Fortinet FortiGate vs. Windows Server

Overview
ProductRatingMost Used ByProduct SummaryStarting Price
FortiGate
Score 8.7 out of 10
N/A
FortiNet FortiGate is a firewall option with high integrability. It offers a variety of deployment options and next-gen firewall capabilities, including integration with IaaS cloud platforms and public cloud environments.N/A
Windows Server
Score 8.5 out of 10
N/A
N/AN/A
Pricing
Fortinet FortiGateWindows Server
Editions & Modules
No answers on this topic
No answers on this topic
Offerings
Pricing Offerings
FortiGateWindows Server
Free Trial
YesNo
Free/Freemium Version
NoNo
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
NoNo
Entry-level Setup FeeNo setup feeNo setup fee
Additional DetailsFortiGate pricing starts at $250 for home office use, up to $300,000 for large enterprise appliances. Must contact sales team for pricing.
More Pricing Information
Community Pulse
Fortinet FortiGateWindows Server
Considered Both Products
FortiGate
Chose Fortinet FortiGate
FortiGates are more professional and offer a robust command line.
Chose Fortinet FortiGate
FortiGate has a strong offering at a very competitive price point. I like that with your subscription you get access to all of the pieces, and that features aren't arbitrarily turned off unless you buy a specific license or bundle. For what you get for the price, it's really …
Chose Fortinet FortiGate
My main experience with competitors is with Check Point. Though on first look Check Point is cheaper, really if you compare correctly using the real-time throughput available to both you will see that Fortinet Fortigate will usually cover you with a lower level device which …
Chose Fortinet FortiGate
When you talk about firewalling, the competitors are the usual big names (Cisco and Check Point). Both of them are (in my opinion) more costly and more complex to manage. If we talk about other security threats, as I said, having one device able to do (almost) everything is a …
Windows Server
Chose Windows Server
We have various servers or appliances that run on various flavors of Linux that do their jobs well, but we configure and manage them very lightly at the OS level. Most of the admin on these devices is sone inside the applications themselves. We don't shy away from new …
Chose Windows Server
We were comparing Windows Server with Hyper-V to VMware ESXi, and decided on Windows Server as we are primarily a Windows server/workstation shop, and the familiarity allowed us to spin up new Hyper-V servers quickly without much additional training required. We also have a …
Top Pros
Top Cons
Features
Fortinet FortiGateWindows Server
Firewall
Comparison of Firewall features of Product A and Product B
Fortinet FortiGate
9.0
37 Ratings
5% above category average
Windows Server
-
Ratings
Identification Technologies9.135 Ratings00 Ratings
Visualization Tools8.835 Ratings00 Ratings
Content Inspection8.436 Ratings00 Ratings
Policy-based Controls9.037 Ratings00 Ratings
Active Directory and LDAP9.336 Ratings00 Ratings
Firewall Management Console9.337 Ratings00 Ratings
Reporting and Logging8.437 Ratings00 Ratings
VPN9.637 Ratings00 Ratings
High Availability9.232 Ratings00 Ratings
Stateful Inspection9.135 Ratings00 Ratings
Proxy Server8.827 Ratings00 Ratings
Best Alternatives
Fortinet FortiGateWindows Server
Small Businesses
WatchGuard Network Security
WatchGuard Network Security
Score 9.3 out of 10
Debian OS
Debian OS
Score 9.5 out of 10
Medium-sized Companies
WatchGuard Network Security
WatchGuard Network Security
Score 9.3 out of 10
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server
Score 9.3 out of 10
Enterprises
Virtualized Next-Generation Firewalls - VM Series
Virtualized Next-Generation Firewalls - VM Series
Score 9.5 out of 10
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server
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Score 9.3 out of 10
All AlternativesView all alternativesView all alternatives
User Ratings
Fortinet FortiGateWindows Server
Likelihood to Recommend
9.1
(63 ratings)
8.5
(62 ratings)
Likelihood to Renew
9.9
(4 ratings)
3.4
(5 ratings)
Usability
10.0
(6 ratings)
5.4
(6 ratings)
Availability
10.0
(4 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
Performance
10.0
(2 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
Support Rating
8.7
(49 ratings)
4.0
(31 ratings)
In-Person Training
10.0
(1 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
Implementation Rating
8.0
(8 ratings)
3.1
(4 ratings)
Configurability
9.0
(1 ratings)
9.0
(1 ratings)
Ease of integration
7.0
(1 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
Product Scalability
9.8
(2 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
Vendor post-sale
10.0
(1 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
Vendor pre-sale
9.0
(1 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
User Testimonials
