Parental Control Review 2023 – Fortinet FortiClient
Parental Control Review 2023 for Windows
|Test Period||May 2023|
|Number of Testcases||1000|
|Online with cloud connectivity|
|False Alarm Test included|
Fortinet FortiClient is an enterprise product (configured using an enterprise management console). It includes features that, like parental control programs, block specific categories of website, such as those displaying adult content. We have tested these features in the same way that we test consumer parental-control programs.
Parental Control Certification
AV-Comparatives provides certification for parental control software. In order to be certified, a product must block at least 98% of pornographic websites, have zero false alarms on child-friendly websites, and have no severe unresolved bugs (or design flaws) discovered during the review. A certification is valid for one year and vendors can apply for certification once a year. Only products which were submitted for the Parental Control Test, and which passed the test, are published. Five vendors submitted their products for certification in 2023, of which only two reached the requirements.
We tested the effectiveness of the parental control software against 1,000 websites with inappropriate content for children, such as sites displaying pornographic images and text. We chose the appropriate settings for blocking pornography. We additionally tested 100 obviously child-friendly websites, such as lego.com, to check for false positives.
We have included a short review of the product in this report, so that administrators have an idea of what the product is like to use and what other features it has.
Fortinet FortiClient for Windows blocked 99.1% of pornographic websites.
FortiClient provides a very straightforward means of blocking specific categories of website in business networks.
About the product
Fortinet FortiClient is a security client for businesses using Fortinet security services. It is managed using the FortiClient Endpoint Management Server console.
What parental control features does it have?
FortiClient includes a web filter, which allows the administrator to block or allow specific web pages and broad categories of website.
Which versions of Windows are supported?
Windows 7, 8.1, 10, 11
Which Windows browsers are supported?
Microsoft Edge; Google Chrome; Mozilla Firefox.
How are restrictions applied to different computer users?
One configuration is used for all users of the computer.
What categories of material can be blocked?
There are seven broad groups that can be configured: Adult/Mature Content; Bandwidth Consuming; General Interest – Business; General Interest – Personal; Potentially Liable; Security Risk; Unrated.
The Potentially Liable group includes the categories Drug Abuse, Explicit Violence, Extremist Groups and Child Sexual Abuse, among others.
The Adult/Mature Content group includes the sub-categories shown in the screenshot below.
Installing the product
FortiClient is installed by downloading the deployment package and running the installer file. After installation, the program connects to its management server and the browser needs to be restarted for the filtering to take effect.
Configuring web-content filtering
Web-filtering options are found within the security policies applied to the computers on the company network. These are accessed by clicking Endpoint Profiles\Web Filter. Selecting a profile and clicking Edit. Each category or sub-category can be set to Allow, Block, Monitor or Warn .
Blacklisting/whitelisting individual sites
The Exclusion List at the bottom of the configuration page allows you to add exceptions to the website filtering service for specific URLs:
What does the user see when a page is blocked?
Award levels reached in this Parental Control Review
General advice to parents on choosing and installing parental control software
When it comes to choosing and installing parental control software, it’s important to remember that no program can replace the value of talking to your children about adult or disturbing topics they may encounter. Even with parental control software installed, it’s possible for children to access inappropriate content through mobile devices borrowed from friends or by using technical workarounds like a proxy server. In essence, parental control software can be most effective in preventing accidental exposure to inappropriate content for younger children.
Before purchasing parental control software, it’s important to ensure that it meets your specific needs. Standard features include web content filtering that blocks categories of websites like pornography or weapons. Other features to consider are setting time limits on device usage or Internet access. You may want to restrict usage to certain hours or empower your child to manage their usage themselves. If you have a shared family computer, check that the program allows you to use it without restrictions. To be sure that the program meets your requirements, it’s recommended to try a trial version and test it out. Don’t hesitate to seek expert assistance if needed.
When installing parental control software on a Windows or macOS computer, it’s crucial to prevent children from easily disabling or uninstalling the software. There are two ways to achieve this: either use parental control software with password protection or ensure that your child’s account does not have administrator rights. In either case, use a password that your child cannot guess. To properly configure the software for your child, log on to their account when installing the program, and use your administrator credentials to authorize the installation. After installation, check that the software works as expected by testing it with various browsers and websites. Make sure that it prevents computer usage outside of permitted hours and cannot be uninstalled without a password. If you encounter any issues, contact the vendor’s support service. Remember not to save the password when configuring the software via a web browser.
Copyright and Disclaimer
This publication is Copyright © 2023 by AV-Comparatives ®. Any use of the results, etc. in whole or in part, is ONLY permitted after the explicit written agreement of the management board of AV-Comparatives prior to any publication. AV-Comparatives and its testers cannot be held liable for any damage or loss, which might occur as result of, or in connection with, the use of the information provided in this paper. We take every possible care to ensure the correctness of the basic data, but a liability for the correctness of the test results cannot be taken by any representative of AV-Comparatives. We do not give any guarantee of the correctness, completeness, or suitability for a specific purpose of any of the information/content provided at any given time. No one else involved in creating, producing or delivering test results shall be liable for any indirect, special or consequential damage, or loss of profits, arising out of, or related to, the use or inability to use, the services provided by the website, test documents or any related data.
For more information about AV-Comparatives and the testing methodologies, please visit our website.