What is a firewall? What are the advantages of hardware and software firewalls?

Firewall is a wall between a personal computer and the outside world. So it will filter the traffic coming from the outside world based on the user configuration like which sites are trusted sites and which we need to allow.

The diagram given below depicts the firewall:

Functions of firewall

The functions of a firewall in computer networking are as follows −

  • Block unsafe URLs.

  • Close down a port completely.

  • Open a port to only specific IP addresses.

  • Allow some ip addresses at specific times.

Advantages of Hardware Firewall

The advantages of a hardware firewall are as follows −

  • Hardware firewalls can protect your entire network with a single firewall.

  • Hardware firewalls cannot run on your computers so, they cannot affect system performance or speed.

  • A hardware firewall won't easily be disabled by malicious software, such as software firewalls can be disabled.

Given below is the diagram of a hardware firewall −

Advantages of Software Firewall

The advantages of a software firewall are as follows −

  • Software firewall can protect your network at a very low cost.

  • Software firewalls can run on your computers, so they are flexible and connect to the internet.

  • Software firewall protects the computer by its installation no matter where that computer is connected to the internet or not. Such flexible features are very helpful to protect our system like laptops.

Types of firewalls

There are eight types of firewalls, which are as follows −

  • Next-gen firewalls

  • Packet-filtering firewalls

  • Cloud firewalls

  • Application-level gateways (a.k.a. proxy firewalls)

  • Stateful inspection firewalls

  • Circuit-level gateways

  • Hardware firewalls

  • Software firewalls

Security zones in firewall

It is the network segment in which a firewall groups physical and virtual interfaces together to control and log the traffic to and from the network.