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Fortinet FortiWLM OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

Fortinet FortiWLM is #12 ranked solution in top Wireless LAN tools. IT Central Station users give Fortinet FortiWLM an average rating of 8 out of 10. Fortinet FortiWLM is most commonly compared to Aruba Wireless:Fortinet FortiWLM vs Aruba Wireless. The top industry researching this solution are professionals from a comms service provider, accounting for 36% of all views.
What is Fortinet FortiWLM?

Consolidate security and wireless LAN management with our integrated wireless solutions. Single-pane-of-glass management for security and access without the need to add point products simplifies deployment and reduces management complexity. These solutions are highly scalable to support even the largest organizations and distributed enterprises.

Fortinet FortiWLM was previously known as FortiWLM, FortiAP, Fortinet AP/OAP, Meru Wireless LAN.

Buyer's Guide

Download the Wireless LAN Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: November 2021

Fortinet FortiWLM Customers

Black Gold Regional Schools, Amadeus Hospitality, Jefferson County, Chunghwa Telecom, City of Boroondara, Dimension Data

Fortinet FortiWLM Video

Pricing Advice

What users are saying about Fortinet FortiWLM pricing:
  • "Fortinet would do something with their pricing model to attract smaller business users and eliminate the mandatory service contracts."
  • "For indoor access points, there is a one-time cost, upfront, whereas outdoor access points have an annual fee."
  • "There is a perpetual license required for this solution and the price could be reduced."

Fortinet FortiWLM Reviews

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PeterMacTaggart
IT and IT Security Consulting at MacTaggart IT Security
Real User
Top 5
Solves access point issues and reduces the need for excessive wifi transmission

Pros and Cons

  • "This is the only product on the market currently that supports as many access points for wifi users."
  • "The pricing model can be improved to encourage use by small business and individuals and the hardware could stand to be redesigned."

What is our primary use case?

I have a friend who used to work at Sun Microsystems and when they were bought by Oracle he moved to Fortinet Switzerland. Now he is the boss of the wireless section of Fortinet Switzerland. We are building an apartment building with 30 floors that is the tallest residential building in the country. The name is Jabee Tower in Dübendorf. We have two penthouse flats there and each flat has 14 wireless access points. That is more access points than you could have with any other normal wifi system; you can not buy this kind of access capability through another vendor.  

We have committed to the technology and now we are dependent on the Fortinet controller and the V2 cell technology which is exclusive to Fortinet. Fortinet obtained this by buying out a company called Meru Systems which is the inventor of the concept of V2 cell. The product allows their product to always maintain the same SSID (Service Set Identifier) for the BSSID (Basic Service Set Identifier) clients using the service. It is a kind of breakthrough in technology. So it is really unique and there is no competition for this type of solution at the moment. That is why Fortinet is the leading manufacturer in this area of cell technology.  

The leading-edge technology was the reason I came to use Fortinet — not only because my friend was working there. But because their technology is very much on the leading edge of the marketplace we have a lot of interesting opportunities.  

What is most valuable?

The concept of V2R cell services [similar to wifi hotspot technology], is a concept where a controller monitors the access points in the installation. It is possible to reduce the transmission power and that can reduce exposure of users and the community to the electrobiological effects of wifi. The goal is to try to reduce the radio power necessary and to only transmit the signal that you have to transmit to reach the access point.  

In my work, I try to protect people from electronic emissions and V2R is one of my weapons against the current problems with exposure to wifi. You do not have to go blindly like Norway does and transmit with 100 milliwatts or 200 milliwatts of exposure if you have a better solution like V2R.  

So the concepts where the controller is involved must be used in order to reach these goals at this time. In the Aruba product there is also a solution for the controller, but it does not do as much as the Fortinet. So Fortinet is alone on the ground level with this new concept.  

On the other hand, the V2R cell solution has a limited lifespan because we know that wifi six is coming up. Wifi six is solving the transmission problems of wifi roaming in a different way. But for now, there is no competition for the V2R cell.  

What needs improvement?

Something that can be improved by Fortinet is the organization-wide policy on service contracts. I find that it is a little bit stressful. They have a business model where whatever you buy, you must make a service contract. You can do that for one year or three years or five years. But it seems a little bit like a moneymaking machine rather than a necessity. They require these service contracts and that is not always so well accepted by the clients.  

