Both Fortinet and Palo Alto Networks ranked highly in independent testing. Each has appliances for distributed enterprise and branch office use cases. Both offer cloud-delivered security services and centralized network management. They protect against external threats with micro-segmentation and isolation, block lateral movement and prevent C2 attacks. Both have full Zero Trust foundational components to secure all apps, users and devices. They provide ML-powered FortiGuard services, granular visibility and protection, and automated threat response.
Fortinet and Palo Alto Networks are reliable firewall companies offering various hardware, virtual and cloud network devices. Both companies have various valuable features, and users often comment on how easy their products are to use. Both vendors perform well in independent tests and are among the top-performing NGFWs. However, Fortinet consistently ranks higher than Palo Alto Networks. Fortinet’s NGFWs perform better on security, speed and ease of management than Palo Alto’s. Fortinet’s FortiGate NGFWs organically converge networking and security with built-in SD-WAN, ZTNA application gateway, 5G wireless WAN and more. They provide complete visibility to detect and block unsanctioned applications, hidden threats and lateral attacks with threat intelligence sharing from the Security Fabric. It also protects against unknown threats with cloud sandboxing using Wildfire or FortiSandbox. It also offers automated network management, centralized security administration and integration of security services for consistent end-to-end security posture. These capabilities help reduce costs by reducing manual effort and enhancing productivity. This makes it easier for IT teams to manage and monitor complex infrastructures.
Regarding Fortinet vs. Palo Alto Networks NGFW, Palo Alto offers a wide range of network firewalls and is better equipped to handle malware threats. However, Fortinet has a strong lineup of hardware appliances and provides better pricing for small offices and campuses. Both companies are industry leaders in Next-Gen Firewalls. Both have a wide lineup of hardware and virtual products, focusing on security operations, cloud use cases, and harsh environment needs. Both offer various management options, including centralized network security and firewall logging. Palo Alto’s Panorama is a powerful network security management platform that provides consumers with a unified view of their firewalls. This solution enables easier deployment and maintenance while reducing complexity. It can be deployed as a hardware management appliance, as a virtual machine (VM), or hosted in a public cloud. Palo Alto’s NGFWs are a key component of its Security Fabric, which includes Prisma and Cortex, two AI-powered threat detection tools that complement its core NGFW technology. Its foundational Zero Trust components ensure continuous trust verification and security inspection, preventing untrusted apps and devices from entering the network. This is accomplished with its single-pass parallel processing architecture.
Users of Fortinet FortiGate find it a reliable solution that is easy to use. They also note that it has valuable features such as reporting and monitoring. Besides firewalls, Palo Alto Networks offers other security tools such as Prisma and Cortex. These tools are based on machine learning and provide advanced threat protection. They can identify threats that traditional firewalls cannot.
Additionally, they can protect the organization from threats from IoT devices and offer protection across multiple cloud environments. The company also provides advanced security management and a single interface for all firewall functions. In addition, it can automatically update policy based on user activities and provide visibility into the attack surface. It is also one of the few vendors to support Zero Trust Access, a new security model gaining popularity in the industry. The company has expanded its portfolio with various hardware and software options, including NGFWs. These include a range of ML-powered NGFWs for simplicity, automation, and integration and VM-Series Virtual NGFWs for flexibility.
Palo Alto Networks offers a variety of hardware platforms for firewalls. These include appliances, VMs and cloud-based systems. The company’s hardware platforms consistently receive high independent testing and security assessment scores. They offer a range of use cases, from securing remote networks to protecting software-defined wide-area networking (SD-WAN) systems. The company’s NGFWs feature integrated security that combines firewall, next-generation intrusion prevention (IPS), anti-malware, URL filtering and sandboxing into a single platform. The system also can identify threats from a combination of machine learning and static analysis. This helps prevent zero-day attacks and other advanced threats. The company’s Panorama centralized management and configuration features allow users to manage multiple distributed NGFWs from a unified interface. The platform also provides granular visibility and control over all traffic on the network, regardless of its source or destination. It also provides a single point of logging for all devices and can scale log collection as required. This simplifies config management and maintenance while increasing network visibility and security. The NGFWs also feature industry-leading performance. The unique single-pass parallel processing architecture delivers high throughput while enabling advanced security features.
Both vendors have solid NGFW deployment options. Users of both report that implementation times are short. Palo Alto Networks has a Zero Trust system (ZTA), a service suite that forms an edge security platform rather than a single firewall device. It includes a Firewall-as-a-Service package, a secure web gateway, a SASE system, network access control, DDoS protection and cloud security posture management.
Palo Alto Networks also offers physical appliances, virtual VM series devices for use in cloud-based environments and container NGFWs that can be deployed to secure edge deployments. NGFWs leverage ML to provide full visibility, enhanced threat protection, automation-driven network management, and hyper-scale security. Its patented technology, Content-ID, establishes applications based on the content of packets rather than the protocol, port, SSL/TLS encryptions and heuristics used to classify traffic in most other firewalls. This ensures a consistent security posture across the entire attack surface. It also enables users to use cloud-delivered security services, centralized network security administration and the latest PAN-OS technologies to future-proof their networks.