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When evaluating Firewalls, what aspect do you think is the most important to look for?

Ariel Lindenfeld - PeerSpot reviewer
Director of Content at PeerSpot (formerly IT Central Station)

Let the community know what you think. Share your opinions now!
PeerSpot user
4848 Answers

WiseCat - PeerSpot reviewer
Top 5LeaderboardReal User

Security, aye, it is most important. But I would like to add the aspect of "self-sufficiency" for want of a better word. What I mean by this is, that a firewall has to be the "last man standing" of sorts if a network is under attack or already compromised. So a firewall in my opinion should never be dependent on other components, be it on premises or in the cloud. I have come across installations where firewalls are integrated with Microsoft AD for user authentication or where they were configured to accept input from cloud services as to how their policy should be enforced. Call me oldfashioned, but for me a firewall still hast to work even if all other services in the network are dead and it still has to provide security controls to the last interface alive on the net. We should very much mistrust all that new "AI" stuff and accept it only as "on top" of a good old static policy of who may access what - down to every single IP and port.

Jonathan Maresky - PeerSpot reviewer
Top 20Vendor

Security is the most important aspect. You are not buying a Firewall to play Candy Crush so user experience is not the most important aspect (even though it is important). It needs to provide the most advanced security to protect your organization from threats.

Niranjan Prajapati - PeerSpot reviewer
Top 5Real User

Security is the most important aspect. Firewalls control the traffic between the internal and external networks and are the core of a strong network security policy.

"Next-generation" firewall features, including  Security services like:

- Gateway Antivirus Services


- Capture Advance Threat Protection

- Intrusion Prevention

- Anti-spyware.

- Botnet Filter.

- Geo-IP filter.

- Content Filter.

- Application control.

reviewer1802319 - PeerSpot reviewer

Firewalls control the traffic between the internal and external networks and are the core of a strong network security policy.

E.g., the Check Point Firewall is part of the Software Blade architecture that supplies "next-generation" firewall features, including:

•VPN and mobile device connectivity

•Identity and computer awareness

•Internet access and filtering

•Application control

•Intrusion and threat prevention

reviewer1401408 - PeerSpot reviewer

A firewall that allows us to set parameters on where our users can go and which gives us the ability ton block certain sites or ads if we need or want to.

reviewer1856865 - PeerSpot reviewer

I work on a very critical private cloud so the most important for us are performance, troubleshooting, gateway management and support in the event of major problems.

JavierTan - PeerSpot reviewer

A product that allows us to set parameters "where our users can go" and which gives us the ability to block certain sites or ads.

reviewer1853544 - PeerSpot reviewer

Güvenlik konusunda öncü bir marka.Ulaşımı ve kullanımı kolay.Güzel bir arayüzü var.


English (Translated by Google):

-It is a leading brand in security.

-It is easy to access and use.

-It has a nice interface.

reviewer1853481 - PeerSpot reviewer

Today with all those devices requiring access to the internet, IoT security is the "most important" part and should be easy to deal with: firewalls must reflect this by easy administration, good logging and supporting complex requirements. And the challenge will be to offer that functionality to "home users".

Mohamed-Farrag - PeerSpot reviewer
Real User

Utilization, SSL inspection and concurrent sessions.

reviewer1776000 - PeerSpot reviewer

security, performance, virtualization support, timeliness of updates, zero-day threat protection, mobile device protection, endpoint compliance.

Joseph Chandrasekaram - PeerSpot reviewer
Top 5LeaderboardReal User

Ability to manage wide range of attack surface with easy to use graphical interface and rule grouping based on service types.

reviewer1583691 - PeerSpot reviewer

completeness and clarity of the logs for troubleshooting

reviewer1570629 - PeerSpot reviewer
Real User

Network security and performance is the most important aspect while evaluating firewalls.

reviewer1404666 - PeerSpot reviewer
Top 5Real User

Stability, performance and extensive logging.

Girish Vyas - PeerSpot reviewer
Top 20Real User

There are already some good answers about it but this is what I understand for a firewall. It is a luxury when compared in a networking domain. So basics first, we would need to suit your networking requirement. For this you need to settle down for Vendor whom you need to buy this firewall. From an organization level, Try to get a best deal.

Now from networking perspective, take that spec sheet out and look for the models they offer and see which one fits your network. I mean check the throughput of the firewall. Can it handle the load you are going to push it through ?

Ok so you got your vendor and the model but wait let's see that spec sheet again. Why? The features. Yes the features are also important as everyone already pointed it out. You need to compare the feature and see if it meets your organization policy. Most of the firewalls have all that is required for an organization. This includes but not limited to deployment mode, high availability, application visibility, custom application definition, central management (required if you have more than one firewall to standardize your policy), Throughput post going through IPS / URLF, SSL VPN capability (I don't want to spend more to get this new extra feature right), IPSEC VPN, and others. The core of deploying the firewall is the throughput. I don't know how to emphasize more on that.