To judge the circumstances of the market by bigger business clients who can afford these additional fees may not be the best way to create policy. I work mostly with smaller clients on the threshold of breaking into a bigger business landscape. Mostly those clients are private people and for these people, these business requirements Fortinet has in place are not the best way to build up their successes.  

I guess I cannot criticize their practices as failing because the company is obviously successful with it. I understand that they also need to make money for evolution, for research and development to stay competitive. But for the private sector, there is a gap. You have these professional suppliers like Aruba and Fortinet and then you have the small suppliers whose products you can buy in the shop around the corner. There is nothing in between. I think Fortinet could be more friendly toward smaller companies and individuals so they could have success with the products while building their businesses and then they are more likely to continue to use the products later.  

I guess one other improvement they might consider making is with the design of the product. They do not have the most beautiful equipment I have seen in my life. They could hire a designer and the products could be improved substantially in a visual way.  

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this product for about one year.  

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is perfect. I have no problems with the product in that way.  

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

My clients could be any size: small, medium or enterprise companies. It does not matter but for the costs. All size users can be my clients, but for the moment I am mostly involved with private clients. I am involved in electrobiology in my personal endeavors. Wifi is on the corner of our activity because it is part of this field somewhat tangentially, but I am more of a consultant in electrobiology with an interest in how radio transmissions from wifi affects people.  

How are customer service and technical support?

I had some calls with Fortinet technical support, which is in India, and I had some very good experiences with their team. It was very professional and I got my answers within a reasonable time.  

I'm quite happy with both their online support and telephone support. It is very professional and there is nothing to complain about in that respect.  

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

Before Fortinet Wireless, I was working with Aruba. Aruba was not bad and we did use it quite a bit before it was bought by HP. But it did not have the same capabilities as Fortinet. We also used ASUS [a name derived from PegasusAccess Point for some time. I have used modified third-party firmware called Tomato that can help control the behavior of different routers from other manufacturers. I also used DD-WRT [DD is the German car numberplate code for Dresden, Germany; WRT is "Wireless Receiver/Transmitter"] which is another third-party firmware solution.  

When we started, we were using Linksys hardware a lot and then we switched to ASUS hardware. Then we went with this special firmware Tomato released for our ASUS hardware. That was a good solution and it was our main product for a while. It was a progression over time.  

How was the initial setup?

The difficulty of the initial setup probably depends a lot on the level of user who is trying to use it. In the beginning, it took me only one day to do the setup because I had some similar experience. It took me one day for Aruba and it took me one day for Fortinet. The average, intelligent person can learn to set up this solution in a short period of time. But I would not say that it is intuitive for just anyone. You have to learn some theory about the controller and what the controller is doing. You have to read a few manuals. But it is almost intuitive, in general, and easy if you have some experience and are willing to learn. It is not made for a common laborer or for a housewife. It is made for an engineer who can read the manual and understand what is supposed to happen. It is quite usable in that case.  

What about the implementation team?

We do the deployments and implementations ourselves.  

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

Fortinet would do something with their pricing model to attract smaller business users and eliminate the mandatory service contracts.  

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

There is currently no competition for the Fortinet product. My experience over time with providing wifi solutions was my evaluation period.  

What other advice do I have?

My advice to people is that the V2R radio solution is very good and that they should give it a try. Get a few access points — the minimum is two — to experience the V2R access concept.  

When I was first playing with the solution, I set up the software controller on a virtual machine in the lab. Just with two access points, one controller and the V2 concept. That was an eye-opening experience. When you see it working, you immediately become a fan. You will make a prayer for this technology.  

What is not so good is that Meru came out with the solution a little too late because now it will have a limited life and it will die. In five years, it will be obsolete. That is the long-term downside, but for the moment there is no alternative.  

On a scale from one to ten where one is the worst and ten is the best, I would rate Fortinet Wireless as a nine-out-of-ten. They could improve a few things like the fact that the access points get a little hot and use a lot of energy. It is running at 30 watts per access point. Also, you need to power the access points over the ethernet, so the ethernet power must be strong. It is not possible to power it from switches. They should do something about the power problem.  

But even with the drawbacks, my recommendation to others would be to give the solution a try.  

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
Piyush-Patel
Senior Technical Support Executive with 11-50 employees
Reseller
Top 5
Create guest networks without a VLAN, easy to use, and has a user-friendly GUI

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable feature is the ability to connect and broadcast to different networks without using a VLAN or a layer two switch, which allows you to easily create guest networks."
  • "The guest management features need to be improved by adding automation."

What is our primary use case?

