best network firewall

Best Home Network Firewall Review

Joseph Network Firewall, Network Firewall, Reviews 0 Comments

Choosing the best home network firewall for you and your home can be a confusing task particularly due to the amount of cheaply made and security flawed products that have flooded the market.

We have compiled and reviewed the best home network firewalls available in the market to assist you in making the right choice for your home.

Top Home Network Firewall

Feature Cujo Anonabox Pro Ubiquiti Unifi Netgear Prosafe TP Link Gigabit Zyxel Zywall
VPN
Firewall
Gateway Virus Protection
Graphic User Interface Mobile app Browser
Browser Browser Browser
Features 8 8.5 9 8 8 9.5
Design 9 9 7 7 8 8
Usability 9 8 7 8 8 8.5
Performance 8 9 9 9 7 9
Scores SCORE 8.5 SCORE 8.5 SCORE 8.0 SCORE 8.0 SCORE 8.0 SCORE 9.0
Prices $$ $$ $$ $$ $ $$
Read Full Review Read Here Read Here Read Here Read Here Read Here Read Here

Everyone that owns a computer is concerned about the security of their devices and their network – at least they should be. There are many different solutions to the problem of security such as antivirus software, firewall’s, and VPN’s. These all work to a point, but they’re all software solutions and that means they have vulnerabilities that can be exploited.

It turns out we now have better options available to us in the form of home network firewalls. Instead of having to install each piece of software separately on each device you can hook one of these up to your router and block malicious traffic and unwanted prying eyes before they get anywhere near your devices. This is the type of security the military has been using for years and it’s now available to the average Joe.

Our site is all about finding and identifying technologies that can make the smart home a reality and an essential part of that is making sure all of the devices hooked up to our home networks are protected. There’s no better way to do that than to install a home network firewall. There are a lot of different options out there and in this article we’ll identify some of the best ones and point out the differences between them.

Home network firewalls have been around for a while, but modern devices don’t just block unauthorized access to your network – some of them can actually hide your identity and your location in the world. As our homes become more and more integrated with the online world security will continue to become more complex. A home network firewall really is a must have if you’re developing your own smart home.

Features of the Best Home Network Firewalls:

  • Connector.

    Virtual Private Network (VPN)

    VPN’s, or Virtual Private Networks, are one of the best ways to protect your privacy from unwanted scrutiny. In a nutshell a VPN masks your location making it difficult for other network traffic to determine your real location allowing you to surf in complete anonymity. It also has the added bonus of allowing you to access sites that would otherwise block access from your particular location. Most of the hardware we look at on this list have VPN capability with the exception of the CUJO firewall and the Ubiquiti Unifi security gateway.

  • Connector.

    Firewall

    A firewall is designed to prevent unwanted access to your devices from the outside world while still allowing you to access the web freely. A good firewall will protect you without negatively affecting your web access speeds at all and all of the hardware options in this article do a great job of this. There are software solutions that provide a similar service, but firewall hardware blocks access before it ever comes in contact with your devices and is generally considered a better solution.

  • Connector.

    Gateway Virus Protection

    Most of us are used to virus protection software individually installed on our devices and for the most part these work quite well. A couple of the devices on our list actually block viruses from hitting your devices at all – in particular the CUJO firewall and the Zyxel Zywall. This means you don’t have to install virus protection on each device on your home network and they can also protect other smart home items such as baby monitors and thermostats from malicious attacks which otherwise wouldn’t have access to such protection.

  • Connector.

    Graphic User Interface

    While most network firewalls are setup to work right out of the box, you’re still probably going to want to tweak some settings from time to time and that means you need a good interface to work with. Most of the equipment we review here use browser based GUI’s with the exception of the CUJO which requires the use of a mobile app and the Ubiquiti Unifi which has a more complicated DOS command line interface which is really meant for power users.

Time for the Reviews

Now that we have a good understanding of what to look for in a good network firewall hardware solution it’s time to take a closer look at each product. There are other options on the market, but we feel these are the top choices out there. Below you’ll find a chart that compares each product side by side followed by full reviews of each one.

