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Featured Review
Find out what your peers are saying about Fortinet FortiGate-VM vs. pfSense and other solutions. Updated: November 2021.
555,139 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
"The most valuable feature is stability.""I like the firewall features, Snort, and the Intrusion Prevention System (IPS).""You do not have to do everything through a command line which makes it a lot easier to apply rules.""I have access to the web version of Cisco Talos to see the reputation of IP addresses. I find this very helpful. It provides important information for my company to obtain the reputation of IP addresses. The information in Talos is quite complete.""We have not had to deal with stability issues.""Provides good integrations and reporting.""The Firepower+ISE+AMP for endpoint integration is something that really stands it out with other vendor solutions. They have something called pxGrid and i think it is already endorsed by IETF. This allows all devices on the network to communicate.""It is one of the fastest solutions, if not the fastest, in the security technology space. This gives us peace of mind knowing that as soon as a new attack comes online that we will be protected in short order. From that perspective, no one really comes close now to Firepower, which is hugely valuable to us from an upcoming new attack prevention perspective."

More Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall Pros »

"I find the simplicity to be most valuable.""The user interface, stability, and scalability are the most valuable features.""The performance overall is very good.""The user interface is the most valuable aspect of the solution.""I like the visibility and monitoring features because they're easy to use to monitor traffic. Features like geo-blocking and more have AI, and we're currently using all of it. But for now, we're only using geo-blocking, and we're able to block traffic from different countries. I also like that it's highly responsive. VM04 is also very powerful.""It's very easy to set up, even for more junior developers.""The thing that I like the most is that they're very willing to work with us to resolve issues that they haven't taken care of before in their product.""The VM it's very quick for deployment. If we need to have a POC for a customer, if we don't have any hardware physically at our premises, at our store, in our office, we can download the VM from Fortinet and install all the VM to their environment in order to run it. If we have a customer that says "let's start tomorrow" we are able to do that in a way that's not possible with a hardware version."

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"pfSense helped us during COVID-19 because we used OpenVPN to connect from home.""I have found pfSense to be stable.""It has a good web cache. I used to use a DHCP server and DNS server. For my company, I use pfSense as a load balancing application.""The solution is fairly scalable when it comes to integrating with other applications and data sets.""It's a good solution for end-users. It's pretty easy to work with.""What I like about pfSense is that it works well and runs on an inexpensive appliance.""The interface is straightforward and easy to use.""The solution is very easy to use and configure."

More pfSense Pros »

Cons
"The initial setup was a bit complex. It wasn't a major challenge, but due to our requirements and network, it was not very straightforward but still easy enough.""The Firepower FTD code is missing some old ASA firewalls codes. It's a small thing. But Firepower software isn't missing things that are essential, anymore.""Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall can be more secure.""An area of improvement for this solution is the console visualization.""We're getting support but there's a big delay until we get a response from their technical team. They're in the USA and we're in Africa, so that's the difficulty. When they're in the office, they respond.""Its interface is sometimes is a little bit slow, and it can be improved. When you need to put your appliance in failover mode, it is a little difficult to do it remotely because you need to turn off the appliance in Cisco mode. In terms of new features, it would be good to have AnyConnect VPN with Firepower. I am not sure if it is available at the moment.""Cisco makes horrible UIs, so the interface is something that should be improved.""I believe that the current feature set of the device is very good and the only thing that Cisco should work on is improving the user experience with the device."

More Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall Cons »

"The solution should provide more useful GUI features.""The interface needs to be updated and simplified.""We have had some stability issues.""Integration could be better. Whatever devices I'm using with FortiGate are all compatible. The access points and switches are also FortiGate, so I can easily integrate them. But it would be better if we could embed other devices as well. There are compatibility issues with other brands, and we need that. We can only integrate universal brands with FortiGate. The initial setup could also be easier.""The block, the clarity, the quarantine command, is not very user-friendly. You would have to do everything through the command line and I would have preferred if it wasn't a CLI.""There should be more options to use lower-end models in a high availability configuration.""The technical support is not very responsive and is an area that needs to be improved.""The solution could use very well-defined support for resellers."

More Fortinet FortiGate-VM Cons »

"The hotspot and the portal feature in this solution are not stable for WiFi access. We use it at least once or twice every day and it crashes. Some modules can be better by improving detection and having new updates. Additionally, we have some issues with clustering and load balancing that could improve.""The solution could improve by having centralized management and API support online.""The user interface can be improved to make it easier to add more features. And pfSense could be better integrated with other solutions, like antivirus.""Their support could be better in terms of the response time.""The configuration of the solution is a bit difficult.""I've never tried it in large environments. All my clients are small businesses with a handful of employees, so I am not sure how it works in large environments. I keep up with recent versions, and there's nothing I'm waiting for, and nothing breaks when I get a new version.""They can improve the dynamic of the input of IPs from outside.""In terms of areas of improvement, the interface seemed like it had a lot. The GUI interface that I had gotten into was rather elaborate. I don't know if they could zero in on some markets and potentially for small, medium businesses specifically, give them a stripped-down version of the GUI for pfSense."

