Hardware or software firewall; There are two types of firewalls or firewalls: hardware and software. Your router, for example, is running your hardware firewall while Windows has a firewall software, or, to say it in Greek, a software firewall. There are other third-party firewalls that you can install but today we will talk about the two mentioned above.
In August 2003, if you connected Windows XP without a firewall, it would be a victim within minutes of the Blaster worm. The worm exploited vulnerabilities in the network services used by Windows XP to connect to the Internet.
So, in addition to the necessary installation of all security updates, the use of a firewall is considered necessary, especially on Windows computers. Do you need a software firewall if you use a router that is considered a hardware firewall?
How Routers Work as Hardware Firewalls
Home routers use a network address translation (or NAT from network address translation) to share an IP address from the Internet service you use on your home-office computers.
When incoming traffic from the Internet to your router arrives, and the router does not know the computer to which it is forwarding, it will reject the traffic. In fact, NAT acts like a firewall that prevents incoming requests from entering your computer. Depending on the router you are using, you may also be able to block specific types of outbound traffic by changing the device settings.
How Software Firewalls Work
A firewall software runs on your computer and allows or denies incoming traffic. Windows itself has a built-in software firewall by default since Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2). Because software firewalls work on your computer, they can track which applications they want to use the Internet and block or allow traffic on demand.
If you connect your computer directly to the Internet, it is important to use a software firewall. Windows Firewall application is enough.
Hardware Firewall and Software Firewall
Hardware and software firewalls can:
Exclude undesired incoming traffic by default, protecting vulnerable network services.
They block some types of outbound traffic. (Although this feature may not be present on some routers.)
Advantages of a software firewall:
A hardware firewall is located between your computer and the Internet, while a software firewall software is located between your computer and the network. If other computers on your network are infected, the software firewall can protect your computer.
Software firewalls allow you to easily control network access by the application. In addition to controlling incoming traffic, a software firewall can alert you when an application on your computer wants to connect to the Internet and allow you to block it.
Advantages of a hardware firewall:
A hardware firewall is not inside your computer but outside of it. So if you are infected by a worm, malicious software may perhaps turn off the software firewall but not the hardware firewall.
Hardware firewalls can provide centralized network management. So if your network is large, you can configure your firewall settings more easily from a single device. This also prevents users from changing settings on their computers.
Do they both need?
It is important to use at least one type of firewall, hardware or software. Routers and software firewalls often provide similar functions but each of them provides unique benefits.
If you already have a router and you have the Windows Firewall turned on, you’re more secure at no real cost in performance.
You do not need to use third-party software to replace the Windows Firewall, but you can, if you want more and easier features.