Firewall Software

Best Firewall Software include:

WatchGuard Network Security, Palo Alto Networks Next-Generation Firewalls - PA Series, Fortinet FortiGate, and Cisco ASA.

Firewall Software TrustMap

TrustMaps are two-dimensional charts that compare products based on trScore and research frequency by prospective buyers. Products must have 10 or more ratings to appear on this TrustMap.

Firewall Software Overview

What are Firewall Software?

Firewalls are filters that stand between a computer or computer network and the Internet. Each firewall can be programmed to keep specific traffic in or out. All messages passing through the firewall are examined and those not meeting pre-defined security criteria are blocked.


For example, on the outbound side, firewalls can be configured to prevent employees from transmitting sensitive data outside the network, while on the inbound side, firewalls can be configured to prevent access to certain kinds of websites like social media sites.

Firewall Software Features & Capabilities

  • Application visibility and control

  • Identify and control evasive app threats

  • Intrusion Prevention integration

  • Physical and virtual environment support

  • Integration with LDAP and Active Directory

  • "Sandbox," or isolated, cloud-based threat emulation

Firewall vendors are beginning to bundle firewall offerings with other security or privacy features, although this is not a universal practice. The most common example is support for Virtual Private Networks (VPN), and load-management is often featured as well.

Firewall methods

Firewalls use several methods to control traffic flowing in and out of a network:


  • Packet filtering: This method analyzes small pieces of data against a set of filters. Those that meet the filter criteria are allowed to pass through, while others are discarded.

  • Proxy service: In this method, computers make a connection to the proxy which then initiates a new network connection based on the content of the request. In this way, there is no direct connection or packet transfer on either side of the firewall. Network addresses are effectively hidden.

  • Stateful inspection: Stateful inspection is the new standard firewall security method that monitors communications packets over a period of time. Outgoing packets that request specific types of incoming packets are tracked. Only incoming packets that are an appropriate response are allowed to pass. Firewalls using this method are often referred to as next-generation firewalls (NGFW).

Firewall Comparison

To compare different Firewall products, you likely want to consider evaluating these aspects of the software:

  1. Managed Service Provider vs. In-House Focus: Are you looking for a firewall product to sell to and manage for your clients, or do you need something for your own business? Products tailored to the former context will emphasize centralized management and customizability, while the latter will be more accessible for line of business users without IT security backgrounds.
  2. Physical vs. Cloud Deployments: The standard deployment method for firewalls is via hardware appliance deployed on premise. Alternative deployments on virtual machines, or hosted in the cloud on 3rd party infrastructure, have become frequent options among leading vendors. Cloud deployments frequently operate on a subscription pricing model, while physical appliances are more likely to be a one-time purchase, with additional costs for software updates varying by product.
  3. Multi-location vs. single location: Providing a firewall across multiple locations will require specific features. The most relevant feature differences will be VPN support (for securely connecting to remote offices), central management support, and native SD-WAN capabilities.
  4. Support: Reviewers frequently mention customer support and service, both positively and negatively depending on the product. Given a convergence of capabilities towards market parity, the extra support and services vendors provide can become a key differentiator between products.

Start a Firewall comparison

Pricing Information

The cost of firewalls can vary from free (for personal use) to significant sums of money for enterprise firewalls. Firewalls are often on-premise appliances, but can also be purchased as software which must be installed on a server, or as a cloud service. The range of pricing models is broad making it difficult to compare across vendors. However, an enterprise firewall may cost upwards of $30,000, depending on capability and type.