Fortinet FortiGateWindows Server
Likelihood to Recommend
Fortinet
For FortiGate Firewall, the basic functionality and requirement is met easily as Fortigate is among market leaders in NGFW. There are some extra points that inclined us to use Fortigate as our main Firewall. [Fortinet]Fortigate has a very well refined and functional SD-WAN solution when it comes to load balancing for normal Internet Traffic. SD-WAN - Load balancing of Internet traffic is a USP of Fortigate and makes it stand tall in the competition. Be it 3 or more Internet Links, multiple Subnets/segments of users to distribute and bandwidth load balancing for links and users. SLA based monitoring of Internet Links / MPLS links, makes it even better to choose the links on the basis of performance (Latency, packet loss, Jitter etc). SSL VPN configuration - The deep CLI-level debugging is also very helpful in troubleshooting. Type of tunnel can be easily configured - Full Tunnel or Split Tunnel for SSL. Though, I think Fortigate is one of the best options for small and mid-sized organizations, there are some areas for improvement. First, the CLI interface is very hard to adapt as the commands and directory hierarchy is very different for common syntax and standards.
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Microsoft
If you have one user or 1000's of users (especially using Windows), Windows Server is a no-brainer! The only reason I would suggest going with a Linux server is if you have old hardware (Windows Server is more process intensive than Linux). But, Linux is open-source, so anyone can publish updates/security updates, but on the flip side, malicious people also have full access to Linux's codebase allowing for much easier writing of exploitations/viruses/malware/ransomware.
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Pros
Fortinet
  • It is the most reliable NGFW that we have ever been touch with it.
  • You can easily upgrade the firewall cluster firmware without user attention!!!
  • User IDentity based feature is fantastic and intrusion prevention just works with least false-positive possible.
  • Very reachfull and intuitive GUI, just love it
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Microsoft
  • Easy to use due to its intuitive graphical user interface.
  • Very popular and makes integration easier.
  • Lots of software drivers available.
  • Has many functionalities such as Active Directory, DNS, DHCP, VPN, RDP, VDI server, etc.
  • Many patches and updates available. Maybe abit too much too often.
  • Cost effective and with budget.
  • Remote desktop feature simplifies remote access to this server.
  • It has a built in VPN and ssl certificate feature.
  • Event viewer is available for alerts, although it seems too cumbersome to go through the logs.
  • If you got too many Windows systems to manage, then SCCM is an option.
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Cons
Fortinet
  • When we switched to Fortinet Fortigate, it took some time getting used to and become familiar with the new interface. Being used to strictly command-line interfaces, a full GUI-based firewall was something brand new. Careful planning had to be done when creating rules to ensure we didn't miss anything. However, once we got used to the new GUI interface, going from one Fortinet product to another was simple, as Fortinet used the same interface for all of its devices.
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Microsoft
  • DHCP Server could be better - we use the router for DHCP Routing
  • Print Server - not a fan of using the server as a print server since you have to license it. Direct access to printers via IP addresses is a much more efficient way to go
  • Better backup program - we utilize a third-party program that gives us more flexibility when restoring individual files.
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Likelihood to Renew
Fortinet
Fortinet's products have kept improving with new software releases and they continue to deliver great value. Their support is also very good. I believe that as a small enterprise, their products have given us competitive advantage delivering features and functionality that enable us to innovate and do things better. They also continue to be a leader in the markets they serve.
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Microsoft
I've carefully reviewed the servers and services currently running on Windows Server 2012, and given the opportunity would renew them as is going forward. There are two systems I currently have in place, one is a very large Linux implementation for a large ecommerce site, and one is a very large backup solution front ended by FTP servers running Linux. Neither are well suited for Windows, but the overall network infrastructure is and will be Windows Server for the foreseeable future.
