Firewalls protect the computers from hackers and other online threats by preventing unauthorized access to your network. The main job of firewalls is to analyze data entering and exiting the network based on your configuration. However, firewalls come in two forms: hardware and software. Both provide different benefits to the safety of your network, and using the two in conjunction with one another is the smartest decision. In this article, we will give you a brief explanation of firewall hardware and firewall software and why you should use both.

Hardware Firewalls

Hardware firewalls are physical devices that directly sits behind your ISP’s Modem, so every single data coming from the Internet must pass through before landing on your internal devices. It inspects all the data that comes in from the Internet, blocking the dangerous packets while passing the safe data packets. Since the device is built for 24/7 protection, you know your network is always being protected. It is configured to handle larger traffic loads and less prone to attacks. Hardware firewalls require expert set up to protect a network without hindering performance. Other advantages of hardware firewall include:

  • It is not easily vulnerable to any malicious attack.
  • It can also function as a whole house ad block.
  • It’s excellent at blocking entire websites and categories of websites.
  • It’s fast and will not affect network performance.
  • It is an affordable option considering the security it gives

Software Firewalls

Unlike hardware firewalls, the software firewalls are installed on individual computers that sit as a barrier between the computer and the Internet. The firewall will scan all data coming from the Internet for threats before accessing the computer. If a threat is detected, it will be prevented from entering the PC. It protects your computer from outside attempts to control or gain access to your computer. Apart from protection, software firewalls have numerous advantages, which include:

  • It’s ideal for personal or home use.
  • It has excellent reporting and alerts.
  • It stops malicious if kept up to date.
  • It’s easy to configure and setup than hardware firewalls.

Which Firewalls Should I Use?

The individual needs may dictate which firewalls to use, but the combination of both hardware and software firewalls provides more overall security for networks with high-security concerns. In fact, if you handle sensitive data and need to comply with strict guidelines such as HIPAA or PCI, then opt for a combination of both. Firewalls hardware and software both act as barriers between the computer and the Internet and protect your computer from any harmful outside connection.

Last modified: July 7, 2019

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