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Aurelio Rodas
IT Specialist at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Stable, with great technical support and excellent firewall capabilities

Pros and Cons

  • "Overall, it's an excellent solution."
  • "The key activation is very complicated at times."

What is our primary use case?

You can use the balance of FortiGate for an HTTP server, for example. It's not a total solution like a firewall, however, you have a lot of structure within it for normal firewalls or next-generation firewalls. FortiGate is the firewall for Fortinet.

What is most valuable?

Overall, it's an excellent solution.

The solution is largely very stable. 

Technical support has been good.

The firewall capabilities are very good.

What needs improvement?

The key activation is very complicated at times. For example, when you use it for different customers, due to the fact that they are linked with one customer or another, you need an account. Sometimes the customer doesn't have the account, or they confuse the key. It derails the process a bit. It would be ideal if they could simplify or streamline the process.

The internal logs could be easier to manage. When you handle debugging sometimes you have some trouble seeing the whole of a packet that crossed the firewall. Luckily, I have a lot of expertise and therefore can work within these shortcomings. However, it would be easier if there was more visibility.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used the solution for five years at this point. I've used it for a while. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's very stable. I remember only one case in which we had issues with a routing protocol. This was the big problem that I had with FortiGate, as they had some issues and they reduced the equipment. However, in the last five years, it was the one lone situation that I opened a case for and they took a lot of time to get to the solution, which was an SBS and BGP routing protocol into the FortiGate. That said, that issue was on an appliance, not a VM solution.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

One of the primary clients we have that uses the solution is a bank. They utilize it for internal services.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is good. For me, it's a simple process in that you open a case, and, depending on your contract, normally they respond quickly and their help normally is good. I would say I am satisfied with the level of support they offer to clients. 

What other advice do I have?

I work with a service provider and he sells service in cloud and FortiGate products, including FortiGate VMs. With this, he sells services, and I work with him on support and initial configurations or deactivations for customers. 

I work with various versions of the solution, the latest being 7.7.

We use a variety of deployments, including on-premise and in public clouds. Not an American public cloud, however. Rather, it's a public cloud here in South America.

I'd rate the solution at a ten out of ten. the product is excellent and I am very happy with it overall.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Rupsan-Shrestha
Associate Pre Sales at a tech vendor with 51-200 employees
Real User
Top 20
High visibility, great overall support, and has plenty of features

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable features are locking applications from in and out of my test network and testing malware on different devices. I use malware detection, antivirus, and basic firewall policies to check for different types of security breaches. The UI is really nice and easy to use."
  • "I have had a data issue with physical devices that could improve."

What is our primary use case?

I am using this solution for testing the protection, but not in a production environment.

How has it helped my organization?

The Security Fabric feature is beneficial allowing us to have centralized visibility of all our devices and traffic on our network in one place. This is not typically offered on traditional firewalls.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features are locking applications from in and out of my test network and testing malware on different devices. I use malware detection, antivirus, and basic firewall policies to check for different types of security breaches. The UI is really nice and easy to use.

What needs improvement?

I have had a data issue with physical devices that could improve.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for a few months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is stable in terms of performance, but I have faced some issues with memory. The solution does not use the creation memory approach, that other vendors do, or what you would normally find in these kinds of devices. I think it is because the memory gets over-utilized a lot is why I am having the issue with the memory.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

In my previous employment, I used to work with approximately six people, and we were responsible to monitor and manage FortiGate itself. I most recently switched my employment and in this particular role, there are approximately five other testers using this solution.

How are customer service and technical support?

I am satisfied with all of the support for this solution. They have great documentation that is well written of everything that you need to know, such as UI functionality. There are different guides for many things that are really helpful. The technical support is really good.

How was the initial setup?

Before installation, you are able to download the solution online based on the platform you are planning to use it on. For example, if you are going to use it on ESXi, Hyper-V, or AWS, you will have a separate specific installer file for each. The installer is based on the platform you are trying to install it on.

