Fortinet FortiGate SWG Review

Easier to configure than other solutions, really reliable, and scalable


What is our primary use case?

Our clients use it to protect their network. They're into public safety. They're police, fire, and EMS, and they're very concerned about security and what gets in and what doesn't get into their networks. We have got another client for whom we're deploying 30 firewalls in HA pairs over a huge network. That, of course, is a Cisco setup, not FortiGate.

Everybody is cranking up on security to find new ways to block and protect not just the inbound but also the outbound traffic. They want to protect what goes out. They also want to protect DMZs and all that kind of stuff.

What is most valuable?

It is simpler to configure. It is not like Cisco Firepower, where you go crazy trying to follow the Cisco documentation to figure out how to configure one little thing. Unlike Cisco Firepower, where you can't do everything through the web interface and you have got to do some command line stuff, Fortinet FortiGate SWG is simpler. There are four different things in Cisco to get in, which is not the case with Fortinet FortiGate SWG.

It is one of my favorite solutions to work with. I would much rather work with it than Cisco Firepower, for example. Even though I've got 20 years of Cisco experience with different firewalls, I would much prefer this solution.

What needs improvement?

Their technical support could be improved a little bit in terms of responsiveness.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for almost three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

For me, so far, it is fire and forget. You just set it up, and you really don't have to mess with it. It has been really reliable. It hasn't gone down, and I haven't had any outages.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is scalable.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is okay. It, of course, depends on the kind of contract that you have. I've had better support from Cisco than from Fortinet when I'm having a problem that I can't figure out. Fortinet support is not bad, and they do get to the solution. However, they can be a little bit more responsive. That's the nice thing with Cisco. When you've got a network down issue, and they can get people on the phone immediately, and they stay with you until it is done. I find Fortinet's documentation better than Cisco's documentation.

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

We didn't have anything before, so this was brand new.

How was the initial setup?

It is fairly straightforward. The only complexity to it is that it has a little bit longer setup than the old generation firewall thing, where you slap an IP address on the outside and the inside interface and turn it on, and you're going to have a basic firewall. You have got to go through several configuration steps to get it to a good base setup.

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

It is less expensive than a Cisco solution.

What other advice do I have?

If you are brand new to this solution, you're going to want to read the documentation and follow it while setting it up because otherwise, you will miss something. To use this solution, you've got to know what you're doing. You can't just take someone who is a decent network guy and expect him to figure out what he has to do. It isn't that simple.

I would rate Fortinet FortiGate SWG an eight out of ten.

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