Strengths: Feature-rich with a high level of granularity
Weaknesses: A bit pricey
Verdict: A solid product with lots of features, however the price is a bit high
You can deploy the FortiGate 300A device either as a full-service gateway or set it to work transparently with existing firewalls and protection in the network. This device comes with its own firewall, as well as several other features. These features include anti-virus, anti-spam, IPS/IDS, web filtering and VPN. This product can also deal with the problem of P2P and IM applications, as well as be a VoIP gateway.
We have seen this product in a few reviews during the past year and a half and every time it comes into the lab, we learn something new about it. We would have to say that, on the surface, this product seems slightly difficult to manage. However, not surprisingly, the more we work with it, the easier it gets to deal with it. We rate this product average for ease of use.
The main reason this product is somewhat tricky to manage comes down to its massive amount of capability. Everything in this box can be set up with significant granularity and the policies can be as specific or vague as required. We found that this can be a real plus for some organisations, although in some cases this might prove to require too much management overhead.
The documentation for this product is provided in the form of a quick-start guide and a PDF administration guide. The quick-start guide is about the size of a legal-size page but it details set up and deployment options in a clear and organised manner. This guide also includes set-up instructions for using the web GUI, CLI or the front LED panel. The administration guide contains the same level of detail, but is much larger. This PDF guide is well-organised, easy to navigate, and full of pictures, diagrams, screenshots and clear, step-by-step procedures.
Fortinet offers support for this product via a service contract. This is priced at around £1,500 per year for a "complete content" bundle. This package includes support, anti-virus updates, intrusion attack updates, web filtering service and an anti-spam service. The only support tool available at no extra cost is the online knowledge base.
The flexibility and granularity of the FortiGate 300A does not come without a price. The price tag for this product is just about £3,900, plus the annual support cost of almost £1,500. That said, we would say this product represents average value for money.