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Compare Cisco ASA Firewall vs. Fortinet FortiGate

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Comparison Summary
Question: Which is better - Fortinet FortiGate or Cisco ASA Firewall?
Answer: One of our favorite things about Fortinet Fortigate is that you can deploy on the cloud or on premises. Fortinet Fortigate is very stable, reliable, and consistent. We like that we can manage the entire network from one interface; there is no going back and forth as some other solutions force you to do. Fortinet Fortigate firewalls have access point controller functionality built right into the system; there is no need for additional devices. This solution offers great built-in features for web filtering, and the VPN is an extremely valuable feature. The reporting with Fortinet Fortigate needs some degree of customization so that more usable reports can be created. If you want extra features, you need to buy extra licenses, which can get expensive quickly. We wish we could get more with the general license. We would also like to see better cloud management. It is easy to integrate Cisco ASA with other Cisco products and also other NAC solutions. When you understand the Cisco ecosystem, it is very simple to handle. This solution has traffic inspection and the Firepower engine, which provides good application visibility and control. Cisco ASA gives you full details, traffic monitoring, and threat monitoring. The solution has very solid encryption and multi-factor authentication. It is a great option to enable seamless work-from-home options. The front-end configuration with Cisco ASA can be tough, though - there are too many steps in this process. It would also be better if there was a clear view of the integrations and the easiest way to complete them. In inexperienced hands, the Cisco ASA interface can be pretty daunting. An improved GUI would make this product much more user-friendly and competitive with other products. This solution can also be very expensive. Conclusion We chose Fortinet Fortigate. It is a better fit for us. 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.
Featured Review
Find out what your peers are saying about Cisco ASA Firewall vs. Fortinet FortiGate and other solutions. Updated: November 2021.
552,136 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
"Its Snort 3 IPS has better flexibility as far as being able to write rules. This gives me better granularity.""One of the most valuable features is the AMP. It's very good and very reliable when it comes to malicious activities, websites, and viruses.""The most valuable features of this solution are the integrations and IPS throughput.""Firepower NGFW has improved my organization in several ways. Before, we were trying to stamp out security threats and issues, it was a one-off type of way to attack it. I spent a lot of manpower trying to track down the individual issues or flare-ups that we would see. With Cisco's Firepower Management, we're able to have that push up to basically one monitor and one UI and be able to track that and stop threats immediately. It also gives us a little more granularity on what those threats might be.""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.""We have not had to deal with stability issues.""We get the Security Intelligence Feeds refreshed every hour from Talos, which from my understanding is that they're the largest intelligence Security Intelligence Group outside of the government.""Another benefit has been user integration. We try to integrate our policies so that we can create policies based on active users. We can create policies based on who is accessing a resource instead of just IP addresses and ports."

More Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall Pros »

"I like them mostly because they don't break and they have great diagnostics.""The most valuable feature is the ability to block almost all of the ports.""The initial setup was not complex.""It is extremely stable I would say — at least after you deploy it.""The Inline Mode configuration works really well, and ASA works very impressively.""The most valuable feature is the access control list (ACL).""The clusters in data centers are great.""It's easy to integrate ASA with other Cisco security products. When you understand the technology, it's not a big deal. It's very simple."

More Cisco ASA Firewall Pros »

"The ease of setting the solution up is a valuable aspect for us.""Some of the valuable features are the firewall, IPS, web filter, and gateway capabilities. Additionally, it is easy to use and flexible.""The web filtering facility and application control are the most valuable features from the point of view of our clients. The VPN feature is also quite popular amongst our clients. Two-factor authentication is one of the good features in Fortinet. These features are important for the current scenario of security. Security has become a necessity nowadays. With cyber-attacks becoming more common, protecting an organization's data is one of the major tasks. It is also very stable and scalable, and it is very straightforward to configure. Their technical support is also good.""The solution is highly scalable because they have devices that can handle a large amount of traffic.""The application control features, such as Facebook blocking and Spotify blocking, are the most valuable.""The pricing is excellent. It's much less expensive than Cisco.""The initial installation is very straightforward.""The virtual firewall feature is the most valuable. We have around 1,500 firewalls. We did not buy individual hardware, and the virtual firewalls made sense because we don't have to keep on buying the hardware. FortiGate is easier to use as compared to Checkpoint devices. It is user friendly and has a good UI. You don't need much expertise to work on this firewall. You don't need to worry much about DCLA, commands, and things like that."

