Migrating from software-based firewall to hardware-based firewall

Currently I am using a software-based firewall, the PfSense. All is good since we starts use it since almost 10 years now, due there were few issues and limitations.

And it is time to get some changes, which I aimed to have it on a hardware-based firewall.

Before I proceed further, let’s take a quick glance on the differences between these type of firewalls, as well as the advantages and disadvantages.

Software-based firewalls

Basically software based firewalls are installed on computers. They intercept each request by the network to connect to the computer and then determine whether the request is valid. Software firewalls can also be configured to check suspicious outgoing requests.

The advantages of software based firewalls :

  • Cost saving. Some top rated software firewalls may cost less than 50 USD, there are few on open source, which means it is free. I am using PfSense and as of now, it is still free.
  • Some said it is easier to configure than the hardware based firewalls. I could not elaborate further as I have no experience on any yet.

The disadvantages of software based firewalls are :

  • May use more system resources such as memory and hard disk space.

Hardware-based firewalls

Basically hardware based firewalls are integrated into the routers. It sits between computers and the internet modem and use packet filtering, which means they scan packet headers to determine their source, origin, destination addresses, and whether the incoming traffic is related to an outgoing connection, such as a request for a website.

The advantages of hardware based firewalls are :

  • Use a single hardware that work more efficiently for businesses that use a broadband Internet connection, such as DSL or cable modem
  • Would not easily be disabled by malicious software, as software firewalls can be.

The disadvantages of hardware based firewalls are :

  • Expensive.
  • Heard that it is harder to configure.

To sum up. I have read a lot on these options and I have decided to have it a go. I will update more soon.

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