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If you're looking for top security at a good price point, Fortinet should be on your evaluation list. Fortinet's FortiGate firewalls offer strong security at a good price point, making them one of the most popular firewall vendors and a frequent finalist on enterprise shortlists. Gartner named the company one of three leaders in its Enterprise Network Firewall Magic Quadrant, along with Palo Alto and Check Point. Fortinet backed up that high rating in NSS Labs tests, where the firewalls received high marks for security effectiveness, performance and value.
Fortinet was founded in 2000. The company launched its first FortiGate firewall in 2002, and completed its IPO in 2009. The company offers network security appliances for carriers, data centers, enterprises and distributed offices.
FortiGate next-generation firewalls provide high performance, multilayered security and deep visibility for end-to-end protection across the enterprise network. Its purpose-built security processors (SPUs) deliver scalable performance and low latency. Security services from FortiGuard Labs provide threat intelligence updates and automated mitigation. The firewalls integrate with other Fortinet security products for the network, endpoint, application, data center, cloud, and access layer as well as third-party solutions. They run on the FortiOS operating system.
Security and performance: Tops. NSS Labs tested the FortiGate 500E and gave it a 99.3% security effectiveness rating, behind only Forcepoint among products tested. Performance was a strong 6,753 Mbps.
Value: Tops. NSS Labs gave Fortinet a $2 TCO per protected Mbps, the best value among all the products the firm tested.
Implementation: Very good. Users report relatively easy implementation and integration.
Management: Very good. Reporting gets high marks, and most users report that the product is easy to use. Centralized and cloud management are areas for improvement.
One user reports: "The graphical interface of the FortiOS makes it look like an easy to use tool. This perception is true if you are going to do a really limited use of the appliance. However, it could create a false sense of confidence in using something that is really complex."
Support: Good. Without direct vendor support, customers are dependent on the quality of their channel partner.
Cloud features: Good. Fortinet has lagged competitors in this area, but recent offerings for AWS and Google Cloud show the company gaining ground.
FortiGate firewalls leverage machine learning-based threat intelligence from FortiGuard Labs and feature deep analytics through FortiAnalyzer. They can also be integrated with FortiSandbox to automatically generate local threat intelligence to secure against new zero-day and advanced threats.
Options include hardware appliance (on-premises and managed), virtual machine, cloud (private, public and hybrid), and Security-as-a-Service.
Entry-level hardware appliances start at around $500, and high-end enterprise pricing can reach $350,000 in the case of the 7060E-8. Pricing includes base pricing for hardware and services, which include FortiGuard subscription licenses and FortiCare support options. Hardware and services can be purchased as bundles or individually (a la carte). Virtual machine and cloud offerings follow a similar pricing model.
For more analysis of Fortinet firewalls, see Sophos XG vs Fortinet FortiGate: Top NGFWs Compared