More Fortinet FortiGate Pros »

Cons
"This product is managed using the Firepower Management Center (FMC), but it would be better if it also supported the command-line interface (CLI).""My team tells me that other solutions such as Fortinet and Palo Alto are easier to implement.""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 central management tool is not comfortable to use. You need to have a specific skill set. This is an important improvement for management because I would like to log into Firepower, see the dashboard, and generate a real-time report, then I question my team.""When you make any changes, irrespective of whether they are big or small, Firepower takes too much time. It is very time-consuming. Even for small changes, you have to wait for 60 seconds or maybe more, which is not good. Similarly, when you have many IPS rules and policies, it slows down, and there is an impact on its performance.""One of the few things that are brought up is that for the overall management, it would be great to have a cloud instance of that. And not only just a cloud instance, but one of the areas that we've looked at is using an HA type of cloud. To have the ability to have a device file within a cloud. If we had an issue with one, the other one would pick up automatically.""The product line does not address the SMB market as it is supposed to do. Cisco already has an on-premises sandbox solution.""I was just trying to learn how this product actually operates and one thing that I see from internal processing is it does fire-walling and then sends it to the IPS model and any other model that needs to be performed. For example, content checking or filtering will be done in a field processing manner. That is something that causes delays in the network, from a security perspective. That is something that can be improved upon. Palo Alto already has implemented this as a pilot passed processing. So they put the same stream of data across multiple modules at the same time and see if it is giving a positive result by using an XR function. So, something similar can be done in the Cisco Firepower. Instead of single processing or in a sequential manner, they can do something similar to pile processing. Internal function that is something that they can improve upon."

More Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall Cons »

"The graphical interface should be improved to make the configuration easier, to do things with a single click.""The cost is very high. Most organizations cannot afford it.""The graphical interface could be improved. From what I have seen, Fortinet, for example, has a nicer GUI.""The virtual firewalls don't work very well with Cisco AnyConnect.""The content filtering on an application level is not as good as other solutions such as Palo Alto.""In the future, I would like to be able to use an IP phone over a VPN connection.""If they want to add better features to the current Cisco ASA, they can start by increasing the encryption. That is the only thing they need to improve.""If I want to activate IPS features on it, I have to buy another license. If I want Cisco AnyConnect, I have to buy another license. That's where we have challenges."

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"The customization could be improved. Cisco, for example, is much better at this. They need to work to be at least as good as they are.""The pricing could be a bit better, especially when you consider how they have the most basic offering priced.""There are some license issues. Not every feature must have a separate license. There must be some of kind synergy between the license so we don't have to pay for every individual license that we would like to have.""Monitoring and reporting could be better.""We would like to see better pricing.""In the balance between links feature normally you can just choose one option to balance. It would be better for the solution to have more than one option, preferably three.""The sniffing packets or packet captures, can be simplified and improved because it's a little confusing.""Sometimes you do need to know some CLI commands, so it's a bit harder for technicians or new people that don't know it."

More Fortinet FortiGate Cons »

Pricing and Cost Advice
"For me, personally, as an individual, Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall is expensive.""This product requires licenses for advanced features including Snort, IPS, and malware detection.""When we purchased the firewall, we had to take the security license for IPS, malware protection, and VPN. If we are using high availability, we have to take a license for that. We also have to pay for hardware support and technical support. Its licensing is on a yearly basis.""Pricing is the same as other competitors. It is comparable. The licensing has gotten better. It has been easier with Smart Licensing.""Cisco, as we all know, is expensive, but for the money you are paying, you know that you are also getting top-notch documentation as well as support if needed.""When we are fighting against other competitors for customers, whether it is a small or big business, we feel very comfortable with the price that Firepower has today.""I know that licensing for some of the advanced solutions, like Intrusion Prevention and Secure Malware Analytics, are nominal costs.""It definitely competes with the other vendors in the market."

More Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall Pricing and Cost Advice »

"They seem to be at the top end in terms of pricing, but they are worth the price. They are probably a little bit lower than Palo Alto. If the customers are relying on Cisco products and they are thinking more in terms of scaling to another layer in a year, it is pretty much in a good price range.""It's very competitive with other products.""Its price is moderate. It is not too expensive.""We're using the smart license for this firewall. The models that we have require licensing for remote access.""There are licensing costs.""It's a brilliant firewall, and the fact that it comes with a perpetual license really does go far in terms of helping the organization in not having to deal with those costs on an annual basis. That is a pain point when it comes to services like the ones we have on Fortigate. That's where we really give Cisco firewalls the thumbs up.""They have a lot of different models but most of them are really expensive.""When it comes to Cisco, the price of everything is higher. Cisco firewalls are expensive, but we get support from Cisco, and that support is very active."

More Cisco ASA Firewall Pricing and Cost Advice »

"The licensing costs are very low.""It is too expensive for us. My organization is very small, and we have a total of ten users. We have three internal users and seven external users. The FortiGate 100D series is too expensive for renewing the licenses.""The price is fair compared to the other competitors.""The pricing of the solution is very competitive.""I think the price of Fortinet FortiGate is very reasonable.""It is not a very costly product if you compare it with other products. The return on investment is also good. If you compare the return of investment and money that you are spending on this product with Palo Alto, Cisco, Check Point, and other solutions, the investment is very less. We are happy with this solution. The optional licenses are there, and you can choose which one you want and which one to avoid.""Fortinet Secure SD-WAN delivered the lowest total cost of ownership (TCO) per Mbps among all other vendors.""Fortinet is the least expensive solution."

More Fortinet FortiGate Pricing and Cost Advice »

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Answers from the Community
Netanya Carmi
author avatarDirectser677 (Technology Services Director at a tech services company with 11-50 employees)
Reseller

Better is very subjective. If you want a firewall that your Cisco-trained engineers can integrate with your Cisco routers and Cisco switches and that supports Cisco proprietary protocols, or you need a firewall that runs at terabit speeds and integrates with FortiSwitch, I bet you know the answer.  