Once you get this checklist complete. I believe you are good to purchase a firewall for your organization. I would request people to try these firewalls on the VM instance for demo and see how they function. Check with your vendor for demo. This is to ensure that your IT engineer is comfortable with the look and feel as he is the one going to handle your firewall right ?

All the best ! on getting a new firewall.

it_user339975 - PeerSpot reviewer

Awesome answers all around!

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. Any company that is online and running with proven technology has offered a solution that meets the minimum standard for most situations and customers. However some do perform better than others in certain environments and this depends on the needs of the network and resources. Firewalls fulfill one general role in the network: the protection of key resources. This can be expanded upon in a number of ways but the idea is the same all the time; the protection of key resources and the inspection of traffic in and out of these resources. That being the case, it would require in depth research based on specific needs and see how that relates to the network in question when selecting a device.

The one aspect that will always matter regardless of the device capability is Integration and Administration. Although customer support from the vendor is extremely important, the first line of response will always be the in-house technical resource.

- How easily can I role this out?
- Am I replacing a pre-existing device or adding this in tandem?
- Do I have people who can manage this device currently and if not, can they be trained easily?
- If I have a single admin/engineer who manages this device and they leave the company, how easy is it to find another qualified person?

I think these aspects and questions matter a great deal. Regardless of specific strengths for a single device, if that device cannot be installed easily or managed easily, that equals more confusion and downtime which usually means a loss of money.

When considering a new firewall device or security appliance, I encourage my clients to review their short and long term goals before allowing too much time in debate over which device is better.

Simon Coombs - PeerSpot reviewer
Real User

Comprehensive protection, reliability, straightforward administration, total cost of ownership over three to five years.

reviewer1378275 - PeerSpot reviewer

Logging And Reporting. Some new toy firewalls (like Fortigate)  have them on Cloud, but suppose there is a problem in WAN connections or VPN. The Easy Way to see logs for troubleshooting, that is the best firewall

reviewer1232628 - PeerSpot reviewer
Top 5MSP

There is no single-most important aspect, but here are a few to consider as being absolute requirements.

Intrusion protection: I've seen break-ins from bad actors on the outside, who stole intellectual property for whatever purpose, including, but not limited to the sale of said property to competitors.
Internal threats: We've seen shady employees stealing information, and BYOD infected and then brought to work. Good endpoint security is a great add-on, but if the level from a firewall is not where you need it to be, then a separate solution for such service should be evaluated. A firewall at the perimeter that offers malware protection in both directions adds an extra layer of security.
The reason for simplicity is not just that your job will be easier to build the network, but to navigate the threats and quickly bring new security professionals up to speed on your platform.
Application Identification: This is not a luxury, it's a flat-out requirement.
Ease of replacement: Does the vendor offer a plan to replace faulty hardware in a day or less, or do you choose instead to go HA at all locations, especially in countries where bringing hardware through customs can be a nightmare

Miguel Angel Hernández Armas - PeerSpot reviewer
Real User

1. Status inspection capabilities.
2. Ease of administration.
3. Performance.
4. Price.
5. Scalability.

reviewer863067 - PeerSpot reviewer

1. Protection
2. Throughput
3. Ease of use
4. Support
5. Price

I want to make sure it fits my needs and does what I need to do. Every environment and budget is different. Making sure you talk to people who know what they're doing so you get the product you need.

Owenmpk - PeerSpot reviewer
LeaderboardReal User

1. I can figure out how to use it so it must have GUI interface.
2. Good support so when I need help I can get it.
3. Renewal fees are reasonable (not half the price of the unit).
4. Of course, that it does the job.

it_user815814 - PeerSpot reviewer

NGFW, Stability, Good vendor support, Good logging information, centralized management

it_user279666 - PeerSpot reviewer

Firewall should be:
- with NGFW features
- Capable of Inspecting encrypted traffic without breaking or compromising the security of the traffic.
- Scalable
- Easy to manage and configure
- with Excellent vendor support

it_user326514 - PeerSpot reviewer

✓ Firewall
✓ Application control
✓ IPsec and SSL VPN
✓ Web content filtering
✓ Anti-spam
✓ Data loss/leakage protection
✓ Anti-virus and anti-spyware protection
✓ IPv6 native support
✓ Traffic shaping/bandwidth control

Stuart Berman - PeerSpot reviewer
Top 5Real User

The state of the firewall has moved from IP and port filtering to combine these elements:
1) Application awareness (want to block Tor or Bit Torrent?)
2) User identity awareness (policies based on identity not just source IPs)
3) Policies based on device attributes (allow smartphones to access email without login)

Forward thinking enterprises are looking at Unified Threat Management devices (or NGFW) to combine these functions along with IPS/IDS, malware filtering, AV gateway and other features.

