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Types of Network Firewall

  • Difficulty Level : Basic
  • Last Updated : 18 Oct, 2021

Network Firewalls are the devices that are used to prevent private networks from unauthorized access.  A Firewall is a security solution for the computers or devices that are connected to a network, they can be either in form of hardware as well as in form of software. It monitors and controls the incoming and outgoing traffic (the amount of data moving across a computer network at any given time ). 

The major purpose of the network firewall is to protect an inner network by separating it from the outer network. Inner Network can be simply called a network created inside an organization and a network that is not in the range of inner network can be considered as Outer Network.

Types of Network Firewall :

  1. Packet Filters –
    It is a technique used to control network access by monitoring outgoing and incoming packets and allowing them to pass or halt based on the source and destination Internet Protocol (IP) addresses, protocols, and ports.  This firewall is also known as a static firewall.
     
  2. Stateful Inspection Firewalls –
    It is also a type of packet filtering which is used to control how data packets move through a firewall. It is also called dynamic packet filtering. These firewalls can inspect that if the packet belongs to a particular session or not. It only permits communication if and only if, the session is perfectly established between two endpoints else it will block the communication.
     
  3. Application Layer Firewalls –
    These firewalls can examine application layer (of OSI model) information like an HTTP request. If finds some suspicious application that can be responsible for harming our network or that is not safe for our network then it gets blocked right away.
     
  4. Next-generation Firewalls –
    These firewalls are called intelligent firewalls. These firewalls can perform all the tasks that are performed by the other types of firewalls that we learned previously but on top of that, it includes additional features like application awareness and control, integrated intrusion prevention, and cloud-delivered threat intelligence.
     
  5. Circuit-level gateways –
    A circuit-level gateway is a firewall that provides User Datagram Protocol (UDP) and Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) connection security and works between an Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) network model’s transport and application layers such as the session layer.
     
  6. Software Firewall –
    The software firewall is a type of computer software that runs on our computers. It protects our system from any external attacks such as unauthorized access, malicious attacks, etc. by notifying us about the danger that can occur if we open a particular mail or if we try to open a website that is not secure.
     
  7. Hardware Firewall –
    A hardware firewall is a physical appliance that is deployed to enforce a network boundary. All network links crossing this boundary pass-through this firewall, which enables it to perform an inspection of both inbound and outbound network traffic and enforce access controls and other security policies.
     
  8. Cloud Firewall –
    These are software-based, cloud-deployed network devices. This cloud-based firewall protects a private network from any unwanted access. Unlike traditional firewalls, a cloud firewall filters data at the cloud level. 

Working of Firewalls :

Firewalls can control and monitor the amount of incoming or outgoing traffic of our network. The data that comes to our network is in the forms of packets(a small unit of data), it is tough to identify whether the packet is safe for our network or not, this gives a great chance to the hackers and intruders to bombard our networks with various viruses, malware, spam, etc.

How to prevent network?

A network firewall applies a certain set of rules on the incoming and outgoing network traffic to examine whether they align with those rules or not.

  • If it matches – then the traffic will be allowed to pass through your network.
  • If it doesn’t match– then the firewall will block the traffic.

This way, the network remains safe and secure. 

Advantages of Network Firewall :

  1. Monitors network traffic –
    A network firewall monitors and analyzes traffic by inspecting whether the traffic or packets passing through our network is safe for our network or not. By doing so, it keeps our network away from any malicious content that can harm our network.
     
  2. Halt Hacking –
    In a society where everyone is connected to technology, it becomes more important to keep firewalls in our network and use the internet safely.
     
  3. Stops viruses –
    Viruses can come from anywhere, such as from an insecure website, from a spam message, or any threat, so it becomes more important to have a strong defense system (i.e. firewall in this case), a virus attack can easily shut off a whole network. In such a situation, a firewall plays a vital role. 
     
  4. Better security –
    If it is about monitoring and analyzing the network from time to time and establishing a malware-free, virus-free, spam-free environment so network firewall will provide better security to our network.

5. Increase privacy –
By protecting the network and providing better security, we get a network that can be trusted.

Disadvantages of Network Firewall :

  1. Cost –
    Depending on the type of firewall, it can be costly, usually, the hardware firewalls are more costly than the software ones.
     
  2. Restricts User –
    Restricting users can be a disadvantage for large organizations, because of its tough security mechanism. A firewall can restrict the employees to do a certain operation even though it’s a necessary operation.
     
  3. Issues with the speed of the network –
    Since the firewalls have to monitor every packet passing through the network, this can slow down operations needed to be performed, or it can simply lead to slowing down the network.
     
  4. Maintenance –
    Firewalls require continuous updates and maintenance with every change in the networking technology.  As the development of new viruses is increasing continuously that can damage your system.
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