When you have an internet connection, you also need protection from potential harms. So this is where a firewall comes into place. They are created to observe incoming and outgoing internet traffic. This way, it will keep your local network safe.
Most computers come with preinstalled software firewalls, but they are not the only ones that need protection, especially since the internet of things era became such a normal thing.
So, in a normal home, there are a lot of products that require internet connections such as baby monitors or video doorbells.
Unfortunately, they are not as protected as your computer and can be more easily be hacked. Actually, their only protection is given by the firewall of your WiFi router that is connected to the ISP.
However, if you add a second level of firewall protection, you will be securing all your home devices or your SOHO network.
But what does that even mean?
I will explain all, with more details in this article, but before that, you need to know that a dedicated hardware firewall connects to your WiFi router and when your devices connect it, also connect to the firewall. By doing so, you reduce the risk of hacking and any other cyber attacks.
Another aspect of these hardware firewalls that I want to mention before moving on is that some of them allow you to monitor the use of the internet in your house. Therefore you can use them as parental control.
So, let’s actually see some examples to see how these firewalls actually work. For that, I prepared for you the best firewall for home products available on the market today.
Best Firewall for Home – Comparison Chart
Let’s take a minute or two to revise the next chart. I made it so you will have a little bit of knowledge regarding what I am going to talk about in the next part of the article. I think that it will help you browse through the products and maybe only read the ones that actually interest you.
|Roqos Core VPN Router||2 GB||12.8 ounces||6.5 x 2 x 6.5 inches||3.8||Check On Amazon|
|Zyxel Next Generation Firewall||n/a||3 pounds||11 x 7.4 x 3.9 inches||3.9||Check On Amazon|
|Protectli Firewall||8 GB||2.56 pounds||7.7 x 6 x 4.8 inches||3.7||Check On Amazon|
|Bitdefender BOX 2||n/a||1 pounds||11.4 x 5.4 x 4.6 inches||3.8||Check On Amazon|
|SonicWall SOHO||512 MB / 1GB||14.1 ounces||9.1 x 9 x 3 inches||3.9||Check On Amazon|
|CUJO AI Smart||n/a||1.6 pounds||6 x 4.8 x 4.8 inches||4||Check On Amazon|
|Watchguard Firebox T10-W||n/a||1.5 pounds||7.5 x 6 x 1.3 inches||3.5||Check On Amazon|
|Cisco RV110W-A-NA-K9||n/a||9.8 ounces||5.9 x 5.9 x 1.2 inches||3.3||Check On Amazon|
|WatchGuard Firebox T15||n/a||1.8 pounds||6 x 7.5 x 1.3 inches||4.6||Check On Amazon|
|Sonicwall 01-SSC-6942||n/a||12 ounces||5.6 x 7.5 x 1.4 inches||3.5||Check On Amazon|
Top 10 Best Firewall For Home:
1. Roqos Core VPN Router
The first product that I want to talk about is manufactured by Roqos and is one of the home network firewall solutions I have tested so far.
First of all, this model is not just any router but a rich VPN feature kit. So let me tell you what this means. It has a VPN IN that is for private internet, and a VPN OUT that will connect the entire house to VPN. This will work with your own VPN service, but also GUEST VPN for friends and family.
Another thing that you should know about is that it can create a Dynamic DNS.
It offers cybersecurity protection at an enterprise level that includes Deep Packet Inspection, an Intrusion Prevention System, Ransomware Block, Country Block, Automatic Security Updates and also an Ad Block.
If you are a parent or an owner of your company, you will like this next information very much. You can set parental or employee control with the help of the VPN. This means that you can filter sites, schedule Internet block, to block proxy servers, to send notifications, to view activities and many other things.
The networking can be done with any operating system you might think of, such as iOS, Android, web browsers, or the one from Amazon phones/tables.
You can produce a guest Wifi with everyday access that needs only 2 minutes to set up.
Last but not least, it offers an open-source software including root access.
- It offers a great customer support;
- Can add parental or employee control;
- Great VPN provider;
- It offers a very fast connection.