If you have some experience with using virtual technologies or virtualizing software, it is not that complicated to do the installation. For beginners, it might get a little complex or complicated because you have to replicate the properties of a physical device in a virtual container.

What other advice do I have?

For firewall devices, Fortinet is very good. They can improve on other solutions, I have used some solutions in the past that did not have a good UI. There are other things that Fortinet as a whole can focus on.

I rate Fortinet FortiGate-VM a nine out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Learn what your peers think about Fortinet FortiGate-VM. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: October 2021.
542,267 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Nour Ikrazah
Network Engineer at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
Real User
Top 20
Good security and fair pricing but require knowledge of command line coding

Pros and Cons

  • "The pricing of the solution is good."
  • "The block, the clarity, the quarantine command, is not very user-friendly. You would have to do everything through the command line and I would have preferred if it wasn't a CLI."

What is our primary use case?

Originally, I used the solution for a graduation project. I'll soon be using it in a new context.

What is most valuable?

My favorite feature that I enjoyed using is the SD-WAN, the application control, the IPS&IDS, and Security Fabric (which I enjoyed the most because of the visibility it offers of your whole Network) . 

It's less complicated than other firewalls. FortiGate is less complicated and it's guaranteed. By guarantee I mean better control against the attack surface because no firewall 100% guarantee that you won't be attacked.

With security Fabric, I was able to see everything that was going on. The visibility it provided was excellent. 

The pricing of the solution is good.

We've found the solution to be relatively stable.

What needs improvement?

There's this command in the email of service policy that you add for the email of service policy. It's hard to do in reality. It could be made easier.

The block, the clarity, the quarantine command, is not very user-friendly. You would have to do everything through the command line and I would have preferred if it wasn't a CLI. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I used it for a few months to a year ago and am beginning to use it again.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is stable. In security, we handle shortouts and blackouts. Never in my time have we had a blackout, however, if you lose power, you do lose the whole firewall, which is bad.

How are customer service and technical support?

I've never dealt with technical support. I cannot speak to how helpful or responsive they are.

I have, however, used their tech demonstrations to learn about the product. That's helpful in terms of understanding, however, dealing with support directly has never come up.

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

While I typically work with Fortigate, I'm still learning to work with Cisco Firepower.

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

The pricing is fairly reasonable. Compared to the pricing of other firewalls, it is very good. We have no complaints.

What other advice do I have?

We used to be just a customer, however, it's my understanding that now the company has partnered with Fortinet.

I'd rate the solution at a ten out of ten.

I always recommend Fortigate to other users. It's quite good. As long as you know, or learn the command line, you're probably going to be okay. Any problems we've had have been relatively insignificant in nature. The features, in general, have been so great. It's really been a very good product.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: partner
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JK
Principal & CTO at Constructure Technologies at a construction company with 11-50 employees
Real User
Geofencing capabilities help us to reduce threats, and the support is good

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable feature is geofencing, where we can block all access from all non-domestic locations."
  • "In the next releases, it would be nice to see central cloud management."

What is our primary use case?

We use FortiGate as an edge security device. We are system integrators and we use this product ourselves, as well as implement it for our clients.

How has it helped my organization?

The geofencing and blocking capabilities for all non-domestic countries lower the attack surface by approximately 85%.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is geofencing, where we can block all access from all non-domestic locations.

What needs improvement?

In the next releases, it would be nice to see central cloud management.

They have an on-premises solution that you can deploy for fleet management or for multiple site management, but it seems like a cloud solution would be a little bit easier.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using FortiGate for the past two years.

We are using the latest version.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This is a very stable solution.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

So far, this product has scaled very well. We have approximately 100 deployed, as edge devices. Currently, it is our only edge device and we plan to continue rolling it out in the future.

How are customer service and technical support?

Their technical support is great.

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

We used Cisco ASAs exclusively before changing exclusively to FortiGate.

We decided to change to FortiGate because the entitlement was too difficult on Cisco.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is straightforward and it takes approximately two hours to deploy.

