Meraki vs Fortinet Firewalls: Key Differences Explained


In today’s fast-evolving cyber landscape, ensuring the security of your network infrastructure, including data centers, is not just a priority; it’s a necessity. With over two decades of experience in the IT industry, our firm has seen firsthand the evolution of network security technologies, from the development of operating systems designed to ward off data breaches to the implementation of cost-effective security measures.

Among the most critical components of a secure network are firewalls, which safeguard the integrity of your data centers and ensure that your operating system is protected from unauthorized access.

These devices act as the gatekeepers of your network, scrutinizing incoming and outgoing traffic to protect your digital assets from malicious threats. Two standout names in the realm of firewall solutions are Meraki (now part of Cisco) and Fortinet.

Both offer robust, cost-effective solutions but cater to different needs and preferences, emphasizing the importance of choosing a firewall that can handle the specific challenges posed by data breaches in today’s complex operating systems.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll dive into the key differences between Meraki and Fortinet firewalls, helping you make an informed decision that aligns with your business needs and offers a cost-effective strategy for protecting your data centers from data breaches.

Understanding Firewalls

Before we delve into the specifics of Meraki and Fortinet, let’s briefly touch on what firewalls do. Essentially, they are network security devices that monitor and filter inbound and outbound network traffic based on an organization’s previously established security policies. At its core, a firewall’s primary task is to allow non-threatening traffic in and to keep dangerous traffic out.

Meraki: Simplified Management and Cloud Integration

Meraki, acquired by Cisco in 2012, offers a range of products including firewalls that are designed with simplicity and cloud integration in mind. Meraki’s firewalls are part of its larger cloud-managed IT solutions, which means they can be managed from anywhere via a web-based interface. This ease of management is a significant advantage for organizations with limited IT staff or those looking for simplicity.

Key Features:

  • Cloud-Based Management: Allows for easy setup and control of your firewall settings from anywhere, making it ideal for businesses with multiple locations.
  • Auto VPN: Meraki’s proprietary Auto VPN technology simplifies the process of creating secure VPN connections between sites, requiring minimal effort from the administrators.
  • Traffic Shaping: Offers advanced bandwidth management to prioritize critical applications and ensure that your network can handle important tasks efficiently.
  • User Identification: Integrates with Active Directory and other directories for easy user identification, aiding in enforcing security policies based on user or group.

Fortinet: Comprehensive Security and Performance

Fortinet is renowned for its high-performance network security products, including its FortiGate firewalls. These devices are built to offer comprehensive security protections without compromising on network performance. Fortinet’s solutions are ideal for organizations that require robust security features and high throughput.

Key Features:

  • FortiGuard Services: Provides automated threat intelligence updates and security services to keep your network protected against the latest threats.
  • High Performance: Designed to deliver high throughput and low latency, making them suitable for demanding network environments.
  • Next-Generation Firewall (NGFW) Features: Includes deep packet inspection (DPI), intrusion prevention (IPS), and advanced threat protection (ATP) to defend against sophisticated attacks.
  • Scalability: Suitable for a wide range of business sizes, from small offices to large enterprises, with the ability to scale as your business grows.

Making the Right Choice for Your Business

When it comes to selecting between Meraki and Fortinet firewalls, the decision boils down to your specific needs:

  • Simplicity vs. Sophistication: Meraki offers a more straightforward approach to firewall management with its cloud-based platform, making it ideal for businesses that value ease of use and remote management capabilities. On the other hand, Fortinet provides a more comprehensive set of security features, suitable for organizations requiring advanced security measures.
  • Performance Needs: For businesses with high traffic volumes or those that require high throughput for applications, Fortinet’s firewalls might be the better choice due to their performance capabilities.
  • Cost Considerations: Pricing models differ between the two, with Meraki often perceived as having a higher total cost of ownership due to its subscription model. However, the cost must be weighed against the ease of management and potential savings in manpower.

Why Choose Our Firewall Assessment and Installation Service?

With over 20 years in the IT industry, our firm understands the complexities and challenges of securing modern networks. We offer comprehensive firewall assessment and installation services to help businesses identify the best firewall solution that meets their security, performance, and budgetary requirements. Our team of certified experts will work closely with you to:

  • Evaluate your current network infrastructure and identify potential vulnerabilities.
  • Recommend a tailored firewall solution based on your specific needs, whether it’s the simplicity and cloud integration of Meraki or the comprehensive security features of Fortinet.
  • Provide professional installation and configuration services to ensure your firewall is optimized for maximum security and performance.
  • Offer ongoing support and management services to keep your firewall updated and your network secure.


Choosing the right firewall is a critical decision for any business looking to protect its digital assets. Meraki and Fortinet offer compelling solutions, each with its unique strengths. By considering your business needs, performance requirements.

Interested in learning more? Give us a call today to schedule a chat.

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