Headline, Fortigates are fixed-port appliances, with really good hardware acceleration and a big security integration fabric. 


Cisco ASA (and now Firepower) can be modular, where you choose the ports you need, but tend to cost more for the same amount of throughput and tend not to have as much integration with other parts of the security world.  


There is a lot more to say but pick the things that are important to you. 

author avatarfdiazm@entel.cl
User

I think they are for two different businesses with different digital strategies as well.

On the one hand, we have the option of consolidating everything in a single box and on the other, putting together a solution with parts and pieces that are more robust but also more complex.

And don't forget the look of the technology departments where an option clearly requires less expert level to exploit the acquired infrastructure. This is where the concept of Service appears, which in my understanding has already had to evolve from the traditional times of responses and product catalogs.

author avatarSuresh Ukkalkar
Real User

CISCO ASA is a great product, easy trouble shooting on Cmd line and GUI interface,best Cisco Support 

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: One of our favorite things about Fortinet Fortigate is that you can deploy on the cloud or on premises. Fortinet… more »
Top Answer:  Cisco Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA) software is the operating software for the Cisco ASA suite. It supports… more »
Top Answer: When looking to change our ASA Firewall, we looked into Palo Alto’s WildFire. It works especially in preventing advanced… 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: 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: Hi, This really gets to two things: - how fast your internet access is and how much are you planning to grow in the… more »
Comparisons
Also Known As
Cisco Firepower NGFW, Cisco Firepower Next-Generation Firewall, FirePOWER, Cisco NGFWv
Cisco Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA) Firewall, Cisco ASA NGFW, Cisco ASA, Adaptive Security Appliance, ASA, Cisco Sourcefire Firewalls, Cisco ASAv
FortiGate 60b, FortiGate 60c, FortiGate 80c, FortiGate 50b, FortiGate 200b, FortiGate 110c, FortiGate
Learn More
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.

Cisco ASA firewalls deliver enterprise-class firewall functionality with highly scalable and flexible VPN 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 ASA can be deployed as a physical or virtual appliance. Flexible VPN capabilities include support for remote access, site-to-site, and clientless VPN. Also, select appliances support clustering for increased performance, VPN load balancing to optimize available resources, advanced high availability configurations, and more.

Cisco ASAv is the virtualized version of the Cisco ASA firewall. Widely deployed in leading private and public clouds, Cisco ASAv is ideal for remote worker and multi-tenant environments. The solution scales up/down to meet performance requirements and high availability provides resilience. Also, Cisco ASAv 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.

Offer
Learn more about Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall
Learn more about Cisco ASA Firewall
Learn more about Fortinet FortiGate
Sample Customers
Rackspace, The French Laundry, Downer Group, Lewisville School District, Shawnee Mission School District, Lower Austria Firefighters Administration, Oxford Hospital, SugarCreek, Westfield
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 here
Top Industries
REVIEWERS
Comms Service Provider22%
Financial Services Firm16%
Manufacturing Company8%
Non Profit8%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Comms Service Provider32%
Computer Software Company21%
Government7%
Manufacturing Company4%
REVIEWERS
Financial Services Firm17%
Comms Service Provider13%
Manufacturing Company10%
University6%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Comms Service Provider35%
Computer Software Company21%
Government5%
Educational Organization4%
REVIEWERS
Comms Service Provider14%
Computer Software Company10%
Financial Services Firm8%
Energy/Utilities Company6%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Comms Service Provider36%
Computer Software Company19%
Government5%
Educational Organization4%
Company Size
REVIEWERS
Small Business43%
Midsize Enterprise28%
Large Enterprise29%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Small Business21%
Midsize Enterprise13%
Large Enterprise66%
REVIEWERS
Small Business35%
Midsize Enterprise26%
Large Enterprise39%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Small Business28%
Midsize Enterprise16%
Large Enterprise56%
REVIEWERS
Small Business48%
Midsize Enterprise25%
Large Enterprise28%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Small Business35%
Midsize Enterprise25%
Large Enterprise40%
Find out what your peers are saying about Cisco ASA Firewall vs. Fortinet FortiGate and other solutions. Updated: November 2021.
552,136 professionals have used our research since 2012.

Cisco ASA Firewall is ranked 5th in Firewalls with 62 reviews while Fortinet FortiGate is ranked 1st in Firewalls with 96 reviews. Cisco ASA Firewall is rated 8.0, while Fortinet FortiGate is rated 8.4. The top reviewer of Cisco ASA Firewall writes "Robust solution that integrates well with both Cisco products and products from other vendors". On the other hand, the top reviewer of Fortinet FortiGate writes "Stable, easy to set up, and offers good ROI". Cisco ASA Firewall is most compared with Palo Alto Networks WildFire, Meraki MX, Juniper SRX, SonicWall TZ and pfSense, whereas Fortinet FortiGate is most compared with pfSense, Meraki MX, Check Point NGFW, Sophos XG and SonicWall TZ. See our Cisco ASA Firewall vs. Fortinet FortiGate report.

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