Compare Fortinet FortiGate vs. pfSense

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Most Helpful Review
Find out what your peers are saying about Fortinet FortiGate vs. pfSense and other solutions. Updated: July 2021.
523,742 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
"I like the way Firepower presents the data. It gives you two classifications for the evidence, something based on the priority of the evidence and another classification based on the impact of the evidence in your environment. This makes it very easy to spot the evidence that is most impactful to my environment. Instead of having to go through all the evidence based on that priority, I can focus on the evidence that has the most impact on my environment.""The most valuable feature of the Firepower solution is FireSIGHT, which can be easily managed and is user-friendly.""Once you add Firepower onto to it and you start enabling some of its features, you get some IDS/IPS involved with it and you can even do web filtering.""The most valuable features of Cisco firewalls are the IPS and IDS items. We find them very helpful. Those are the biggest things because we have some odd, custom-made products in our environment. What we've found through their IPS and IDS is that their vulnerability engines have caught things that are near-Zero-day items, inside of our network.""The IPS, as well as the malware features, are the two things that we use the most and they're very valuable.""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""We can easily track unauthorized users and see where traffic is going.""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."

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"It blocks the vulnerabilities that can negatively impact us.""The security features are about the best that I've seen anywhere.""The most valuable feature is the VDOM, which allows the customer to have multiple firewalls in a single campus.""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.""SSL-VPN is very useful for us and has been very reliable.""Virtual Domains (VDOMs) are a feature that we found valuable.""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.""We use the FortiGate Sandbox to detect zero-day vulnerabilities, such as anomalies or malware, that are unknown and have not yet been discovered."

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"The scalability is very good, where you can do an HA configuration and then bring in another box, if necessary.""The most valuable features are the VPN and the capture photo.""The solution is very robust.""Good basic firewall features.""The initial setup is easy.""The initial setup was simple and fast.""The documentation is very good.""At our peak time, we have reached more than 5,000 concurrent connections."

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Cons
"Also, they have a Firepower source file that I can work on the ASA device and on Firepower devices. A problem here lies in the way that you manage these devices. Some devices do not support the FMC, and some devices have to be managed through ASDM, and others have to be managed through FMC.""I would like to see the inclusion of more advanced antivirus features in the next release of this solution.""In Firepower, there is an ability to search and dig into a search, which is nice. However, I'm not a super fan of the way it scrolls. If you want to look at something live, it's a lot different. You're almost waiting. With the ASDM, where it just flows, you can really see it. The second someone clicks something or does something, you'll see it. The refresh rate on the events in Firepower is not as smooth.""The worst part of the entire solution, and this is kind of trivial at times, is that management of the solution is difficult. You manage FireSIGHT through an internet browser. I've had Cisco tell me to manage it through Firefox because that's how they develop it. The problem is, depending on the page you're on, they don't function in the same way. The pages can be very buggy, or you can't resize columns in this one, or you can't do certain things in that one. It causes a headache in managing it.""For the new line of FTDs, the performance could be improved. We sometimes have issues with the 41 series, depending what we activate. If we activate too many intrusion policies, it affects the CPU.""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.""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.""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."

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"I would like to have logs, monitoring, and reporting for a month without extra fees.""Technical support for this solution can be improved.""Improvement is needed in the Web Filter quotas to restrict users with allocated quotas.""There is a lot of improvement needed with SSL-VPN.""The user interface could be improved to make it less confusing and easier to set up.""To the best of my knowledge, Fortinet does not have a CASB solution and Fortinet does not have a Zero trust solution.""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.""We would like to see a better training platform implemented."

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"I would like to see different graphs available in the reporting.""If a user doesn't have a large amount of experience in Linux systems, they will have problems using this solution. Users need to be highly skilled in troubleshooting competency. Users who do not have such skills will find the product difficult to use.""The solution requires a lot of administration.""Layer 7 advanced firewall features are not included in the solution.""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.""ClamAV AntiVirus can cause some crashes. That service should be improved.""The technical support needs to be improved.""It needs to be more secure."

More pfSense Cons »

Pricing and Cost Advice
"The price of this solution is not good or bad.""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...""Our subscription costs, just for the firewalls, is between $400,000 and $500,000 a year.""Cisco's pricing is high, at times, for what they provide.""The one-time cost is affordable, but the maintenance cost and the Smart Net costs need to be reduced. They're too high.""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.""Cisco pricing is premium. However, they gave us a 50 to 60 percent discount.""There are additional implementation and validation costs."

More Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall Pricing and Cost Advice »

"The pricing for this solution is good.""Fortinet Secure SD-WAN delivered the lowest total cost of ownership (TCO) per Mbps among all other vendors.""Fortinet is the least expensive solution.""It's very affordable.""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 Indian market is different than the European and American markets. When you compare they need to be a bit more aggressive on pricing.""I think that the pricing is fair.""For our organization, the licensing costs are approximately $7,000 per year."

More Fortinet FortiGate Pricing and Cost Advice »

"This solution provides enterprise-level features at a fraction of the cost of an enterprise firewall.""It is an open source firewall.""We are using the open-source version, not the commercial one.""It has almost zero cost, and it is open to us. It runs on a small appliance just for a couple of 100 bucks, and I've never had an appliance burn out on me yet.""It is open source.""I spent a couple of $1,000 on hardware, and the OS was free. A comparable firewall would cost me probably 20 grand. It saved a lot of money.""I like the fact that it is open-source.""pfSense is open-source, but the support is something that the customer pays for."

More pfSense Pricing and Cost Advice »

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Questions from the Community
Top Answer: Ease of Use - GUI familiarities  and adoption level can differ from user to user. - Personally I found CISCO  ASA… more »
Top Answer: Cisco Firepower Family and it is a NGFW since ASA is just a FW.
Top Answer:  When you compare these firewalls you can identify them with different features, advantages, practices and… more »
Top Answer: In my opinion and as a result of years of experience: - Both are great firewalls with excellent performance and a… more »
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: I mostly like all of it. Whatever we use is valuable.
Popular Comparisons
Also Known As
Cisco Firepower NGFW, Cisco Firepower Next-Generation Firewall, FirePOWER, Cisco NGFWv
FortiGate 60b, FortiGate 60c, FortiGate 80c, FortiGate 50b, FortiGate 200b, FortiGate 110c, FortiGate
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.

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.

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
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
Pittsburgh Steelers, LUSH Cosmetics, NASDAQ, Verizon, Arizona State University, Levi Strauss & Co. Whitepaper and case studies here
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 Provider23%
Financial Services Firm17%
Manufacturing Company9%
Government9%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Comms Service Provider35%
Computer Software Company20%
Government6%
Manufacturing Company4%
REVIEWERS
Comms Service Provider14%
Computer Software Company9%
Financial Services Firm8%
Energy/Utilities Company6%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Comms Service Provider35%
Computer Software Company20%
Government5%
Media Company4%
REVIEWERS
University10%
Comms Service Provider10%
Computer Software Company8%
Construction Company8%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Comms Service Provider42%
Computer Software Company15%
Government6%
Media Company5%
Company Size
REVIEWERS
Small Business41%
Midsize Enterprise28%
Large Enterprise31%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Small Business13%
Midsize Enterprise13%
Large Enterprise74%
REVIEWERS
Small Business48%
Midsize Enterprise24%
Large Enterprise28%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Small Business33%
Midsize Enterprise24%
Large Enterprise43%
REVIEWERS
Small Business71%
Midsize Enterprise15%
Large Enterprise13%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Small Business56%
Midsize Enterprise12%
Large Enterprise31%
Find out what your peers are saying about Fortinet FortiGate vs. pfSense and other solutions. Updated: July 2021.
523,742 professionals have used our research since 2012.

Fortinet FortiGate is ranked 1st in Firewalls with 98 reviews while pfSense is ranked 3rd in Firewalls with 41 reviews. Fortinet FortiGate is rated 8.4, while pfSense is rated 8.6. The top reviewer of Fortinet FortiGate writes "Stable, easy to set up, and offers good ROI". On the other hand, the top reviewer of pfSense writes "Feature-rich, well documented, and there is good support available online". Fortinet FortiGate is most compared with Cisco ASA Firewall, Meraki MX, Check Point NGFW, Sophos XG and SonicWall TZ, whereas pfSense is most compared with OPNsense, Sophos UTM, Untangle NG Firewall, Sophos XG and Juniper SRX. See our Fortinet FortiGate vs. pfSense report.

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