CUJO Smart Internet Security Firewall

Best Home Firewall for Design

Features
8.0
Design
9.0
Usability
9.0
Performance
8.0

Features

Of all the products on this list the CUJO security firewall is probably the most unique. This device gives you business level internet security and provides one of the most user friendly experiences available. The use of a mobile app for user interactions is a big plus and you get full protection for 180 days before having to start paying a monthly fee to continue your service. This firewall actually has the ability to learn from your habits and make adjustments on the fly to protect you. It supports both DHCP and Bridge.

Design

This device doesn’t like any other network firewall hardware out there. In fact it would look right at home in Apple or Google’s product catalogue. It’s a beautiful device that also has a practical design that works well. There are two Ethernet ports on the device that can be used to act as a bridge between your modem and your router as well as a power adaptor plug.

Usability

The mobile app makes this firewall a breeze to set up. All you have to do is download the app from the App Store and follow the step by step instructions provided. The whole set up process only takes a few minutes. If you do run into problems they offer live video support 24/7.

Performance

While the main purpose of a network firewall is to protect you from outside attacks and unwanted activity that doesn’t mean you want it to slow down your surfing capabilities. The CUJO has a built-in gigabit Ethernet adapter which ensures your connection speeds are not slowed down in any way. That means anyone using your network will have full access to the top speeds on offer from your internet service provider.



Anonabox PRO Wi-Fi Tor & VPN Router

Features
8.5
Design
9.0
Usability
8.0
Performance
9.0

Features

Where the Anonabox Pro does clearly outperform the CUJO is in its VPN capabilities. This device offers VPN integrated controls with VPN encryption and complete anonymity while surfing the web. It’s designed to be plugged directly into your router so that every device on your network automatically gets access to it’s robust firewall protection and VPN privacy settings and it provides you the ability to surf the TOR network or open web which the majority of people don’t have access to. You can also password protect access to the Anonabox so that you control who can use your network and when.

Design

The Anonobox is a sleek little blackbox which can be taken with you anywhere. If you know anyone that owns an Apple TV box you have an idea how sleek and compact this product is as it does look quite similar to Apple’s popular entertainment box. It’s also meant to be portable so that you can take it with you were ever you go and surf in complete privacy no matter where you are.

Usability

This firewall is pretty straightforward to set up. All you have to do is connect your device to the Anonobox and then connect Anonobox to your high speed modem. That’s it. You’re now sufing with full firewall protection and in complete privacy. When you’re on the road you can plug it directly into your laptop and when you’re at home you can hook it up to your router so that all of your devices share its protection. The user interface is directed through your browser.

Performance

By all accounts the performance of the Anonobox is quite impressive. It has a built-in 650 MHz CPU and allows file sharing using port sharing. There is no noticeable interruption to the speeds that your internet service provider offers meaning this product gives you the privacy and protection you need as well as peace of mind.



Ubiquiti Unifi Security Gateway

Features
9.0
Design
7.0
Usability
7.0
Performance
9.0

Features

The Ubiquiti Unifi Security Gateway is one of the most robust hardware firewalls on the market. This device provides professional level protection making it popular for enterprise users, but still quite capable of providing excellent protection for your smart home. It provides complete and secure firewall protection both for onsite and remote users. It has an integrated Unifi controller that provides gateway protection that’s second to none.

Design

This firewall has a very basic utilitarian design, but it gets the job done. It looks a lot like any standard router you may have used, but it offers a lot more privacy protection than a typical router. It has three LAN ports for directly connecting your devices, or you can connect it to your wireless router and take advantage of your existing Wi-Fi capabilities to provide full firewall protection to all of the devices inyour home.

Usability

While the Ubiquiti Unifi gateway may be one of the most powerful hardware firewall solutions on the market today it is not the most user friendly. This product does not have a typical GUI which was a bit of a surprise so you’ll need to have a bit of an understanding of how to use DOS commands at the command prompt of you want to make tweaks to your configuration.

Performance

Where this firewall really shines is in its overall performance. All firewalls will slow your internet speeds a little bit, but this one provides virtually seamless connection speeds. It has 3 gigabit Ethernet ports for lightning fast connections and it can handle data at a rate of 1 million packets per second. There aren’t many products that can match it, which makes putting up with its lack of a GUI a little more palatable.



NETGEAR ProSAFE FVS318G 8-Port Gigabit VPN Firewall

Features
8.0
Design
7.0
Usability
8.0
Performance
9.0

Features

Netgear is a name most of us are familiar with as it’s been making reliable routers for years, but they also offer one of the best hardware firewall solutions available in the ProSafe FVS318G. This is a highly secure firewall that offers business class stateful packet inspection. It also has 12 dedicated IPSec tunnels for secure remote access and excellent VPN privacy. With this firewall you have completed protection from Denial Of Service attacks as well.

