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Cisco 1841 vs Fortinet 100

Posted on 2007-08-06
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Experts, we are in the process of moving from a ADSL line to full Internet T1 line.  Currently we have a Business Class ADSL line with a maximum download of 1.5, but since we are now been doing some VPN Connections to some remote offices and remote users we would like to move to a Full T1.  We currently have a Fortinet 100 that I am very familiar with its integrated FW, AV, IPS, VPN, Web Filtering, and SPAM Fortiguard service. The ISP provider that is offering the new T1 wanted to sell us a new 1841 Router.  We have an 1841 Router that we can use for this connection.  What are the advantages of upgrading the IOS of the 1841 from IP Base to Secured Advanced and placing the Router as a Gateway Firewall and VPN Router?  Is the performance better on the Cisco Router versus the Fortinet 100?  What would be the advantage if any to make the switch.  Will it allow us to do port forwarding?  Now if we just need a Router to make the connection to the ISP's T1 line then I would just make the 1841 a router and not implement the Firewall and VPN software and still use my Fortinet 100 as my firewall.  I have been looking all around the net to see if I can find a comparison between these two models.  Any input would be greatly appreciated!
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Question by:scopeortho
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Expert Comment

by:Jan Springer
ID: 19646894
My suggestion:

If the Fortinet does want you want, has no open security vulnerabilities and protects your network, use the 1841 just as a router.

I am a fan of the 1841 with both IP Services and as a firewall but I also suggest that people use technology that they have and are familiar with.  The Fortinet offering AV and anti-spam is a plus.

And, if the ISP wants to manage the 1841 for you, definitely keep the firewall software off of it.  That should be internal to your company.
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Author Comment

by:scopeortho
ID: 19648278
Jesper,

Thanks for the response!  I see no problem with adding more "Defense in Depth" by configuring the Firewall on the 1841.  In fact I believe that would be a plus for the company in case we would need a DMZ Zone.  Have the 1841 with Firewall and IPS enabled and then have the Fortinet 100 Firewall for our corporate private network.  I think that is added security.  How would you rate the Firewall and the IPS on the 1841?  Is the IPS an updated configuration by Cisco or do you manuall configure your traps?

I just wanted to know if the Cisco 1841 was better than the Fortinet 100 but since the 1841 does not offer AV and Anti-Spam, then I will keep that as our gateway Firewall.  So I was thinking to have the Network like this:

       |
       |
1841 W/FW and VPN
       |
    DMZ
       |
Fortinet 100 FW
       |
       |
Corporate Network

What is your input?  And what is your experiences with the 1841 as a FW GW and VPN Router?

Dennis
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Jan Springer earned 500 total points
ID: 19648548
if you were to do:

                                       |
                                       |
                               Cisco 1841
                                |                 |
                             |                      |
                         DMZ            Fortinet

it would make more sense.  i personally like the physical and logical layer separation.

the 1841s have performed very well for me in all aspects.  as a vpn router, i've configured both dynamic and static vpns.

the  only thing to watch out for is double-nat -- avoid it (tho I've done it and it can work depending upon your corporate use).

ips signatures can be updated dynamically.  here's a good link that further explains how cisco ips works (read the part about the IPS config determining which signatures to load):

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/netsol/ns731/networking_solutions_white_paper0900aecd80327257.shtml

and, I'm going to take back my statement regarding AV -- Cisco does offer NAC but I've not used it.

overall, I'm very please with this device and the features offered.  I haven't tried the web-based SSL vpn but am planning on doing that in the near future.

did I hit all of your questions?
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Author Comment

by:scopeortho
ID: 19648600
You got all of my questions...

Thanks for the insight jesper!  Great input!  I will take the double NAT into consideration when deploying!  If I have any problems during roll out you'll probably see another posting in EE!

Thanks!
Dennis
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