Fortinet FortiGate Review

Easy to configure and manage, supports link load balancing, and it has superior throughput


What is our primary use case?

We are a system integrator and Fortigate is one of the firewalls that we implement for our clients. I am a solution architect.

Our primary use for this firewall is the IPS.

What is most valuable?

One of the things I like best is the ease of configuration.

Management-wise, it is very good.

The most important feature, normally for small business customers, is link load balancing.

The firewall throughput is very good. Most of the customers in this region use FortiGate for their data center firewalls, and the main reason is because of its high throughput.

What needs improvement?

Fortinet is good in terms of security and threat prevention, but they are not leading. For example, the signature database can be improved.

If they had better integration with security products, such as Cisco ISE or Rapid Threat Containment, then it would be an improvement. Customers that have ISE implemented are able to provide inputs based on malicious traffic, and then ISE will automatically block it.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been working with Fortinet FortiGate for the past two years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Stability-wise, they are good at the job of a data center firewall. For a perimeter firewall, it is for smaller customers, preferably.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability depends on the design and how it was done. You have to think about the next five years. We get lots of new updates on the older versions and if the product is still in support then the new features will be included.

How are customer service and technical support?

The responsiveness of the support depends on the level of support that you have. If you have premium support then you will get immediate access to them. Otherwise, you have to wait for some time, perhaps an hour, before they get back to you.

On the technical details, there are different levels of access. Once you have engineer access then most of the cases are going to get resolved, or otherwise, they will go to their development team.

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

In addition to FortiGate, we are using Cisco SFR.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is straightforward. We have field configuration guides that we follow and you don't need to have much in-depth knowledge to set it up initially. However, performing the fine-tuning requires that you have proper training on the device.

Deploying the firewall for a new customer will be completed within two to three days, or perhaps a week at the most.

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

Compared to vendors like Cisco and Palo Alto, FortiGate is the cheapest. However, they only have a small segment of the market. Fortinet is trying to appeal to small and medium-sized customers, and I think that their prices should be a little lower for this segment.

On the high-end devices, it is fine. However, the problem is that their subscription price is very high. If you purchase a one-year subscription with the hardware and then you want to renew for the second year, it is very costly. Your whole price ends up being very high.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

As a system integrator, we sell a lot of similar solutions from a variety of vendors. We have found that the Fortinet firewall has a much better throughput than that of the other vendors.

If a large customer is looking for a perimeter firewall then we suggest another vendor, such as Check Point or Palo Alto.

What other advice do I have?

FortiGate is a product that we recommend and we have migrated many customers from other vendors. FortiGate is a better option, although small customers don't care much about security. They only care about basic security. There are only a very few who are really concerned about it and most of them don't have a proper IT group in their company. 

I would rate this solution an eight out of ten.

**Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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