnyConnect, I have to buy another license. That's where we have challenges.Cisco missed the mark with all the configuration steps. They are a pain and, when doing them, it looks as if we're using a very old technology — yet the technology itself is not old, it's very good. But the front-end configuration is very tough.Cisco provides us with application visibility and control, although it's not a complete solution compared to other vendors. Cisco needs to work on the application behavior side of things, in particular when it comes to the behavior of SSL traffic.It is expensive.We were also not too thrilled when Cisco announced that in the upcoming new-gen ASA, iOS was not going to be supported, or if you install them, they will not be able to be managed through the Sourcefire. However, it seems like Cisco is moving away from the ASA iOS to the Sourcefire FireSIGHT firmware for the ASA. We haven't had a chance to test it out.

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The central management tool is not comfortable to use. You need to have a specific skill set. This is an important improvement for management because I would like to log into Firepower, see the dashboard, and generate a real-time report, then I question my team.One feature I would like to see, that Firepower doesn't have, is email security. Perhaps in the future, Cisco will integrate Cisco Umbrella with Firepower. I don't see why we should have to pay for two separate products when both could be integrated in one box.The product line does not address the SMB market as it is supposed to do. Cisco already has an on-premises sandbox solution.The intelligence has room for improvement. There are some hackers that we haven't seen before and its ability to detect those types of attacks needs to be improved.I was just trying to learn how this product actually operates and one thing that I see from internal processing is it does fire-walling and then sends it to the IPS model and any other model that needs to be performed. For example, content checking or filtering will be done in a field processing manner. That is something that causes delays in the network, from a security perspective. That is something that can be improved upon. Palo Alto already has implemented this as a pilot passed processing. So they put the same stream of data across multiple modules at the same time and see if it is giving a positive result by using an XR function. So, something similar can be done in the Cisco Firepower. Instead of single processing or in a sequential manner, they can do something similar to pile processing. Internal function that is something that they can improve upon.We had an event recently where we had inbound traffic for SIP and we experienced an attack against our SIP endpoint, such that they were able to successfully make calls out... Both CTR, which is gathering data from multiple solutions that the vendor provides, as well as the FMC events connection, did not show any of those connections because there was not a NAT inbound which said either allow it or deny it.We would like to see improvement in recovery. If there is an issue that forces us to do recovery, we have to restart or reboot. In addition, sometimes we have downtime during the maintenance windows. If Cisco could enhance this, so that upgrades would not necessarily require downtime, that would be helpful.The user interface for the Firepower management console is a little bit different from traditional Cisco management tools. If you look at products we already use, like Cisco Prime or other products that are cloud-based, they have a more modern user interface for managing the products. For Firepower, the user interface is not very user-friendly. It's a little bit confusing sometimes.

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I think there could be more QoS featuresWe would like to see a better training platform implemented.We had a minor problem where there was a major system upgrade on the hardware platfrom and the Mac client was not available as soon as it might have been. The PC client was available immediately, but we had to wait a month or so, before there was a mac client. I was slightly irritated that it was not ready on time, but it was eventually resolved.To the best of my knowledge, Fortinet does not have a CASB solution and Fortinet does not have a Zero trust solution.The user interface could be improved to make it less confusing and easier to set up.There is a lot of improvement needed with SSL-VPN.Improvement is needed in the Web Filter quotas to restrict users with allocated quotas.Technical support for this solution can be improved.

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Pricing and Cost Advice
Always consider what you might need to reduce your wasted time and invest it in other solutions.There is room for improvement in the pricing when compared to the market. Although, when you compare the benefits of support from Cisco, you can adjust the value and it becomes comparable, because you usually need very good support. So you gain value there with this device.When it comes to Cisco, the price of everything is higher. Cisco firewalls are expensive, but we get support from Cisco, and that support is very active.It's a brilliant firewall, and the fact that it comes with a perpetual license really does go far in terms of helping the organization in not having to deal with those costs on an annual basis. That is a pain point when it comes to services like the ones we have on Fortigate. That's where we really give Cisco firewalls the thumbs up.Cisco is expensive, but you do get benefits for the price.In terms of costs, other solutions are more expensive than Cisco. Palo Alto is more expensive than Cisco.Pricing varies on the model and the features we are using. It could be anywhere from $600 to $1000 to up to $7,000 per year, depending on what model and what feature sets are available to us.We used Check Point and the two are comparable. Cost was really what put us onto the ASAs... the price tag for Check Point was exorbitantly more than what it is for the ASA solution.