We are a technical services company and this is one of the solutions that we provide to our clients. My client was interested in adding a guest network to the existing infrastructure. The main requirement was that the new access points needed to be able to integrate properly, but any guests should not be able to connect to his main network.

It was a very old network with no VLAN and there was no interest in implementing one. This solution allowed for the creation of different networks without the need for a VLAN or the installation of layer two switches.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the ability to connect and broadcast to different networks without using a VLAN or a layer two switch, which allows you to easily create guest networks. This is a very useful and very different feature compared to other solutions on the market. In every customer meeting, this is the feature that we highlight.

The solution is easy to use and the GUI is user-friendly.

What needs improvement?

The guest management features need to be improved by adding automation. There is a facility for guest management through a portal, but it should be automatic. As it is now, the IT person has to edit and do things manually. All of the details should be maintained in the FortiCloud.

I would like to see some small access points or signal extenders added to the product line to help with areas that do not have full coverage. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been working with Fortinet wireless for the past seven years, and for fourteen years in total with Fortinet solutions.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

In the past seven years that I have been working with this solution, I have not had any issues regarding stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

This scalability is good.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have been in contact with technical support a few times, although it was for known product issues that required doing things like installing a new driver. Overall, I would rate them to be good.

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

We have deployed solutions from D-Link and NETGEAR for certain clients, although they have not needed to have the depth of features that are offered by Fortinet Wireless. These include both security options and the facility for providing a guest network.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is easy and user-friendly. The deployment is highly efficient, and it may take 25 minutes to configure if you have a maximum of ten access points. At most, it may take three to four hours.

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

For indoor access points, there is a one-time cost, upfront, whereas outdoor access points have an annual fee.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Compared to some of the wireless solutions by Cisco, Aruba, and HP, this product is a little bit costly. However, Fortinet has good security and other good features that the customers are interested in.

What other advice do I have?

I would rate this solution an eight 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: Distributor
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Suresh Sharma
Sr. Technical Executive at a educational organization with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 20
Poor customer service and lackluster scalability

Pros and Cons

  • "The product is a stable solution."
  • "Technical support is very poor. We are not satisfied with the technical support because there is not any direct person from Fortinet for any troubleshooting, which we expected."

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use is for official purposes. On our campus, there are two employees who have a laptop and move here and there, and sub-faculties are always trying to connect to Google or other resources, for any documentation purposes. The facility is huge. So for online purposes, we give them the flexibility so that wherever they are on campus they can easily connect to the internet.

What is most valuable?

All their features are common. Nothing more. All the features are controlled behind the Fortinet firewall. Is there any wireless controller to balance the load? Or what report do they give for the stated purpose? Basically, we need to put more focus on the reporting end for their sustainability.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Fortinet Wireless for the last five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The product is a stable solution.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

In terms of scalability, we will not replace Fortinet for our staff purposes. But we have a very large group of students for whom we are planning to use it to give them online education. For that purpose, we are planning to handle the number of 40,000 students on our campus so that we can synchronize real data over any streaming material or tablet.

Because of that, because of the technology changes every year, this is not suitable for the search crowd.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is very poor. We are not satisfied with the technical support because there is not any direct person from Fortinet for any troubleshooting, which we expected.

What other advice do I have?

On a scale from one to 10, where one is the worst and 10 is the best, I would rate Fortinet Wireless three out of 10.

You may discuss this with any of the other clients who are using Fortinet. I think you will find out what kind of support Fortinet gives because there is no direct person involved from the Fortinet side to give client support. They depend on the mediator or integrators or suppliers. They help. They are trained but they are not from Fortinet. I would not go with Fortinet. You can think of it as a customer buying a Fortinet product from the company and the company has stopped their service. Then who will look after those clients? 

So I think there should be a direct person who provides service to the client. It could either be a portal or there could be another way to improve the services.

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.
JG
Network Communication Solutions Manager at IT Solutions N.V
Reseller
Top 5
Stable with good IP security profiles and helpful technical support

Pros and Cons

  • "Although there are a few steps, the initial setup is pretty straightforward."
  • "When using the FortiGate as the wireless controller, you cannot have automatic user registration, which is something that they should offer."

What is our primary use case?

We have used the solution in an electrical company, however, they are using it for Internet only access. That is being used as the main connection to the network and is completely separate as it is being used only for Internet access on mobile devices mostly.

What is most valuable?

I have used the multiple feature keys that were available and they allow each user to have their own feature key. 

