FIREWALLS -- Hardware and Software based firewalls for 2020

By C.M. -- Certified Ethical Hacker, Network+, Security+
March 21, 2020

Firewalls. For the average user the firewall is the first line of defense in securing your network and devices. The firewall is the digital equivalent of a barb-wire fence. It can keep the bad things on the outside of your network from getting in while at the same time keeping your personal data in your device and inside your network from being smuggled out by data thieves. Modern programs written by highly skilled hackers can sneak your data out in tiny bits and pieces little by little while you are blissfully unaware that it's even happening. That is, until you notice your bank account has been emptied with fraudulent charges to your debit or credit cards.

Firewalls can come as a software download you install on all your devices and also as stand-alone units that plug into your network to block and filter unwanted traffic. Most of these hardware based units are highly customizable and offer the user a high degree of flexibility when choosing what you want the firewall to allow in and out of the network. While everyone needs a 'personal firewall' installed on each and every device we also recommend using an external hardware based firewall on your network for added security.

While many commercial routers (the box in your house everything connects to) have some sort of built-in firewall system they don't offer the amount of options available to users that a firewall appliance can give you.