Firewall Products

(1-25 of 60) Sorted by Most Reviews

Forcepoint NGFW
1 ratings
1 reviews
Forcepoint Next Generation Firewall (NGFW) promises seamless and central management, whether physical, virtual or in the cloud. Administrators can deploy, monitor and update thousands of firewalls, VPNs and IPSs in minutes, all from a single console. The vendor says that the product reduces network …
Sophos SG Firewall Appliances
3 ratings
1 reviews
Sophos SG Firewall Appliances are designed to provide optimal protection for organizations of all sixes from small remote offices, to global organizations requiring high-availability and
Check Point Firewall Software Blade
9 ratings
1 reviews
Check Point Firewall Software Blades are the modularized product offerings that Check Point provides. They include Check Point’s VPN, IPS, Firewall, and Application control features. These features are structured into “blades” to enable easier user access and toggling from a single management consol…
Check Point 4000 Appliances
7 ratings
1 reviews
Check Point’s 4000-series appliances is a legacy firewall offering. It also provides IPsec VPN access and intrusion prevention within the offering.
Cyberoam
4 ratings
1 reviews
Sophos’s Cyberoam offers UTM and NGFW products. Cyberoam provides the full suite of modularized firewall services, as well as real-time reporting, for enterprise-level use.
3Com Firewall (Discontinued)
3Com firewalls were acquired by Hewlett-Packard and then sold to H3C. The product line is now obsolete and discontinued.
Check Point VSX
Check Point VSX is a firewall option, from Check Point Software Technologies in San Carlos, California.
Check Point UTM-1
Check Point UTM-1 is a firewall option, from Check Point Software Technologies.
Stormshield Network Security
The Stormshield Network Security is the company's line of SN series Next-Generation Firewalls (NGFW). The SN series is based on the NETASQ Firewalls acquired and merged into Stormshield after that company was formed from the merger of the original companies Netasq and Arkoon.
A10 Thunder CFW
A10 Networks offers A10 Thunder CFW (for Convergent Firewall), a combined firewall and secure web gateway.
R&S Unified Firewall
German company Rohde & Schwarz offers the R&S Unified Firewall.
CenturyLink Adaptive Network Security Services
CenturyLink® Adaptive Network Security is a network-based layer of protection which acts as a sensor, giving you the visibility and control needed to monitor, block and report attempts to break into your network. CenturyLink Adaptive Network Security can quickly adapt to new threats without requiri…
Huawei Unified Security Gateway
Huawei’s USG6600 series is a NGFW offering scaled for mid-sized to large enterprises and data centers. Huawei provides core data services, as well as sandboxing, DLP, encrypted traffic inspection, and reporting services.
Hillstone T-Series Intelligent Next-Generation Firewalls (NGFW)
Hillstone T-Series Intelligent Next-Generation Firewalls are capable of detecting unknown malware and abnormal behavior. With a rich forensic analysis and preemptive mitigation capabilities.
Hillstone X-Series Data Center Next-Generation Firewall
Hillstone Networks headquartered in Santa Clara offers the Hillstone X-Series Data Center Next-Generation Firewall, designed to support high speed service providers.
SonicWall E10000 Series
SonicWall E10000 Series is the company's high end next generation firewall (NGFW).
SonicWall SuperMassive 9000 Series
SonicWall offers the SuperMassive 9000 Series, a series of next generation firewalls (NGFW).
Comodo Firewall
Comodo Cybersecurity headquartered in New Jersey offers the Comodo Firewall to deliver security controls to moderate size businesses.
Sangfor NGAF
Sangfor NGAF is a combined NGFW and Web Application Firewall. It provides a full core suite of firewall services scaled for enterprises.
AhnLab TrusGuard
Korean company AhnLab offers TrusGuard, an integrated firewall, IPS, VPN, anti-virus, and anti-spam security appliance featuring DDoS protection and secure connectivity with internal systems through an IPSec/SSL VPN.
H3C SecPath
H3C provides network security via its SecPath next-generation firewall (NGFW) series.
Kerio Control
Kerio Control is a next-gen firewall for SMBs, from Aurea SMB Solutions (formerly GFI Software).
Avast Secure Internet Gateway (SIG)
Avast Business Secure Internet Gateway (SIG) is designed to replace traditional hardware by delivering cloud-based firewall capabilities from Avast's global cloud network. The service ensures network security is always on, always updating, and always protecting the business. SIG is built to eliminat…
Azure Firewall
Microsoft's Azure Firewall is a managed cloud-based network security service that protects Azure Virtual Network resources.
Cisco Meraki Z3 Teleworker
Cisco Meraki Z3 Teleworker is an enterprise class firewall, VPN gateway and router. Each model offers five gigabit ethernet ports and wireless for connectivity. Each model is designed to securely extend the power of Meraki cloud managed networking to employees, IT staff, and executives working from …

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a firewall?

A firewall is a filter that stands between a computer or computer network and the Internet. It monitors incoming and outgoing network traffic and decides whether to allow or block specific traffic based on a defined set of rules. All messages passing through the firewall are examined and those not meeting pre-defined security criteria are blocked.

What are the main types of firewall?

There are four major types.

  • Packet Filtering: Small pieces of data are analyzed against a set of filters and are either allowed to pass through or are discarded.
  • Proxy Firewall: A proxy firewall serves as the gateway from one network to another. Computers make a connection to the proxy which then initiates a new network connection based on the content of the request.
  • Stateful Inspection: Stateful inspection monitors the state of active connections and uses this information to determine which network packets to allow through. Decisions on what to allow through are based on a combination of defined rules and context.
  • Next-Generation Firewall (NGFW): Next-generation firewalls go beyond packet filtering and stateful inspection. They have additional capabilities in order to help combat more modern threats like malware.

What’s the difference between a hardware and a software firewall?

Firewall hardware and firewall software both perform the same task; they both act as barriers between the internet and the computer and they both help to protect from anything that can harm the computer from an outside connection. Hardware firewalls offer network-wide protection from external threats. Software firewalls installed on individual computers are capable of closer data inspection and can block specific programs from sending data to the Internet.

What additional capabilities do next-generation firewalls have?

Next-generation firewalls are an acknowledgement that standard firewall capabilities are insufficient, and they typically include other related technologies such as: intrusion protection systems, deep packet inspection, SSL-encrypted traffic termination, and sandboxing.

How much do firewalls cost?

The cost of firewalls can vary from free (for personal use) to significant sums of money for enterprise firewalls. The range of pricing models is broad making it difficult to compare across vendors. However, an enterprise firewall may cost upwards of $30,000, depending on capability and type.