Top 8 Firewalls

Fortinet FortiGateCisco Secure FirewallpfSenseCheck Point NGFWPalo Alto Networks NG FirewallsSophos XGOPNsensePerimeter 81
  1. leader badge
    Whenever I need something, Fortinet improves and updates the software for me.It can expand easily.
  2. leader badge
    We found the initial setup to be easy.I'm a big fan of SecureX, Cisco's platform for tying together all the different security tools. It has a lot of flexibility and even a lot of third-party or non-Cisco integration. I feel like that's a really valuable tool.
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  4. leader badge
    The firewall sensor is highly effective, and it's easy to deploy. You can deploy pfSense with limited hardware resources. It's not necessary to have an appliance with much RAM to make it work. It's cost-effective and performs well.
  5. leader badge
    This has been of great help in securing our organization. Currently, we have seen a great reduction in attacks.As with any firewall, IPSEC VPN is the critical functionality. Not every organization has the budget to implement MPLS or SD-WAN, which makes IPSEC the go-to for site-to-site connectivity.
  6. leader badge
    We have found the SSL decryption within this solution to be great; you can enable this feature and have the ability to see more of what is happening across your network.
  7. The security of the solution, thanks to the built-in unified threat management, is one of its most valuable features. Plus, one single pane of glass is all you need to manage the whole solution, and web management can be done from anywhere.
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  9. What I like best about OPNsense is that, as a firewall, it's pretty good. I'm quite impressed with it. I had an excellent experience with OPNsense, which helped me achieve the targets I wanted.
  10. Logging back into Perimeter 81 is relatively user-friendly as I just need to re-type my Windows credentials in to access the VPN.Our operators can work from home without any problems.

Advice From The Community

Read answers to top Firewalls questions. 670,331 professionals have gotten help from our community of experts.
Rony_Sklar - PeerSpot reviewer
Rony_Sklar
Community Manager at a tech services company with 51-200 employees

Why or why not? If so, which are the best providers for this configuration?

PrideChieza - PeerSpot reviewer
PrideChiezaThat is very good question, for SIP we highly recommend using SIP security on… more »
12 Answers
Charudatta Kulkarni - PeerSpot reviewer
Charudatta Kulkarni
Head - UICT and Associate Professor at MIT Pune
I work in a small organization in the educational sector.  We would like to extend firewall licenses, So we need to evaluate vendors. On what criteria/basis should we compare vendors and devices?
Read More »
it_user1200345 - PeerSpot reviewer
it_user1200345A Firewall is only one brick in your cyber-security wall, if you will, but an… more »
10 Answers
it_user151011 - PeerSpot reviewer
Sr. Director of Growth at PeerSpot (formerly IT Central Station)

Hi community, 

There are so many firewall products in the market today. Who are we going to be talking about 3-5 years from now?

imadam - PeerSpot reviewer
imadamNetscope, Zscaler if they continue route they are on now. FIrewalls needs great… more »
25 Answers
Rony_Sklar - PeerSpot reviewer
Rony_Sklar
Community Manager at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Jan 24 2023
There are many cybersecurity tools available, but some aren't doing the job that they should be doing.  What are some of the threats that may be associated with using 'fake' cybersecurity tools? What can people do to ensure that they're using a tool that actually does what it says it does?
Read More »
SimonClark - PeerSpot reviewer
SimonClark Dan Doggendorf gave sound advice. Whilst some of the free or cheap… more »
13 Answers
Nirmal Unagar - PeerSpot reviewer
Nirmal Unagar
Cyber Security Intern at ECS BIZTECH PRIVATE LIMITED

I'm researching Firewalls. Which NGFW do you recommend between Fortinet Fortigate and Cisco Firepower NGFW?

Thanks!

David Storey - PeerSpot reviewer
David StoreyMore than the products themselves and their capabilities, you must consider the… more »
3 Answers
Shibu Babuchandran - PeerSpot reviewer
Shibu Babuchandran
Regional Manager/ Service Delivery Manager at ASPL INFO Services
Dec 15 2022

Hi community,

What are your top 5 (or less) cyber security trends in 2022?

