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Fortinet Unit Shines For Wi-Fi

Wireless hot spots are popping up all over the place, which is great news for mobile workers. They do, however, come with a significant downside: low security. The very nature of sharing a wireless connection with an unknown number of anonymous users opens up a computer or mobile device,and any data accessed by them,to possible attacks.

What's more, the issue of whether to host a wireless hot spot raises a significant question of legal responsibility. Although the courts have yet to test the liability issue, hot-spot operators should still be concerned if they are not taking adequate steps to protect their customers from viruses, worms and the occasional hacker. Those concerns spell opportunities for solution providers building public-access Wi-Fi networks.


Technology Editor

Fortinet's FortiWiFi 60 integrated security system aims to combine complete, realtime, enterprise-level network protection with wireless access points. The unit seamlessly integrates network-based antivirus protection, a stateful packet inspection (SPI) firewall, content filtering, VPN, intrusion detection and prevention, and traffic shaping into a single solution.

About the size of a typical access point, the FortiWiFi 60 provides dual WAN-link support for redundant Internet connections, an integrated four-port switch and two USB 2.0 ports that can be used for dial-up modem connections. The FortiResponse Network provides continuous updates for the unit's integrated antivirus engine and content-filtering service. The FortiWiFi 60 costs $1,195.

CRN Test Center engineers attached the FortiWiFi 60 to a broadband cable connection. Several notebooks with 802.11b wireless networking capability were used as client PCs.

Installation was straightforward. The quick-start guide and setup wizard make simple work of deployment, and default settings offer sufficient protection for most networks.

The unit can be configured to work in one of two modes. The NAT/route mode will configure the unit to function as the primary router and security appliance for a network. The transparent mode allows the unit to work with an existing router and broadband connection and can be used to add the unit to a preconfigured network that already offers broadband connections and other services such as DHCP.

One of the FortiWiFi 60's biggest strengths is its policies capabilities. Administrators can craft specific policies around particular access needs.

The unit's integrated content-filtering service offers a good solution for both education and corporate environments. Content-filtering rules and policies can be set up to prevent access to certain sites based on URLs, categories and ratings. The unit's security elements are all ICSA labs-certified.

On the wireless side, the unit supports both 802.11b and 802.11g connectivity. By default, it deploys WEP encryption to secure wireless traffic. Support for the improved WPA standard is available by download.

Fortinet's FortiPartner Program is divided into three levels, based on a solution provider's commitment to the vendor. Solution providers can enjoy margins as high as 30 percent. Fortinet also offers marketing funds, a partner Web portal containing tools and information, complimentary sales training and access to sales and marketing support personnel.


COMPANY: Fortinet
Sunnyvale, Calif.
(408) 235-7700
DISTRIBUTORS: Alternative Technology, Westcon


Note: Vendors can earn up to five stars for technical merit and five for their channel program. If the average of these two scores is four stars or greater, the product earns CRN Test Center Recommended status.

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