Your cybersecurity is always important, but is especially important for small businesses that may interact with sensitive personal information such as financial records. It's important to keep this type of information safe, especially since small businesses are a popular target for cyber criminals. A secure firewall is the first step.
Different firewall applications have different functions. If you're interested in learning more about what's best for your small business or startup, you've come to the right place.
Interested in the best marketing apps for small business? We have guidelines for this too.
The Best Firewalls for Small Businesses at a Glance:
The Best Firewall for Small Businesses: Fortinet Security Fabric
Fortinet hardware-controlled firewalls are some of the most respected in the industry and some of the most secure. Not only does it have a powerful software backbone that offers a variety of important protective functions for medium and small businesses, but it is also one of the few companies that has developed its own application-specific ASIC (Integrated Circuits) processors. These security chips are specifically designed for high-speed network management and can scale as your business grows without compromising security.
For small businesses, Fortinet has a variety of great routers, each with support for next-generation firewall protection. They offer different bandwidths for different functions that you have to choose based on the individual requirements of your company. However, everyone can take advantage of Fortinet's strong firewall and a range of other protective features.
Management is carried out via a unique console that combines all wired and wireless connections into one simple and comprehensive monitoring. Everything is also managed in the cloud, so remote operation is possible regardless of your business needs.
Probably the best way to take advantage of Fortinet's offering is through the Security Fabric package, which is specially designed for small businesses. It offers a comprehensive solution that includes endpoint protection, a strong firewall, and improved security for individual devices and applications.
You can request a demonstration or a quote directly from Fortinet.
The Best Simple Firewall for Small Businesses: Ubiquiti EdgeRouter
The Ubituiqi Edge routers are not a firewall in their own right, but they are an affordable network router with a built-in firewall that blocks all incoming web traffic by default. This is a great way to protect your business from outside sources while also sending information out to the wider Internet when needed.
But you don't have to settle for that if you need two-way communication with the world. Ubiquiti routers have a simple system of adding specific, bespoke rules to the firewall that allow you to completely customize what goes where and what can communicate with what on your network. Do you want to block all connections between the internet and your local network? Easy. Do you want to allow traffic for existing connections but block everything else? Done.
Ubiquiti even provides a handy guide to get you started with the manual process or start the automatic configuration that allows you to make some more modest adjustments.
None of the edge hardware you can use to access the firewall is expensive, and it can be configured without in-depth networking knowledge. This makes it ideal for smaller businesses that want to focus on running the business rather than expanding its network.
The firewall does not have built-in anti-malware solutions or a VPN. However, these require configuration and management and can be supplemented by other software. If you need a firewall that does exactly what you need and doesn't require a lot of administration, the firewall included with Ubiquitis routers is a good place to start.
The best corporate firewall: Cisco Meraki MX
Cisco has been a household name in networking for decades, and for good reason. The products are usually aimed at larger companies. However, if you're looking for a solution that feels like an enterprise, scales well, and has rich, top-notch features, there are few better than Cisco's Meraki MX Small Branch Firewalls.
There is a wide range of models. Most entry-level options can handle 50 clients concurrently with 50 concurrent VPN connections, while the largest can manage up to 10,000 concurrent connections, 1,500 of which are via a VPN tunnel. That's an exaggeration for almost everyone, but the point is that if you like what Cisco Meraki has to offer, there is likely some hardware out there that is perfect for your small business.
Small branch solutions like the MX64 offer cloud-based management with full stateful firewall protection. Additional security features include content filtering and advanced malware protection. There is also automated VPN configuration if you want to protect all outbound web connections.
Larger, more powerful routers support a larger number of connections, but also offer support for additional SSIDs. All solutions also support USB modem connections for 3G / 4G connectivity in case your standard internet connection also fails.
The best free firewall for small businesses: OPNSense
You may need to provide your own hardware with OPNSense. However, it is a completely free, open source firewall solution that has most of the functionality you see on high-end commercial firewalls from major developers. It offers weekly security updates, biannual releases of the most important platform updates, and extensive communities and documentation where you can learn how to deal with them.
While not necessarily the best place to start for beginners, OPNSense is still easy to manage through its web interface and a fast and powerful firewall that is just as suitable for small networks as it is for businesses in very large organizations.
To get started with OPNSense, Read the beginner's guide. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the type of hardware you will need to run it, basic setup guidelines, and how to do it.
Best firewall for data-dependent small businesses: SonicWall
If you are a startup or a growing company that depends heavily on online service delivery or data management, you may not be quite ready for a Cisco-level solution. However, you don't want to miss out and are probably looking for something similar that is versatile, agile, and well suited for small businesses. This is where SonicWall comes in. The entry-level options for the SonicWall firewall offer some great solutions for small businesses with higher data requirements. SonicWall's firewall options are optimized for great performance, use machine learning to improve security, and offer quick touch-free deployment options so you and your team can get set up quickly. The single pass deep packet inspection process is also impressive. You may also appreciate that built-in WiFi is an option when you choose SonicWall. In the entry-level category alone, there are five different devices that small businesses can explore as needed. If you are interested, you can always check the website for updated information on options, available upgrades, and prices.
Best Firewall for Private Businesses: Firewalla
Startups or home businesses that are just getting stuck on the ground may need more security. However, many firewall options can be overkill as these services offer much more than private businesses need to start with. Fortunately for private businesses, this is the niche that Firewalla is targeting.
Firewalla has different levels to suit your needs. The good news is that all of the options can work in the right situations. They offer a red model for families and users who don't need a lot of speed and a blue model for business users with much faster data transfer speeds.
If you feel you need a little extra protection for your home business, so can you Pre-order Firewalla gold. The Gold Package is the company's newest multi-gigabyte system for your business. Firewalla includes robust threat alerts, built-in VPN options, ad blockers, and a number of other important security features, all of which are bundled together.