Fortinet's FortiGate-300A is the company's entry level Enterprise appliance. As with its bigger brothers, its FortiOS operating system comes with antivirus and intrusion prevention as standard, which is regularly updated.

There is also anti-spam and web filtering, with options to manually enter block lists, IP addresses, URLs and keywords.

There is an optional hard disk available, too, which is used to quarantine infected files and save more detailed logs.

The FortiGate-300A also features four Fast Ethernet and two Gigabit Ethernet ports. The configuration is flexible on how these are used, and you can use the ports to provide redundant WAN links or for multiple zones. This allows you to protect your internal network to a higher degree.

Installation is simple and there are three choices for control: a command line interface via the console port, web-based management, or the front control panel and LCD screen.

Once installed on your network, you can use the FortiManager software, designed for large FortiGate installations, or the web-based management.

With just the one FortiGate to control, we opted for the web management. It is neatly laid out and easy to use, although we found it could be slow to update and the initial connection took some time.

Rules are powerful and govern how traffic can flow between port pairs. The default policy allows all traffic out onto the WAN, but nothing else in. Adding your own rules to match your security policy is easy.

In addition to a simple rule, you can also apply traffic shaping and a protection policy. The latter is a user-defined policy that describes which additional services – antivirus and web filtering, for example – you want to run. This means that you are able to devote the scanning power where it is needed.

The FortiGate-300A definitely covers several bases and it is good to see intrusion prevention and antivirus included by default.

However, there is a lot of work involved in getting all of the product's features going, although the web management makes this easy to do.

Product title
Product info
Name: FortiGate-300A (Group Test: SME firewall/VPNs) Description: Price: $6,495
Lots of features and antivirus as standard.
The web filtering and the anti-spam features have to be manually entered.
An appliance that provides all the protection you might need in one box, although it is a lot of work to get it working.

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