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From what moment is the period of valitity of a subscription calculated?

In February, we reactivated a unit where the old subscription had expired in August 2020 and so a 1 year UTM subscription was purchased and activated.


However, the end of the term is now displayed as "August 2022", which corresponds to a term of 1 year after the expiry of the old subscription, not 1 year after the start of use of the renewed subscription.

Our reseller told us, that this is totally fine and the new subscription is always added on the end of the old one even if there is a gap between EOS and renewal.


Is this correct? Do we really have to pay backwards in time? What is the rationale for this?


I only found an old thread in which it is explained that "the license will be based on date you activating the license"

Thanks in advance.



There will be a backdate if the service had expired (with a 10 day grace period).


The maximum backdating will be done is 6 months.


This means if you're device has no support for the last two years, and you purchase 1 year of support, then 6 months of that new support will be allocated to the back date, and you'll effectively get 6 months of forward support.


KB article with more detail on it here:


I think this might be an unfortunate case of coincidence.

You didn't mention the date you activated the new contract. I bet it's February 6 months, would be expiring in August 2022. Coincidence that you old contract expired in August as well.


The reasoning for backdating is that not only 'higher' services like UTM signatures are licensed, but hardware warranty as well. While the unit was off-license, it still grew older, and the risk of a HW failure increases with age. So, to cover this risk (and to be fair to customers with continuing contracts), FTNT will charge for the time elapsed since last expiry.


Now, the "but"...

As a courtesy, backdating is limited to 6 months. You could stow away a FGT for years and still bring it back into a fully licensed status at the cost of 6 months contract time. That's no. 1.


No. 2: if you purchase a contract which runs for more than 1 year, FTNT will NOT backdate. It's as easy as that. Your FTNT partner should have told you this.


No. 3: for anybody picking up an old FGT from ebay or such, for a tiny amount of money, you can first get a basic FortiCare contract (with backdating), and subsequently purchase a full UTM contract, this without backdating. Sure, you will not get the full package from day 1, but it will save you some money. Or, if you are looking for the UTM, get a multi-year contract (no. 2).


Disclaimer: though I've been a FTNT partner for decades now, I'm only familiar with FTNT Europe. If you live in a different region (US, APAC), other rules may apply. Get into contact with a FTNT partner you trust.

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