troubleshooting Question

Seek Help Finalizing Selection of Fortinet NGFW for Home Office

Avatar of Chip Levinson
Chip LevinsonFlag for United States of America asked on
Hardware FirewallsRansomware* NGFWNetworkingSecurity
8 Comments1 Solution24 ViewsLast Modified:
I have been looking into replacing my Juniper Networks SSG5 firewall that I use in my home and have decided to go with one of the entry level NGFW from Fortinet.  In particular, I am thinking about the FortiGate 40F and the FortiWifi 40F (although I am open to other models).

The SSG5 was purchased about 10 years ago to 1) allow me to separate and isolate my home-based business network from my home personal computers used by family members, and 2) to protect a file server and a web server.  The web server is no longer there, so I no longer get many hits on my network from all over the world.  I still want to have separate home and work zones, however.  The SSG5 is not only old, it is slow.  It only supports 100 Mbps so it is a huge bottleneck to the 400 Mbps I pay for from my ISP.

My usage is very small in comparison to what any of the Fortinet products support. Unless I am mistaken, I should not care about concurrent sessions, new connections per second or firewall latency as I will never come close to stressing the lowest-end model offered. Due to my ISP limitation and small number of endpoints (less than 10), I also doubt I will ever come close to the multi Gbps throughput any of these models offer.

I am leaning towards the 40F vs the 40E because I like the idea of application specific filtering (being able to block whatsapp, etc). I also want this new unit to last about 10 years so buying current generation products makes sense. I would seriously conisder a 30F (or 20F), but do not think they offer those models.

Here are my questions:
1. Should I get wifi version?  I DEFINITELY need wifi in my home and this has been a HUGE challenge for a number of years.  The firewall is located at one end of the house in a server closet in a well insulated room. The wifi signal is always weak outside my office and upstairs. My current solution is to have a Netgear Orbi connected to my ISP modem and a satellite located in the family room. Our wifi performance is spotty, we get a lot of drops and have to frequently reset the Orbi.

I like the idea of having all traffic to my wifi devices pass through my NGFW device for security (right now my wifi sits in front of my SSG5). If I go with a FortiWifi 40F, how can I boost the signals in the rest of the house?  Can I somehow use the two Orbi routers as boosters and not routers (access points) to give me better wifi coverage?  They would be on my home network which I currently have assigned to IP 192.168.3.X.  I would like to be able to take an iPad that is connected to wifi in my office and walk outside my office and go upstairs to any bedroom and never lose my internet connection. Or will the Orbi end up creating its own network so that the iPad must switch from the FortiWifi to the Orbi as I leave the office?  If the Orbis cannot work the way I want, what is a good Wifi booster to use with the FortiWifi?

2) Please confirm that each of the three Gigabit ports on the unit can be programmed into its own zone with its one rules.

3) Does this NGFW protect against ransomeware? How important is it to get Fortigate UTM protection (which I think costs $300-$400 a year on these units)?

4. Any suggestion where to buy?  Is it OK to buy from Amazon or should I buy from a firewall dealer?

Thank you!

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