- It doesn’t come cheap.
2. Zyxel Next Generation Firewall
The next product that I want to talk about is produced by ZyXEL, but before I tell you more about its capacities, let me tell you about what it has.
It has one Internet (WAN) port, four Local Network (LAN) Ports, one SFP Gigabit Fiber Port (SFP WAN) for Uplink through Fiber Internet Services.
Good. Now we can proceed to the more interesting parts. It offers a speed up to 90 Mbps of encrypted VPN throughput. This means that IP sec/L2TP: ten concurrent SSL: five concurrent upgradable to fifteen max. All these features will ensure secure remote access, device to office, or office to office.
Another important aspect is the speed of the Stateful Packet Inspection Firewall (SPI) – up to 350 Mbps. Also, you should know that it offers 20k max TCP Concurrent Sessions that is great for Small Offices with less than ten users.
As for where the design stands, it is a fanless model that has a desktop form factor suitable for quiet operation (0dB). This means that it can be installed anywhere without bothering anybody.
It is very easy to install due to its browser-based configuration and also due to its management interface, including Quick and Easy setup and VPN wizards.
As optional features, I should mention that it has a filter blocking for website content and also an email blocking that protects you from spams. However, they are sold separately and need a subscription.
- It offers a lifetime limited warranty for the hardware part;
- You have a free customer support;
- It offers a good value for money;
- Very easy to set up;
- Super fast Gateway.
- Not the best WAN performance.
3. Protectli Firewall
Produced by the guys from Protectli, this model is a small PC built device that can be used as both a firewall and a router.
This item is created on a two network port configuration that leverages a low energy power, but a very versatile dual-core processor from Intel, more exactly Intel Celeron J3060 CPU.
But what does this mean? It means that this CPU sustains AES-NI, which is the Hardware Acceleration for Encryption tool from Intel. As you can probably guess, it uses conventional Intel elements such as Intel network ports. This results in compatibility with a diversity of operating systems. This also includes some open source firewall schemes.
The model brought to us by Protectli, is a fanless one. This means that it has no moving parts. Therefore it is an amazingly long-lasting platform that can be used in any kind of environment. Since we are at the design level, it has an all-aluminum cage with no plastic here. Because of this, the CPU will remain cool.
The carcass also has some pre-drilled slots that are there for a possible Protectli wireless kit.
Last but not least, this item can hold up to 8GB of DDR3L-1600 RAM and also a 1TB mSATA of the storage drive.
- Very easy to set up;
- Returns a good value for money
- Not the best pfSense network performance.
4. Bitdefender BOX 2
I must confess that this is one of my favorite models from this list and not only because of its great design. Produced by Bitdefender, their BOX 2 plugs into your router and defends an unlimited number of WiFi and devices connected to the internet using Total Security 2020 Unlimited. It is their full-featured, network security suite cross-platform. It will ensure that all of your Mac, Windows, Android, iOS, and IoT devices are protected.
When you buy it, you receive a year of Unlimited Total Security.
What I really want to tell you is that it has a microphone monitor that will know and will alert you when some apps have access. Another feature worth mentioning is its anti-tracker one that can view and control which sites collect your data.
As you can probably think, it also offers a parental control that will signal questionable interactions that involve what your child is doing on social networks but also will safeguard their browsing through the internet.
Due to its capacities, it offers a very great connection to ensure a safe online banking connection. This is possible due to a unique and dedicated browser that will secure your transactions.
The BOX 2 model will automatically detect and optimize all your gadgets throughout the first 48-hour after the initial installation that might slow down the internet speed. However, when this period is completed, you will experience a fully shielded network that will have a speed up to 1 Gbps due to the 1.2GHz Dual-Core processor and also due to the dual 1Gbps Ethernet ports.
- It has a WiFi Security Advisor;
- Works with any operating system;
- Supports Alexa;
- Great value for money.
- Can give invalid DNS server errors.
5. SonicWall SOHO 01-SSC-0217
We are half of the road, and I want to present a model made by Sonicwall. So known as the “TZ series of Unified Threat Management (UTM) firewalls,” this product is a great pick for any company that needs enterprise-grade network protection.
