Fortinet FortiGate vs. Meraki MX Firewalls

As of April 2019, Fortinet FortiGate is ranked 1st in Firewalls with 58 reviews vs Meraki MX Firewalls which is ranked 5th in Firewalls with 9 reviews. The top reviewer of Fortinet FortiGate writes "The IPsec tunnels are very easily created, and quite interoperable with devices from other vendors". The top reviewer of Meraki MX Firewalls writes "Great SD-WAN solution. Manage multiple Meraki devices (security, switches, APs, Cameras) with a single pane of glass". Fortinet FortiGate is most compared with Cisco ASA NGFW, Sophos UTM and pfSense. Meraki MX Firewalls is most compared with Fortinet FortiGate, Cisco ASA NGFW and SonicWall NSA. See our Fortinet FortiGate vs. Meraki MX Firewalls report.
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Most Helpful Review
Find out what your peers are saying about Fortinet FortiGate vs. Meraki MX Firewalls and other solutions. Updated: March 2019.
333,153 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
We moved from a legacy firewall to the ASA with FirePOWER, increasing our Internet Edge defense dramatically.The Cisco ASA NGFW can easily scale. If you want, you can scale it to a lot of traffic. It's an X file, so all of our users are going through it.Right now, Cisco ASA NGFW has given us a lot of improvement. We are planning to move to a new facility and will be a much larger organization.The feature that I found most valuable is the overall stability of the product.The stability of Cisco ASA is excellent compared to other products on the market. Because of our customer experience as an integrator company, our clients never report any performance problems. We have a good performance reputation with Cisco ASA.I would say the Firepower module is most valuable. I'm trying more to transition to this kind firewall. I had to study a little on Palo Alto Networks equipment. There is a lot I have to learn about the difference.We have multiple secure internal networks linked with our plants. We are from a oil company, so we have multiple plant areas which need to have restricted network access. Therefore, we are using it for restricting access to the plant area.The initial setup was completely straightforward.

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The most important features with FortiGate are the web filter and application controls. We can control our internet usage and use the web filter for application purposes.It is user friendly, and has all the features you need.We are very happy with the general bandwidth agility we have seen from one website to another website.The most important features of Fortinet FortiGate are the Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) and firewall control applications.Fortinet FortiGate is scalable for our users. Right now, we have almost 70 users. We do not have any plan to increase our usage of FortiGate. For maintaining the firewall solution, one staff member is enough.This solution made it very easy to manage our bandwidth.The features that prevent internet connections, the filtering are the most valuable because we did not have any internet protection before.Fortinet FortiGate is a security device. It can optimize security on the networks of a company. It actually protects the company from attacks from outside. With FortiGate, you can categorize the users. You can create a group of users that can access all of the websites for their work. You can limit other users' access.

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Point-to-point VPNs can dynamically follow IP changes with no need for static IPs.Dual WAN connections are greatly simplified and point-to-point VPNs automatically connect regardless of what WAN connection is active.The security level of our organization has changed by using Meraki MX Firewalls. We didn't have the UTM before, but now we have sandboxing, tray scanning, attack preventions and monitorization. Our security level has improved.​It is very easy to configure.​It is very fast to implement.In a week, we can make new policy and view what all our users did.​The dashboard is very intuitive and easy to understand.Simple to manage.

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Cons
The product would be improved if the GUI could be brought into the 21st Century...Cisco could possibly improve upon their user interface design. There is a deep learning curve to the product if you are a newcomer.There is no support here in Georgia. If something goes wrong, support is not always very helpful with the other firewalls or other products.One of my main concerns, an area that could use improvement is in adjusting the need to buy a license to enable features.Usually, the customers are satisfied, but I am going to recommend that all clients upgrade to FirePOWER management. I want Cisco to improve the feature called anti-spam. We use a Cisco only email solution, that's why we need the anti-spam on email facility.The installation and integration of Cisco ASA with FirePOWER can be improved. The management with Fortigate is easier than Cisco ASA on FirePOWER. The management side of Cisco ASA can be improved so it can be more easily configured and used.Most of the time, when I try to run Java, it is not compatible with ASA's current operating systems.We have to rely on Cisco ASDM to access the firewall interface. This needs improvement. Because we have a web-based interface, and it is a lot more user-friendly.

