A hardware firewall is a special device that is deployed on the periphery of your network. It acts as a first line of defense. It is aligned with your internet connection and network to filter all the inbound and outbound traffic. Hardware firewall protects all the computers in the network rather than offering services to a single machine. It is a device that prevents intrusion attempts into your network.
Features of hardware firewall
- User authentication: This feature identifies users on the basis of user name instead of IP address. It helps in creating policies and regulations for usage of firewalls and website access.
- Firewall rules management: It helps in controlling the ports for both incoming and outgoing traffic. On the basis of IP or MAC address, the accessibility with that connection can be defined.
- Load Balance and Fail-over: It facilitates the use of multiple internet connections. You can categorize the users for a specific internet connection. In any case, if the primary internet connection goes down, the users of that group will automatically be moved to another running connection as a backup.
- Bandwidth management: This helps in controlling the internet speed. Depending upon the type of work, limit the bandwidth of the users on the network. It increases the bandwidth for faster response time for users who need fast speed and significant space for exchanging data.
- VPN Support: This feature enables remote connectivity. It is useful for employees who have to travel frequently and for those who handle sensitive data.
- Web filtering: It helps in blocking specific websites for an organization. Some companies want to block social networking sites, job portals, banking sites, online shopping websites and access to personal emails as well. They can restrict the access of entire staff or a group of people from such websites.
- Log management: It maintains the log of the websites the users visited, the time spent on the site, and data downloaded. This data is helpful in determining the device performance and browsing pattern of the individuals.
A small investment in hardware firewall can enable an organization to restrict unauthorized entry, filter information, protected network and high security.