Thanks in advance!

Pablo Cousino - PeerSpot reviewer
Pablo Cousino1) Security in endpoints (especially because of remote work), especially to… more »
12 Answers
Evgeny Belenky - PeerSpot reviewer
Evgeny Belenky
PeerSpot (formerly IT Central Station)
Sep 15 2022

Hi,

When would you suggest using an internal SOC and when SOC-as-a-Service? What are the pros and cons of each?

Shibu Babuchandran - PeerSpot reviewer
Shibu BabuchandranHello, Below there are views on the pros and cons of Internal SOC and… more »
13 Answers
Ariel Lindenfeld - PeerSpot reviewer
Ariel Lindenfeld
Sr. Director of Community
PeerSpot
Sep 08 2022
Let the community know what you think. Share your opinions now!
it_user339975 - PeerSpot reviewer
it_user339975Awesome answers all around! The most important aspect to look for is relative… more »
49 Answers
Rajagopal Naidu Vaddapalli - PeerSpot reviewer
Rajagopal Naidu Vaddapalli
Divisional Engineer at Aptransco
Aug 18 2022

Hi members,

What kinds of throughputs should we consider while designing/estimating the required firewall throughput in our organization?

Thank you.

Cesar Reza - PeerSpot reviewer
Cesar RezaUsually, it is the Internet bandwidth, a number of users and (in the case of… more »
5 Answers

Firewalls Articles

Ariel Lindenfeld - PeerSpot reviewer
Ariel Lindenfeld
Sr. Director of Community
PeerSpot
Aug 21 2022
We’re launching an annual User’s Choice Award to showcase the most popular B2B enterprise technology products and we want your vote! If there’s a technology solution that’s really impressed you, here’s an opportunity to recognize that. It’s easy: go to the PeerSpot voting site, complete the brie...
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Evgeny Belenky - PeerSpot reviewer
Evgeny Belenky
PeerSpot (formerly IT Central Station)
Aug 17 2022
Hi dear community members, In this edition of PeerSpot's Community Spotlight, you can find out what your peers are discussing and join in the conversation. Ask and answer questions on the topics that interest you most! Read and respond to articles or contribute your own! Trending The...
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Evgeny Belenky - PeerSpot reviewer
Evgeny BelenkyThank you to all the community members who share their knowledge with other… more »
1 Comment
Evgeny Belenky - PeerSpot reviewer
Evgeny Belenky
PeerSpot (formerly IT Central Station)
Hi community members, As usual, this new Community Spotlight shares with you the latest articles, questions and trending discussions from your peers. Trending See what is trending at the moment and chime in to discuss! Top 8 Extended Detection and Response (XDR) Tools 2022 Would you reco...
Read More »
Ravi Suvvari - PeerSpot reviewer
Ravi SuvvariGood very informative
2 Comments
Evgeny Belenky - PeerSpot reviewer
Evgeny Belenky
PeerSpot (formerly IT Central Station)
Dear PeerSpot community members, This is our latest Community Spotlight for YOU. Here we've summarized and selected the latest posts (professional questions, articles and discussions) contributed by PeerSpot community members.  Check them out! Trending See what your peers are discussing a...
Read More »
Evgeny Belenky - PeerSpot reviewer
Evgeny Belenky
PeerSpot (formerly IT Central Station)
Hi peers, This is our new bi-weekly Community Spotlight that includes recent contributions (questions, articles and discussions) by the PeerSpot community members.  Articles Check the top products and solutions below (selected based on peer reviews) or contribute your own article! ...
Read More »
Evgeny Belenky - PeerSpot reviewer
Evgeny Belenky
PeerSpot (formerly IT Central Station)
Hi dear community members, Here we go again with a new bi-weekly Community Spotlight where we share with you recent contributions: articles, questions and discussions. Check them out below! Trending Cybersecurity Trends To Look Out For in 2022 Top 5 Network Access Control (NAC) Softw...
Read More »
Ravi Suvvari - PeerSpot reviewer
Ravi Suvvarivery good and valuable information
1 Comment
Evgeny Belenky - PeerSpot reviewer
Evgeny Belenky
PeerSpot (formerly IT Central Station)
Hi peers, This is our new Community Spotlight that includes recent contributions (questions, articles and discussions) by the PeerSpot community members. Trending Is RPA beneficial for a healthcare organization? With the increasing risk of cyber attacks in the west, due to the war in Ukra...
Read More »
Evgeny Belenky - PeerSpot reviewer
Evgeny Belenky
PeerSpot (formerly IT Central Station)
Hi community members, Here we go with a new Community Spotlight. We publish it to help YOU catch up on recent contributions by community members. Trending What open-source HCI solution do you recommend? How much time does SSO save? What are the main technical differences between Microso...
Read More »
Evgeny Belenky - PeerSpot reviewer
Evgeny Belenky
PeerSpot (formerly IT Central Station)
Hi community members, Spotlight #2 is our fresh bi-weekly community digest for you. It covers cybersecurity, IT and DevOps topics. Check it out and comment below with your feedback! Trending What are the pros and cons of internal SOC vs SOC-as-a-Service? Join The Moderator Team at IT Ce...
Read More »
Netanya Carmi - PeerSpot reviewer
Netanya Carmi
Content Manager at PeerSpot (formerly IT Central Station)
Firewall security, which provides the first barrier against malicious traffic, is essential for securing an organization’s network. Although it is a widely used tool, choosing the right solution for your organization’s needs can be tricky. In this post, we’ll walk you through how firewalls wor...
Read More »

