Fortinet FortiGate 60F: A fully-featured security appliance

The entry-level UTM appliance offers excellent cloud management and monitoring services

Price
£1,753 exc VAT (appliance with 3yr UTP bundle)
  • Impressive breadth of features
  • Reasonable price
  • Customisable security services
  • No built-in Wi-Fi

The FortiGate 60F sits in the middle of Fortinet’s entry-level range of UTM appliances and it hits a tempting sweet spot, offering a great specification at a price that SMBs will find very palatable.

That starts with connectivity. While there’s no built-in Wi-Fi, the 60F is flush with wired connections: along with five Gigabit LAN ports, it has two ports for WAN and failover services, as well as a dedicated DMZ connector. Two additional sockets can be used to manage locally attached FortiSwitch units, or as extra LAN ports. There’s enough performance to cope with a good number of clients too: thanks to Fortinet’s proprietary security processing unit (SPU), the appliance claims a hefty raw firewall throughput of 10Gbits/sec.

A range of subscription tiers allows you to pick which security services you want. The bare unit costs around £600, while the price above covers the appliance and a three-year UTP bundle, which enables IPS, malware detection, email and web security, anti-spam and app controls, topped off with full FortiCare support.

Deployment is up to you: you can launch a wizard from the local web console or use the FortiCloud portal to set the appliance up from the cloud. We chose neither, opting instead to attach an iPad to the appliance’s USB port and use the FortiExplorer iOS app to configure it, register it, and upgrade the firmware. 

There’s an impressive breadth of features on hand, some of which are very simple to configure; antivirus profiles merely define the protocols you want scanned and let you specify whether you want infections removed or quarantined. Firewall policies are more complex, bringing together source, destination, schedule, service, and action objects. 

Fortinet FortiGate 60F ports

For web filtering, Fortinet uses its own FortiGuard database, which divides the web into eight main site types comprising 89 subcategories. You can choose to block or allow entire categories or subcategories of site, enable logging, apply usage quotas, enforce authentication, and optionally use the FortiSandbox service to have any downloads analysed in the cloud to catch potential threats that aren’t already known to the antivirus module.

Similarly, Fortinet provides over 2,000 application control signatures for general business apps and a further 106 cloud-specific ones. Policies can be set to monitor and log app usage, limit bandwidth usage through traffic shaping or block unwanted activities entirely.

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All of this can be monitored from the local console, which displays customisable dashboards covering security, network services, users, devices and details of wireless activity for any Fortinet APs the appliance is managing. However, where the 60F really shines is cloud management: a free account provides traffic and app visibility, cloud provisioning, and predefined reports, along with a rolling seven-day activity log. Everything that can be done from the local console can equally be achieved from here, and any Fortinet cloud-managed wireless APs and switches you may be using slot into the same interface as well.

Even better, the appliance ties in with Fortinet’s Security Fabric ecosystem, which provides a single point of management and monitoring for all Fortinet devices. After installing the FortiAnalyzer app on a Hyper-V host and authorising it with the appliance, we were able to use the app’s FortiView web console to gain a complete overview of all threats, web and app usage, compromised hosts, and much more.

The FortiGate 60F provides the most comprehensive range of security measures we’ve seen in an SMB-level appliance – yet it’s easy to deploy and reasonably priced. Factor in Fortinet’s irreproachable remote management features and you’re looking at a very persuasive appliance.

Fortinet FortiGate 60F specifications

Chassis

Fanless desktop chassis

Network

10 x Gigabit Ethernet (2 x WAN, 5 x LAN, DMZ, 2 x FortiLink)

Other ports

USB 3, RJ-45 serial port

Management

Local console, cloud management

Dimensions (WDH)

216 x 160 x 39mm

Weight

1kg

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