Installing a FortiGate in Transparent mode

In this example, you will learn how to connect and configure a new FortiGate unit in Transparent mode to securely connect a private network to the Internet. In Transparent mode, the FortiGate applies security scanning to traffic without applying routing or network address translation (NAT).

Warning: Changing to Transparent mode removes most configuration changes made in NAT/Route mode. To keep your current NAT/Route mode configuration, backup the configuration using the System Information widget, found at System > Dashboard > Status.


1. Changing the FortiGate’s operation mode

Go to System > Dashboard > Status and locate the System Information widget.

Beside Operation Mode, select Change.

Set the Operation Mode to Transparent. Set the Management IP/Netmask and Default Gateway to connect the FortiGate unit to the internal network.

You can now access the GUI by browsing to the Management IP address (in the example, you would browse to

2. (Optional) Setting the FortiGate’s DNS servers

The FortiGate unit’s DNS Settings are set to use FortiGuard DNS servers by default, which is sufficient for
most networks. However, if you need to change the DNS servers, go to System > Network > DNS and add Primary and Secondary DNS servers.

3. Creating a policy to allow traffic from the internal network to the Internet

Go to Policy & Objects > Policy > IPv4 and create a new policy (if your network uses IPv6 addresses, go to Policy & Objects > Policy > IPv6).

Set the Incoming Interface to an available external interface (typically port 1) and the Outgoing Interface to the Internet-facing interface (typically WAN1).

Scroll down to view the Logging Options. In order to view the results later, enable Log Allowed Traffic and select All Sessions.

4. Connecting the network devices

Go to System > Dashboard > Status and locate the System Resources widget. Select Shutdown to power off the FortiGate unit.

Alternatively, you can enter the following command in the CLI Console (also found by going to
System > Dashboard > Status): execute shutdown

Wait until all the lights, except for the power light, on your FortiGate have turned off. If your FortiGate has a power button, use it to turn the unit off. Otherwise, unplug the unit.

You can now connect the FortiGate unit between the internal network and the router.

Connect the wan1 interface to the router internal interface and connect the internal network to the FortiGate internal interface port.

Power on the FortiGate unit.

5. Results

You can now browse the Internet using any computer that connects to the FortiGate’s internal interface.

You can view information about the traffic being processed by your FortiGate by going to System > FortiView > All Sessions and finding traffic that has port 1 as the Src Interface and the Internet-facing interface as the Dst Interface.

If these two columns are not shown, select Column Settings and move Src Interface and Dst Interface to the list of fields to be shown.


For further reading, check out Installation in the FortiOS 5.2 Handbook.

Victoria Martin

Technical Writer at Fortinet
Victoria Martin works in Ottawa as part of the FortiOS technical documentation team. She graduated with a Bachelor's degree from Mount Allison University, after which she attended Humber College's book publishing program, followed by the more practical technical writing program at Algonquin College. She does need glasses but also likes wearing them, since glasses make you look smarter.
Victoria Martin

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It is recommended to avoid using any security profiles until after you have successfully installed the FortiGate unit. After the installation is verified, you can apply any required security profiles.