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Comparison of firewalls

Comparison of Firewall appliances

In general, a computer appliance is a computing device with a specific function and limited configuration ability, and a software appliance is a set of computer programs that might be combined with just enough operating system (JeOS) for it to run optimally on industry standard computer hardware or in a virtual machine.

A firewall appliance is a combination of a firewall software and an operating system that is purposely built to run a firewall system on a dedicated hardware or virtual machine. These include:

  • embedded firewalls: very limited-capability programs running on a low-power CPU system,
  • software-based firewall appliances: a system that can be run in independent hardware or in a virtualised environment as a virtual appliance
  • hardware-based firewall appliances: a firewall appliance that runs on a hardware specifically built to install as a network device, providing enough network interfaces and CPU to serve a wide range of purposes. From protecting a small network (a few network ports and few megabits per second throughput) to protecting an enterprise-level network (tens of network ports and gigabits per second throughput).

The following table lists different firewall appliances lists.

Check PointProprietaryIncluded on Check Point
security gateways
Proprietary operating system Check Point IPSO
and Gaia (Linux-based)
FortiGateProprietaryIncluded on all Fortigate
Proprietary, FortiOS
Palo Alto NetworksProprietaryIncluded on Palo Alto
Networks firewalls
Proprietary operating system PANOS
WatchGuardProprietaryIncluded on all
WatchGuard firewalls
Proprietary operating system
SophosProprietaryIncluded on Sophos UTMLinux-based appliance
Cisco Asa FirepowerProprietaryIncluded on all CISCO
ASA devices
Proprietary operating system
Cisco PIXProprietaryIncluded on all CISCO
PIX devices
Proprietary operating system
Mcafee FirewallProprietaryIncluded on Intel Security ApplianceLinux-based appliance
Juniper SSGProprietaryIncluded on Netscreen
security gateways
Proprietary operating system ScreenOS
Juniper SRXProprietaryIncluded on SRX
security gateways
Proprietary operating system Junos
SonicwallProprietaryIncluded on Dell applianceProprietary operating system SonicOs
Barracuda FirewallProprietaryIncluded Firewall Next Generation applianceWindows-based appliance
embedded firewall distribution
CyberoamProprietaryIncluded Firewall Sophos applianceWindows-based appliance
embedded firewall distribution
D-LinkProprietaryIncluded Firewall DFLWindows-based appliance
embedded firewall distribution
Endian FirewallProprietaryFree / PaidLinux-based appliance
Opendium IceniProprietaryFree / PaidLinux-based, with optional web filtering / auditing.
IPCopGPLFree / PaidLinux-based appliance
firewall distribution
pfSenseESF/BSDFree / PaidFreeBSD-based appliance
firewall distribution
IPFireGPLFree / PaidLinux/NanoBSD-based appliance
firewall distribution
UntangleGPLFree / PaidLinux/NanoBSD-based appliance
firewall distribution
ZeroshellGPLFree / PaidLinux/NanoBSD-based appliance
firewall distribution
SmoothWallGPLFree / PaidLinux-based appliance
embedded firewall distribution
WinGateGPLFree / PaidWindows-based appliance
embedded firewall distribution
Calyptix SecurityBSDFreeOpenBSD-based appliance
firewall distribution
Halon SecurityBSDFreeOpenBSD-based appliance
VantronixBSDFreeOpenBSD-based appliance