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Featured Review
Find out what your peers are saying about Fortinet FortiGate-VM vs. pfSense and other solutions. Updated: November 2021.
555,358 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 important features are the intrusion prevention engine and the application visibility and control. The Snort feature in Firepower is also valuable.""One of the most valuable features of Firepower 7.0 is the "live log" type feature called Unified Event Viewer. That view has been really good in helping me get to data faster, decreasing the amount of time it takes to find information, and allowing me to fix problems faster. I've found that to be incredibly valuable because it's a lot easier to get to some points of data now.""The feature set is fine and is rarely a problem.""It's got the capabilities of amassing a lot of throughput with remote access and VPNs.""A good intrusion prevention system and filtering.""The integration of network and workload micro-segmentation helps a lot to provide unified segmentation policies across east-west and north-south traffic. One concrete example is with Cisco ACI for the data center. Not only are we doing what is called a service graph on the ACI to make sure that we can filter traffic east-west between two endpoints in the same network, but when we go north-south or east-west, we can then leverage what we have on the network with SGTs on Cisco ISE. Once you build your matrix, it is very easy to filter in and out on east-west or north-south traffic.""We have not had to deal with stability issues.""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."

More Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall Pros »

"The user interface, stability, and scalability are the most valuable features.""The most valuable feature is the WAN optimization.""Web filtering and the IPS functionality.""In spite of the solution being inexpensive, it has everything one would need.""The thing that I like the most is that they're very willing to work with us to resolve issues that they haven't taken care of before in their product.""It's very easy to set up, even for more junior developers.""FortiGate-VM has many valuable features: it's easy to use, it's intuitive, it's got very good traffic inspection features, it's got comprehensive filtering categories, and it has an extensive threat database, using FortiGuard.""The VM it's very quick for deployment. If we need to have a POC for a customer, if we don't have any hardware physically at our premises, at our store, in our office, we can download the VM from Fortinet and install all the VM to their environment in order to run it. If we have a customer that says "let's start tomorrow" we are able to do that in a way that's not possible with a hardware version."

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"It is a better firewall than others and it has better features.""I like the connectivity to the open VPN. It's very smooth.""I have found the most valuable features to be antivirus and malware protection.""I have found the firewall portion for the blocking most valuable.""The solution is very robust.""I am happy with the EPLS, the radius, and I am happy with the captive portal.""At our peak time, we have reached more than 5,000 concurrent connections.""I'm the expert when it comes to Linux systems, however, with the pfSense, due to the web interface, the rest of the staff can actually make changes to it as required without me worrying about whether they've opened up ports incorrectly or not. The ease of use for non-expert staff is very good."

More pfSense Pros »

Cons
"I would like it to have faster deployment times. A typical deployment could take two to three minutes. Sometimes, it depends on the situation. It is better than it was in the past, but it could always use improvement.""Implementations require the use of a console. It would help if the console was embedded.""My team tells me that other solutions such as Fortinet and Palo Alto are easier to implement.""It would be great if some of the load times were faster.""I believe that the current feature set of the device is very good and the only thing that Cisco should work on is improving the user experience with the device.""They need a VTI. I know it's going to be available in the next software version, which is the 6.7 version. However, the problem with that is that the 6.7 is going to deprecate all the older IKEv1 deployment tunnels. Therefore, the problem is that we have a lot of customers which are using older encryptions. If I do that, update it, it's not going to work for me.""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.""There is limited data storage on the appliance itself. So, you need to ship it out elsewhere in order for you to store it. The only point of consideration is around that area, basically limited storage on the machine and appliance. Consider logging it elsewhere or pushing it out to a SIEM to get better controls and manipulation over the data to generate additional metrics and visibility."

More Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall Cons »

"It is a very good product, and it is good at standing by itself. It can maybe have a little bit of integration with other products, but it is not that important for most use cases.""The user interface could be improved.""FortiGate should be more customer friendly and budgeted better.""Fortinet could improve the availability and delivery of its products. It takes four to six weeks for every purchase to arrive.""The solution is fairly complex.""Deployment can be difficult and they could dispense with reliance on FortiManager and FortiAnalyzer.""It needs an Application Inspection.""There are certain GUI features that should be present but are not."