Firewalls Topics

Why Use Firewall Software?

Firewalls are key to network security. They prevent unwanted visitors from entering your network as well as preventing in-network users from accessing websites or servers that could potentially be dangerous. It is essential to have firewall software to protect your organization’s data devices.

Who Uses Firewall Software?

Firewalls are an essential network security component, used in both personal settings as well as by businesses that need to protect large networks of computers, servers, and employees. Within a company, the digital security team is the main user of firewall solutions, and network administrators have the greatest control and use of firewall software.

What Makes the Best Firewall?

When PeerSpot users were asked about what makes the best firewall, they described a number of factors that will help anyone make the right choice. Some security professionals want to know what is the best free firewall? PeerSpot reviews suggest that this is a question that should be asked only after one has assessed many basic requirements about usability and features first.

Visibility is offered as one of the most critical aspects of an effective firewall. Users want global reports and traffic visibility as well as application visibility. PeerSpot members also want the firewall to provide visibility into specific users’ behaviors. Visibility as a key point of value cuts across different types of solutions, including Windows firewalls, firewall software and network firewalls.

Ease of use and simplicity of administration also rated as high priorities for firewall buyers. A firewall should be easy to manage and configure. Easy installation is essential, as is integration. According to PeerSpot reviewers, firewalls typically function in complex, heterogeneous security environments. In parallel, solid vendor support is important. Reviewers noted that the first line of response to an issue with a firewall is almost always an in-house technical resource. That resource needs to be trained easily. If training is too cumbersome or if the firewall admin is a hard-to-find hire, the department will suffer.

Firewall users list many specific functions as “must haves.” These include intrusion protection (IPS), VPN, high throughput, data loss prevention, SSL, IPSEC, application control and web content filtering. Some users want a firewall to easily integrate with an LDAP Server or Radius Server. Anti-spam is desirable, as is anti-virus and anti-spyware protection. Users emphasize the importance of IPv6 native support as well as traffic shaping and bandwidth control.

Kinds of Firewall Software

Firewalls can either be either hardware or software. It’s best to have both kinds. A physical (hardware) firewall is a piece of equipment that you install between a gateway and the network. A software firewall is a program that you install on each computer, that regulates traffic through applications and port numbers.

