A hardware firewall is a physical device that is similar to a server that filters traffic to a computer. The network cable is connected to this firewall instead of the server. This device positions the firewall between the uplink and the computer.
This device acts as a standard computer with a processor, memory, and sophisticated software. It employs powerful networking components (hardware and software) and forces all traffic traversing that connection to be inspected by configurable rulesets which grant or deny access accordingly.
A hardware firewall acts as an intermediary between the internal network and outside servers on the web.
Once the connection of the firewall to the server is done, all the network traffic has to pass through the firewall. It allows to have a granular control over the type of traffic that helps in keeping the device protected from malware of any kind.
Advantages of Hardware Firewall:
Traffic control: A hardware firewall controls the incoming and outgoing firewall that should reach the server.
Default rules: A fully configurable list of default rules that can be applied to all traffic when using a hardware firewall.
Port Access: A hardware firewall grants granular control to tailor rules with options like allowing all traffic to the website or ensuring only restricted access to a few selected users. The developer and the administrator are only allowed access to SSH port or Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP).
Managed staff: A fully managed hardware firewall gives access to a fully staffed networking team to configure, troubleshoot, or adjust controls quickly and efficiently.
Additional server resources: A hardware firewall allows users to utilize the additional resources of the server that would otherwise be not utilized. This is possible as it is a separate device from the server. The efficiency of the hardware firewall allows users to disable the software firewall and rely completely on the hardware firewall. It frees up valuable memory and processing power for the functions and services that the business needs to continue.
Businesses prefer a hardware firewall as it provides an overall protection for the entire network through a single, standalone physical device. It does not require regular updates but a dedicated resource is necessary to manage and install the hardware server.
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