Fortinet FortiGate Review

Very complete with good capabilities and very good stability


What is our primary use case?

The purpose of this solution is to provide intrusion protection and more robust endpoint security for small offices. We are providing an enterprise solution for a small business by adding endpoint protection coupled with Intrusion Detection and Protection.  For small offices needing HIPAA compliance, we need to make sure we are providing robust protection instead of the default modem gateway provided by the ISP.

How has it helped my organization?

The Fortinet product provides enterprise capabilities in a small footprint at a price point that is more attainable for a small business. The product meets the IPS/IDS/Endpoint protection that small organizations need for their HIPAA and PCI compliance.  While the end user may not understand the true capabilities, the managed service provider can more easily deploy and maintain this small footprint product.

What is most valuable?

The main reason why I purchased the particular unit was based on other reviews and leadership in this space. Being able to have a VPN solution as well as integrated access points is a plus. For me, it's all about simplicity. When you look at my particular model for a managed service provider, it's basically to help simplify, protect, and remain compliant. When you're trying to implement something, it's about making sure it is simplified. This seems to fit the bill.

What needs improvement?

The product has enterprise capabilities, which means there are a ton of configurations possible.  What I'd like to see in the product is more of a branch in the box wizard deployment for those that are not as well versed in firewall and routing.  For a small business, the firewall should be able to self-configure for a Unified Threat Management configuration with 2 SSIDs for protected wireless network for internal gear and a guest wireless network for employee cell phones and guests.  I'd like to open the box, plug in the router behind the cable modem, and check a few boxes, and the rest is done automatically.  I don't want to have to build a configure VLANs, SSIDs, security protocols for each port, and try to figure out and understand all the layers in an effort to deploy a solution.  It's great to have those capabilities in case you need them, but for most of the offices I am trying to deploy these into--it should be a branch in a box.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've only been using the solution for a few weeks. It's very new for us.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Stability has been fine. I've had no questions about the stability of it. It seems so far it is staying up. I haven't had any issues to speak of.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I haven't really pushed this product from a scalability perspective. Certainly, if you look at the performance metrics, the F series appears to have really expanded the capacity and capabilities beyond past models. If you look at 40E versus 40F, there's a fairly substantial difference. For a small office, it's going to be just fine.

How are customer service and technical support?

I haven't reached out to technical support and therefore can't speak to their level of responsiveness.

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

N/A

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is complex for me due to my lack of experience with the Fortinet FortiGate product. The complexity can be a good thing, however, as there's a lot of really good features associated with it. Where it could be simplified is in having that easy deployment option, and then you can start going down and trying to get into the nitty-gritty and figure out when do you need the extra features.

Right now, I'm just in a test environment getting all the firmware up and tested. Then, once I have it tested, I'll take it to the client location and yank out their WiFi mechanism, their WiFi router, and put this in.

What about the implementation team?

I'm currently handling the implementation for a client.

What was our ROI?

ROI is somewhat difficult to measure when you are mostly talking about deploying a product for endpoint security.  If your environment stays protected, then it was a good return on investment.

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

When you look at these endpoint security systems and firewalls, these products a few years were way too expensive for a small business. Now we have enterprise level security in a footprint that is less than $1,000.  For offices that have 10-25 computers needing protection, this is a better solution.

What other advice do I have?

The good news is that Fortinet does have a good support network as well as their education academy to help someone get up to speed on their product.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises

Which version of this solution are you currently using?

40F
**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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