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Usability
Fortinet
The user interface shared among many simultaneous users is very easy to get around. With shared favorites among users, most tasks are easily bookmarked and can quickly be found and edited. Their strategy for web filter integration is easy to understand and manage as well. With some general direction, setup and maintenance were easy to do and easy to teach others in the organization to do as well.
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Microsoft
There are simply too many different parts of Windows Server to make it a cohesive piece of software. While some of the newer features found in Windows Server 2012 and 2016 have nice UIs that are logically laid out, there are enough parts of the system that is still based on old code with clunky UIs and confusing options to make Windows Server a particularly user-friendly experience.
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Reliability and Availability
Fortinet
We had didn't any hardware failures at our two main office locations and upgraded our units last year after using them for about 5-6 years
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Microsoft
No answers on this topic
Performance
Fortinet
Good performance and really good integration. We have integration with Microsoft AD.
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Microsoft
No answers on this topic
Support Rating
Fortinet
We live in Turkey. Fortinet's Turkey office [dealt] constantly with us in our every problem or our experience. In addition, global support teams also supported every ticket we opened in every problem we encountered. They support innovative approaches and evaluate and offer solutions. In this context, they were very supportive of the problems we encountered in previous versions.
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Microsoft
Microsoft's support is hugely wide-ranging from articles online to having to contact them directly for the more serious issues. In recent years when I have contacted them directly, I have found the support o be excellent as I have found myself connected to very knowledgeable people in the field in which I needed the support. The online support available is vast and I tend to find most of the time that there is always someone out there who has had the same issue as me in the past and knows something about how to resolve it! This is the advantage of using industry standard and long-established systems such as Windows Server.
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In-Person Training
Fortinet
I received it a couple years afters use it and it was just to confirm my knowledge about the tool.
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Microsoft
No answers on this topic
Implementation Rating
Fortinet
Make sure that you have the most current version of FortiOS. Make sure all Fortigates are on the same version
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Microsoft
Make sure that you have detailed processes in place for every server instance you plan to install/upgrade, if possible get the base OS loaded and Windows Updates applied ahead of time, and if using a VM take a snapshot prior to installing each role, as well as along the way.
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Alternatives Considered
Fortinet
[Fortinet] FortiGate is not only cost effective but it gives the comprehensive security against the APT attacks and gives the complete traffic visibility and granular control. You can easily create the VDOMs (Virtual firewall) within a Fortigate firewall and customize the dashboard as per your requirement if you have multiple VDOMs within a single firewall.
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Microsoft
I didn't use any other system which gives the same functionality and I am not aware of any. The full integration between all components and especially the ability to integrate mail via Exchange or even via a hybrid setup with the Ofice365 cloud, including the ability to directly manage the cloud from the server, using Power Shell, is something I didn't see anywhere else.
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Scalability
Fortinet
My environments are pretty small (less than 100 users per location) so no issues here.
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Microsoft
No answers on this topic
Return on Investment
Fortinet
  • Fortigates have an interesting bundle model for support and subscription services that make it an attractive option to deploy Firewall, IDS, Ant-virus, anti-SPAM in a single device. The cost of the bundle is pretty much what you pay for the device, not requiring huge expenditures on it's time to renew the hardware.
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Microsoft
  • Because of our Microsoft Campus Agreement, Windows products are fairly affordable for us and that has been a huge blessing. We are considering some Azure cloud options and some of that is covered under our Campus Agreement, making it a nice incentive to start migrating certain apps and functionality to the cloud
  • I don't have access to our budgets so I cannot give a good answer as far as the impact of ROI on our institution, but if your company can afford it, you cannot go wrong with Windows server. Not having to send your sys admins to Linux or Unix school alone is a big savings as well as not having to train your staff on using a Linux desktop instead of a Windows-based one.
  • The compatibility with end users of all varieties and platforms will definitely impact your ROI in a positive way. We have Apple users, Android, Windows, and even a few Linux end users on our campus and Windows server works quite well with all of them.
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