The SonicWALL TZ series firewalls present a broad shield with excellent security services that consist of on-box and also an anti-malariated-spyware cloud-based, an application control, an intrusion prevention system (IPS), and an URL filtering.
To manage any possible encrypted attacks, this TZ series has a processing power to investigate encrypted/TLS connections against the most modern threats.
Because it is combined with the Dell X-Series switches, the selected TZ series firewalls can manage the protection of the additional ports.
It provides an SSL VPN mobile access available for any kind of operating systems such as Google Android, Amazon Kindle, Apple iOS, Windows, Mac OS, and also Linux devices.
It comes with a patented technology known as “Reassembly-Free Deep Packet Inspection (RFDPI).”
You should also know that it offers a consolidated threat prevention due to its multi-engine sandboxing that is cloud-based, but also due to its anti-malware, web filtering or intrusion prevention.
- Great for company use;
- Very durable;
- It offers a great value for money.
- It doesn’t have the best customer service.
6. CUJO AI Smart
Probably the model with the best design from the list comes from CUJO. With 24/7 internet security, this item will ensure that all your devices are connected to the WiFi router. Also, it is full of algorithms that will guarantee security from inappropriate access, phishing, malware, and other threats. More so, this product works as an antivirus for all the wireless gadgets at home.
Let me tell you what this means. Let’s say that a hacker manages to gain access to one of your email accounts, and from there, it can hack your cameras and spy on you. This is only plausible if you are not protected, but you should not worry if you decide to go the item from CUJO.
Another thing you should know is that it offers a protection specially designed for children. This includes shield not only from possible malware but also from predators or cyberbullies. Also, you can put time limits that will help you keep some house rules.
- Very easy to install;
- Has an amazing design;
- Great protection against predators or other cyberbullies;
- Can be bought at an incredible price.
- Doesn’t have a good customer tech support.
7. Watchguard Firebox T10-W WGT10531
As you will soon see, this is just one of the products manufactured by WatchGuard that you will read about in this article, so let’s see why it deserves a place within the list with the best hardware firewall for home solutions.
First of all, this is an all-in-one network security device that integrates and offers complete protection. All the security capacities work together for a complete path to network security with just a console for reporting.
The type of security offered is an enterprise-grade one. Actually, the T10 is excellent for sites with just a few users and easy networking, such as remote virtual offices and also homes. It is available with or without built-in WiFi abilities.
WatchGuard gives the broadest portfolio of protection services. Every security service is actually presented as an integrated solution inside the Firebox appliance that is very easy-to-manage.
The Basic Security Suite contains:
- Application Control;
- Reputation Enabled Defense;
- Intrusion Prevention;
- Gateway AntiVirus;
- Network Discovery.
Another aspect that you should be aware of is that WatchGuard RapidDeploy takes care of the delay that might appear in the firewall deployment process. These innovative, cloud-based configuration capacities enable WatchGuard firewalls and also UTM solutions to safely configure themselves.
Your IT staff can design and save configuration details in the cloud. These can be public or private and also have the tool directly sent to its destination. When the device is received, it completely deploys on its own by automatically connecting to the cloud. This process is done for a safe download of its configuration environments.
- Easy to do the setup;
- It has a great design
- Offers a great experience.
- Expensive one.
8. Cisco RV110W-A-NA-K9
This next product is manufactured by Cisco and is called RV110W-A-NA-K9. It is an integrated four-port Fast Ethernet switch that is designed for connecting PCs, printers, and also IP phones.
It offers support for enhanced video, Quality of service (QoS), video, and also data traffic.
The set up is done very easily because it has a very intuitive browser-based manager and also a very comprehensive setup wizards.
With a data transfer rate is of 90 Mb per second, it offers support for separate networks that are virtual. Also, it enables you to manage access to the information that is sensitive and to set up a very secure wireless guest access.
This item produces high-speed wireless connectivity with standards-based 802.11n. Due to this, you will receive a better throughput and coverage.
