The Best Hardware Firewall Review & Buyers Guide

The Best Hardware Firewall Review & Buyers Guide in 2020 collects full reviews of the best hardware firewalls poised as ideal cybersecurity solutions for businesses. However, as there are numerous hardware firewall solutions in the market today, this guide also helps you select and buy the most recommended with consideration to your budget and needs.

This guide also assists you to where you can purchase the best hardware firewall based on your business requirements. The Best Hardware Firewall Review & Buyers Guide in 2020 has all that you are looking for when planning to buy the right hardware firewall solution.

The Best Selling Hardware Firewall Products

Here’s a quick glimpse of our list of recommended hardware firewall solutions and some of their features and specifications that you might want to compare.

Product Firewall Throughput Max New Sessions Per Second Max Concurrent Sessions Integrated I/O Serial Ports Form Factor
FortiGate 80E
    
460Mbps 3000 1.3 million 12x Gigabit LAN Desktop
Read FortiGate Review
Cisco ASA-5508
    
450Mbps 10000 100000 8x Gigabit Ethernet LAN and USB Rackmount
Read Cisco Review
Palo Alto PA-200
    
500Mbps 1000 65000 4x Gigabit Ethernet LAN and USB Desktop
Read Palo Alto Review
SonicWall SOHO 250
    
600Mbps 3000 50000 3x Gigabit Ethernet LAN and USB Desktop
Read SonicWall Review
pfSense SG-1100
    
500Mbps NA 1 million 3x Gigabit Ethernet LAN and USB Desktop
Read pfSense Review

1. FortiGate Firewall 80E

No. 1 Best Choice

The FortiGate 80E performs deep inspection, moving beyond protocol and intrusion prevention. Designed to thwart harmful traffic, the 80E protects your data. This NGFW appliance prevents malicious and unauthorized access. The firewall solution does this through path-guided updates, signature matching, SSL decryption, and other more sophisticated malware-blocking strategies. Fortinet’s FortiGate 80E comes in a fanless desktop form factor. In spite of its compact size, it employs secure SD-WAN and UTM technologies.

Key Features

  • FortiGuard Artificial Intelligence
  • Management Console
  • Security Processor Unit
  • Secure SD-WAN
  • Unified Threat Management

2. Cisco Firewall ASA-5508

No. 2 Best Choice

The Cisco ASA-5508, the industry’s first adaptive, threat-focused next-generation firewall (NGFW), offers threat defense and advanced malware protection for the new era. As a member of Cisco’s line of ASA hardware firewall with FirePOWER services, the ASA-5508 consolidates different security layers into a single platform. The Cisco ASA-5508 entry-level NGFW system with FirePower services caters to small or midsize enterprises and branch offices. The ASA-5508 integrates a set of eight Gigabit Ethernet interfaces and comes with 80GB solid-state drive (SSD) for storage.

Key Features

  • Next-generation Firewal
  • Advanced Malware Protection
  • Full Contextual Awareness
  • Purpose-built, Scalable, Intelligent
  • Remote Access VPN

3. Palo Alto Firewall PA-200

No. 3 Best Choice

Available in desktop form factor, the PA-200 brings to your business Palo Alto’s same PAN-OS features that protect large enterprise data centers. It includes high availability with active/active and active/passive modes. The PA-200 provides you with interactive visibility and control of applications, users, and content at throughput speeds of up to 100Mbps. Adopting a fanless design and solid-state drive storage, the PA-200 delivers quiet operation and low power consumption. With this hardware firewall, you get consistent power input for increased reliability.

Key Features

  • Palo Alto PAN-OS
  • Application Classification
  • Protection Against All Threats
  • Versatile Compatibility
  • Virtualized Sandbox

4. SonicWall Firewall SOHO 250

No. 4 Best Choice

SOHO Series is an entry-level firewall that extends the kind of advanced threat protection that enterprises enjoy. It is packaged with an SMB-friendly price tag. Ideal for home offices, small offices, SMBs, distributed enterprises such as restaurant & retail chains. SonicWall SOHO 250 TZ series enables small to mid-size organizations and distributed enterprises. Combining high-speed threat prevention and software-defined wide-area networking (SD-WAN) technology with a wide range of networking and wireless features..