Star Sulaiman - PeerSpot reviewer
Real User

Security and feature supports

reviewer1278240 - PeerSpot reviewer

How well it does it's job, followed closely by how well the user interface is. If you can't configure it accurately and straight forwardly, no matter how well it protects things could slip through the cracks.

it_user635763 - PeerSpot reviewer

1-Ease of management.
3- how it deal with zero attack

it_user634512 - PeerSpot reviewer
Real User

Real world unbiased reviews of the product from actual users along with reports of any unexpected issues or benefits they experienced. That's what brought me here :)

Iz - PeerSpot reviewer

Stability, traffic visibility, security, management

it_user524055 - PeerSpot reviewer
Real User

Stability & Traffic Visibility, security level

it_user342201 - PeerSpot reviewer

It's depend on user requirement. In my opinion about firewall should be smart in all features. like, Stability,Ease to configure,Traffic Visibility,Central Management .

it_user340422 - PeerSpot reviewer


it_user279666 - PeerSpot reviewer

all of the above + robust support from the vendor

Quoc Nguyen Bao - PeerSpot reviewer

What do you use Firewall for Internal FW or External FW.
My opinion about External FW you have to research before invest FW into your Orgonization
1. Next Generation FW: this FW must have control source by User Name & destinatin by application ID.
+ NG FW must easy integrate with LDAP Server, Radius Server
+ Database of Applicaiton ID have more than competitor.
2. This FW must have URL Filtering, Antivius, IPS. When enable all these features just impact about 1/5 throughput FW.
3. Central Management with two appliances (HA)
4. Reporting, can export detail report, customize report.
5. This FW must have technology to integrate with detect & prevent Unknow malware.

it_user303606 - PeerSpot reviewer

1- Next-generation firewall
2- Unified Threat Management
3- centralized visibility
4- centralized management

it_user296589 - PeerSpot reviewer

Traditional FW features + NG features such as:
1. True ability to subsume IDS/IPS and other "UTM" feature.
2. Maturity of partner ecosystem to integrate painlessly with threat feeds, SIEM, end-points, and other security technologies to eliminate silos and provide a comprehensive and automated threat strategy.

it_user279666 - PeerSpot reviewer

For Firewall, I'm looking for grandular policies and detailed audit logs based on these policies... Reports customization based on what policies are implemented.., egress and ingress traffic reports depending on the requirements. Reports should also be able to capture what been allowed (ingress traffic) if the need arise.

So basically i'm looking for firewall with robust policies creation and detailed / custom reports generation.

it_user267969 - PeerSpot reviewer


Go though below link for choose a good firewall. Defiantly you will finalize a firewall with required features.

it_user259959 - PeerSpot reviewer

1- App and users visibility
2- past and live reporting
3- easy management

it_user252528 - PeerSpot reviewer

It should work on Layer 8 technology, that can manipulate traffic as per policy and requirement. Yet all the logs should be available.
This should not limited to AV\ IPS, all the core technologies (QOS, load balancing, NAT, content filtering,)should be supported on this.

it_user243786 - PeerSpot reviewer
Real User

1) Layer 7 capabilites
2) Central managment with remote install policy
3) Global reports and traffic Visibility

it_user217815 - PeerSpot reviewer

1) Stability
2) Ease to configure
3) Traffic Visibility

it_user212757 - PeerSpot reviewer

The most important thing is how much visibility if offers to understand the traffic passing through it

it_user207957 - PeerSpot reviewer

The criteria for a FW will depend on the organizations specific needs and environment. I'm looking for a good balance between functional capability and ease of use/deployment. A FW that has full UTM features, easy to work with settings and simple management/admin interface is top of mind for my organization (100-500 workstations). I also believe in the concept of defense in depth (using multiple best of bread vendor offerings as opposed to a single technology). Some UTM's offer this approach while maintaining ease of use.

it_user200991 - PeerSpot reviewer

1) How much traffic is appropriately blocking as per the policy.
2) Firewall must be coming with 10g/40g interface for catering traffic flow on fly.
3) Session and conucurant session must be higher depending upon the business requirment.
4) NGFW should remain consistent throughput while performing the actions like application control(App-ID enabled) ), ddos mitigation, enabling nips, enabling url filtering and email filter solution.
5) configuration file should be easily readable without using any third party tool for reviewing the firewall policy off line.
6) Seamless integration with siem of any kind through syslog or lea .
7) Above all support, l3 support, rma capability etc

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