Starts at $8,000
Strengths: Great device for the price; Complete feature set with a lot of promise.
Weaknesses: None that we found.
Verdict: FortiGate products have come a long way and the FortiGate 501E shines above the competition. If you are looking for a mid to large enterprise level Firewall that packs a punch with competitive pricing, check this out.
The management interface is very clean and easy to navigate, the menus are very fluid, and options are easy to locate - just as you would expect them to be. Staff with no experience can easily navigate and create basic policies since this functionality is very intuitive. When you first login you land on the Dashboard, which offers a customizable view of what is important to you. The nice part about the dashboard is that every widget is customizable, so it is easily tailored to suit your needs. There are a few products out there that don't offer this level of flexibility, so depending on your use case, this simple addition could be helpful. Multiple dashboards can be configured to meet your specific needs. Each offers different layouts, one that scales appropriately to the screen size, while the other is more static and better suited for a Network Operations Center.
One of the main features where Fortinet products shine is the Fortinet Security Fabric. Fortinet uses an architectural framework that unifies the security technologies deployed across an organizations network. This approach, which includes multi-cloud, endpoints, email, web applications, and network access points, encompasses and collects all that technology into a single security system that is designed as an integrated and collaborative security fabric.
We found that the 501E to be very efficient on resources while having the ability to handle large volumes of traffic. It also has the ability to run packets through many filters including DNS, URL, SSL-inspection and antivirus which will protect endpoints while enforcing company policies. The FortiGate web filtering feature is standard on most firewalls, and after testing various websites in multiple categories the filter performed as expected and did not let one web site through.
The price for this appliance is very competitive compared to others in the mid-to-large enterprise space. There are multiple support options that scale to meet the needs of most organizations. One of the more popular bundles for UTM protection includes NGFW Application Control, IPS, Web Filtering, Antivirus, antispam, and core FortiCare support services. UTM bundled licensing offers 8x5 support for $4200 or 24x7 for $5200. The Enterprise protection bundles also offer 8x5 support for $6400, or 24x7 for $7200 with all the FortiGuard security services, which is a step-up from the standard UTM bundle.
- Matt Hreben with Dan Cure;
tested by Matt Hreben and Michael Diehl