Fortinet FortiGate Review

It offers unlimited VPN licensing but it needs a real-time log viewer in the GUI.


What is most valuable?

The unlimited VPN licensing. All of our remote locations (1000+) used IPSec VPN and SSL to connect to the cluster.

How has it helped my organization?

We went from being terrified about our firewalls screwing up to completely forgetting we had firewalls. I slept better and so did my manager.

What needs improvement?

A real-time log viewer in the GUI with the capability to filter traffic displayed. Cisco ASA's have this and it's fantastic.

For how long have I used the solution?

I used it for four years. We had two devices that were clustered together in a high availability pair as the front end of an country wide, high visibility solution.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

No issues encountered.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No issues encountered.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No issues encountered.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

Customer service was decent with Fortinet - they were helpful and got the product to our doorstep quickly.

Technical Support:

This is where Fortinet stumbles. The support is farmed out overseas to techs that are not very knowledgeable about the Fortinet products. The response time for a critical priority one issue was over four hours and they only responded because we threatened legal action for them violating our support contract.

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

They used to have Juniper products, which are terrible. The enterprise class firewalls do not support any sort of packetflow gathering such as netflow, and the devices didn't even support Juniper's proprietary jflow. Their SRX series routers, meant for home office use, had more features and capabilities.

How was the initial setup?

It was very straightforward and we encountered very little problems. Fail-over occurred within a second with zero outages or anyone actually taking notice. Firmware updates were easy to apply in a live environment if required, and the GUI was very easy to understand.

What about the implementation team?

I deployed it - I'm FCNSA certified.

What was our ROI?

If we used a similar solution that required a "per seat" license per VPN, we would have literally spent over 100x what the solution cost us.

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

We implemented the clustered firewalls for around $30,000, and each office had another Fortigate device at a cost of around $1,000.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Cisco was evaluated but we didn't want to pay for the VPN licensing.

What other advice do I have?

It's an absolutely fantastic product. Just get your support contract clarified, and confirm the response times.


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

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