Another thing worth mentioning is that the RV110W-A-NA-K9 model from Cisco will allow employees to stay productive even when they are away from their computers.
The last aspect that I want to highlight is its capacity to allow you to access data on your company network safely even if you are away from the office.
- Can be purchased at an amazing price;
- Can also be used for small businesses and not only for home use;
- Offers a great WiFi connection.
- Good VPN server.
- Antennas are not detachable.
9. WatchGuard Firebox T15 WGT15001-WW
As I previously told you, I have another item from WatchGuard that I want to present. The second model that I want to present from this brand is T15. So let’s see what it is all about.
Since a lot of people nowadays prefer to work remotely, the concept of a different corporate network perimeter has changed. A protection solution that can be easily deployed everywhere your network connects is essential for defending modern businesses.
This being said, this item is a great stand-alone option for a small firm or a home office. However, the Firebox T15 is also perfect for larger companies that want to increase their full UTM security for remote workers and also smaller websites.
Even though it is not the cheapest solution on the market, you will realize at the end of the day that it is actually a very cost-effective product. Not only that, it includes all security capacities, but you will also be able to use protection from ransomware and even prevent data loss.
The deployment is very easily done, and it reduces the delay from the process. It has an innovative cloud-based configuration capacity that allows the gadget to configure itself in a secure way.
The T15 model is available for both wired and wireless connections. For example, the wireless model includes an optional dual-band 802.11b/g/n tech. This ensures a faster WiFi network connection, enhanced reliability, and also an expanded range on 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz band.
- Offers premium features;
- Great for both home and enterprise use;
- Very easy to configure;
- Offers a very good AV engine for scanning malware.
- Doesn’t offer the best SSL inspection rate;
- Can be considered expensive.
10. Sonicwall 01-SSC-6942
The last product that I want to talk about today comes from a brand called Sonicwall. Since it is on this list, you might imagine that it plays the firewall protection wall. But what does that actually mean? It means that you will be able to do the following:
- Content Filtering;
- Remote Access Authentication;
- URL Filtering;
- Malware Protection;
- Deep Inspection Firewall;
- Web Content Filtering;
- Reassembly-free Deep Packet Inspection;
- Gateway Antivirus;
- DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service);
- DoS (Denial of Service);
- Cookies Blocking;
- Egress Filtering;
- Dead Peer Detection.
As you can see, it is quite a long list of advantages you get. This being said, let’s move on and talk a little about the encryption standards. The device from Sonicwall has all the standards you can think of such as
DES, AES (142-bit), 3DES, AES (128-bit), SHA-1, AES (256-bit), MD5 Intrusion Prevention, IPSec NAT Traversal, NAT, PAT, Fast Ethernet, 5 Network (RJ-45) Ports, and also 10/100Base-TX.
I don’t want to wrap this up without talking a little about the virtualization aspect and its capabilities:
- 8000 x Maximum Connections;
- 8000 x Maximum UTM/DPI Connections;
- 1 x SonicPoints Supported;
- 1000 x New Connections/Sec;
- 5 x VLANS;
- 5 x Site-to-Site VPN Tunnels.
- It returns a good value for money;
- Can work great for small business as well;
- It is very easy to install.
- It doesn’t offer the best customer support.
Best Firewall For Home Buyer’s Guide:
Do I Need a Firewall?
I don’t know how much you have understood so far, but I will try to light some light.
If you are a Windows user, you probably know that Windows 10 comes with a built-in firewall solution. However, you might not know that Windows offers firewalls ever since their Windows XP.
However, this will only protect your computer and not your other devices.
So, before going to the specific details, you should know that not everybody needs a firewall and that most of them are in addition to the ones that come inbuilt with the operating systems and your WiFi router.
However, if you read the research, you will see that the default options tend not to be enough even for house use. This is because cyber attacks and hacking techniques have grown over the years, and the basic firewall can’t keep the attackers away.
You need to understand that the internet is their gateway to your house. So, there are many menaces that appear in different forms within the content, such as malicious emails.
