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Fortinet Firewall Alternatives and Competitors

Fortinet provides high-performance network security solutions that safeguard your network, users, and data against ever-changing threats. top-rated solutions, together with centralized management, allow for security consolidation and streamlined end-to-end security architecture. If you are looking for an alternative to Fortinet Firewall we have created a list for you. Some of the firewall products are not totally firewall devices or software, they serve as a firewall too. These are might be router or wifi management devices or a built-in OS or Antivirus Firewall Services. According to your budget and size of network scope, you can utilize one of them.

1. Zenarmor

Zenarmor (Sensei) is a software-based quick firewall that may be installed in almost any place.

It can be rapidly installed on any platform with network connectivity because of its appliance-free, all-in-one, all-software, lightweight, and simple architecture. Virtual or bare-metal options are available. On-premises or on the cloud Any Cloud will do...

This technology provides state-of-the-art, next-generation features not yet accessible in open source firewalls such as OPNsense. If you're using an L4 firewall (all open source firewalls fall into this category) and want capabilities like Application Control, Network Analytics, and TLS Inspection, Zenarmor can help.

 Zenarmor Dashboard on OPNsense

Figure 1. Zenarmor Dashboard on OPNsense

The product's underlying technology is a small but powerful packet inspection core that can perform a wide range of enterprise-grade network security operations.

Next-generation Firewall Features?

  1. Application Control
  2. Web Filtering and Security
  3. User-based Filtering and Reporting
  4. Cloud Application Control (Web 2.0 Controls)
  5. Advanced Network Analytics
  6. All-ports full TLS Inspection (for every TCP port, not just HTTPS) *Coming soon
  7. Cloud Threat Intelligence
  8. Encrypted Threats Prevention
  9. Active Directory Integration
  10. Policy-based filtering
  11. Cloud-based centralized management & Reporting

Zenarmor is currently available for:

  • OPNsense® (OPNsense 19.x - 21.x, fully integrated into the OPNsense WebUI)
  • pfSense® software (pfSense 2.5.x)
  • FreeBSD® (FreeBSD 11,12,13)
  • Centos Linux (Centos 7, 8)
  • Alma Linux (AlmaLinux 1)
  • Debian Linux (Debian 10)
  • Ubuntu Linux (Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, 20.04 LTS)

Zenarmor deployments on all Linux platforms, as well as FreeBSD-based firewalls, may all be controlled from a single pane of glass: Cloud Management Portal with a Focus

Zenarmor Cloud Management Portal

Figure 2. Zenarmor Cloud Management Portal

Zenarmor may be installed as a gateway or on a per-server basis in any Cloud environment.

2. McAfee

The McAfee Personal Firewall program acts as a protective barrier between your PC and the Internet, enabling you to regulate what goes in and out. Personal Firewall's functionality is designed to monitor Internet traffic for suspicious behavior and provide efficient security without interfering with your daily activities. The main features of the McAfee personal firewall and details are listed below.

Standard and custom protection levels

Everyone's security requirements are unique. Use Personal Firewall's default settings to defend against intrusion and suspicious activities, or configure the protection choices that work best for you.

Smart Advice

While you're at work, you'll get advice that will help you decide whether or not to provide applications with Internet access and whether or not to trust network traffic. You may also set the Smart Advice recommendations to be implemented automatically.

Management of Internet access for programs

Set program permissions to control which programs have Internet access and what kind of access they have. You can provide full access, outgoing-only access, or no access at all to programs.

Gaming protection

When you open any program in full-screen mode, you may turn off notifications. When you depart, you will begin to get informative notifications once more.

PC startup protection

As soon as Windows begins, start safeguarding your PC from infiltration attempts, malicious apps, and network traffic.

System service port controls

Personal Firewall provides you the tools you need to properly manage the system service ports that some programs demand, making your PC exposed to Internet security risks.

Management of PC connections

Allow and restrict remote connections to preserve control over what information goes between your PC and other PCs.

HackerWatch information integration

HackerWatch is a website that tracks worldwide hacking and infiltration tendencies. HackerWatch delivers up-to-date security information on programs on your computer, as well as worldwide security incidents and data on Internet ports.

