FortiGate vs Cisco firewalls in our latest Firewall Roundup!

For any large-scale network, the next-generation firewall is a very important asset. It offers more than just a stateful network firewall. It has things like URL filtering, intrusion prevention, and application control. Plus, it will have frequently enhanced threat prevention features like Sandboxing. Two very major names in this space are Fortinet’s FortiGate, and of course, Cisco.

Both are highly reputable, and they share many of the same capabilities, in varying degrees. We’re going to look at those “personality differences” to see what’s the best option for you. This is meant to be a helpful comparison between two very good choices. The goal is to provide clarity on what distinguishes these two product families. Cisco ASA is the line most mentioned, but for the purposed of accuracy, the small chart at bottom will feature a FortiGate 60F side-by-side with a Cisco Firepower 1010 appliance.

In FortiGate’s column

One of the cool things about Fortigate is that you can deploy on the cloud or on premises. And, it’s a very stable, reliable, and consistent platform. You can manage the entire network from one interface. So you don’t have to go back and forth as some other solutions force you to do.

Plus, Fortigate firewalls have access point controller functionality built right into the system. So there’s no need for additional devices. FortiGate comes with great built-in features for web filtering, and the VPN is an extremely valuable feature. The site-to-site VPN is also very easy to set up. All in all, FortiGate is an extremely well-suited option for remote workers. Plus, the antivirus and the IPS intrusion prevention help add to the overall reliability and stability of Fortigate.

The general FortiGate license is solid,; you can add features by buying extra licenses.

In Cisco’s column

It’s very easy to integrate Cisco ASA with other Cisco products. When you understand the Cisco ecosystem, it is very simple to handle. Cisco ASA has traffic inspection and the Firepower engine, which provides good application visibility and control. It also gives you full details, traffic monitoring, and threat monitoring. Cisco ASA has very good encryption and multi-factor authentication. Because of this, it’s excellent for a truly seamless work-from-home experience.

The configuration with Cisco ASA can be tough, though. There’s a lot of steps involved in this process. If you’re unfamiliar with it, the Cisco ASA interface can be daunting. An improved interface would make it more user-friendly and competitive. Cisco can also be pricey.We have clients that still have many team members working remotely and the VPN that Fortinet Fortigate provides is extremely valuable. The antivirus and the IPS intrusion prevention help add to the overall reliability and stability of Fortinet Fortigate.

FortiGate vs Cisco Head to head

Both Cisco ASA and Fortinet FortiGate provide very good visibility. They both have advanced layer 7 security, threat protection, intrusion prevention, web filtering, and application control, as well. However, some people feel that Cisco ASA is a bit more complicated to navigate and operate. It could use a cleaner interface.

Intrusion Detection

ASA supports custom rules. But the number of rules is limited. ASA requires an IDS engine or card that is managed separately with license restrictions. FortiGate supports custom rules as well. A nice thing about it is that it auto-updates almost daily. IDS protection is part of the appliance hardware with no add-on card or special licensing.

Traffic Inspection

With ASA, only traffic moving from a lower to higher security level needs an ACL entry. On the other hand, FortiGate requires all traffic passing between interfaces to have an FW Policy.

Overall, Fortinet firewalls produce more capacity and higher performance. This is true right down through the Fortinet firewall line. Even entry-level FortiGates prove to be superior in this respect.

Initial setup

FortiGate is probably more easy and intuitive. But Cisco’s size and prevalence mean there are loads of resources online to help you in this or any troubleshooting topic. There are community forums and Cisco forums where you can find answers to any questions. You can just Google, and you will find the solution. In addition, Cisco provides certification opportunities that help your technical staff learn the ASA platform.

Remember, these are two excellent choices that have different strengths. “FortiGate vs Cisco” is more a comparison than a contest. And Corporate Armor is here to help you make the very best decision for your networking and security needs, and we are happy to answer all of your questions. So email us, or call 877-449-0458. Thanks for reading!

FortiGate vs Cisco – ComparablesFortiGate 60FCisco Firepower 1010
Concurrent Sessions70,000100,000
IPsec VPN Throughput6.5 Gbps500 Mbps
IPS Throughput1.4 Gbps900 Mbps