More pfSense Cons »

Pricing and Cost Advice
"Cisco is not for a small mom-and-pop shop because of the cost, but if you're in a regulated industry where a breach could cost you a million dollars, it's a bargain.""The solution was chosen because of its price compared to other similar solutions.""The price is comparable.""This product requires licenses for advanced features including Snort, IPS, and malware detection.""The price of Firepower is not bad compared to other products.""For me, personally, as an individual, Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall is expensive.""The price for Firepower is more expensive than FortiGate. The licensing is very complex. We usually ask for help from Solutel because of its complexity. I have a Cisco account where I can download the VPN client, then connect. Instead, I create an issue with Solutel, then Solutel solves the case.""Its pricing is good and competitive. There is a maintenance cost. It includes SecureX that makes it cost-effective as compared to the other solutions where you have to pay for XDR and SOAR capabilities."

More Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall Pricing and Cost Advice »

"Licensing is pretty standard. It's approximately 15% of the total cost per year as a subscription cost.""It's a mid-ranged product.""The customer must buy his own license.""At present, the SD-WAN licenses are on an annual basis.""Of all the firewalls that we compared, FortiGate is the cheapest and most affordable, so we are satisfied with the pricing.""There is no additional cost. Once you get the licensing fee, you're good.""We pay for a yearly license.""There is an annual license required to use the solution."

More Fortinet FortiGate-VM Pricing and Cost Advice »

"pfSense is open-source, but the support is something that the customer pays for.""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.""There is an open-source community version that is available.""I would recommend it for a small business or a startup as a starting point. It's also good for companies that are on a tight budget.""Its price is pretty fair.""The pricing is lower than some of its competitors.""It is open source."

More pfSense Pricing and Cost Advice »

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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: 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: Both of these solutions are excellent options that provide flexible scalability and solid security. Fortinet Fortigate… more »
Top Answer: The most valuable feature is the WAN optimization.
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: Fortinet’s Fortigate is a firewall solution we use and are very much satisfied with its performance. We find Fortigate… more »
Top Answer: Two of the most common and well recognized firewalls, PfSense and OPNsense both support site-to-site IPsec VPN and… more »
Comparisons
Also Known As
Cisco Firepower NGFW, Cisco Firepower Next-Generation Firewall, FirePOWER, Cisco NGFWv
FortiGate Virtual Appliance, FortiGate-VM
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.

FortiGate Virtual Appliances allow you to mitigate blind spots by implementing critical security controls within your virtual infrastructure. They also allow you to rapidly provision security infrastructure whenever and wherever it is needed. FortiGate virtual appliances feature all of the security and networking services common to traditional hardware-based FortiGate appliances. With the addition of virtual appliances from Fortinet, you can deploy a mix of hardware and virtual appliances, operating together and managed from a common centralized management platform.

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-VM
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
Security7 Networks, COOPENAE
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 Provider22%
Financial Services Firm16%
Manufacturing Company8%
Non Profit8%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Comms Service Provider32%
Computer Software Company21%
Government7%
Manufacturing Company3%
REVIEWERS
Comms Service Provider19%
Financial Services Firm13%
Retailer6%
Manufacturing Company6%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Comms Service Provider33%
Computer Software Company30%
Government5%
Energy/Utilities Company4%
REVIEWERS
Comms Service Provider10%
University8%
Marketing Services Firm8%
Computer Software Company6%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Comms Service Provider43%
Computer Software Company15%
Government6%
Media Company4%
Company Size
REVIEWERS
Small Business43%
Midsize Enterprise28%
Large Enterprise29%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Small Business21%
Midsize Enterprise13%
Large Enterprise66%
REVIEWERS
Small Business53%
Midsize Enterprise27%
Large Enterprise20%
REVIEWERS
Small Business70%
Midsize Enterprise17%
Large Enterprise12%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Small Business59%
Midsize Enterprise13%
Large Enterprise28%
Find out what your peers are saying about Fortinet FortiGate-VM vs. pfSense and other solutions. Updated: November 2021.
555,139 professionals have used our research since 2012.

Fortinet FortiGate-VM is ranked 13th in Firewalls with 58 reviews while pfSense is ranked 3rd in Firewalls with 56 reviews. Fortinet FortiGate-VM is rated 8.2, while pfSense is rated 8.6. The top reviewer of Fortinet FortiGate-VM writes "Slightly unstable, needs a better user interface, and lacks good monitoring capabilities ". On the other hand, the top reviewer of pfSense writes "Feature-rich, well documented, and there is good support available online". Fortinet FortiGate-VM is most compared with Azure Firewall, Fortinet FortiGate, Palo Alto Networks VM-Series, OPNsense and Sophos XG, whereas pfSense is most compared with OPNsense, Fortinet FortiGate, Sophos UTM, Sophos XG and Zyxel Unified Security Gateway. See our Fortinet FortiGate-VM vs. pfSense report.

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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.