More Fortinet FortiGate-VM Cons »

"The main problem with pfSense is that it lacks adequate ransomware protection.""I have been using WireGuard VPN because it is a lot faster and more secure than an open VPN. However, in the latest version of pfSense, they have removed this feature, which is one of the main features that I need. They should include this feature.""As an open-source solution, there are so many loopholes happening within the product. By design, no one is taking ownership of it, and that is worrisome to me.""We are at the moment looking to use it as a proxy service so that we can limit what websites people go and view and that sort of thing. That's an area I've struggled with a little bit at the moment and it could be a bit easier to set up.""The solution could always work at being more secure. It's a good idea to continue to work on security features and capabilities in order to ensure they can keep clients safe.""Many people have problems setting up the web cache for the web system.""In an upcoming release, the reporting could be more user-friendly. For example, the reporting in graphs and charts for the host can be cumbersome.""The solution requires a lot of administration."

More pfSense Cons »

Pricing and Cost Advice
"It definitely competes with the other vendors in the market.""The price of Firepower is not bad compared to other products.""This solution is expensive and other solutions, such as FortiGate, are cheaper.""Cisco is not for a small mom-and-pop shop because of the cost, but if you're in a regulated industry where a breach could cost you a million dollars, it's a bargain.""There are additional implementation and validation costs.""I am happy with the product in general, including the pricing.""This product is expensive.""This product requires licenses for advanced features including Snort, IPS, and malware detection."

More Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall Pricing and Cost Advice »

"There should be a reduction in the setup price and licensing costs.""The cost of this product is too high.""At present, the SD-WAN licenses are on an annual basis.""Licensing is pretty standard. It's approximately 15% of the total cost per year as a subscription cost.""The price of this product is great compared to others.""This solution is very expensive.""There is a support fee that can be bought on a yearly or two-yearly basis. I don't think they do five years. The best benefit is that the same pricing is guaranteed for that duration. If you can afford it, I would recommend using the longest possible time span.""It's a mid-ranged product."

More Fortinet FortiGate-VM Pricing and Cost Advice »

"The price of pfSense is reasonable. However, there is a free version available.""pfSense is open-source, but the support is something that the customer pays for.""It is open source.""pfSense is a free solution.""We are using the open-source version which is free. We are testing the solution to see if we are going to go to the enterprise version which requires a license and is not free.""The solution software does not require a license, it is free. The support contract is about $600 dollars.""It is an open source firewall.""We are using the open-source version, not the commercial one."

More pfSense Pricing and Cost Advice »

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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: In the best tradition of these questions, Feature-wise both are quite similar, but each has things it's better at, it… more »
Top Answer: Both of these solutions are excellent options that provide flexible scalability and solid security. Fortinet Fortigate… more »
Top Answer: The most valuable feature is the WAN optimization.
Top Answer: You don't really specify what type of router you are looking for but if you are talking about a gateway router I… more »
Top Answer: Fortinet’s Fortigate is a firewall solution we use and are very much satisfied with its performance. We find Fortigate… more »
Top Answer: Two of the most common and well recognized firewalls, PfSense and OPNsense both support site-to-site IPsec VPN and… more »
Comparisons
Also Known As
Cisco Firepower NGFW, Cisco Firepower Next-Generation Firewall, FirePOWER, Cisco NGFWv
FortiGate Virtual Appliance, FortiGate-VM
Learn More
Netgate
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Overview

Cisco NGFW firewalls deliver advanced threat defense capabilities to meet diverse needs, from
small/branch offices to high performance data centers and service providers. Available in a wide
range of models, Cisco NGFW can be deployed as a physical or virtual appliance. Advanced threat
defense capabilities include Next-generation IPS (NGIPS), Security Intelligence (SI), Advanced
Malware Protection (AMP), URL filtering, Application Visibility and Control (AVC), and flexible VPN
features. Inspect encrypted traffic and enjoy automated risk ranking and impact flags to reduce event
volume so you can quickly prioritize threats. Cisco NGFW firewalls are also available with clustering
for increased performance, high availability configurations, and more.
Cisco Firepower NGFWv is the virtualized version of Cisco's Firepower NGFW firewall. Widely
deployed in leading private and public clouds, Cisco NGFWv automatically scales up/down to meet
the needs of dynamic cloud environments and high availability provides resilience. Also, Cisco NGFWv
can deliver micro-segmentation to protect east-west network traffic.
Cisco firewalls provide consistent security policies, enforcement, and protection across all your
environments. Unified management for Cisco ASA and FTD/NGFW physical and virtual firewalls is
delivered by Cisco Defense Orchestrator (CDO), with cloud logging also available. And with Cisco
SecureX included with every Cisco firewall, you gain a cloud-native platform experience that enables
greater simplicity, visibility, and efficiency.
Learn more about Cisco’s firewall solutions, including virtual appliances for public and private cloud.