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

Licensing is pretty standard. It's approximately 15% of the total cost per year as a subscription cost.

The subscription cost also includes support for entitlement, which was not the case with Cisco. That was the deciding factor. We changed our whole install base because of that.

There are no additional costs other than the standard licensing fees.

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend stopping waiting to use Fortinet Fortigate. It's really a great solution and their support is very good. SonicWall has awful support. I can't say more strongly how bad SonicWall has ever been.

With the engineers, everything is difficult to phrase. They don't understand what you're trying to do. They should understand. Their first-level support is terrible. They really don't understand. You can't get to the next level without going through level one. 

Level one is terrible. It's frustrating enough that we just do it ourselves with Google articles because of this.

I would rate this solution a nine out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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Judit Fekete
IT Manager at Zipper
Reseller
Top 10
Easy to set up, quick to deploy, and very secure

Pros and Cons

  • "The solution is very easy to set up. It doesn't take a lot of time and offers a quick deployment, so you can start using it almost right away."
  • "The price model is not transparent by any means and should be made more clear. What's included in the packages is often not very obvious."

What is our primary use case?

We primarily provide the solution to our clients. We typically use it in the financial services industry.

What is most valuable?

The solution is very easy to set up. It doesn't take a lot of time and offers a quick deployment, so you can start using it almost right away.

It's a very secure product. The security provided is excellent and an organization can feel very safe while using it.

What needs improvement?

The scalability of the solution needs to be improved.

The price model is not transparent by any means and should be made more clear. What's included in the packages is often not very obvious.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for two years at this point.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability of the solution is pretty good. We don't have any blocks and we don't have problems with the solution in terms of bugs or crashes. We have a monitor. We have an aux for many services. It really is problem-free.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution has some issues with scalability. I wouldn't say it's easy to scale at all.

Also, with the pricing model being so confusing, companies can't really wrap their arms around what the final pricing would be when they scale up, which makes it difficult for budgeting purposes. 

How are customer service and technical support?

We don't use technical support from Fortinet. Rather, we get it from a local company. They are okay. They aren't terrible, however, they could be better. Their service is average at best.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is straightforward. We didn't find it to be complex at all. 

Deployment is quick and easy. It takes a maximum of two hours to handle everything.

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

The pricing of the solution is strange. We don't understand exactly how it's calculated or how it works.

What other advice do I have?

We recommend this firewall often and we've actually used many solutions previously. Since we chose this one, we've been overall quite happy with the results. We recommend it largely due to the fact that we use the solution ourselves. 

I'd rate the solution eight out of ten. If it wasn't for the pricing model and the scalability issues, I would rate it higher.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Reseller
SheryarSaqib
Network Security Engineer at a government with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 5
Cost-effective, easy to set up, and the UTM distinguishes it from other firewalls

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable feature is the UTM, which gives them an advantage over other firewalls."
  • "The reporting is not as good as it is with other firewalls and it should be improved."

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use this solution for the firewall and IPS.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the UTM, which gives them an advantage over other firewalls.

What needs improvement?

The reporting is not as good as it is with other firewalls and it should be improved. There should be a customized report, for example.

The dashboard seems to change quickly from version to version, and they should follow the lead of vendors like Palo Alto, Juniper, and Cisco, and always keep it the same.

The bandwidth limitations should be increased.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using FortiGate-VM for approximately one year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

FortiGate-VM is stable and I have not faced any problems with it.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is working fine and I have had no trouble with scalability.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have very rarely had to contact Fortinet about anything. When we have a problem then we have local support with our vendor. They will send their technical people if we need help on-site. We are very satisfied with our local experts.

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

I have worked with McAfee for a long time. The only thing that is better with McAfee is reporting, which is very good. They offer customized reports. We have decided to keep McAfee as our endpoint solution and use FortiGate-VM as our firewall.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is very easy. Somebody who has a little bit of experience in VMware or with firewalls will be able to do it in no time.

