Fortinet FortiOS Review

Cost-effective solution for medium-sized businesses and mid-range corporations but it has some product limitations


What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case for this solution is for deploying network security systems for SMBs or mid-range corporations.

How has it helped my organization?

We use the SSL VPN web portal and we actually find it very useful because we don't need to bother with installing additional client-side software.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable part of the application is the graphic user interface of the application where you can see specifically what's going on in the system at a glance and quickly assess the system. The GUI is very good.

What needs improvement?

One thing that should be improved in future versions is an issue we have observed and had problems with a few times. When we try to reinstall a backup for FortiOS, you need to do a factory reset manually or you lose access to a device. I have experienced this situation a few times and it seems like something that should not be required and they should resolve.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using the product for about five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I think the product is a pretty stable solution. I did have some cases with the webserver where the appliance actually crashed. Later I research about the issue and I found out that it was actually a bug in the latest version. I imagine that because they know they will issue a fix if they have not already.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I recommend this product to my clients partly because of the scalability. Scaling is never really a problem though it may cost more if the client requires additional licensing or hardware.

How are customer service and technical support?

I don't often have to contact support. When I do I usually just get help from the online community. I really don't contact their support directly.

How was the initial setup?

I go about initial setup by just implementing the configuration using CLI (Command Line Interface) to propagate the components. I think the initial setup is straightforward.

What about the implementation team?

We are the consultants and we do the installations.

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

I think the cost of the product categorizes FortiOS because it is a bit more expensive than small businesses will usually want to spend. It is not really practical for SMB or for small businesses. It is mostly for mid-range or higher SMBs because of the pricing. It is not expensive compared to some products, but a small business may not justify the cost. The cost ends up being dependent on the solution you choose and if you want individual or package licensing.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

As consultants, we provide different customers with different solutions based on what they need. So, there is no specific product that we evaluate as there are always several options. Mainly I use Fortinet or Sophos solutions to recommend to my customers. We will use on-premises or cloud depending on the needs and how it fits for the client. For Fortinet FortiOS we usually use it in on-premises installations.

What other advice do I have?

I do recommend this product to clients for use but it depends on their case needs. For example, in the AAA (Authentication Authorization and Accounting) some of the accounting and some of the VPN tunneling features are removed from Fortinet FortiOS due to some security configurations. In some projects, we need those features for the client and when that is the case, I cannot recommend that the client use the FortiOS solution.

It would be a better product if there were a logging feature. You need to have FortiAnalyzer in your installation to have logging management capabilities. It will be a better solution if some logging and history capabilities were integrated without requiring an additional product installation.

On a scale from one to ten, where one is the worst and 10 is the best, I would rate Fortinet FortiOS a seven. It is a good product but there are a few problems.

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