FortiExtender: Secure LTE Wireless WAN Extender

Providing 3G/4G Connectivity for Reliable Broadband to the Internet

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FortiExtender Overview

Establishing and maintaining Internet connectivity can be a critical requirement for business execution.  To provide a secondary WAN connection, the FortiExtender appliance uses LTE connectivity with the cellular phone infrastructure to provide broadband speeds that can be used in a failover or load-balancing configuration.  And for those locations without wired broadband options, FortiExtender can provide the primary Internet connection.


FortiExtender provides a WAN connection to retail stores


Product Details:

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


Features and Benefits

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Fast CAT6 LTE protocol for 300 Mbps speeds

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Dual carrier support for multiple carrier options, including SIM switching based on pre-set usage limits

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Powered by Power over Ethernet (PoE) so it can be placed up to 100m from the FortiGate or FortiSwitch

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Can be used as a secondary failover WAN link for business continuity

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Provides a primary WAN link for retail POS, remote kiosks, ATMs, etc.

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Enables placement of LTE modem near a window for increased signal strength

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.



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.

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.