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

There is a benefit in terms of the cost of using this solution because the price is very good. There are no costs in addition to the standard licensing fees.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I tried SonicWall, Cisco ASA & Sophos but Fortinet is best among them in term of service and price.

What other advice do I have?

I will say that for low-end firewalls, Fortinet is good compared to the others. The pricing is good, and when you need a new feature, you don't have to buy a new device.

I would rate this solution a nine out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
MA
Consultant at a comms service provider with 11-50 employees
Consultant
Top 20
A solid product that could benefit from more traffic shaping

Pros and Cons

  • "I really like that it's internationally deployable."
  • "There should be more options to use lower-end models in a high availability configuration."

What is our primary use case?

It's an edge firewall that provides failover and redundancy management with the SD-WAN. We also use it for its traffic shaping capabilities and visibility through a central orchestrator.

How has it helped my organization?

It improves an organization because it's a single vendor solution for edge management.

It allows us to handle multiple types of connections at the edge and provide the proper routing and firewall services.

What is most valuable?

I really like that it's internationally deployable.

What needs improvement?

There should be more options to use lower-end models in a high availability configuration.

They should continue to improve the traffic shaping; they should add some AI to the traffic shaping. They should also consider learning from other organizations as opposed to just internally. They should follow patterns instead of everyone having to recognize patterns and make adjustments on their own. Instead, they should add some form of intelligence to guide administrators in best practices with traffic shaping. I think this will become very important as we move more toward a SaaS-type world. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Fortinet FortiGate-VM for the past three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Stability is also high to very high. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I'd say scalability is somewhere between high to very high.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup depends on the types of connections that you're bringing into it and the complexity of the business requirements for individual networks. It depends on how you want to route across the company. Overall, I'd say it's less complex than Cisco but it really depends on who's doing it. 

What other advice do I have?

My advice would be to look to the anticipated growth of the network before starting the implementation so that you are appropriately sizing the scope and size of the equipment.

Overall, on a scale from one to ten, I would give this solution a rating of seven — it's a solid product. Depending on the solution you need, some of the appliances can be a little cost-prohibitive at the high end, but at the low end, they're very cost-effective. Plus, the interface is simple to use. For the right customer, I think it's a solid play.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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JD
IT Director at a retailer with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 20
Affordable, easy to set up, and it is a high-performance appliance

Pros and Cons

  • "This product is affordable and it's a good, high-performance appliance."
  • "The technical support is not very responsive and is an area that needs to be improved."

What is our primary use case?

This firewall appliance is part of our overall security solution.

How has it helped my organization?

Using this product protects our company from attacks that come from outside of our network. At the same time, we get better speed and performance when connecting to the internet.

What is most valuable?

This product is affordable and it's a good, high-performance appliance.

The updates are regular, so we're sure that the attacks are somehow mitigated at the front-end of our gateway.

What needs improvement?

The technical support is not very responsive and is an area that needs to be improved.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using Fortinet FortiGate-VM for almost two years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Since we first implemented it about two years ago, we haven't experienced any major problems aside from the firmware that we needed to have upgraded.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I am okay with the scalability, although we had to upgrade the appliance as our requirements increased. We currently have more than 170 users, and we may increase our usage next year.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is not very responsive. The last time we contacted them was when we encountered slow performance because of the firmware. We needed to upgrade it.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is very easy.

What about the implementation team?

We deployed this product with the help of the vendor.

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

Of all the firewalls that we compared, FortiGate is the cheapest and most affordable, so we are satisfied with the pricing.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Prior to selecting FortiGate-VM, we evaluated Meraki and one other solution.

What other advice do I have?

At this point, aside from technical support, we have no issues with this product. It has everything that we need at the moment, and I cannot think of any other features that should be there.

My advice for anybody who is implementing FortiGate-VM is that they need to understand how their business operates and what their requirements are. They need to understand the technology in terms of security and performance before they purchase any devices.

I would rate this solution an eight out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

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