Personal Firewall Lockdown

Block all incoming and outgoing communication between your computer and the Internet right now. When you're suspicious of or aware of a security weakness or attack, this is a solid choice.

Personal data protection

Detect and prevent potentially harmful programs, such as Trojans, from transferring your personal information over the Internet.

Event logging

Keep track of current incoming, outgoing, and intrusion events to discover who has accessed or attempted to access your computer.

Intrusion prevention

Prevent unauthorized access to and manipulation of your computer. Items that have the characteristics of an attack or a hacking attempt are blocked by the Personal Firewall.

Sophisticated traffic analysis

Inspect all incoming and outgoing Internet data, as well as any programs that are actively listening for open connections. This gives you the power to handle programs that are vulnerable to infiltration.

3. Microsoft

Windows Firewall (formally known as Windows Defender Firewall in Windows 10) is a Microsoft Windows firewall component. Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 were the first to feature it. It was known as Internet Connection Firewall before the introduction of Windows XP Service Pack 2 in 2004. It was renamed Windows Defender Firewall with the introduction of Windows 10 version 1709 in September 2017.

If you are using Microsoft Windows, even if you already have a firewall installed, you should turn on Microsoft Defender Firewall. It aids in the prevention of unauthorized access.

Microsoft Windows Defender Firewall

Figure 3. Microsoft Windows Defender Firewall

A layered security strategy includes the Windows Defender Firewall with Advanced Security. Windows Defender Firewall restricts illegal network traffic streaming into or out of a device by offering host-based, two-way network traffic filtering. Windows Defender Firewall additionally uses Network Awareness to apply security settings that are appropriate for the network types to which the device is connected. Because the configuration options for Windows Defender Firewall and Internet Protocol Security (IPsec) are combined in a single Microsoft Management Console (MMC) called Windows Defender Firewall, Windows Defender Firewall is an important aspect of your network's isolation strategy.

Windows Defender Firewall provides the following features to assist you to handle your organization's network security challenges:

  • Windows Defender Firewall's integration with IPsec makes it simple to enforce authorized, end-to-end network connections.
  • Increases the value of current investments.
  • There is no need for extra hardware or software because Windows Defender Firewall is a host-based firewall that comes with the operating system.

4. pfSense

The pfSense® software is a FreeBSD-based operating system for installing and configuring a firewall that can be set quickly via the web interface and installed on any PC. It's hard to believe pfSense® software is a free and open-source solution with all of the enterprise-grade capabilities and security it provides.

pfSense Software

Figure 4. pfSense Software

It includes a vast list of features and an attractive package system, in addition to being a robust and adaptable firewall and router platform. This package structure not only allows the operating system to expand but also protects the distribution system from security flaws.

Organizations all around the world rely on pfSense® software to provide reliable, full-featured firewall protection in the cloud.

Popular usage areas can be listed below:

  • LAN/WAN Router
  • Wi-Fi hotspot or captive portal
  • VPN Router
  • Firewall
  • DHCP / DNS Server
  • Transparent Squid Proxy Server
  • Multi-WAN Router or Load Balancer
  • Port Forwarding / NAT (Network Address Translation)

There are several more reasons why you should use it,

  1. pfSense® software is Flexible

  2. pfSense® software is Open Source

  3. pfSense® software is user-friendly

  4. pfSense® software is powerful

  5. pfSense® software is well-supported

5. MikroTik Router

RouterOS (Router Operating System) is a router operating system based on the Mikrotik Linux kernel. Because Mikrotik is a Linux-based system, its logic is identical to that of the Linux Kernel's IPTABLES system. It does, however, allow considerably more comfortable administration by giving significant ease of usage.

Mikrotik Router Firewall

Figure 5. Mikrotik Router Firewall

Mikrotik may be used as a firewall. It has the ability to block particular ports and protocols. You can perform in-depth network analysis, view incoming and outgoing connections, direct them, and block them.

