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What Kind of Firewall Do You Really Need?

written by: Ashwin Satyanarayana•edited by: Ronda Bowen•updated: 7/4/2011

You know what firewalls are and you even know what they do. You have strong reasons as to why you would need them guarding your business 24/7. However, the trouble now is that there are all kinds of firewalls. How would you know which one to pick? What firewall would suit your needs?

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    The best approach to saving, getting you really need and making the best use of what you have is to get really what is really required. If you have been looking to have some sort of a firewall in place so that your business can be guarded and be made safe from the Internet security threats that are so eagerly waiting to have a go at your business’s computer network, here’s a very quick pointer on the basic types of firewalls so that you can pick what you want.

    • Personal Firewalls for Home Users and Individuals: These personal firewalls are very simple software code but robust enough to do their job well. These can be installed on individual systems or computers and are usually the best bet for individuals who need protection for their home PCs or computers. They have miniature reporting and security features, made just for one computer or user and have very simple management functions and features.

    • Firewalls for Home Businesses or Small Business: These firewalls are custom made for small businesses and are designed to protect a small lot of specified number of computers. When you purchase this kind of a firewall, you would typically buy it with a license for the required number of computers with an option to upgrade whenever necessary. This firewall type also has more robust reporting and management features like allocating resources within the small businesses.

    • Enterprise or large Business Firewalls: As the name suggests, these are heavy duty firewalls -- available as stand-alone software, as a part of a larger Unified Threat Management Suite ( UTM) or even as hardware. Built to detect and act on huge amount of incoming and outgoing traffic, these firewalls can control networks of a humongous size. These type of firewalls can be administered from a single location but the scope can reach out, unshackled by any geographical constraints.

    Firewalls can be of various types and I won’t even talk about the number of popular vendors who are standing by to help you pick the firewall of your choice ( At least not Yet, the reviews will follow) . You must remember though, that it is best to choose what exactly you are looking and never compromise in this case. Also, there might be some firewalls can do the job of the other categories as mentioned above, but not all firewalls can do all the jobs well and hence the need to clarify your need.

Understanding Firewalls for Small Businesses

This series has everything to do with Firewalls -- the basics, the concepts, the types and the reviews on various firewalls for small businesses
  1. Firewall Definition: Does your Business Have a Firewall?
  2. Importance of a Reliable Firewall
  3. Small Business Security Basics: Functions of a Firewall
  4. What Kind of Firewall Do You Really Need?
  5. What Does a Firewall Do?
  6. What is a Firewall?
  7. Some Common Firewall Myths Exposed