Fortinet Antivirus Review 2020 - Not What It Seems, But Still Good

4.1
GOOD
Ranked 22nd from 55 antivirus companies
Ranked 22nd from 55 antivirus companies
Maggie Lawrance
Published on: 04/03/2020

Detailed Expert Review

FortiClient is a well-known enterprise security tool made by the same company that produces the FortiGate network security appliance. I tested FortiClient 6.0 to see whether it was a simple but powerful enough internet security solution on my home Windows machine—without running it within an enterprise security environment. And while the results weren’t what I expected, it still lived up to its reputation.

 

Security

The FortiClient tool is designed to be used within an Enterprise Management Server (EMS) which provides centrally managed networked antivirus protection to endpoints. However, it also works as a standalone solution. FortiClient is more than capable of providing quality protection on its own.

When used this way, the core system component becomes the built-in vulnerability scanner, thoroughly seeking out known and unknown vulnerabilities.

Security

In addition, both TCP and UDP ports are probed to make sure that the system is running a basic firewall—more advanced firewall configurations, however, need to be made by the system administrator. Definitions and updates under the default setup are coming from FortiGate running FortiOS 6.0. For those that want to connect to a managed security network, the “Compliance & Telemetry” screen makes it easy to input the network IP and get hooked up to the EMS server.

In terms of scanning, the program checks for vulnerabilities in Microsoft programs, third-party tools, and popular browsers like Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox, among other programs. After it has run, the vulnerability scan also produces a clean color-coded output screen that shows what has been detected. To test the protection, I loaded a couple of malware-laden third-party toolbars to Firefox and these were picked up on by the system as expected.

Features

In addition to the vulnerability scanner tool, the program also includes a useful ‘remote access’ tool that allow users to configure VPN connections. This is effectively a full-fledged VPN connection editor for creating outbound connections.

Features

Users can configure both SSL-VPN and IPsec VPN connections here and edit client certificate and authentication settings. For those that need to use a VPN to access their corporate internet networks, the remote access tool will be a welcome addition.

Ease of use

When used as a self-managed solution, FortiClient is a very easy program to use as the app simply runs off the default scanning and firewall configurations provided by FortiGate. Used this way, the program’s core components—the EMS configuration module and vulnerability scanner—can both be set up in literally a couple of clicks.

Ease of use

Given the limited range of areas within the program, the settings page isn’t complicated. Users do have some useful options, however, such as the ability to enable a VPN connection before logon and configure which services will be included in the program’s log. In addition, under the ‘Notifications’ tab, the system provides a complete log of all program-generated notifications. This can be useful for debugging the tool.

I chose to download the executable program for Windows 10, although it’s also available as an App from the Microsoft Store. Linux users will appreciate the fact that FortiClient comes available as pre-compiled .deb and .rpm packages—so no advanced knowledge is needed to get up and running.

Support

Those that are taking advantage of the free download can still use the company’s online support knowledge base.

Support

There’s also an active discussion forum as well as a comprehensive video library. Although much of the Fortinet support library is geared towards training system administrators in how to use the company’s tools (Fortinet offers its own product certification program), there are some tutorials, such as how to configure an IPSec VPN connection, that are applicable to the home user.

Pricing

FortiClient is available as a free download for Windows, MacOSX, Linux, (Ubuntu, Red Hat, CentOS), iOS, and Android. Enterprise customers will naturally also need to purchase the FortiClient Enterprise Management Server (EMS) which is tiered based on the number of endpoints served. There are no “catches” or limitations when using the tool as I did, however, so this makes it a great option for those in need of basic vulnerability protection.

Fortinet Products & Pricing

FortiClient
Bottom Line

FortiClient can be used to provide vulnerability scanning and configure outbound VPN connections. Given that it’s designed to be used as an endpoint to an Enterprise Management Service (EMS), users shouldn’t expect too much in the way of features and customizations, but it’s a more-than-workable solution. Plus, who can argue with the price?

About the Author

Maggie Lawrance
Maggie Lawrance
Cybersecurity expert

About the Author

Maggie is a software reviewer and tech expert. Her primary interest is in cybersecurity, and she's well-versed in all the ways to stay safe online. She also works as a social activist to improve the online community overall.

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Fortinet User Reviews

1 2
Based on 3 reviews in 2 languages 1.7
Language
You can trust the Community! Companies can't ask us to delete or change user reviews.
Richard Benfatto
Richard Benfatto
Australia
4.0
Quite a good product
Windows User
I use it in my Linux Mint 19.3 and used it under windows in the past 12 months.
I have a Fortigate FG30U, brilliant product. With this endpoint, as 10 licences are included with the appliance; is a good value for money.
Now I also have WIN 2016 Datacentre server running with latest Symantec Endpoint Security. This Symantec product is 12 out of 10 ! PERIOD ! Yes, it is.
So, I am not saying that Forticlient is bad, but if I were to choose I would go for Symantec. But as Fortigate appliance, itself, that product is one of the best.
fuckyouforitnet
fuckyouforitnet
United States
0.5
Absolute shitstain of a program written like a virus to be unable to be uninstalled.
Windows User
They remove the uninstall button from control panel and force users to use work arounds to remove their shitstain of a program. The fortinetclient was a fucking joke to work with.
user avatar
BCS fuckyouforitnet
I think you might have got your knickers in a bit of a knot there. After installing you need to re-start your PC, and the full uninstall function is available from control panel.
The program is exceptionally functional and works very well as both a stand-alone agent and an enterprise end-point.
user avatar
fuckyoufortinet BCS
The uninstall button reappears after reboot until to say that it requires a reboot to fix system files before allowing uninstall. When you reboot only the repair button shows in a cycle of boot looping garbage. I ended up removing...Show More

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