  • Packet-filtering firewalls are the most common kind. They examine packets and block those that do not match the established security rules. (Usually this means that the packet’s source and destination IP addresses must match those that are “allowed.”) There are two kinds of packet-filtering firewalls. Stateless firewalls lack context when examining packets independently of one another. This makes them easy targets for cyber criminals. Stateful firewalls, on the other hand, remember information about packets that have previously passed and therefore are considered more secure. Packet-filtering firewalls provide very basic protection but they can be limited.
  • Next-generation firewalls (NGFW) have an added functionality in addition to traditional firewall technology. This might include intrusion prevention systems, encrypted traffic inspection, and antivirus NGFW also includes DPI ( deep packet inspection, which examines the data within the packet itself rather than only looking at packet headers. This enables users to identify, categorize, or block packets with malicious data more effectively.
  • Proxy firewalls filter network traffic at the application level. The proxy, unlike a basic firewall, acts as an intermediary between two end systems. Proxy firewalls use both deep impact and stateful inspection to detect malicious traffic.
  • Network address translation (NAT) firewalls operate on routers. They allow multiple devices with independent network addresses to use a single IP address to connect to the internet. This keeps the individual IP addresses hidden, providing greater security because it means that attackers can’t capture specific details. NAT firewalls are similar to proxy firewalls in that they act as intermediaries between a group of computers and outside traffic.
  • Stateful multilayer inspection (SMLI) firewalls filter packets at the transport, application, and network layers, and compare them against known trusted packets. Like NGFW firewalls, SMLI firewalls examine the entire packet and allow them to pass only if they pass each layer individually. SMLI firewalls examine packets to ensure that there is only communication with trusted sources.
Firewall Software Features
  • Access Control - Firewall solutions act as a gatekeeper, only allowing authorized users to enter the network.
  • Custom Restriction - Network administrators are able to dictate what servers and websites network users are allowed to access. These can be set to block non-business-related websites as well as to block IP addresses or servers of potential or known threats.
  • Alerts - If there is an attempt at unauthorized access, firewall solutions will send an alert about it to network administrators detailing the breach. This both helps admins understand potential threat sources as well as letting them know who within the network may be trying to access sources they shouldn’t be.
  • Automation - One benefit of firewall software is the ability to automate some of the menial tasks of network administration, such as rule-testing and monitoring. This leaves administrators with time to focus on other things.
  • Reporting - Some firewall tools will document all kinds of data, such as logins, access points, penetration attempts, and security failures.
  • Integration Capabilities - Check prospective products’ integrations lists to see how they match up with your company’s existing IT strategy and software. Various integrations and plugins can provide functions such as content filtering, device support, and data integration.
When evaluating Firewalls, what is the most important thing to look for?

You’ve been tasked with selecting a Firewall for your company. You’ve started researching different solutions, and the options are endless. What aspects of firewalls are most important when choosing one?

PeerSpot users have given their opinions of what is the most important aspect to take into account when evaluating firewalls. With a wide variety of opinions in the answers, one thing is clear – there isn’t one single aspect that can determine what’s the best firewall.

One user emphasized that the first step in selecting the right firewall starts with knowing what your network needs are: “The most important aspect to look for is relative to one question: How informed are you with the actual needs of your network? Overall I think there are too many specific details to choose any one primary aspect when selecting a security appliance and/or firewall device based on functionality alone.” He further explained that each individual case requires in-depth research depending on one’s specific network needs.

Bearing in mind that there are many considerations, here’s a snapshot of a few of the aspects that users mentioned:

  • Stability
  • Performance
  • Extensive logging
  • Price
  • Good support
  • Scalability
  • Good reporting abilities

One user noted that opinions on what is the “best” firewall differ widely, and that firewalls and firewall vendors as well as the people that implement them are very partial to what they are familiar with. He suggested that the right question to ask is, ”What are you looking for and need in a firewall?”

Another user, Ray KIngdon, pointed out that the most important considerations for selecting a firewall are budget and the person managing the firewall: “If you spend £40k on a firewall and have an idiot configure it and administer it – the firewall is next to useless, what ever vendor's product you buy!!”

Buyer's Guide
Firewalls
January 2023
Find out what your peers are saying about Fortinet, Cisco, Netgate and others in Firewalls. Updated: January 2023.
670,331 professionals have used our research since 2012.