Understanding the Strengths and Weaknesses: Fortinet vs. Palo Alto Networks NGFW

Understanding the Strengths and Weaknesses: Fortinet vs. Palo Alto Networks NGFW

Fortinet has built a solid brand portfolio over the years, helping them expand into new markets easily. Fortinet has ventured into various businesses outside the Technology industry, helping them develop a diverse revenue stream and mitigate economic cycle risk.


Palo Alto Networks offers a wide range of security products, including firewalls and cloud management. The company’s security platform includes unified access, cloud-based management, and WildFire sandboxing. It also has several advanced features, including multi-cloud support and protection for IoT devices. It strongly focuses on network edge protection with secure SD-WAN and FortiSwitch products. The company’s hardware is designed to offer scalability and ease of use, while its software can be deployed as a virtual appliance or on a private cloud. It can also be integrated with Panorama, a network security management solution that provides visibility into all the devices on a network.

Fortinet firewalls are among the highest-performing on the market. In recent tests, they exceeded the performance of every firewall tested by NSS Labs. They also have very low latency and can handle large data traffic volumes. This makes them ideal for distributed enterprises and branch offices. The NGFWs can also be integrated with containerized applications like those running on Kubernetes. They can even protect the traffic between containers.


Fortinet is a cybersecurity company known for its next-generation firewalls, which monitor all network traffic and detect content, applications, devices, and threats. They are available in a wide range of hardware devices, from the PA-200 series to the high-end PA-7000 series, with up to 100 Gbps threat prevention throughput. They also offer several virtual machines for cloud-based environments. Another advantage of  Fortinet vs. Palo Alto Networks NGFW is that Fortinet’s firewalls have advanced security capabilities like anti-malware, intrusion prevention, web filtering, and WAN optimization. This allows them to protect users and networks from advanced cyberattacks. They also provide visibility to users, applications, and devices, as well as granular controls over SaaS applications and extended SSL decryption. The company’s NGFWs consistently rank as top performers in NSS lab tests for performance and security services. Their unique architecture is powered by purpose-built ASICs, which deliver a 30% performance advantage over other NGFW vendors using generic CPUs. They also have industry-first protection against evasive threats and prevent over 40% more DNS attacks than any other NGFW. In addition, they offer automated management and integration through a Security Fabric architecture that helps secure and optimize enterprise deployments across physical or virtual environments.


Fortinet firewalls have an impressive performance that isn’t reflected in their price tag. According to NSS labs, their NGFWs have the highest value of all tested products in terms of cost per protected Mbps while delivering robust security capabilities and enabling advanced threat protection features. Similarly, Palo Alto Networks offers impressive performance with their NGFW lineup. Their hardware and virtual NGFWs provide predictable throughput and maintain that throughput even with a high amount of security services enabled. Similarly, their single-pass parallel processing architecture allows them to protect and inspect traffic at very high rates. Palo Alto Networks’ ML-powered NGFWs also stop 40% more zero-day threats than competitors in real-time with inline machine learning. In addition, their cloud sandboxing solution, WildFire, identifies unknown threats and provides signature coverage. Both vendors have top results in CyberRatings firewall testing and MITRE endpoint security tests.


Fortinet and Palo Alto Networks are leaders in the security space and rank among the top NGFW providers. Both also have a strong reputation for customer service and support. Fortinet NGFWs feature advanced threat prevention capabilities that stop more than 40% of zero-day attacks with inline machine learning. They also protect against worms, bots and other malware with a multi-layered threat intelligence platform that includes ML-powered IPS and AV engines.

Palo Alto Networks NGFWs also offer advanced threat protection. Their PA hardware firewall series starts at around $1,000 for the PA-410, while their high-end PA-7000 series firewalls begin at about $200,000 (and can cost much more with support and options). Their VM-series virtual NGFWs flexibly scale to secure public, private, and SDN deployments. Both companies have been growing at a healthy pace. Fortinet has seen its revenues grow by 29% over the past five years, and its billings have increased by 25% in that same period. Fortinet’s earnings per share, adjusted for one-time items, rose by 23% over that period.


Fortinet’s appliances can deliver better performance and lower energy consumption. Fortinet’s ASIC architecture enables it to stop more threats than traditional firewalls. It also delivers a better cost per protected Mbps than competing solutions. It’s the only vendor to offer ML-powered NGFW and inline deep learning, which stops 40% more advanced zero-day attacks and maintains predictable throughput while offering best-in-class cloud-delivered security services such as web, AV, IPS, NGFWaaS and enterprise DLP. Both companies receive high marks from customers and independent testing. Palo Alto’s granular controls and visibility for cloud applications are a big plus. Moreover, it has more robust capabilities to secure and control distributed enterprises and branch offices. The company’s secure SD-WAN product, FortiGate, provides unified network access security, enhanced hybrid and multi-cloud deployments, simplified branch and remote worker connectivity, and more efficient operations.

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