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Cisco pricing is premium. However, they gave us a 50 to 60 percent discount.There are additional implementation and validation costs.We normally license on a yearly basis. The hardware procurement cost should be considered. If you're virtual maybe that cost is eradicated and just the licensing cost is applied. If you have hardware the cost must be covered by you. All the shipping charges will be paid by you also. I don't thing there are any other hidden charges though.The one-time cost is affordable, but the maintenance cost and the Smart Net costs need to be reduced. They're too high.Cisco's pricing is high, at times, for what they provide.Our subscription costs, just for the firewalls, is between $400,000 and $500,000 a year.The Firepower series of appliances is not cheap. I just got a quote recently for six firewalls that was in the range of over half-a-million dollars. That's what could push us to look to other vendors...The price of this solution is not good or bad.

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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.Fortinet is the least expensive solution.Fortinet Secure SD-WAN delivered the lowest total cost of ownership (TCO) per Mbps among all other vendors.The pricing for this solution is good.Before choosing a piece of equipment you have to take into account the cost-benefit offered by each one. Sometimes it is not worth paying a very cheap price to have a minimum level of security.Each feature costs money, so it is important to study your needs.I would say that all things considered, the pricing is pretty good.Fortinet is reasonable in pricing and licensing. Overall, FortiGate is affordable. The licensing fee can be a little high, depending on the budget for your project.

More Fortinet FortiGate Pricing and Cost Advice »

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Answers from the Community
Mostafa Nageh
author avatarPaul Friend

We are partners for both products and as a security practice, we recommend Fortinet over Cisco for security. Fortinet offers improved security efficacy, performance, and cost. Cisco has dropped off badly in analysts' reports recently and we hardly see them in serious security conversations on this side of the world.

author avatarTodd Ellis
Real User

The FortiGate is a good firewall for the price. Out of the box, it runs great. As time progresses, nine months/one year into the updates it isn't running as well. I think overall is it still okay for the most part. Price is big for many customers and the FortiGate is a good value. The Cisco FTD or ASA w/Firepower is also a good firewall. The FTD has quite a bit of compute and resources. The Snort engine does a good job of identifying traffic and flagging traffic that needs more analysis. The ASA functions run as virtual on the ASA as Lina. So all your Site-to Site VPN and Anyconnect work from this side of the firewall. The ASA with Firepower is almost a legacy firewall that isn't as fast as the FTD but it still gets the job done. Unless you need the legacy connections I would go the FTD route. The ASA architecture of hardware is going the route of the FTD. Once the Anyconnect was added to FTD it is the way to go. The real value comes in the integration with all the other Cisco products. Umbrella, AMP4Endpoint, ISE, Stealthwatch, and Cloudlock, all integrate directly with the Cisco Firepower NGFW to give you visibility with Cisco Threat Response. Honestly, with the right API, you can get the same integration with the FortiGate. I would say that with the right ordering schedule you can get a bundled package that is pretty price competitive.

Another consideration is what are you replacing when you are putting this firewall in? Make sure that you are getting the right throughput solution that can handle the traffic. Cisco CDO makes migration fairly easy if you are migrating old ASAs. If you are replacing a FortiGate it might be best to stay in that direction.

If you are going to be managing all of these firewalls and keeping them updated I would not hesitate to go the Cisco FTD route. Using Cisco Threat Response operationalizes security management.

author avatarDavid Hartt
Real User

Firepower requires significant systems to suit adjacent to an ASA to support IPS and other aspects of the solution. FortiGate does not require a significant investment in systems and offers a number of cloud-based options to move to a near turn-key solution. In addition, VPN implementation and other tools and instrumentation fit well within a comprehensive compliance solution including various scanners.

In my opinion, the entry price point for the two solutions and the ongoing manageability of the platform tips the scale heavily in Fortinet’s corner. I tend to prefer systems that appear in Gartner’s upper right quadrant and in my opinion, Cisco has to play significant “catch up” and have significantly improved in the last 24 months but they are still behind.

author avatarJunedh Rehman

FortiGate interface and features are easier to set up and manage

author avatarMelvynLee
Real User

Regretfully, I have no in-hand experience on either specific firewall.

I can only comment that Fortinet remains one of the fore-bearers in Firewall technology and Cisco_Meraki has the corporate backup of Cisco.

We have a Meraki MX series Firewall and, to date, it has covered our needs comprehensively. It does tend to lend itself more towards full integration of Meraki devices throughout the network e.g Peer to Peer VPNs but hybrid networks still function well albeit a little more complicated to set up.

Either supplier will not let your client down as both are reliable vendors. I would advise your client to list the important elements of NGFW for their network and compare these. If these comparisons are balanced, and I suspect that support is equivalent from both vendors then it's down to cost.

author avatarVinesh Raniga

I was un exactly your shoes a few months back. We made the decision to go with FortiGate for a few reasons:

1. The price was a no brainer. Cisco NGFW is also (in my opinion) miles behind what some of the firewalls can do nowadays.

