Fortinet FortiGate-60C POE
Strengths: Many easy-to-manage network security features in a box with power over Ethernet ports.
Weaknesses: None that we found.
Verdict: An extremely strong contender, especially for smaller enterprises.
The FortiGate-60C POE offers a combination of the functionality of a security appliance with the capabilities of a power over Ethernet switch. This product can protect the perimeter of the network with a firewall, intrusion prevention system and IPsec and SSL VPN, along with providing direct connectivity to power small ethernet devices and access points. This product also features many network security functions, including web content and URL filtering, application control and anti-virus, along with botnet protection and data leakage protection capabilities.
It can be configured and managed in multiple ways for added flexibility. The FortiGate-60C is compatible with FortiGate's FortiExplorer setup application. This can be run from a Windows- or Mac-based system to easily and quickly configure the appliance using a wizard-based structure. The appliance also can be manually configured without the use of the wizard through the web-based management interface or the command line interface. We chose to run FortiExplorer to configure the appliance. We found this method of setup to be easy to follow and we were up and running within minutes.
For more granular configuration, the web-based management interface can be accessed after the appliance is configured. We found this interface to be quite easy to use overall and a lot less awkward than some of the older versions of the FortiGate interface. It also was intuitive to navigate - we were performing advanced configuration with no trouble at all. Overall, we found this appliance to include many robust and configurable options and features.
Documentation included a short quick-start guide, along with a full administrator guide and a few other pieces of supplemental documentation. The quick-start guide provided simple step-by-step instructions for each of the initial setup scenarios, as well as an overview of the appliance specifications. The administrator guide focuses on configuration and management of the product with many step-by-step instructions and configuration examples. Both guides also included many screen shots and diagrams.
Fortinet offers various levels of support contract lengths and assistance levels. Customers can purchase support in one-, two- or three-year increments and at eight-hours-a-day/five-days-a-week or 24/7 levels. This help includes phone and email technical support, as well as software and firmware updates and hardware replacement in case of failure. Customers also can purchase additional professional services from Fortinet, including on-site visits and dedicated support engineers. Additionally, Fortinet offers a support area online at no cost that includes product documentation, a knowledge base and other resources.
At a price just shy of $2,000, we find this little appliance to be an excellent value for the money. The FortiGate-60C POE offers a full suite of perimeter security features, along with the added functionality of an Ethernet switch to power access points and other devices - all from one easy-to-manage unit. This product offers a comprehensive feature set at a reasonable cost for almost any size environment, but really shines for smaller enterprises.