Best Small Business Firewall – Top 11 Picks on the Market
Cybersecurity is critical for small businesses. Hackers often target small companies since they believe these organizations are more vulnerable to attacks. One of the steps you can apply to protect your sensitive data is to install a small-business firewall. It’ll give you complete control over which apps can connect to the web and which ones don’t have that permission. Read on to find out more about the different firewalls we recommend for SMBs.
In your search for a perfect business firewall solution, there are some features to keep an eye out for. Every router should have qualities to some capacity as flexibility, control, and reliability – necessary elements for a small business. Key features for small businesses for the good firewall device are:
- Optimized connection speed – A firewall should optimize for speed and not impact data transfer, chiefly if your business rests on transfer for storage or projects;
- Anti-virus support – A firewall should support anti-virus traits for optimal protection. Ideally, the firewall should have its built-in anti-virus functionality too;
- Filtering – An integral element of firewalls, website filtering enables you to block out dangerous websites. Typically, a great solution will offer a robust configuration platform for filtering options.
- VPN support – Some SMB firewalls can offer encryption, keeping your browsing activities safe from malicious activity. Additionally, routers with VPN support enable authorized users to connect from anywhere, granting home-office flexibility;
- Intrusion scanning – A characteristic feature of a great firewall, intrusion scanning detects websites and activity which deploy techniques to penetrate a business network. These are typically found with advanced firewalls;
- Ease of use – While an IT specialist normally performs the firewall configuration, its settings should be accessible to management who may have to modify/observe parameters at any given point.
How Much a Small Business Firewall Costs?
Firewalls for small businesses range in price from $200 to $1500 depending on the features, performance, and security capabilities.
For software solutions there are annual subscriptions that cover the updates, antivirus, IPS signatures, and other subscription services – which are important if you want to maintain a high level of protection. It can be as much as 20-30% of the purchase price.
The final thing that you have to consider is the management cost, it’s recommend for all small businesses to use a managed firewall service. Outsourcing the management and monitoring of the firewall ensures you get a 24/7 service, watching over your organization and responding to threats.
The cost of the managed firewall service depends on the hours of cover, the number of websites, and the level of protection needed.
Best Firewalls for Small Business in 2020
Now, you should have a better clue of what to expect from the firewall platform. Next, we will present several of the best firewall platforms for companies of varying sizes, all of which contain their own configuration options and security features.
1. SonicWall – Best Hardware Firewall
SonicWall comes preloaded with VPN capabilities. The software creates virtual private network tunnels, which let remote offices and employees to execute file sharing and other processes on your internal network securely — without each employee requiring to run their own VPN client software. Essentially, it simplifies your medium-sized business’s internal operations without jeopardizing network security.
SonicWall systems also feature a web app firewall, which enables you to control permissions and preferences for each app that accesses the web. This means better security and customization possibilities for your company.
It also offers load balancing to help you balance incoming requests between your servers. That way, your business website can still operate effortlessly even during peak usage hours. Its load-balancing is quick enough to compete with other advanced load balancers, and it’s convenient since it’s integrated with the rest of the network management tools.
2. Cisco Meraki MX Series
Cisco’s products might typically be targeted at larger companies, but if you need a solution that has that enterprise feel, scales good, and provides comprehensive and premium features, there are few better than Cisco’s Meraki MX SMB firewalls.
There’s a wide range of models to choose from. The most entry-level options can manage 50 clients at a time with 50 simultaneous virtual private network connections, while the largest models are capable of handling up to 10,000 simultaneous connections – 1,500 of them over a VPN tunnel.
Small business solutions like the MX64 have cloud-based management with stateful firewall support. Extra security features include advanced malware protection and content filtering. Also, there’s an automated VPN configuration if you have to safeguard all of your outbound web connections.
Finally, all models support USB modem connections for 3G/4G connectivity if your standard Internet connection fails.
3. Palo Alto Networks
Does your organization use cloud-based file-sharing services such as Google Drive, Dropbox, or iCloud? If so, you may want to invest in a Palo Alto firewall router for your small business.
Cloud storage systems aren’t part of your internal network, so they’re not protected by most firewalls. Palo Alto Networks’ firewalls use site-to-site VPN tunnels to make a virtualized network that includes cloud storage. Therefore, you get trustworthy protection for any sensitive data stored on the cloud.
One thing to bear in mind, though – Palo Alto uses only stateful package inspections. That means this business firewall doesn’t analyze the actual data transmitted to your device — only basic information like the origin IP address. This makes it a bit less effective than some of the other solutions on this list.
Firewalla is a third-party device meant to complement the pre-installed security software on your PC. And it’s hardware-only, so all you need to do is connect the box to the router and the WAN port. The solution then acts as a filter, blocking out any malware and malicious traffic that attempts accessing your internal network.
