It is handy for anyone to have a good understanding of the advantages of a firewall and its disadvantages too.
Such knowledge becomes particularly handy for those looking for extra protection when browsing the internet.
Benefits of Firewall
In general, most organizations and even individuals consider using firewalls due to various obvious reasons. As long as you want good protection from cyber threats, you can use a firewall as a shield.
It can protect you from different types of threats that are lurking in various forms on the internet. For instance, one of the key benefits of the firewall is the protection it provides against hackers. Interestingly, there are many businesses that are not aware of the advantages of firewalls.
It is true that there are various benefits associated with firewalls. However, the most obvious and common benefit is the improved security of your network, and it is often highlighted.
Are There Any Disadvantages of a Firewall?
Despite the large range of benefits of a Firewall, there are several drawbacks linked with it. The disadvantages of a Firewall can occur when you manage it in a professional or a personal environment.
So, before installing a firewall, it is always better to weigh both the advantages and disadvantages associated with them. You can go through both advantages and disadvantages and decide whether you need a firewall or not.
So, yes, there are disadvantages and advantages associated with firewalls. You can simply read the next sections of our article and get a complete awareness of it.
Advantages of Firewall
As we have mentioned, the single most important advantage of a firewall is the protection from external threats. There is no shortage of cases where outsiders hacked computers just because there is no firewall installed.
Many studies say that Windows computers become highly vulnerable to threats in the absence of a firewall. Computers become vulnerable to various cyber threats, and it doesn’t take that long to get infected.
However, with a firewall, the respective network administrator can have greater control over network security. He or she can determine the specific ports that should receive or send data pertaining to various tasks.
For instance, it requires when performing tasks such as web browsing, email communication, downloading, and many other tasks.
With that approach, you can protect your PC, operating system, and other peripherals by customizing the protocols. So, the protection from intruders itself is a very strong reason for a computer user to install a firewall.
We will list the benefits of the Firewall below.
#1 – To monitor traffic
A good firewall can monitor the traffic that passes through it. Regardless of the information that travels through a network, it goes as packets.
A firewall keeps monitoring all those packets and detects any threats. Whenever the Firewall detects a threat, the respective packet will be blocked.
#2 – To protect the network from Trojans
Malware like Trojans is a very annoying and dangerous threat to any user who uses the internet. A Trojan is a piece of software that can quietly stay on your computer and track all the activities.
The information they gather will then be conveyed to a server that is located somewhere else. Their existence will be hidden from you for a long time, and you will eventually notice a lagging performance.
However, if you do have a firewall installed, it will block suspicious threats and block them.
#3 – To keep hackers away
Hackers are constantly looking for prey all over the internet. The last thing you need is to become a victim of a hacker and expose your personal information.
A hacker can access your personal information, financial information, and anything else. So, it is vital to have a firewall and defeat all those hacking attempts to protect your privacy.
#4 – Access control
Firewalls have an access policy as well. You can either have the default access policy or personalize it to match your needs. Hackers can exploit some hosts of your system. So, you can block those hosts using a firewall and prevent hackers from accessing the system.
#5 – Better privacy
Privacy is one of the most important things you should consider when browsing the internet. Basically, hackers tend to grab private information through various methods.
Having a firewall can help you prevent such attempts. Firewalls can also block DNS information for potentially harmful websites. As a result, your IP address will not be accessible to attackers.
Disadvantages of Firewall
It is true that firewalls can block potential access to human intruders. However, they cannot defend against threats that exist in the form of malware, like viruses. Let’s take an example to make it clear.
Assume that you are working on a system in which a firewall is installed. What will happen if someone on the same network opens an email that comprises malware?
Well, the chances are that the entire computer system can affect even if the Firewall is active and running. Because of this very reason, one could say that your Firewall is not the most comprehensive tool for security. So, the best thing is to take your Firewall as a ‘security measure’ but not a sophisticated computer system.
Another potential downside associated with a firewall is its amount of effort when used on a large scale. Assume that you want to use a firewall on a huge network that belongs to a large organization.
In that case, you should dedicate a professional to maintain the respective Firewall in proper order. You will need to hire a full-time administrator to run such systems. The administrator should be occupied with observing the connections to block the ones that are suspicious enough. So, it is needless to say that it is a tiresome task.
You will have to tolerate an initial investment when using a firewall. The cost of the Firewall will depend on the type, however. Basically, hardware firewalls are significantly expensive compared to software firewalls.
In addition to that, hardware firewalls demand some tech-savviness. The maintenance cost of a hardware-based firewall would be costlier compared to software firewalls.
Restricted access for users
If it is a large organization, the user restriction can be somewhat annoying for the users. If you are an average user, having a firewall on your company network would be fine.
However, if you are an advanced user, you will have to face various burdens in achieving advanced tasks. You will have to gain permission for each advanced task, so it can become an annoyance.
Software-based firewalls, in particular, may limit the overall performance of your computer and slow it down. Generally, firewalls can consume system resources a lot while running in the background and hinder general operation.
However, some firewalls are designed to be lightweight and have a lower impact on performance. Also, hardware firewalls don’t affect the system’s performance.
Defenseless against malware attacks
Although firewalls can block Trojans, they are ineffective against viruses and other malware. These malware pieces can enter the system camouflaged. So, even if you have a firewall, the attack can happen. In that case, you must have an antimalware tool installed.
In general, firewalls in small systems are pretty simple. However, that is not the case when it comes to larger organizations. A comprehensive firewall system installed in a larger organization requires a separate dedicated staff to maintain it.
So, you will have to bear an additional cost to hire experts. In addition, maintaining a complex firewall can be costly in many cases.
Well, those are the advantages and disadvantages of a Firewall.
What to Do with Your Firewall?
You can notice that firewalls are very important for those worried about their network security. You can determine the way you deploy the Firewall. However, you must be smart enough to take all the measures to make it more effective.
Also, we strongly advise that you shouldn’t consider a firewall as the sole security measure on your network. Instead, make sure you couple it with other measures such as virus guards, VPNs, etc.
So, that’s about the advantages of a Firewall and the disadvantages. You can review all this information once again and get back to us if you need more assistance.
If you know more benefits of a Firewall, please don’t hesitate to comment on them below.