2019-04-01 14:06:00 UTC

What is the biggest difference between Fortinet FortiGate and SonicWall TZ?

One of the most popular comparisons on IT Central Station is Fortinet FortiGate vs SonicWall TZ.

People like you are trying to decide which one is best for their company. Can you help them out?

What is the biggest difference between Fortinet FortiGate and SonicWall TZ? Which of these two solutions would you recommend to a colleague evaluating firewalls and why?

Thanks for helping your peers make the best decision!

22 Answers

I've only been the administrator for one of each and I did not do the initial purchase or configuration of either, so this is purely anecdotal and may not reflect what a user's typical experience would be like.

Feature-wise, I didn't see a lot of difference and neither interface was particularly intuitive. The biggest difference I saw was reliability. At least once per month I'd get a support call for "no Internet" and need to reboot the Fortigate. When this happened, the web interface was still working and logging showed no problems. It simply stopped routing traffic in or out. Fortigate support was unable to help, although they made a good effort. Still, "It shouldn't be doing that," isn't too useful. The unit would also randomly lose the one or both of the APs every so often. The Sonicwall never had any issues that were not configuration related.

A couple of years ago I replaced the Fortigate with a Protectli Vault with pfSense installed. With that and a couple of UniFi access points to replace the Fortinet ones and its been quite peaceful ever since. (Which to my mind significantly reduced the possibility that the Fortigate's probIems were due to other network hardware.) I only have to reboot it for updates. I actually use that combination for all of my new installs and/or when asked to replace an existing device, providing that there isn't some must have feature from a specific vendor that precludes it. I know - some people really want the big vendors' names attached to what they do. In that case, do what the client wants. I've been fortunate that I haven't yet had one who didn't trust me to make the right call. Not that saving thousands of dollars hurts, either.

2019-04-19 18:14:31 UTC19 April 19
Real User

I worked with both products for many years and I like both vendors. Both have nice features but when it come to IPSec/SSL VPN, Fortinet is better from performance prospective because Fortinet is using ASIC for encryption / decryption which is fast than general purposes CPU. Say that, also SonicWall is capable of doing SSL Inspection but there is huge limitation based on model on number of SSL sessions can decrypt / encrypt which is not the case with Fortinet and this limitation is something you have to consider because most of traffic nowadays is encrypted and without visibility you can easily suffer from many threats.

2019-04-19 16:58:57 UTC19 April 19
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