The firewall implementation in MikroTik RouterOS is highly strong, featuring capabilities such as

  • peer-to-peer protocols filtering
  • stateful packet inspection
  • traffic classification by
  • source MAC address
  • IP addresses and address types
  • port or port range
  • IP protocols
  • packet content
  • rate at which packets arrive and sequence numbers
  • packet size
  • protocol options
  • interface the packet arrived from or left through
  • internal flow and connection marks
  • DSCP byte
  • packet arrival time

6. Ubiquiti Networks Unifi

The Ubiquiti USG is a firewall that uses sophisticated firewall settings to safeguard your network and data. The Ubiquiti USG allows users to configure WAN, LAN, and Guest firewall rules over IPv4 and IPv6 networks. The USG may also create virtual network segments for security and network traffic control.

Ubiquiti UniFi Security Gateway

Figure 6. Ubiquiti UniFi Security Gateway

The Ubiquiti UniFi Security Gateway provides your network with cost-effective routing and enhanced security. Firewall policies allow you to safeguard your network and its data, as well as create virtual network segments for further security and traffic control, thanks to VLAN support. QoS for VOIP and VPN Server for secure site-to-site connections are examples of enterprise functionalities.

7. Cisco Adaptive Security Appliance

The Cisco ASA Family's core operating system is Cisco Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA) Software. For any distributed network environment, it provides enterprise-class firewall features for ASA devices in a variety of form factors, including standalone appliances, blades, and virtual appliances. ASA Software also interfaces with other essential security technologies to provide complete solutions that address ever-changing security requirements.

ASA is a Cisco security device that can do basic firewall functions as well as VPN, antivirus, and a variety of additional functions. The following are some of the characteristics of ASA:

  • Packet filtering: Packet filtering is a basic procedure of filtering incoming or outgoing packets based on criteria established in the device's ACL. It is made up of a number of permits or denied conditions. If the traffic fits one of the rules, no additional rules are checked, and the matched rule is applied.
  • Stateful filtering: If a packet is produced from a higher security level to a lower security level, ASA executes stateful tracking by default. TCP and UDP reply traffic will be allowed by default if traffic is begun by devices in higher security levels for devices in lower security levels (as destination).

Static routing, default routing, and dynamic routing protocols such as EIGRP, OSPF, and RIP are all supported by ASA.

ASA is a transparent firewall that has two modes of operation:

  • Routed mode: In this mode, the ASA functions as a layer 3 device (router hop), and its interface must have two separate IP addresses (i.e., two different subnets).
  • Transparent mode: In this mode, ASA runs at layer 2 and only requires a single IP address for ASA control since both the inner and outside interfaces act as a bridge.

ASA supports ;

  • AAA services
  • Policy-based VPNs like point-to-point IPsec VPN(site-to-site VPN and remote-access VPN) and SSL-based VPNs.
  • IPv6 routing such as static, dynamic.
  • VPN load Balancing
  • Advanced Malware Protection
  • Configure multiple ASA devices as a single logical device
  • QoS, Policing, prioritizing
  • Advanced malware protection

Cisco ASA Software includes features such as integrated IPS, VPN, and Unified Communications.

  • High-performance, multi-site, multi-node clustering aids companies in increasing capacity and improving performance.
  • Provides high availability for applications that need high resilience.
  • Allows physical and virtual devices to work together.
  • Meets the network's and data center's specific requirements
  • Cisco TrustSec security group tags and identity-based firewall technologies provide context-awareness.
  • Per-context dynamic routing and site-to-site VPN are made possible.

Next-generation encryption standards, such as the Suite B collection of cryptographic algorithms, are also supported by Cisco ASA software. It also works along with Cisco Cloud Web Security to deliver world-class web-based threat prevention.

8. Cisco Meraki MX

The Cisco Meraki MX enterprise appliances are multipurpose security and SD-WAN enterprise appliances with a broad range of features to serve a variety of use cases, all from a single device. The MX is trusted by businesses of all sizes and sectors to provide a secure connection to hub locations or multi-cloud environments, as well as application quality of experience (QoE) via powerful analytics and machine learning.