FortiGate Virtual Appliances allow you to mitigate blind spots by implementing critical security controls within your virtual infrastructure. They also allow you to rapidly provision security infrastructure whenever and wherever it is needed. FortiGate virtual appliances feature all of the security and networking services common to traditional hardware-based FortiGate appliances. With the addition of virtual appliances from Fortinet, you can deploy a mix of hardware and virtual appliances, operating together and managed from a common centralized management platform.

Providing comprehensive network security solutions for the enterprise, large business and SOHO, pfSense solutions bring together the most advanced technology available to make protecting your network easier than ever before. Our products are built on the most reliable platforms and are engineered to provide the highest levels of performance, stability and confidence.
Offer
Learn more about Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall
Learn more about Fortinet FortiGate-VM
Learn more about pfSense
Sample Customers
Rackspace, The French Laundry, Downer Group, Lewisville School District, Shawnee Mission School District, Lower Austria Firefighters Administration, Oxford Hospital, SugarCreek, Westfield
Security7 Networks, COOPENAE
Nerds On Site Inc., RKC Development Inc., Expertech, Fisher's Technology, Ncisive, Consulting, CPURX, Vaughn's Computer House Calls, Imeretech LLC, Digital Crisis, Carolina Digital Phone, Technigogo Technology Services, The Simple Solution, SwiftecITInc, Rocky Mountain Tech Team, Free Range Geeks, Alaska Computer Geeks, Lark Information Technology, Renaissance Systems Inc., Cutting Edge Computers, Caretech LLC, GoVanguard, Network Touch Ltd, P.C. Solutions.Net, Vision Voice and Data Systems LLC, Montgomery Technologies, Techforce, Concero Networks, ASONInc, CPS Electronics and Consulting, Darkwire.net LLC, IT Specialists, MBS-Net Inc., VOICE1 LLC, Advantage Networking Inc., Powerhouse Systems, Doxa Multimedia Inc., Pro Computer Service, Virtual IT Services, A&J Computers Inc., Envision IT LLC, CommunicaONE Inc., Bone Computer Inc., Amax Engineering Corporation, QPG Ltd. Co., IT 101 Inc., Perfect Cloud Solutions, Applied Technology Group Inc., The Digital Sun Group LLC, Firespring
Top Industries
REVIEWERS
Comms Service Provider22%
Financial Services Firm16%
Manufacturing Company8%
Non Profit8%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Comms Service Provider32%
Computer Software Company21%
Government7%
Manufacturing Company3%
REVIEWERS
Comms Service Provider19%
Financial Services Firm13%
Retailer6%
Manufacturing Company6%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Comms Service Provider33%
Computer Software Company30%
Government5%
Energy/Utilities Company4%
REVIEWERS
Comms Service Provider10%
University8%
Marketing Services Firm8%
Computer Software Company6%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Comms Service Provider43%
Computer Software Company15%
Government6%
Media Company4%
Company Size
REVIEWERS
Small Business43%
Midsize Enterprise28%
Large Enterprise29%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Small Business21%
Midsize Enterprise13%
Large Enterprise66%
REVIEWERS
Small Business53%
Midsize Enterprise27%
Large Enterprise20%
REVIEWERS
Small Business70%
Midsize Enterprise17%
Large Enterprise12%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Small Business58%
Midsize Enterprise13%
Large Enterprise29%
Find out what your peers are saying about Fortinet FortiGate-VM vs. pfSense and other solutions. Updated: November 2021.
555,358 professionals have used our research since 2012.

Fortinet FortiGate-VM is ranked 13th in Firewalls with 58 reviews while pfSense is ranked 3rd in Firewalls with 56 reviews. Fortinet FortiGate-VM is rated 8.2, while pfSense is rated 8.6. The top reviewer of Fortinet FortiGate-VM writes "Slightly unstable, needs a better user interface, and lacks good monitoring capabilities ". On the other hand, the top reviewer of pfSense writes "Feature-rich, well documented, and there is good support available online". Fortinet FortiGate-VM is most compared with Azure Firewall, Fortinet FortiGate, Palo Alto Networks VM-Series, OPNsense and Sophos XG, whereas pfSense is most compared with OPNsense, Fortinet FortiGate, Sophos UTM, Sophos XG and Zyxel Unified Security Gateway. See our Fortinet FortiGate-VM vs. 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.