A good feature is the IP security profiles, IPFS, anti-virus, RIP filtering, as that can be used with FortiGate as a wireless controller.

The solution is stable.

Technical support is helpful.

The scalability is good.

Although there are a few steps, the initial setup is pretty straightforward.

What needs improvement?

There is a need to put a logging device in, which could be an analyzer, so that, if you want to have an inside-up graph and weekly and monthly graphics reports, you'd be able to do so.

When using the FortiGate as the wireless controller, you cannot have automatic user registration, which is something that they should offer. That way, you can email the user, in their account, and it would be easier.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We haven't heard any negative feedback about the stability. The clients seem happy. I haven't heard of bugs or glitches. It's reliable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is good. Our clients seem happy with its capabilities.

How are customer service and support?

In terms of technical support, it depends on your license. From my experience, they have been available at any time and they can help with troubleshooting by going into the command line and stuff like that. They are helpful and responsive.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is a little more work due to the fact that we have to set up the controller. It's not as difficult, however, you have more steps.

For a small setup, you only need one person to manage the implementation.

What was our ROI?

I have not looked into ROI as of yet.

What other advice do I have?

We are a Fortinet partner. I have used the U 231, the U 431F versions of the solution.

You can implement this solution and get authentication, and we'd like to see more features for onboarding and reporting.

I'd rate the solution at an eight out of ten.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer:
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DK
Service Delivery Manager at ZAVASI TECHNOLOGIES PVT LTD
Real User
Top 20
Simple solution compared to other options and has good reliability

Pros and Cons

  • "I found that It's really good when comparing it to any other product or it is much better in terms of features that the customer requires."
  • "Documentation could be improved."

What is most valuable?

We are similar to our customer implementation. We provide a switch, we have provided even the firewall, Apache, and SolarWinds solutions. So when we are talking about Apache, completely it is taken out first. Then monitoring or patching with iPhones, it is much better. It is very simplified when comparing it to any other product. I think the product doesn't have challenges. I didn't find any challenges with Fortinet Wireless.

What needs improvement?

Documentation could be improved.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using and selling Fortinet Wireless for 13 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have been very happy with the stability of the product.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Fortinet Wireless is very scalable.

How are customer service and technical support?

Once you have a subscription, it works. After that, you open tickets with their technical support. There's no other challenge. We haven't needed to contact technical support as everything is pretty straightforward.

How was the initial setup?

In many of my other previous companies, Fortinet Wireless has been used. I haven't had many challenges. Apart from that, when I became a system integrator, I found that It's really good when comparing it to any other product or it is much better in terms of features that the customer requires.

What about the implementation team?

I have my own team who are satisfied with the product. There are two or three engineers on the team. They normally handle the implementation of Fortinet Wireless.

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

The licensing is all contained in the purchase and implementation. The customer will look at the licensing at purchase and make sure all is in order. All the subscriptions that are relevant for the purchase and maintenance are involved. The implementation will be monitored and have a secure wireless connection.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We have a partnership with Sophos also. But with Sophos, we have a lot of customers, more than with Fortinet. When you compare the features and, reliability and performance, Fortinet is better.

What other advice do I have?

Fortinet Wireless is a very good product, in terms of reliability and in terms of configuration also. I would rate Fortinet wireless at a nine out of ten.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
SB
Syssense at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Real User
Top 20
Overall effective network management, highly reliable, but more feature needed

Pros and Cons

  • "Fortinet FortiWLM is good for tracking assets, monitoring, and overall management."
  • "In the next release, they could improve by adding a controller-less server, or architecture that is provided in other solutions, such as Aruba. This would be a great benefit for customers."

What is our primary use case?

My clients use Fortinet FortiWLM for wireless management in healthcare, hospitality, and office settings.

What is most valuable?

Fortinet FortiWLM is good for tracking assets, monitoring, and overall management.

What needs improvement?

In the next release, they could improve by adding a controller-less server, or architecture that is provided in other solutions, such as Aruba. This would be a great benefit for customers. Additionally, they could improve the feature sets to be more competitive.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is stable and highly reliable. We do not have any complaints from customers.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have currently three clients using this solution.

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

For critical infrastructure in healthcare and government, we find Aruba a better solution for their requirements.

How was the initial setup?

If we are redoing an installation of an existing network are some difficulties but a typical installation is not difficult.

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

There is a perpetual license required for this solution and the price could be reduced.

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend this solution.

I rate Fortinet FortiWLM a seven 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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