One of the questions I am often asked is what if any hardware firewall do I suggest for users to deploy at home? To be honest, that is a question I have historically struggled to answer as previously no single solution has truly felt like a one-stop-shop capable of handling most home user’s needs. In a culture that is becoming more and more aware of network security in all spheres of their lives whether, at work or home, everyone today knows at least something of the dangers that lurk online and the very real threat cyber-criminals represents to them.
In the past, I have tried a couple of different consumer-grade firewall devices that ultimately felt lacking or too difficult to provision to any degree of true protection for the average home user. Not to disparage these devices unfairly they were all very capable in theory but the process of reconfiguring them to the point of being truly effective was either unclear or tedious. It was, of course, inevitable that someone would come along with a device capable of winning over this growing market niche and that solution has come in the form of Firewalla, the first home-use firewall security solution I feel comfortable in recommending.
The Firewalla Red is a Cyber Security Firewall device that is designed mostly for home use. Its features include network protection from Viruses & Malware, Parental Control, the blocking of unwanted Ads, and a free VPN Server. It connects directly to your router via its 100Mbs Ethernet port and there is no associated monthly fee. There is also a Firewalla Blue device that offers additional features and is designed with business users as its focus.
This device is very easy to set up and use. I simply downloaded and installed the app from both the IOS and Android app stores respectively. I then plugged in the device and scanned the QR code on the bottom of the device from within the app. The rest of the setup was automatic, and with a few selections like the mode option, in my case, I chose the Enhanced Mode (Beta), everything was operational.
DESIGN & FEATURES
Dedicated hardware for cybersecurity at 100 Mbit
Quad-Core 32bit 1.0 GHz CPU, 512MB RAM, 16GB SD Storage
- Auto-blocking: automatically block malicious sites
- Device Management: manage who can get on the network, and what they can do when on the network.
- Multiple apps manage one Firewalla: allow you to manage firewalla from anywhere in the world
- Bandwidth Usage: prevent internet over usage, know your bandwidth usage from minutes to days to a month
- Internal and External vulnerability scans: allow you to manage “open doors” in your network
- Dynamic DNS: allows you to safely expose certain internet services
- Alarm Management: easily view, allow, block, and archive alarms
- Content Filtering and activity detection: always know what each device is doing
COMPLETE CYBERSECURITY PROTECTION – “Firewalla’s unique intrusion prevention system (IDS and IPS) protects all of your home wire and wireless internet of things devices from threats like viruses, malware, hacking, phishing, and unwanted data theft when you’re using public WiFi.”
Important note: The cheaper Firewalla RED (NOT THE FIREWALLA BLUE) limits IPS functionality just to 100 Mbits. Additionally, the manufacturer suggests that not all routers are compatible with Firewalla. Click here to view the router compatibility list. You may be required to log in to your router to do the basic configuration.
WHAT I LIKE
- Compact size
- Ease of installation
- Ease of use
WHAT I WOULD CHANGE
- I would prefer an included hard copy basic user guide
The Firewall was very easy to install, and so far I like it much better than other similar devices that I have tried. It is set up wide-open in its initial state, so you get to observe and make choices as you go as opposed to others that have preset values that can be a headache to configure if the setup is complicated. I have read reviews that suggest that this device slows down the network, but I have not experienced that, and it has been simple and easy to use. I would prefer that a hard copy manual is included as opposed to having to look for the desired info on their website, but so far it is doing a good job and in my opinion, making it the first personal firewall I feel comfortable recommending.
Where to buy: Amazon