Strengths: Solid endpoint security add-on for FortiGate environments
Weaknesses: May require customers to replace already existing equipment for central management capability
Verdict: Solid FortiNet quality – with the caveat that one needs the FortiGate to manage the product in an enterprise
FortiClient from Fortinet is an endpoint security client designed to be deployed alongside FortiGate. While these clients can run independent of an appliance, the true management capability is done through it.
FortiClient provides anti-virus and malware protection, web content filtering, application firewall, vulnerability management and virtual private network (VPN) connectivity. These clients can be easily deployed throughout the network onto Microsoft Windows machines and then be registered with FortiGate for management.
We found installation to be quite straightforward and simple. For central management to be effective, the first ingredient to deploy is FortiGate. This is a full-scale unified threat management (UTM) appliance from Fortinet and can be purchased in a number of different configurations. Once set up, the clients can be easily deployed through Microsoft Active Directory Group Policy, and subsequently be registered with the appliance. Once a client is registered, all management can easily be done through the FortiGate's web-based management interface.
As well as use of FortiGate for central management, to get a lot of the tool's reporting capability, customers must add on the FortiAnalyzer for advanced reporting. While we found FortiClient to be quite good on its own, for it to be relevant in the enterprise environment, centralised management and reporting are key functions that must be present. For customers who already have Fortinet devices in place, or customers looking to add a new UTM or gateway to their network, this product is an excellent way of managing security at the endpoint.
Documentation included a full administrator guide for the FortiClient, which covered how to configure and deploy the tool throughout the network and included many step-by-step instructions, configuration examples and screenshots.
Fortinet offers customers three levels of cost-based support, including 24/7 aid, eight-hours-a-day/five-days-a-week enhanced assistance and a premium tier. Each level includes various access to phone- and email-based technical help.
Pricing for FortiClient is broken down into several categories. FortiClient can be used at no cost in a standalone mode that is not registered with a FortiGate appliance. When a customer purchases a FortiGate appliance licence, they receive 10 FortiClient licences included in the purchase price.
We found FortiClient to be great value for the money for customers who are looking to purchase a UTM gateway, or for customers who already have compatible Fortinet products deployed. If, on the other hand, one already has a gateway that is not Fortinet-compatible, the value may be less than otherwise expected for these enterprise environments.