Key Features

  • RFDI Engine
  • Secure SD-WAN
  • Cloud-based and on-premises management
  • Virtual Private Networking
  • Context awareness

5. NetGate pfSense Firewall SG-1100

No. 5 Best Choice

The NetGate SG-1100 firewall and router combo add to the company’s popular line of ARM-based desktop appliance. This new design of the pfSense firewall has enormous upgrades from its SG-1000 predecessor. While being slightly higher than the SG-1000 at $179, the SG-1100 brings in 5x more performance. The SG-1100 targets small and home offices, home laboratories, virtual offices, small and medium businesses, and corporate branch offices that need a 1Gbps performance firewall.

Key Features 

  • Powerful & Low Power
  • Packet Filtering Performance
  • pfSense Software
  • Secure Remote Access
  • Low TCO

What Are Hardware Firewalls?

Hardware firewalls are like routers but with more features. Today, many routers integrate a hardware firewall. Still, they lack the features of true hardware firewalls. Hardware firewalls are placed in between the modem and the router. They act as a barrier between the internal network and the Internet, filtering the packets.

While software firewalls, whether they are built inside the operating system or an additional feature of an Internet security suite, work on individual operating systems and devices, hardware firewalls work on an entire network. Hence, having a software firewall and a hardware firewall provide you multiple layers of protection from different forms of cyber threats.

Why Do You Need A Hardware Firewall?

The areas of 5G, artificial intelligence (AI), and Internet of things (IoT) continue to grow. But cybercriminals are also using these technologies to enhance their security breach approaches. They aim at your personal data and hard-earned money.

The full rollout of 5G in 2020 skyrockets the adoption of more IoT devices in homes and offices. More devices get linked to networks and the Internet. Unfortunately, cybercriminals can exploit any of these to penetrate internal networks. Also, new zero-day exploits can work with AI-enabled systems. This allows cybercriminals to strike in spots where entities are not prepared to defend.

These trends call for the necessity of having a more sophisticated firewall. A firewall that can respond and block today’s wave of threats. Through this ultimate guide, we’ll help you choose the right firewall solution that you should install for your home and organization.

Things To Consider When Buying/Choosing A Hardware Firewall

Whether you are buying a hardware firewall or a software firewall as a homeowner or a network administrator of a company’s IT department, there are points that you should consider before making a decision and shelling out cash.

Firewall Throughput

This qualification applies to hardware firewalls and these appliances have a varying range of firewall throughput to offer. Entry-level to midrange hardware firewall models have a firewall throughput of around 500Mbps. But as the number of network users goes up, you will need a hardware firewall with up to 1Gbps throughput.

Device Monitoring

Your NGFW must be capable of finding a device by user name and not just by an IP address. This allows you to identify how many devices each of the network users are accessing the infrastructure.

Protection & Threat Prevention

NGFWs can track and control all of the applications and information on your network. They can limit traffic and risks to your network by only allowing approved applications to be used. You can even scan these applications to ensure there are no potential threats.

Remote User Coverage

NGFWs should be able to monitor and control traffic coming in and going out among remote users who are connected to your infrastructure.

Streamlined Security Infrastructure

NGFWs should have the necessary security infrastructure components like built-in antivirus protection, spam filtering, deep packet inspection, and application filtering.

Visibility & Control

With the right firewall installed, you can apply rules to network users. You can permit and prohibit them from accessing certain applications. NGFWs can even limit access to specific functions of an application.


The last but not least, price is always a factor when it comes to choosing the right firewall. It’s important that you think about not only how much something costs but how it will fit into your budget.