When choosing a firewall or router for your business, it’s about two things: having features you need and the performance you want. In the market today, a firewall doesn’t just route anymore. The firewall has become the go-to networking device and it comes with a myriad of features and engineering choices which can impact their performance.
SSL or Dial-Up VPN
This business-grade feature allows you to connect to your company’s network through the Internet, complete with a secure connection that is username and password protected. This is a great feature for organizations that have a mobile workforce or telecommuting employees.
Intrusion Protection System (IPS)
An Intrusion Protection System scans all traffic coming into the network, in order to block malicious attacks. This is a vital feature for businesses with a web presence. For example, a commerce site that is down because of an attack can’t generate revenue. The IPS can help prevent unwanted downtime and maintain security.
Web Filtering and Traffic Shaping
For some businesses, it’s important to control bandwidth and employee behavior. If there is limited bandwidth, a company may want to block streaming services like music or YouTube to cut down on bandwidth usage.
Data Loss Prevention
This is a newer feature. The firewall will block attempts to send tagged private files to the internet, which is very valuable to companies that have sensitive corporate data. Data loss prevention in firewalls is a great feature for companies who deal with medical records. Users can’t email out sensitive data or transfer it to an online file share like Dropbox.
Policy-based routes allow you to create more than one path to your destination. This can help with traffic shaping and highly available networks.
There are two basic ways a firewall can be engineered. The first is by outsourcing the chip design. When a vendor buys a chip from a third party, it’s most likely not a chip that is optimized for firewalls. So, in order to make it function well as a firewall, the vendor must add robust software to compensate. The second way is to engineer everything from the ground-up in house. This ensures the hardware is optimal for the task.
The Fortigate 100D and higher models have three main processors, a quad-core Intel Atom CPU, network processor, and content processor. They are masterfully engineered specifically to process network packets, unlike the majority of competitors who just buy general hardware. A Fortigate is made, piece by piece, to be a firewall. Because a Fortigate is optimized for all the features above, it outperforms its competitors.
Better yet, the feature-packed Fortigate series still leads the pack in affordability, both for the hardware and licensing. In fact, it’s an industry leader when it comes to licensing costs, ahead of Cisco, Sonicwall and others — more features come standard with less licensing.