Because the MX is completely cloud-managed, installation and remote management are a breeze, making it perfect for branch offices, campuses, and data centers. The MX avoids the need for several appliances by being natively integrated with a full set of secure network and assurance features. Application-based firewalling, content filtering, web search filtering, SNORT®-based intrusion detection and prevention, Cisco Advanced Malware Protection (AMP), site-to-site Auto VPN, client VPN, WAN, and cellular failover, dynamic path selection, web application health, VoIP health, and more are just a few of the capabilities available. With virtual MX appliances, SD-WAN may be readily expanded to provide optimum access to resources in public and private cloud settings (vMX).

9. WatchGuard Network Security

The XTM 1050 and XTM 2050 are two systems in the WatchGuard next-generation firewall (NGFW) family, which provide fully extendable, enterprise-class protection and productivity protections. Both are aimed at corporate offices, data centers, and managed security service providers.

The next-generation devices from WatchGuard deliver genuine line-speed security inspection on all traffic and multi-gigabit packet filtering performance. In addition, this next-generation line gives businesses unparalleled visibility into real-time and historical user, network, and security activities; connects offices via unique drag-and-drop VPN; connects people via SSL and IPSec VPN; and gives businesses unparalleled visibility into real-time and historical user, network, and security activities. Businesses can establish, implement, and audit robust security and acceptable usage policies with WatchGuard solutions, resulting in enhanced employee productivity and less risk to key intellectual property or consumer data.

This all-in-one security solution combines IPS, Application Control, and other optional security services with LiveSecurity to eliminate the time and cost of operating several single-point security solutions.

10. SonicWall TZ

The SonicWall TZ line of firewalls is tailored to the demands of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) and branch offices, providing enterprise-level protection without enterprise-level complexity.

Installation and operation are simple with Zero-Touch Deployment and streamlined centralized management. Advanced networking and security capabilities, such as the multi-engine Capture Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) cloud-based sandbox service with patent-pending Real-Time Deep Memory Inspection (RTDMITM), detect complex threats, including encrypted attacks. Create a comprehensive security solution for wired and wireless networks with optional features like PoE/PoE+ compatibility and 802.11ac Wi-Fi.

Simply connect in and enjoy the enhanced security of the SonicWall TZ series firewall without having to worry about complicated management or the next threat.

Deep Memory Inspection for Advanced Threat Prevention

  • With security processors that are geared for speed, you'll get lightning-fast performance.
  • Real-Time Deep Memory Inspection (RTDMITM) provides a higher degree of threat protection.
  • Use shared threat intelligence to keep your security up to date.
  • SonicWall's strong SonicOS operating system offers a wide variety of sophisticated capabilities.


  • Make use of multi-core, parallel-processing hardware.
  • Using gigabit and multi-gigabit Ethernet ports, achieve high performance.
  • Use single-pass, stream-based inspection to your advantage.
  • Deep packet inspection is used to inspect many network streams at the same time.

Flexibility and control over the network

  • With Zero-Touch Deployment, you can rapidly get your firewall up and operating.
  • Secure SD-WAN allows you to expand your dispersed network while cutting expenses.
  • With integrated PoE/PoE+ support, you can power your PoE-enabled devices.
  • Gain visibility into and control over network application consumption.

Mobile Connectivity that is both secure and simple to use

  • Using native 802.11ac wireless SSL VPN Connect from nearly any operating system, access resources behind the firewall remotely and securely.
  • Over a VPN connection, detect and eliminate hidden dangers.

What are the Best Fortinet Firewall Alternatives for Small Business?

Different firewall solutions serve different purposes, and if you're wondering about which one is ideal for your small business or startup, we've prepared a list for this. You can consider implementing the below-shared firewalls as an alternative to Fortinet

What are the Best Fortinet Firewall Alternatives for Small-sized Companies?

Alternative to the Fortinet Firewall for small-sized businesses can be listed as;

  • OPNSense
  • Ubiquiti EdgeRouter X
  • Cisco NGFW
  • SonicWall
  • Firewalla

What are the Best Fortinet Firewall Alternatives for Enterprises?

For Enterprise-scale networks below shared list can be considered as an alternative to Fortinetwall

  • Palo Alto Networks.
  • Check Point Software Technologies.
  • Juniper Networks.
  • SonicWall.
  • Sophos.
  • Barracuda.
  • WatchGuard.