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FortiExtender: Secure LTE Wireless WAN Extender

Providing LTE Connectivity for Reliable Broadband Access to the Internet

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Available in:
  • Appliance
FortiExtender

Less Than 99% Is Never Acceptable

The number of connected devices organizations need to manage is growing rapidly, and new technologies such as SD-WAN and 5G are transforming the way businesses operate. Establishing and maintaining internet connectivity across an increasingly distributed environment is critical for business execution and competitiveness, but it can be a challenge for conventional networking approaches. These challenges include:

  • Networks are sprawling and the number of connected devices is growing
  • Continuous connectivity is critical for business continuity and competitiveness
  • Cable/DSL also offers less than 99.999% uptime—and it can’t be deployed everywhere
  • MPLS networks are costly and not scalable for current business needs
 

Extend Connectivity and Improve Network Availability

Deploying a secondary WAN connection helps ensure connectivity. The FortiExtender appliance uses LTE connectivity and the cellular infrastructure to provide broadband speeds that can be used in a failover or load-balancing configuration. For those locations without wired broadband options, FortiExtender can also serve as the primary Internet connection, enabling reliable connectivity for heavy-branch, remote, and mobile networks.

FortiExtender can also be leveraged to extend the Fortinet Security Fabric and other existing network infrastructure investments in a way the Cable/DSL simply cannot support. And with FortiExtender Cloud, organizations can centrally manage geo-distributed appliances and the networks they connect to.

 

Flexible Deployment and Manageability

FortiExtender offers a wide range of flexible deployment and management options, providing infrastructure leaders with the option to manage appliances using Fortinet’s FortiGate NGFW, FortiExtender Cloud, or locally at the appliance level.

 

FortiExtender LTE Differentiators

Scalable Connectivity Anywhere

FortiExtender and FortiExtender Cloud offers secure, scalable and cost-effective centralized management for retail and wireless-only use cases

Extending the Fortinet Security Fabric

FortiExtender seamlessly integrates with and extends the utility of SD-Branch solutions with LTE

Making Mobile Networks High-avaliable Networks

FortiExtender offers ruggedized, highly available solutions for mobile and IoT/OT use cases

Product Details

FortiExtender provides a reliable WAN connection to a firewall, such as a FortiGate, using the cellular LTE infrastructure, 3G, 4G, and 5G (planned). These connections are commonly used as a second broadband connection for reliability or increased throughput. But those businesses that want to use multiple WAN connections, including for SD-WAN, can also use FortiExtender for one of those WAN links. Another common use for FortiExtender is to deploy it as a primary connection for a location where cellular LTE is the preferred broadband option. Retail stores or kiosks processing point-of-sales (POS) transaction might also opt for a highly secure LTE network to meet PCI compliance requirements. FortiExtender can also be managed independently, using an attached FortiGate or through the FortiExtender Cloud service. For more information on FortiExtender Cloud, click here.

 

FortiExtender Models and Specifications

FortiExtender appliances come in several indoor models with different LTE modem performance. All models offer multiple LAN ports and a secondary WAN ethernet port. FortiExtender Appliances can be managed by a FortiGate or from the cloud by the FortiExtender Cloud service.

 

Hardware

 
Model Internal Modem(s) Modem Type Coverage FortiExtender Cloud
FEX-201E Single CAT-6 (300 Mbps) NA, SA, EMEA Yes
FEX-211E Single CAT-12 (600 Mbps) Global Yes

Wireless WAN - FortiExtender

Can I manage a FortiExtender from my FortiGate?

Yes, the FortiExtender can be managed via the FortiGate user interface and appears as a virtual interface.  Also you can manage FortiExtender as a standalone device thru the new FortiExtender cloud.   http://fortiextender.forticloud.com/

What are the ways to manage a FortiExtender?

There are three ways to manage a FortiExtender:

  1. FortiGate and FortiManager
  2. FortiExtender Cloud
  3. Local GUI / CLI and this is the least preferred method

How do I get a carrier supported on the FortiExtender?

We are frequently adding new carriers to our list of supported operators. 

  • FortiExtender-20D supports a variety of USB modems and this this is included as part of the release notes
  • FortiExtender-40D-AMEU has an internal modem that works on HSPA+ and 18 LTE bands.  It can be used on most carrier operator networks in Americas and Europe.  

Please note that certain operators may require special certifications for SIM activation.  Please reach out to your local Fortinet sales organization for additional information. 

Can I have both of the SIM cards active and load-balance between them?

FEX-40D-NAM has one radio inside therefore only one SIM card can be active at a time.  You can automatically switch between SIM cards based on data usage or link quality.

Does the FortiExtender have to connect to the WAN port on the FortiGate?

No, the FortiExtender can be connected to any port of the FortiGate or a downstream switch.  This flexibility allows the FortiExtender to be placed at the location that has best signal and the traffic will traverse to the FortiGate thru a CAPWAP tunnel. 

How do I find out which USB modems are supported?

FEX-20D USB modem list can be found here.

What are the options to power FortiExtender Appliances?

FortiExtender Appliances can be powered by Power over Ethernet (PoE) or by DC power.