Difference Between Hardware Firewall and Software Firewalls

By Raju

August 11, 2021


What is a Firewall? Is Firewall a Hardware or Software? What are the main difference between Hardware firewall and Software firewall? 

let us explore all these questions in this article.

A firewall software is a barrier of protection that sits between the internet and a computer network. It aids in the prevention of unintended network access.

The firewall's primary role is to inspect incoming data entering the network as well as data that already resides in the network, based on network setup.

Any information obtained from an unsecure source or from suspicious locations is dismissed.

The firewall is located on a network gateway server and collaborates directly with the router. At this stage, the firewall examines each network packet. Since a firewall software is mounted on a different device, every network request is routed into it first before proceeding. Remote access to a private network can also be obtained via a firewall using encrypted authentication credentials.

There are two kinds of firewalls: hardware firewalls and software firewalls. In most cases, a firewall setup will provide these.

Hardware Firewall 


A hardware firewall protects against intrusions by outside intruders. Hardware firewalls are built into routers that exist between a device and an Internet gateway.

It filters each packet to determine information such as origin and destination addresses. 

This data is then compared to a series of user-defined rules to decide if the packet should be forwarded or blocked.

Regardless of whether a wired or wireless router is installed, it is important to search and see whether a hardware firewall is still installed.

The below are some of the benefits of a hardware firewall: 

  • A single hardware firewall protects the entire network; this is a very useful capability for businesses with many devices. 

  • The device output and speed are unaffected because the hardware firewall does not work on your machines. 

  • Hardware firewalls are ideal for companies that rely on a broadband Internet link, such as DSL or cable modem. 

  • Unlike virtual firewalls, a hardware firewall is not readily compromised by malicious software

  • It is a cost-effective solution since only one hardware firewall must be installed for the network. 

The disadvantages :

  • Since configuring a hardware firewall is challenging, a beginner will be unable to mount it. 

  • The hardware firewall considers the traffic leaving the website to be safe; however, this will cause problems if ransomware infiltrates the network and attempts to link to the internet.

Software Firewall

Person computers/servers are outfitted with a device firewall. It intercepts any network request for connecting to the device and decides whether or not the request is legitimate.

Software Firewall

Firewall software may also be set up to track any unusual outgoing requests. For those who have a personal computer at home, a software firewall is a good option.

It can also be customised, allowing the user to have more flexibility over the functions and security features. It prevents your device from outside efforts to obtain access to it.

Many device firewalls allow you to set user-defined controls for secure file and printer sharing as well as preventing any unauthorised applications from running on your server.

Since the software firewall only protects one device or network, if the network has several devices, you must mount a software firewall on each of them. 

The below are the benefits of using a software firewall: 

  • Even the top-rated automated firewalls software are inexpensive, and they prove to be a cost-effective option for an office with a small number of systems.

  • When opposed to hardware routers, firewall software are simpler to instal. 

  • During the installation phase, the amount of security needed can be calculated with a few clicks. The level of protection may be set based on the computer or the user. 
  • There is more latitude. You should specify which programmes should be granted entry, lowering the likelihood of malware attack. 
  • It is transportable. A software firewall protects the device on which it is mounted, regardless of where the computer is connected. This is a must-have feature for business travellers who ride with laptop computers. 

The below are the disadvantages : 

  • Software firewalls use more device resources, such as storage space and memory, than hardware firewalls, which can slow down the system. 

  • The customer must buy a different copy for each device attached to the network, which raises the overall costs. 
  • Firewall software cannot be configured to hide the IP address. Instead, they shut down idle ports and track traffic from other ports. 
  • To have the best protection for your device or network, it is recommended that you use both a hardware and a software firewall, as each has unique but necessary security features and benefits. It is important to keep checking the firewall to ensure that it is working properly. Furthermore, in order to ensure full security, the firewall and operating system must be updated on a regular basis.

We at FastWebHost use both hardward and software firewalls to protect servers and websites. If you're looking for secure cloud web hosting, you have come to the right place.

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