One of the best ways to protect IT infrastructure in this technology-reliant world is by using firewalls. Firewalls provide security from cyber vulnerabilities to both individuals and enterprises.
In a recent survey by Palo Alto, an American multinational cybersecurity company, 97% of respondents from corporations admitted that they used a firewall as their primary vulnerability protection tool. Palo Alto also stated in the survey that firewalls had been a staple in the network security sector for decades. This is because firewalls offer top-notch security to your business network and system by filtering out unwanted traffic.
For example, you could prevent non-business-issued devices from accessing the business’ network. By the end of the article, you will clearly understand the differences between software and hardware firewalls and know which is suitable for protecting you or your small business (SMB) from cyber threats.
By the way, we released the cybersecurity report covering among other things the top trends shaping the global cybersecurity landscape. Please check it out.
What is a firewall?
A firewall is a digital system that checks incoming and outgoing traffic in a network and filters it according to a set of rules.
At the core, a hardware firewall is a physical component while a software firewall operates in computers via programs. They both offer various strong security options to your infrastructure however they do have differences.
Top 5 hardware firewalls for businesses
As we mentioned above, hardware firewalls are typically dedicated to performing network protection duties. They are appliances that have to be installed physically in your network infrastructure.
Here are what we consider to be the top hardware-based firewalls for businesses. Please note that the numbering here does not reflect superiority.
1. The Cisco Meraki MX68 security appliance
It is a cloud-based hardware firewall that is ideal for small businesses looking to incorporate Unified Threat Management into their cloud network. It was developed by Meraki and was released in 2017.
The Cisco Meraki MX68 is a powerful cloud-based hardware firewall that offers comprehensive protection for small businesses looking to secure their cloud networks.
The device is designed to provide Unified Threat Management (UTM) features, including application control, intrusion prevention, content filtering, and advanced malware protection.
It is easy to set up and manage, making it an ideal solution for businesses that lack IT staff or have limited resources. With the MX68, small businesses can have peace of mind knowing that their network is secure and their sensitive data is protected.In addition to its security features, the Cisco Meraki MX68 offers a range of other benefits. The device is cloud-managed, which means that it can be easily configured and monitored remotely, eliminating the need for on-site IT staff.
The MX68 also provides excellent visibility and control over network traffic, enabling businesses to monitor and analyze traffic patterns and identify potential threats. It is also scalable, meaning that it can grow with the needs of the business, making it an excellent long-term investment.
2. The WatchGuard Firebox T45
Is a hardware firewall developed and released in 2020 by WatchGuard Technologies, a network security company.
The WatchGuard Firebox T45 is a state-of-the-art hardware firewall that offers advanced security features to small businesses. It was released in 2020 by WatchGuard Technologies, a leading network security company that has been providing innovative security solutions to businesses of all sizes for over 20 years. According to WatchGuard, it is suitable for small businesses looking for enterprise-grade security.
The Firebox T45 is designed to provide enterprise-grade security to small businesses, making it an ideal choice for organizations that require top-level security features but have limited resources. It offers robust network protection against a variety of threats, including malware, ransomware, viruses, and other cyber attacks.
One of the key features of the Firebox T45 is its ability to inspect and filter incoming and outgoing traffic, ensuring that only authorized traffic is allowed into the network. The device uses advanced threat detection and prevention techniques, including intrusion prevention, URL filtering, and advanced malware protection, to protect against known and unknown threats.
The Firebox T45 also offers a range of other security features, including VPN capabilities, network segmentation, and multi-factor authentication. It is easy to set up and manage, thanks to the user-friendly management console and the intuitive interface.
3. Sonicwall Nsa 5650
Sonicwall Nsa 5650 is a hardware firewall developed by SonicWall Security Services and released in 2016. It is suitable for distributed networks and enterprises that have humongous information throughput.
Released in 2016, the NSA 5650 is built on SonicWall’s patented Reassembly-Free Deep Packet Inspection (RFDPI) technology, which enables it to inspect and filter all network traffic in real-time, including encrypted traffic. The device uses advanced threat detection and prevention techniques, including intrusion prevention, gateway anti-virus, and anti-spyware, to protect against a wide range of threats, including malware, ransomware, viruses, and other cyber attacks.
One of the key features of the NSA 5650 is its scalability. The device can handle large volumes of traffic, making it suitable for organizations with high levels of information throughput. It is also designed to be highly reliable, with redundant power supplies, fans, and hard drives, as well as support for high availability and clustering.
The NSA 5650 also offers a range of other security features, including VPN capabilities, network segmentation, and multi-factor authentication. It is easy to set up and manage, thanks to the user-friendly management console and the intuitive interface.
Developed by Fortinet, FortiGate hardware firewall is a smart firewall that provides wireless management with security features such as content filtering and malware protection.
FortiGate is a range of hardware firewalls developed by Fortinet, a leading cybersecurity company that provides a wide range of network security solutions to organizations of all sizes. The FortiGate firewall is a smart security device that offers a range of advanced security features, including content filtering and malware protection.
One of the key features of FortiGate is its ability to provide wireless management, making it an ideal choice for organizations that require wireless network security. The device can detect and prevent unauthorized access to wireless networks, as well as providing secure access to authorized users. It also offers advanced content filtering capabilities, allowing administrators to control access to websites and applications based on a range of criteria, such as category, URL, or user group.
FortiGate also includes advanced malware protection features, including antivirus, antispam, and antispyware capabilities. The device uses advanced threat detection and prevention techniques, including intrusion prevention, sandboxing, and machine learning, to protect against a wide range of threats, including malware, ransomware, viruses, and other cyber attacks.
The FortiGate firewall is designed to be highly scalable and flexible, making it suitable for organizations of all sizes. It can be easily customized to meet the specific needs of each organization, and can be easily integrated with other security solutions, such as VPNs and web filtering tools.
This is a hardware firewall developed by Protectli and released in 2015. It works with all Operating Systems and filters all malware-infected traffic from trusted networks.
The Protectli Vault was first released in 2015 and has since become a popular choice among small businesses, home users, and enthusiasts who require an affordable and reliable firewall solution.
One of the key features of the Protectli Vault is its compatibility with all operating systems, including Windows, Linux, and macOS. This makes it a versatile solution that can be used with any device that connects to the internet. The device can be easily set up and configured using a web-based interface, and it supports a range of network topologies, including LAN, WAN, and VPN.
The Protectli Vault also provides advanced security features, including malware protection and content filtering. The device is designed to filter all malware-infected traffic from trusted networks, ensuring that only safe traffic is allowed to pass through. It also includes content filtering capabilities that allow administrators to control access to websites and applications based on various criteria, such as category, URL, or user group.
In addition to its security features, the Protectli Vault is also designed to be highly reliable and efficient. It is built with high-quality components and features low power consumption, making it an ideal choice for energy-conscious organizations and individuals. The device also includes a range of connectivity options, including multiple Ethernet ports and USB ports, allowing for easy integration with other devices and network components.
One advantage of hardware firewalls over software firewalls is that the device used is separate from the devices in the network and doesn’t affect the computer’s performance.
In Palo Alto’s survey of firewalls in modern enterprises, 38% of respondents said that their companies were moving from hardware to cloud-based firewalls as opposed to 36% who preferred retaining their traditional hardware components. Software firewalls are portable and are not as costly as hardware firewalls. They are always up-to-date and scalable. That is why a majority of enterprises will want to move from hardware to software-based firewalls.