Which is preferable?
In my organization, we use Fortinet’s Fortigate. We find it to be very powerful, cost-efficient, and reliable. The user interface is friendly, and it is easy to create policies and set rules. As an NGFW, you can upgrade the firewall cluster firmware without disturbing the user. The graphic interface is very intuitive. The endpoint and email protection are on point, and you don’t have to worry about downtime.
FortiGate offers malware and spyware protection, with advanced capabilities like proxy-based antivirus. It has advanced network protection features and a powerful intrusion prevention system with anti-spam and web filtering capabilities. For all the capabilities it offers, the price is reasonable.
FortiGate has downsides though: the technical support is not great, and there is not a lot of documentation available. It is also kind of hard to configure.
We reviewed WatchGuard before choosing FortiGate. WatchGuard offers a comprehensive advanced network security platform with enterprise-grade security. The router is rich in security features like antivirus, APT blocker, and spam blocker. It is simple to use and applicable for various use cases. It offers web filtering, application control, and monitoring.
We liked that the GUI interface seemed intuitive and easy to use. It integrates with Active Directory, so it is a good fit for MS enterprise users. You can also schedule backups with ease.
WatchGuard is, however, lacking in features for application control and we found the DNS server functionality to be poor. The firewall policies don’t point to a domain, only to IP addresses. While it is excellent that it integrates with Active Directory, the single-sign-on sometimes doesn’t refresh users’ permissions when they log on and off.
Fortinet Fortigate is undoubtedly a powerful and established next-generation firewall, and with all the features and capabilities, it is a better and more cost-effective solution than WatchGuard. WatchGuard would be better for organizations that use MS products.
Looking at the latest reports from Gartner, at least in the SDN part, I think there is no comparison.
Fortinet is leading a large part of the network virtualization market and above all it is positioning itself as the option to have value-added services on the base layer of SDN and I mean security features that today, according to the consumption of the branch are more demanded by bringing the secure perimeter to each point of the network, consuming public services and direct navigation is already a fact.