This being said, you must understand that there have been significant concerns about the increase in web-based malware. Furthermore, there are intrusion endeavors that avoid perimeter safety systems able to abuse applications.
However, firewall technology has evolved greatly over the last few years, so the threat of cyber attacks is very much diminished. But what exactly is a firewall?
What is a Firewall?
A firewall is a network security system that ensures that there is no entrance path to or even from a private network that doesn’t have authorization.
The implementation of firewalls can be done in two ways:
- a mix of both.
So, as I’ve said, network firewalls block any access that comes without authorization from unwanted internet users. Essentially, it is to stop them from being capable of reaching private networks that are connected to the internet, especially intranets.
All the messages that are accessing or even transmitting intranet have to pass over the firewall. This firewall checks every message and prevents those who don’t match the designated security criteria to enter.
Even though firewalls can either hardware or software, the ideal situation is the mix between the two of them. A firewall will limit the access to the computer, but also to the network, being very useful for allowing remote access to a private network. This is done mainly with the help of a secure authentication certificate, such as a login.
Hardware firewalls can be purchased as stand-alone products but are also in the broadband routers. Therefore they can be a vital part of the security system and also as the network setup.
Most of them have at least 4 network ports that will offer them the possibility to connect to another computer. Yet, for the larger network systems, a business networking firewall is required.
What are the Benefits of Firewalls?
If you look at the price firewalls cost, you will probably think that they are way too expensive and therefore are not worthy. However, the return of investment is a great one, and you should be aware of this. So, let’s see what the main benefits are.
#1 Traffic Monitorization
A firewall monitors all the traffic that is accessing the computer network. When it happens to have a two-way firewall, you will get a double result and also the control traffic that is exiting the network.
Data is sent over the network in packets, and these packets are exactly what a firewall gets to investigate. A process like this is necessary to determine if there is something that can potentially harmful to the network’s security.
It is essential to be qualified to understand that even you, as a sender, can forward bad data without your knowledge. So, because of this, it is vital to have the firewall policy contents.
#2 Trojans Blocking
As you could already guess, a firewall will keep hackers out of your network. However, without firewall security, one or multiple hackers can get into your computer or devices. Furthermore, the hacker can turn your devices into something known as a “botnet.”
A botnet is a broad group of networks that handles illegal activity, such as spreading viruses.
So, by introducing a firewall solution, you will be able to prevent such intrusions.
#3 Stop access to the key-loggers
Last but most certainly not least, firewall protection will decrease the chance of being monitored by key-loggers.
If you have never heard of this term, let me tell you that a key-logger is a spyware software that cybercriminals try to place on the computer. With the help of such software, they will be capable of targeting your keystrokes.
Just imagine how bad it will be if a hacker will be able to see what you are typing and use this information against you. So, yes, firewalls deserve some extra dollars spent.
Everything you need to know about VPN
You have heard me talking about VPN when reviewing the products, and I bet that some of you don’t even know what I was referring to.
When you start a business, you most probably can handle your connection with just a consumer-grade router. However, when you want to connect more remote gadgets to the company’s network, it is time to do an upgrade. So, for a more strong, faithful, and protected experience, you should go with a VPN router.
What is a VPN
VPN means Virtual Private Network (VPN). This kind of network produces a protected tunnel that spreads from inside of your firm and across the Web.
If you do this, you will enable secure access for 24/7 to central network resources from anyplace in the world, and this is possible without dialing into the office.
So, similar to how firewalls protect the data from a computer, a VPN is produced to defend it on the online level.
So, to wrap it up, the data is encrypted when it travels through the VPN tunnel. This will ensure protection over public connections. Therefore it will reflect on and block the data that comes from unapproved hackers.
In the last years, people are working more and more remote, and it turns quickly into a mandatory feature that employers need to take into consideration to offer to their employees. Because of this, VPNs are a great way to allow secure access to remote workers or that have to connect securely when connecting to public networks that are unsafe.
There are some types of VPNs that require the user to work on a remote computer to log in while using pre-installed software. On the other hand, other types enable you to connect a complete remote site using a dedicated VPN router.
