Next-generation firewalls (NGFWs), are essential products for large-scale and enterprise networks. They offer capabilities that are superior to stateful firewalls. NGFW offers more features, such as URL filtering and intrusion prevention (IPS), as well as application control and advanced threat prevention capabilities.
In recent years, both Palo Alto’s and Fortinet’s networks have been ranked among the top NGFWs. Both have the best NGFWs capabilities. There are however key differences in their features, performance, security and pricing.
Breakdown of Palo Alto and Fortinet Features
Palo Alto offers four types of features: Content-ID (APP-ID), APP-ID (Content-ID), User-ID (User-ID) and Device-ID (Device-ID). Here’s a quick overview of each:
APP-ID. It is a traffic classification technique that is patentable and owned by Palo Alto. It can establish an application regardless of protocol, port, or SSL/TLS/SSH encryptions. It also applies various classification mechanisms, such as application protocol decoding and application signatures, to the traffic stream of users to accurately identify applications.
Content-ID. Palo Alto’s feature technology inputs several advanced threat prevention techniques that perform a single scan for all traffic. Palo Alto’s content-ID feature can block buffer overflows and vulnerability exploits, protect against attacks from the outside, and perform port scans.
User-ID. This technology can be used to create policies that allow users to safely access specific or group of users in outbound or inbound directions. The user can limit the IT department’s access to FTP tools and SSH Telnet on standard ports. This feature allows the policy to follow the client on all devices and their location doesn’t matter. Branch office, home, and headquarters.
Device-ID: This new policy feature allows administrators to create policies based on the characteristics of a device. These features allow security teams and administrators to create policies that relate to devices, instead of IP addresses or locations. This can be easily changed over time and helps them understand how events relate.

Fortinet FortiGate is the 2021 Gartner Magic Quadrant leader in network firewalls because of its incredible features. It provides enterprise security at all edges, with full visibility and threat protection. FortiGate offers many great benefits and features.
Full Visibility and Protection: This feature commands, controls, stops ransomware, automates threat protection, as well as other threats that are not visible with SSL inspection (i.e. TLS 1.3
Hyperscale Security: This feature allows the creation of security networks that are highly scalable and can be used to satisfy all clients.
Security Fabric Integration: This feature allows sharing of actionable intelligence about all threats across the entire attack area, which creates an organized and consistent end-to–end security posture.
Natively Integrated Proxy – This feature is part of FortiClient. It provides a smooth user experience, great security, and great security for all hybrid personnel with Zero Trust Network Access.
Automation-driven Network Management: This feature allows you to build large-scale, efficient operations using a user-friendly central management console.
FortiGuard Security Service – The feature simultaneously runs DNS security service, IPPS, and consolidates run video, IPS, web filtering, and IPS to reduce risk and cost.

Evaluating Palo Alto vs. Fortinet Performance
Both are among the fastest NGFWs. Palo Alto was recently ranked first in all firewall tests in the NSS labs, with a performance score of 7888 Mbps, while Fortinet achieved an impressive performance of 6753 Mbps for a low-cost solution.
Both are well-equipped to deal with most threats in security. FortiGate 5 by Fortinet