FortiGate-300A and FortiAnalyzer-100A
Strengths: The Fortigate appliance paired with the FortiAnalyzer has strong functionality with many tools and filters all in one box. The unit is flexible and customizable.
Weaknesses: The documentation is hard to understand, which makes set up and configuration difficult. It also hinders the user's ability to understand the product's many complex features, which in turn brings down the level at which it can effectively protect the network.
Verdict: Good high-end filtering option if you need a consolidated solution.
This unit is an appliance and is very complex from the moment you take it out of the box and plug it in.
It comes with a quick-start guide, but it lacks consistency with other documentation. For example, we received both the FortiGate and the FortiAnalyzer appliances for our tests. We were able to get the appliances running smoothly by themselves, but when we tried to get them to work together there were many sub-netting and addressing conflicts.
There is an abundant amount of support available from Fortinet. Once you have registered your product, you are given login information to get access to the online web support and also information to access the toll-free phone support. Both forms of support are offered 24/7.
The documentation is provided on a CD that includes all documentation for all models of the FortiGate product line, which leaves users to find their specific model in a jumble of PDF files. Once the correct model has been found, the user finds that the PDF is hundreds of pages long and the table of contents not very specific.
The FortiGate contains many other features beyond web filters. It allows the user to set up VPNs, control access to areas of the network though firewalls, and configure many different types of filters. Filters for the appliance include web content, URL, spam, email, peer-to-peer, and instant messagers, such as AOL AIM and Yahoo. It contains its own pre-installed blacklists that are updateable over the internet, or users can import their own customized blacklists and create custom profiles specific to the needs of their network.
This appliance is a good buy for medium to larger organizations looking for an all-around gateway and filtering tool. Though difficult to set up and configure, it performs many tasks in a single box and is able to keep logs organized and easily accessible in one place.