Fortinet FortiClient Review

Secure VPN access for remote network users that is free but takes to long to install


What is our primary use case?

Our primary use for FortiClient is just for its capability to securely connect VPN users from outside our environment during the lockdown. It has strong authentication.  

We use it for a VPN client for our network users. They just connect to our network in order to get access to our enterprise environment and for the EFT (Electronic File Transfer) system.  

What is most valuable?

FortiClient is valuable because it is free for us to use to provide VPN services to the people who need to access our network from external locations.  

What needs improvement?

This product is very good. Graphically, it is okay, but this may be one area where it could be better. It should be more graphically inviting. It is okay as it is, but it could be improved.  

If I compare FortiClient VPN and OpenVPN, FortiClient VPN takes too much time while installing on someone's computer or laptop. I do not know why that is. The installation takes too much time compared to OpenVPN. OpenVPN is a very light software. It is installed in a couple of seconds. It does not make sense that FortiClient takes so long to install. I just feel it is a problem that could be addressed.  

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using Fortinet FortiClient since February or March of 2020. So it is a little over six months.  

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This solution is definitely stable.  

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I think this solution has good scalability. Originally when I installed it I thought maybe 30 or 40 or 50 users could be connected with this extra VPN. It would have been okay if it could just do that. But now, I connected about 200 users and they are able to connect using this VPN software and they can securely access my network from outside our physical location. The performance has not degraded.  

How are customer service and technical support?

I have had some experience with Fortinet's technical support. If I feel I have the need for some support, I can contact the local Fortinet representative. I can also contact some good local vendors. I can talk with them as well and get support easily. I do sometimes reach out to get support from the local vendors that I have a good relationship with. That is why I can get good support from them as well as from Fortinet. Support is no problem.  

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We used another VPN solution before FortiClient VPN. It was called OpenVPN. That is an open-source solution and we still use it.  

Both of these VPN solutions are good. But, also it depends on routing or which kind of traffic I am permitting. With my Fortinet VPN, I grant access to those users who want access to my EFT network. I just connect with them through FortiClient. Other VPN users can connect still with OpenVPN to access the corporate network.  

We were interested in implementing an SD-WAN (Software-defined Wide Area Network) for better access for our employees during the lockdown. We just wanted to implement SD-WAN technology to help remote workers access the office network. We configured the FortiClient VPN just for these users. That is the reason why we took on Fortinet FortiClient.  

We have a long-term plan. We just want to use one firewall in our data centers. At present, our whole network is in our head office. This network will not be there anymore. It will be migrated to one of our data centers.  

There are about 200 users who we have currently given this VPN access to.  

Other than OpenVPN we used Cisco for an internet solution. It was three years back that we were using the Cisco-based system solution. But, this is not exactly the same as what we use Fortinet for now.  

How was the initial setup?

I think FortiClient is very easy to configure, definitely. That is the VPN only. There is also an option to use FortiClient as an antivirus solution and it is also free. Some of my colleagues told me that they are using FortiClient already for an antivirus solution. I have not yet used that or tried to configure it so I do not know if that is more complicated.  

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The product we are using is not subscription-based. This is a free version. I just downloaded from the Fortinet website and it is free to use.  

What other advice do I have?

I can definitely encourage other people to use the FortiClient VPN. FortiClient is a pretty great solution for the VPN.  

On a scale from one to ten (where one is the worst and ten is the best), I can rate FortiClient as a seven-out-of-ten from my experience with this product over the past six months.  

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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