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Some features of Fortinet FortiGate are actually fee enabled that are inconvenient for deploying in production. Other issues relate to isolation with Cisco products and your server.I feel that the reporting needs to be improved.I have to say that the initial setup was complex. The deployment took a few days to get set up. Initially, we were using an IPVanish. We switched to this tool since we thought it would be easier. But it turns out it wasn't easier to set up and run.The main aspect of FortiGate that could be improved is load balancing. Our management team does not want to buy another appliance for only load balancing.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.Compared to some other products, the DLP is not at par for the moment.Fortinet could improve the windows opener or the virtual IP solutions for opening windows. The virtual IP settings need improvement as firewalls are trending in new development directions.Scalability is one of the disadvantages. When it comes to scalability, you have to actually change the box. If you want to upgrade it, you need to actually change the existing box and probably you take the system off to other sites.

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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 feel that Cisco provides smaller features, with fewer possibilities versus other solutions out there.We could have more reporting options and the ability to send alarms to the administrator.More detail needed for configuration of the VPN.It would be great if the Meraki devices let us see, in real time, the internet demand on a single device.The only stability issue is in Content Filtering. Sometimes we need to report these types of issues to Cisco support.

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Pricing and Cost Advice
We paid about $7,000 for the Cisco firewall, plus another small Cisco router and the lead switch. It was under the combined license. It's a final agreement.The cost is a big factor for us. This is why we are using it only in our restricted area. They are very much higher than their competitors in the market.Licensing is expensive compared to other solutions.Pricing is high, but it is essentially a corporate decision.The cost is a bit high compared to other solutions in the market.Cisco recently has become very expensive.The cost is a bit higher than other competitive solutions on the market.It is considered on the "high end" of the spectrum.

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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.Our licensing costs are on a yearly basis.Compared to Palo Alto, which we have used in the past, pricing and licensing are okay.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.The initial setup is super straight forward and as far as the licensing goes for the small product that we have, the pricing was pretty competitive. It wasn't as simple and as cheap as a SonicWall but for the service we would get it was a good price.It is a good product from a price perspective versus functionality.

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​Other content filtering solutions that I have used had more bells and whistles, but given the cost, complexity, and management overhead, I am very pleased with Meraki’s solution.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.It can always improve pricewise regarding throughput.

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Answers from the Community
Miriam Tover
Mike RobinsonUser

I have used Meraki Fortinet and Cisco. They all 3 have their own language. Cisco technicians want to use CLI, while Meraki will use either CLI or GUI, and Fortinet prefers GUI. Cisco at times can be hard to understand while Meraki is better 70% to understand and I have had nothing but success with Fortinet. As for price, I figured 3-year maintenance across the board Cisco was most expensive, Meraki 2nd, and Fortinet was least expensive. Fortinet seems to bundle more in that lower price also. As for a single view Meraki is top of the pile, with a firewall, switch and access point integration. Cisco and Fortinet will let devices run without maintenance. Meraki not so, the device gives a 30-day warning and then a hard stop, which can take a week to get back up and running!

11 February 19
Phillip PeermanReal User

Meraki equipment requires a current license in order to operate. This also gets you hardware replacement and tech support while the license is current. Fortigate requires a current license for advanced features and firmware upgrades only. This difference seems to put off some potential Meraki customers however, if you are planning on being connected to the Internet and not running current firmware on your security appliance bigger problems await you.

As for throughput you must size your solution to meet your needs based on Internet connectivity speed that plan to use for the life of the security appliance and the features you plan to use. If you have 250Mbps down and 25Mbps up today and plan to go 1 GB symmetrical within a year than you need to purchase a security appliance that can handle 1 GBps symmetrical now. Also advanced features like content filtering and IPS/IDS required extra horsepower on any manufacturers solution. VPN client software with Meraki would be nice but not having to pay for the AnyConnect licenses is a plus. I've heard users having issues with Meraki's Client VPN on Windows 10 but haven't experience this myself. The issues seem to be caused by Microsoft updates affected the VPN in Windows 10. Not exactly Meraki's fault but if Meraki didn't rely on MS for VPN connectivity software the issue would be null. I haven't done a VPN client solution with Fortigate to compare.

Fortigate has a CLI interface for advanced users that want that level of control.

I've used both solutions but find the dashboard for Meraki to be a huge plus. Also find it simpler to train new admins on as it is a 100% GUI solution. Either of these solutions (Fortigate or MX) are quite capable if you are looking for a security appliance. You can't go wrong with either choice in my opinion. If you have a complete Meraki stack (security, switch, APs, etc.) Meraki allows you to manage it all on the same dashboard.