Most conventional WiFi routers are supporting VPN passing through functionalities. This means that a VPN user that works on a remote computer will pass through the router and will connect to your firm’s VPN server.
The user has to manually log in with the help of installed software on their remote device. So, once the connection is launched, you cannot share it with other devices that use the same network. This situation is perfect for employees that work remotely.
The next scenario is when the VPN router is involved. This will establish the connection on a hardware point for the entire site. This happens without needing any installations of individual software.
So, all of the gadgets in a remote office, such as computers or smartphones, can access a VPN server simultaneously. This process mirrors a broadband Internet connection. This means that it will give the whole office constant network access.
How to set up a VPN
The VPN routers are usually complex and challenging for a person that doesn’t know too much about technology. However, there are some routers that will do the configuration for you.
So, if you have one of these easy to install routers, all you will have to do is to add a username, a password, and an IP address.
I won’t go into full details about the complex setup because it is very elaborated and hard to explain to a novice.
Differences between a firewall and a VPN connection
In my opinion that with all the information that I’ve provided so far, you are more than aware of all the differences and also all the resemblances between a firewall and a VPN connection. However, I will not feel comfortable closing this article without stating the obvious.
First of all, a VPN will secure an internet connection in such a way that no one will be able to see what you are doing when working online. This way, no one will be able to steal your personal data. Yet, this will not secure your computer as well.
On the other hand, a firewall will let you configure how your computer interacts with the internet. This can be done by setting your private set of protection rules, that blocks malicious traffic to enter your device.
You need to understand that a VPN is not capable of setting up protection rules and block data packages of infiltrating your computer.
So to finish this subject, a VPN will assist you in avoiding any geographical limitations. This means that you will be capable of accessing whatever content online, even if it’s not available for your country. Unfortunately, a firewall can’t do this. A firewall will only design limitations on sites that can only be accessed from a computer.
How to Choose the Best Firewall for Home
As you can see, it is vital to have a good firewall system. But how can you choose the best one for you? For this, I have created this next guideline and hope that when you finish reading, you will be able to make the correct decision.
Do you need a firewall that sends attack alerts?
Of course, you want a firewall because you want to prevent any attack, but how important is it for you to know when that attack happens? Do you know how to handle them, or do you just want to feel safe?
Do you need a firewall that provides a DoS/DDoS security?
You might be aware of the Google “DDoS attacks.” However, you might be amazed by how often they actually occur.
DDoS attacks can be started with no warning, so the people handling the security are left unaware of what happens until the damage is already done.
There are firewalls that can not only help in identifying these attacks but also stop the DDoS attacks when they are at a basic level.
Because of this, you should consider buying a firewall that has this capacity.
Do you need to access the network from remote places?
Not only in the IT sector but also in other niches, working remotely is a very important thing.
So, if you have to offer access for employees that work on remote, you will need a solution that also offers a VPN.
However, if you only work from one place, maybe you should not pay extra for this feature.
Do you want alternative ports for important services?
Usually, hackers work with ports to broadcast their illegal activities. This is an issue since most services use conventional ports.
However, there are important services that need more protection from attacks. For them, you can use alternative ports. This is known as “masquerade ports.”
Good customer support
Since you are buying a solution that doesn’t come cheap and that also has to protect you from malicious threats, it is very important to have somebody to advise you if something does not work properly or you don’t know how to handle the setup.
So, the customer support is essential, and you should pick a brand that offers this kind of service.
I know that you don’t want to think of this, but this is the truth. At the end of the day, it is all about the money you can spend on an item.
Because of this, you should establish a price range and search for a firewall solution that you can afford.
Frequently Asked Questions
If I have a firewall do I still need an antivirus?
How can I check my firewall?
Is a firewall actually a router?
Can I handle the firewall set up on my own?
I hope that this article was not very hard to read. I tried my best to make it easy to comprehend and to follow. However, if there are parts that you don’t understand, and you need further explanation, feel free to contact the comment section below.
But if you consider this a helpful and straightforward article, you can skip the comment section and go to the share button.