A firewall can be either software-based or hardware-based and is used to help keep a network secure. A firewall’s primary objective is to control incoming and outgoing network traffic by analyzing the data packets and determining whether it should be allowed through or not. This is done based on a predetermined rule set. A network firewall is a bridge between an internal network that is assumed to be secure and trusted, and another network, usually an external network such as the internet, which is assumed to be insecure and untrusted. Some personal computer operating systems include software-based firewalls to protect against threats from the public Internet. Many routers that pass data between networks contain firewall components and, conversely, many firewalls can perform basic routing functions. We provide anti-malware solutions which contain firewalls – these are generally referred to as security suites, such as ESET Endpoint Security, and hardware firewalls from vendors such as WatchGuard and SonicWall (which is now owned by Dell) and Sophos (UTM Appliances). Can’t I use a Router and Firewall I get from the store? Put simply – at home – perhaps. In your business, NO. We say this because we have seem time and time again, consumer grade routers and modems have very limited functionality, do not update themselves automatically, or even alert their owner when important upgrades are available. At fully featured UTM will have many features, such as VPN, Web Protection, Email Filtering and much, much more. Here in our office, we know from personal experience, that even some of the lower-end business routers are often incapable of standing up to minor attacks. We’ve been there, and we’ve seen what didn’t work, and we’ve found what does work. Call us to ask about our own favorite firewall choices!