Fortinet FortiClient 5.0 for Windows
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 of a FortiGate appliance. While these clients can run independent of an appliance, the true management capability is done through the appliance. The 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 the FortiGate appliance for management.
We found installation to be quite straightforward and simple. For central management to be effective, the first ingredient to deploy is the FortiGate appliance. This is a full-scale unified threat management (UTM) appliance from Fortinet and can be purchased in a number of different configurations. Once the FortiGate appliance is deployed, 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 of the client can be easily done through the FortiGate's web-based management interface.
As stated above, the central management capability of this product is enabled via the addition of the FortiGate appliance. Similarly, to get a lot of the tool's reporting capability, customers must add on the FortiAnalyzer for advanced reporting. While we found the FortiClient to be quite good on its own, for it to be relevant in the enterprise environment, centralized management and reporting are key functions which must be present. With that said, 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. This covered how to configure and deploy the tool throughout the network and included many step-by-step instructions along with configuration examples and many screen shots.
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 the FortiClient is broken down into several categories. The 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 license, they receive 10 FortiClient licenses included in the purchase price.
We found this product to be a 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.