@Matt Ellsworth - Meraki MX appliances allow outbound firewall rules. On the dashboard menu - Security and SD-WAN, Configure, Firewall, Outbound Rules. Fortigate has them also. I would say pretty much all enterprise firewalls have outbound rules.

11 February 19
MichaelThompsonUser

Having used a couple 60D for couple years and the Meraki for one engagement few things.

Meraki
Deployed the Meraki in a simple small network and it works great. Handful of of VLANs regular stuff.
I found Meraki support to not be at the same level of TAC
VPN - I personally opened 6-7 tickets, had another integrator and Cisco reseller take a crack at the VPN, we army another route. If VPN is not needed the box sets its up

60D - it worked, just bought 60E for another gig.

12 February 19
Eduardo PinaReal User

Management:
Meraki is based on cloud management.
Fortinet has local management (FortiGate + FortiManager), which guarantees a greater perception of security and control.

Additional:
Meraki has Umbrella available to supplement security on cloud.
Fortinet dont have a DNS add-on solution.

Wi-Fi:
Meraki Wi-Fi solutions have proven to be better than Fortinet.

Support:
Fortinet has a larger legacy than Meraki, and a greater number of specialists.
Meraki now has the structure of CISCO, even though they are different companies.

11 February 19
Jay RitterskampUser

Both companies have different revenue streams. What is good for one site might not work for another, and vise versa. I wouldn't recommend either one until I have an understanding of the needs at each site, or at least know what type of company I'm choosing a FW for. For instance, some smaller companies can go with an entirely different brand than Meraki or Fortigate...again, based on their needs. I have used both devices, and recommend different things for differing needs. A company that is entirely web based (no on-site server for instance) has differing needs than a site which has on-site services ONLY! IMHO, the question is too vague to answer completely. As an example, one of the biggest differences is the color of the chassis. The number of users supported also varies greatly, as do the services which are offered (or paid for) for each product. Based on your needs, there are models of firewalls available which have a MGMT location over LTE (which I find very attractive for some clients). If price isn't a concern, then I might have a different answer, but that answer is not implied in the question. Phillip, Matt, and Mustafa all have valid responses, but again, too little information is provided for a real answer.

11 February 19
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Also Known As
Cisco ASA, Adaptive Security Appliance, ASAFortiGate 60b, FortiGate 60c, FortiGate 80c, FortiGate 50b, FortiGate 200b, FortiGate 110c, FortiGateMX64, MX64W, MX84, MX100, MX400, MX600
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Cisco
Fortinet
Cisco
Overview

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 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.

With the proliferation of modern applications and mixed-use networks, host and port based security is no longer sufficient. Cisco Meraki's layer 7 "next generation" firewall, included in MX security appliances and every wireless AP, gives administrators complete control over the users, content, and applications on their network.
Offer
Learn more about Cisco ASA NGFW
Learn more about Fortinet FortiGate
Learn more about Meraki MX Firewalls
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.Pittsburgh Steelers, LUSH Cosmetics, NASDAQ, Verizon, Arizona State University, Levi Strauss & Co. Whitepaper and case studies hereHyatt, ONS
Top Industries
REVIEWERS
Financial Services Firm19%
Manufacturing Company13%
Comms Service Provider11%
University7%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Comms Service Provider23%
Financial Services Firm16%
Manufacturing Company10%
Transportation Company8%
REVIEWERS
Financial Services Firm12%
Real Estate/Law Firm10%
Comms Service Provider10%
Healthcare Company10%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Cloud Provider17%
Comms Service Provider9%
Writing And Editing Position8%
Financial Services Firm7%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Government24%
Comms Service Provider21%
Manufacturing Company9%
Transportation Company9%
Company Size
REVIEWERS
Small Business38%
Midsize Enterprise28%
Large Enterprise35%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Small Business42%
Midsize Enterprise26%
Large Enterprise31%
REVIEWERS
Small Business51%
Midsize Enterprise23%
Large Enterprise25%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Small Business50%
Midsize Enterprise36%
Large Enterprise14%
REVIEWERS
Small Business75%
Midsize Enterprise8%
Large Enterprise17%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Small Business52%
Midsize Enterprise15%
Large Enterprise33%
Find out what your peers are saying about Fortinet FortiGate vs. Meraki MX Firewalls and other solutions. Updated: March 2019.
333,153 professionals have used our research since 2012.
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.

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