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Thread: Security Firewalls - Hardware VS Software




  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Posts
    24

    Question Security Firewalls - Hardware VS Software

    Hi Guys,

    I would like to know your feedback/thoughts when comparing hardware and software application firewalls.

    Many companies that I have worked for in the past have used hardware firewalls for eg: Cisco PIX, Cyberguard and Juniper etc...

    I've been doing some research lately on software application firewalls and a very popular one out there is Microsoft's ISA Server 2xxx.

    I have heard all sorts of hype about it and even heard that the US Defence also uses it to protect their systems but I am still a little iffy about it.

    Having a software application firewall means that it will be run on an OS such as Windows or Linux, which will be sitting on a server of some sort therefore that, in itself I can see that there are already some major downsides but nevertheless I am very interested to see what some of you guys think about this topic.
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    67

    Default Re: Security Firewalls - Hardware VS Software

    well, i use both. Linksys router firewall and zonealarm. I think i could do with just zone alarm because the program just plain out rocks.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Minnesota, United States
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    4,543

    Default Re: Security Firewalls - Hardware VS Software

    Quote Originally Posted by paleghost
    well, i use both. Linksys router firewall and zonealarm. I think i could do with just zone alarm because the program just plain out rocks.
    I have that exact same setup, but a software firewall isn't even comparable to a hardware firewall. It's a program and is simply easier to get through. On the other hand, my hardware firewall doesn't prompt me when a program tries to access the Internet. They both have their uses and I would hope to never be without both.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    91

    Default Re: Security Firewalls - Hardware VS Software

    It's different in the corporate environment. When you've got 100 basic users, who will have various networking needs, a software firewall client on each PC isn't always the best option. Things like Microsoft's ISA server, and Novell's BorderManager firewall are good in this regard, as they do a great job of preventing a lot of external attacks / requests from getting in. Of course, that is only good for protecting things from outside the network, not internal attacks.

    A properly setup Windows server isn't really that much of a problem as people make out. As long as you're secured it effectively, only allowing access to things that need it, then it's a great system.

    If there's a risk of internal problems, then you'd maybe need to consider software firewalls on each machine. However, with the right setup, there shouldn't be a need for it.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Security Firewalls - Hardware VS Software

    hardware filewall for any environment is best imo
    although, a software firewall does have it uses (a dorm PC on a college LAN for example)
    #

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