Fortinet FortiOS Review

Provides an easy and simple means of filtering traffic and establishing VPN connections and authentication


What is our primary use case?

For me, personally within our company, I am using this for business administration, but the company as a whole uses the product as a general firewall solution.

How has it helped my organization?

This product has improved our organization by providing an easy and simple means of filtering of traffic and establishing VPN connections and authentication.

What is most valuable?

The high-availability feature is the most valuable feature for our company. It is faster and more secure by creating a situation where there are more paths and less opportunity for failure and data loss.

What needs improvement?

While the product is good and does provide services we need for authenticating and establishing VPN connections, some time ago we had issues with logins. The login event and the performance for this feature were very poor but have improved.

For how long have I used the solution?

The organization has been using this solution for about six years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Excluding the login performance — which we would have issues with in the past that made us have to turn off the feature in order to examine the infrastructure — every other feature and functionality has proven to be stable. We have also experienced some issues with performance with filtering traffic but it was on the appliance and because it was just a basic setup.  The real problem was the configuration and had we been more familiar at the time, we would have done a better job with it. So it was not the product that was unstable, it was our application of it.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution is scalable, but we really have not had too much of a reason to put the scalability to the test. I cannot imagine an issue where we would have to scale more right now as we use two hardware installations and the high-availability feature manages the traffic. Two appliances for us seems like more than enough.

How are customer service and technical support?

I think the technical support is not really very good. When we had some issues in the past and sent them to support, we waited a few weeks and in that time we managed to figure out the solution ourselves.

The one issue I am talking about was a very tricky issue, but they should know more about the product than we do even if we are doing the installations. Meanwhile, we had to wait and it was very inconvenient. So I think the process of the way they handle the management of issues could be improved. We managed to get some of the easier issues resolved in part through the support team initially, but when we reached the next level of difficulty, it lasted too long to get a resolution.

If you previously used a different solution, which one did you use and why did you switch?

We had been using our own solution and wanted to go with a dedicated, packaged product. It was a business decision and would allow us to refocus our internal resources.

How was the initial setup?

Because we have been doing installations of this product for five years, the installation is fairly easy. It was not very easy the first time but now we have a lot of experience in doing installations so, for us, it is easy to set up.

What about the implementation team?

We do not use integrators or resellers as that is what we do and it is our responsibility.

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

As far as choosing the best licensing solution for your organization, do not buy the cheapest solution. Instead, buy the one that fits the traffic for your company with some room for expansion or headroom. Next year, if the business grows — which is usually what you want to do — you could reach a point where there is more traffic and the performance could become an issue.

What other advice do I have?

We have lots of experience in using and installing FortiOS, and because of the experience has mostly been positive, I recommend FortiOS as a solution for firewalling. Besides the few issues we have experienced in the past, this is a stable solution and the high-availability feature is very, very good. 

On a scale from one to ten, where one is the worst and ten is the best, I would you rate Fortinet FortiOS as a nine. Despite the few problems we had in the past it is a very good solution which does what it is designed to do.

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