Strengths: Feature rich with a high level of granularity.
Weaknesses: A bit pricey.
Verdict: A solid product with lots of features; the price is a bit high.
The FortiGate-300A can be deployed either as a full service gateway, or transparently to work with existing firewalls and protection in the network. This device brings its own firewall, as well as several other features, including 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 function as a VoIP gateway.
We have seen this product in a few reviews over the last 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, but as we have worked with it more, it has become easier. We rate this product average for ease of use.
The main reason this product is tricky to manage is its massive amount of capability. Everything in this box can be set up with significant granularity, and policies can be as specific or vague as needed. We find that this can be a real plus for some, but in some cases, this might justbe 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-sized page, but it details set-up and deployment options in a clear and organized manner. This guide also includes set-up instructions for using the webGUI, command line interface (CLI), or the front LED panel. The administration guide contains the same level of detail, but is much larger. This PDF guide is well organized, easy to navigate and full of pictures, diagrams, screenshots and clear step-by-step procedures.
Support offered by Fortinet is by service contract. This is priced at $2,922 per year for the Complete Content bundle. This bundle includes support, anti-virus updates, intrusion attack updates, web filtering service and anti-spam service. There is only a knowledge base available at no additional cost.
The FortiGate-300A is priced at $6,495.00. The flexibility and granularity of this product does not come without a price. The price tag for this product is just about $6,500, plus the annual support cost of almost $3,000. We find this product to be an average value for money.