2. The throughput of the firewall: I chose to go with the 501-E model of the FortiGates. It has 2x 10G interfaces and a total throughput of about 30Gbps I think (don’t quote me on this).

3. Ease of configuration: The FortiGates are one of the easiest firewalls to configure. They do have their own bugs but if you find a stable release, you’d be very satisfied with these firewalls.

I would still prefer a Palo Alto over a Fortinet firewall but they will come at a huge price tag!

author avatarreviewer1171122 (Manager IP Network Security Planning at a comms service provider with 10,001+ employees)
Real User

The biggest difference is the ease of use and deployment.

Fortinet has a simple user interface and they seem to have a better UI/UX design than cisco.

While cisco is also a market leader and good with firewalling technologies the ease of use is not there. This is coming from someone that started learning with cisco products.

author avatarRichard Benfatto

I am not going to mention the price because, at the end of the day, the price of something cheap turns very expensive.

I had a Cisco ASA and got fed up. That Java interface, that extra module for IPS, it was a total headache.

Fortinet has spent serious money with ASIC (Application Specific Integrated Circuits) chips so the hardware can take care and leave the CPU at low revs. The interface is great and that Java disaster goes, but regardless of that the efficiency and real protection, well see NSLABS reports, nothing more to say.

Cisco invented the router, then purchased a switch company, then they pretended to know RF (Radio Frequency or wireless). Sorry, it's not on. Not even with the purchase or Ironport. Fortinet is the way to go. I am a Cisco Academy trainer and after this but the truth is one and only one.

By the way, the appliance I have also comes with 10 licenses for endpoint security clients (Forticlient). Not bad, but Symantec Endpoint Security is better, especially when it comes to layer 2.

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Also Known As
Cisco ASA, Adaptive Security Appliance, ASA, Cisco Sourcefire FirewallsCisco Firepower Next-Generation Firewall, FirePOWERFortiGate 60b, FortiGate 60c, FortiGate 80c, FortiGate 50b, FortiGate 200b, FortiGate 110c, FortiGate

Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA) is Cisco's end-to-end software solution and core operating system that powers the Cisco ASA product series. This software solution provides enterprise-level firewall capabilities for all types of ASA products, including blades, standalone appliances and virtual devices. Adaptive Security Appliance provides protection to organizations of all sizes, and allows end-users to access information securely anywhere, at any time, and through any device.

Adaptive Security Appliance is also fully compatible with other key security technologies, and so provides organizations with an all-encompassing security solution.

Block more threats and quickly mitigate those that do breach your defenses with the industry’s first threat-focused NGFW.

The Cisco Firepower Next Generation Firewall (NGFW) prevents breaches, and can quickly detect and mitigate stealthy attacks using deep visibility and the most advanced security capabilities of any firewall available today - all while maintaining optimal network performance and uptime. With Cisco NGFW you can automate operations to save time, reduce complexity, and work smarter.

The FortiGate family of NG firewalls provides proven protection with unmatched performance across the network, from internal segments, to data centers, to cloud environments. FortiGates 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.

Learn more about Cisco ASA NGFW
Learn more about Cisco Firepower NGFW
Learn more about Fortinet FortiGate
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.Rackspace, The French Laundry, Downer Group, Lewisville School District, Shawnee Mission School District, Lower Austria Firefighters Administration, Oxford Hospital, SugarCreek, WestfieldPittsburgh Steelers, LUSH Cosmetics, NASDAQ, Verizon, Arizona State University, Levi Strauss & Co. Whitepaper and case studies here
Top Industries
Financial Services Firm20%
Manufacturing Company10%
Comms Service Provider9%
Computer Software Company28%
Comms Service Provider21%
Media Company7%
Financial Services Firm36%
Comms Service Provider21%
Manufacturing Company14%
Transportation Company14%
Computer Software Company27%
Comms Service Provider27%
Media Company4%
Comms Service Provider18%
Energy/Utilities Company8%
Financial Services Firm8%
Real Estate/Law Firm6%
Computer Software Company26%
Comms Service Provider22%
Media Company7%
Company Size
Small Business35%
Midsize Enterprise25%
Large Enterprise40%
Small Business32%
Midsize Enterprise21%
Large Enterprise46%
Small Business41%
Midsize Enterprise28%
Large Enterprise31%
Small Business46%
Midsize Enterprise25%
Large Enterprise29%
Small Business49%
Midsize Enterprise22%
Large Enterprise29%
Find out what your peers are saying about Cisco Firepower NGFW vs. Fortinet FortiGate and other solutions. Updated: July 2020.
430,585 professionals have used our research since 2012.

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