The Importance of Firewall Routers
Firewalls play an essential role in protecting your business network. At the forefront of security, they prevent malicious intrusion and flag suspicious behavior, keeping you safe from attack. This is especially important for smaller, medium-sized businesses which typically have fewer resources than larger companies.
Routers, too, are important in business security. Often, they are associated with home networks, but many routers come with their defense mechanisms to filter out unfamiliar ISPs, prevent spam, and overall shield a network from dangerous attacks. That’s because routers come with their firewall which is typically configurable to precise specifications.
Today, most routers come with their own security features, and in many cases, firewalls. While firewall software offers a variety of features and control, some organizations prefer to manage their solutions through the router. In this article, we’ll point out what positive qualities to look for in a firewall/router solution, along with some of the best firewall routers for small businesses.
Firewall Routers: Qualities to Look For
In your search for an ideal firewall/router solution, there are ideal qualities to keep an eye out for. Every router/firewall should have them to some capacity as flexibility, control, and reliability are necessary elements for a small business. Key traits of a good firewall/router for small businesses are:
- Optimized Connection Speed – A firewall/router should optimize for speed and not impact data transfer, mainly if your business relies on said transfer for storage or projects.
- Anti-Virus Support – It should go without saying, but a firewall/router should support anti-virus features for optimal protection. Ideally, the router should have its built-in anti-virus functionality as well.
- Flagging – Alerting users to malicious activity is important. Routers which flag unusual traffic, activity, or malware is an important part of its design and should be something to look for.
- Filtering – An integral component to firewalls, website filtering allows users to block out dangerous websites to protect their networks. Routers too should have this capability. Typically, an excellent solution will offer a robust configuration platform for filtering options.
- VPN Support – Some firewalls and routers can offer encryption, keeping your browsing activities safe from malicious activity. Additionally, routers with VPN support allow authorized users to connect from anywhere, granting home-office flexibility. This is a competitive feature and something you’ll want from your router.
- Intrusion Scanning – A typical feature of a good firewall, intrusion scanning detects websites and activity which deploy methods to penetrate a business network. These are commonly found with advanced firewalls.
- Ease of Use – While an IT expert normally performs the configuration of a firewall/router, its settings should be accessible to management who may need to modify/observe parameters at any given point.
Now, you should have a clearer idea of what to expect from your firewall-router solution. Next, we have several of the best available routers for businesses of varying size, all of which contain their own security features and configuration options.
Top Five Routers For Small Businesses
There are plenty of options available to smaller companies, so we’ll list some of our ideal picks. These will vary in price, type, and range, but were chosen specifically for their robust security features.
1. SOHO 250 and TZ350 Series
A solid option for small-to-mid-sized organizations, the TZ series by SonicWall introduces all the great firewall features of a robust system for newer users. Zero Touch Deployment allows teams to set up firewalls quickly, while its advanced Machine Learning provides a proactive defense against critical threats.
It can encrypt and analyze traffic in real time and does not interfere with intranet speeds. If you need a powerful firewall that’s ready to go, this is a strong starting choice.
2. SonicWall NSa 5650
An advanced version of SonicWall’s firewall hardware, the NSa 5650 is feature-loaded to help you fight against even the most advanced of cybersecurity threats. Features present in the entry-level models are here, such as the RTDMI (Real-Time Deep Memory Inspection) and packet encryption.
However, the 5650 adds additional layers of protection by providing options for network segmentation, managed through its SonicOS operating system.
3. Sophos XG Firewall Series
Sophos is an additional option and they’re no strangers to powerful firewall settings. Their XG routers are equipped with the next-gen firewall, which contains an arsenal of smart features to handle various threats. It’s an ideal choice for businesses of any size while providing both ease-of-use and feature deployment for maximum security.
Some of those features include sandbox implementation, allowing IT teams to test cybersecurity threats in-house. It can also encrypt incoming/outgoing data while snagging ransomware attacks before they’re implemented. Managers can also control settings via a mobile app while segmenting networks with ease. These are fast-acting tools which can take control of a situation gone bad.
4. Sophos XG Rev Series
The XG Rev firewall routers come in three variants: 550, 650, and 750. Each is an industry standard, business-ready models best implemented for high traffic, internet demanding businesses. Depending on what the enterprise needs, they can select the appropriate model – for instance, a 550 reaches internet speeds of up to 65GBPS.
Each model is compatible with the XG Firewall mentioned before, providing in-depth control and protection for even the most demanding and elaborate network models.
5. SonicWall Network Services Security Platform
Last on our list is another SonicWall firewall, a high-end model suited for heavy traffic, internet intensive large organizations. Features from the previous models are here – such as the deep learning utility. Other utilities include its “Cloud Capture” platform, a constantly updated sandbox which identifies the malware as soon as they are updated to its library. Users will also see 45GG connection support and can manage everything from the SonicOS.
If you’re uncertain about firewall setup, especially through routers, you can also utilize managed providers to configure your security features. This is a popular option for smaller companies who prefer to purchase the hardware, but leave the protection aspect to outsourced security experts. This is an ideal option if you’re short on IT security staff or lack the resources to configure your network.
Do I need more security?
Now that you have an idea of good firewall/router qualities, you might consider whether an upgrade is necessary. If so, ask yourself these questions:
- Does my business routinely deal with network intrusions or malware attacks?
- How old is my current hardware setup?
- What kind of firewall does my business use? How many configuration options do I have with it?
- Do I have enough IT security staff?
- Do I plan to expand my internal network with additional devices, spaces, and/or buildings?
- Do I plan to host servers/networks, or am I doing so already?
- Do I rely on mobile devices to conduct business, especially from distant places connecting to the company network?
Depending on how you answered, it’s worth looking at routers with additional security features, especially firewalls. Our choices listed above have built-in security features, along with their own firewalls for maximum security, allowing you to seamlessly integrate them into your small office network.
Choosing the right security options for your network is essential, especially for a small business. Cybersecurity attacks target SMB’s with alarming frequency, and as such, you need the best tools and options available. With the options we’ve listed above, you’ll have a better understanding of the importance of firewalls/routers, and hopefully, find the best firewall router for your small business.
If you’d like assistance managing your firewalls, routers, or other cybersecurity services, we offer a range of options for businesses of all sizes.
To learn more about protecting you and your business from cybersecurity threats, check out our Ultimate Guide To Cybersecurity!