Small Business Firewall Software vs. Hardware Firewalls

What Is a Firewall?

Learn what small business firewall software is and how it works. (1:55 min)

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What Is a Firewall?

Learn what small business firewall software is and how it works. (1:55 min)

Small business firewall software is one method used to protect computers against hacker attacks and other Internet threats. Another method is to deploy a hardware firewall (which also uses software). The following is a guide to understanding the differences between small business firewall software and hardware firewalls.

Small Business Firewall Software: How it Works

Small business firewall software and hardware solutions are both designed to block unauthorized access to computers. Firewalls help prevent hackers from intercepting private data or planting Trojan horses or other Internet threats on your networked computers.

A small business firewall software program is installed on each individual PC it's meant to protect. To safeguard all your company's computers, however, each one must have a software firewall installed. This can become expensive and difficult to maintain and support.

In addition, small business firewall software may require each individual user to make decisions about allowing or denying a program's requested access to the Internet (which helps prevent malware from sending proprietary information from your computer over the Internet, among other things). Users without much computer or security experience may be uncomfortable handling the requests and alerts that small business firewall software presents to them.

Hardware Firewalls

Hardware-based firewalls protect all the computers on your network. A hardware-based firewall is easier to maintain and administer than individual software firewalls.

The ideal solution for small businesses is a hardware firewall integrated into a comprehensive security solution. In addition to a firewall, the solution should include virtual private network (VPN) support, antivirus, antispam, antispyware, content filtering, and other security technologies.

Look for an easy-to-use security solution that's designed for small businesses and can grow with your security needs.

Learn how to secure your small business.

Find out about the Cisco ASA 5500 Series Adaptive Security Appliances, with integrated firewall, for small and medium-sized businesses.

Protect you business against spam, viruses, spyware, and web-based threats with Cisco ProtectLink Security Solutions.

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