However, Firewalla goes beyond the basic intrusion prevention you get with a standard router. Plus, it offers content filtering, which means you can control which sites users can access your internal network. Therefore, if you want to help your staff stay on task, you can utilize Firewalla to block all gaming sites.
The icing on the cake – Firewalla doesn’t require any subscription fees—the $129 sticker price includes all updates to the hardware. That makes it the ideal small business firewall for organizations on a budget.
5. WatchGuard Firebox T15
Ideal firewall for small businesses, the Firebox T15 provides the toughest gateway security measures at a budget-friendly price. Stepping up as the new player to WatchGuard’s tabletop security appliance team, the Firebox T15 has a set of features that “overstep” its small stature. It’s great value too, as it offers ultra-strength network security at a price you will like.
WatchGuard’s Total Security Suite subscription allows web content filtering, anti-spam, gateway antivirus, app controls, reputation enabled defense, network discovery, and IPS. It also triggers data loss prevention, Dimension Command plus the persistent threat blocker, and includes a Gold Support subscription.
6. FortiGate 30E
The FortiGate 30E is engineered for small to mid-sized businesses and offers complete protection and UTM services to users. This small office firewall is simple to set up and utilizes cloud management for easier administration.
As the best network firewall on this list, it also features four LAN Gigabit Ethernet ports for connecting routers, servers, computers, or switches. In such a small package, you can find advanced security protections, including app control, advanced threat protection, web filtering, intrusion prevention system, VPN, etc.
FortiGate solutions support the VDOM feature, which allows you to create several virtual firewalls on the same hardware device, therefore, segmenting the network to different zones such as employees, guests public servers, and more.
7. Protectli Firewall Appliance
The Protectli Firewall Appliance offers an Intel Quad-Core Celeron processor with 4GB RAM and 32GB SSD drive ensuring that almost any open-source firewall software will be running great on it. It also features 4 gigabit Ethernet ports, including a WAN and LAN port for connecting the device to an office network.
The device is intended for electronics hobbyists and experienced users. It uses open-source software firewall distributions, which need some technical knowledge to install and configure. The small form factor PC is built for use as a hardware firewall and brings in a 32GB mSATA solid-state drive and 4GB of DDR3L RAM. Anyway, you may upgrade the RAM up to 8GB.
Some open-source firewalls and other software that can be installed on this device are pfSense, DD-WRT, FreeBSD, CentOS, OpenVPN, ClearOS, etc.
8. Barracuda CLoudGen Firewall
Barracuda CLoudGen Firewall provides an easy-to-use, which is built to make sure that you have uninterrupted network ability with robust access to the cloud. It includes advanced security with its host physical, virtual, and cloud-based devices engineered to protect and improve scattered network infrastructure.
This solution also has virtual private network technology and WAN optimization capacity, which is especially suited for SMBs to enable them to minimize line expenses and enhance network availability and site-to-site connectivity.
9. Juniper SRX220
Juniper presents an SRX220 Services Gateway firewall, which is wrapped with security, routing, switching, and WAN ports in all-in-one U box crafted for SMBs. This solution delivers up to 950 Mbps firewall, 100 Mbps IPsec, and 80 Mbps IPS. The device also includes traits such as secure apps, consolidated switching/routing/security, and flexible configuration scaling.
The SRX220 is the member SX Series Services product family which showcase next-generation firewall protection with app awareness and user role-oriented controls, supported with unified threat management to safeguard your organization.
10. Cisco Asa
Cisco ASA devices have pretty much everything you need to safeguard your company. With Cisco, you can get a hardware firewall to protect your complete corporate network, plus software to shield each device in your office. This solution produces multiple checkpoints in the network firewall security, so you have entire endpoint protection.
This device also includes plenty of useful features for SMBs, like VPN routers for organizations with multiple locations. Still, some users report that the management interface is complicated to use. Honestly, the platform might be overkill for a small office with only a few computers to protect.
11. SonicWall SOHO
The SonicWall SOHO is another firewall device that delivers small offices big-business protection and uncompromising security over wireless and wired networks. It uses the TZ Series unified threat management firewalls and ensures the network is entirely protected.
From network-based anti-malware mitigation to intrusion prevention, content/URL filtering and anti-spam services, SOHO got you covered. It also does traffic inspection across all ports, without compromising performance. Hence, it is definitely a go-to firewall box for small and medium-sized businesses.
If you’re seeking the best firewall for small business, there are a bulk of options on the market. While several software-only firewall platforms work well for SMBs, we think most business users would benefit from a hardware firewall such as a SonicWall or Cisco Meraki MX Series. Therefore, your cybersecurity solution can protect all the devices on the network—from mobile devices to computers. If you’re on a budget, though, Firewalla is a perfect option since it doesn’t need a subscription.