Design

You’d be forgiven if you mistook the ProSafe for your typical Netgear router as it doesn’t look at all different, but what makes it different is how it works. It has 1 gigabit WAN port and 8 LAN ports to allow you to wire multiple devices directly to it, or you can connect it to your wireless router and use it for any device in the home.

Usability

Setting up this firewall and VPN service is straightforward using Netgear’s browser based GUI and will provide very few obstacles for anyone with more than the most basic knowledge of home networks. If you run into any problems during your initial set up process they do provide 24/7 advanced tech support via a proprietary chat service.

Performance

When it comes to performance the ProSafe performs admirably. It has 250 Mbps LAN to Wan throughput which offers uninterrupted connection speeds. When using this firewall you won’t notice any significant degradation of your internet speeds.



Best Home Firewall for Price

Features
8.0
Design
8.0
Usability
8.0
Performance
7.0

Features

The TP-Link Gigabit VPN router may not look overly impressive right out of the box, but it offers an impressive array of feature that will provide you with a secure internet connection for every device in your home. It works with both IPSec and PPTP VPN protocols allowing you to surf without giving away your actual location and letting you access sites that would otherwise be unable to connect to. There are up to 20 IPSec VPN tunnels and 16 PPTP tunnels. The firewall protection is also excellent with an SPI firewall and built-in DOS defences. As an added bonus this firewall router is also the least expensive of all the products we reviewed.

Design

While there’s nothing overly flashy about this TP-Link firewall it is relatively compact and it’s black case will look relatively unobtrusive in your home office. There is 1 gigabit WAN port for connecting to the internet and 4 gigabit LAN ports for directly connecting devices via Ethernet cord. As is the case with most hardware firewalls you can connect it directly to your Wi-Fi router so that all of your wireless devices in the home are protected as well.

Usability

The TP-Link Gigabit VPN Router has a typically browser based GUI which is packed full of options for customizing your protection levels. The device should work without a hitch using the default settings making set up effortless, but it’s nice to have the option to make adjustments as needed.

Performance

This is a relatively fast piece of hardware with a max LAN throughput of 20 Mbps and while that may not make it the fastest on the market it’s more than adequate for most internet connection set ups. The gigabit ports also help to prevent any bottle necks providing an excellent user experience.



ZyXEL ZyWALL USG50 Internet Security Firewall with Dual-WAN

Best Home Network Firewall – smarthomeSAGE Top Pick

Features
9.5
Design
8.0
Usability
8.5
Performance
9.0

Features

The ZyXel ZyWall security firewall offers amazing protection for any smart home with tons of features. The firewall protection blocks unwanted access and you can also surf the web and access otherwise unavailable sites using its hybrid VPN protection which offers both SSL and IPSec. In addition to these standard features it offers gateway antivirus protection, content filtering, anti-spam technology, DOS intrusion protection, and you can control the bandwidth per user. It even offers support for your 3G cellular devices.

Design

This firewall router has a unique retro design that wouldn’t look out of place in the home office of the 80’s or 90’s, but underneath the shell is some very modern features. It has two WAN ports, 4 LAN ports, and 2 USB ports as well. You can connect any device you like directly to this router or connect it to your Wi-Fi router.

Usability

The GUI used to make changes to your firewall settings is browser based and is quite clean and user friendly. Some of the services, such as the Antivirus protection do require a subscription after the initial trial period expires.

Performance

The ZyWall offers a high-speed connection with a maximum throughput of 90 Mbps. That’s enough to easily keep up with the speeds that most major internet providers offer. It’s also compatible with both IPV4 and IPV6 protocols.



Protect Your Smart Home

A network firewall is something that no modern home should be without – especially if you’re building your own smart home. Many of your internet connected device are vulnerable to malicious attack, including baby monitors and thermostats. When you decide the time is right make sure you look for one that offers both firewall and VPN protection if possible. If you’re not worried about surfing the net anonymously VPN isn’t necessary and that’s why we’ve included a couple of great devices in this article that don’t have VPN capabilities. No smart home should be without a hardware firewall solution.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *