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How do I Choose the Best Home Network Firewall?

By Erin J. Hill
Updated May 17, 2024
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Choosing the right home network firewall is an important decision that should be made after research and careful consideration. There are hundreds of options available, each with its own special features and protection systems. To choose the right one for your situation, you will need to look through all the options within your price range and get the one with the most coverage for the price.

Home network firewall systems can range widely in price, primarily based on the features being offered and the brand. To start, you should come up with a budget by determining how much you can reasonably spend on a new firewall. The price you come up with will have a large impact on which system you can get.

All firewalls offer protection by filtering through incoming and outdoing files based on content and senders. With hackers growing more sophisticated by the day, however, further protection is also needed for most users. This can include email and virus blockers, as well as filters that work on a deeper level. For example, current home network firewalls can not only filter websites based on URL addresses, but on content.

Since most home networks do not have dozens of computers like a large company would, you can probably get away with a mid-range software application. This means that it will offer enough protection for multiple computers, but is not necessarily equipped to handle more than ten or twenty machines at once. Check local retailers and ask about home network firewall systems. Make sure that any options you are considering are made for networks and not single computers.

You should also be sure to check into any firewall software your systems already have. Some computers already have some level of protection built into the hardware. You may have to activate or subscribe to the software, but it can save you the trouble of having to pick out and install a new type. Again, be sure any hardware based firewalls are suitable for network use.

If your computers do not currently have any kind of home network firewall protection, then you may want to choose a system from your local retailer. The amount of coverage you need will vary based on how many computers you have within the network, how many files or emails that are sent and received each day, and the software you have installed on your system. Make sure to discuss your server and system information to make sure the firewall you choose is compatible.

Keep in mind that some software applications offer additional features that you can pay extra for should they become necessary. You may want to buy one of these in a more basic format to start with, and then add the features you need as they become necessitated or as your budget permits. Also, find out about any ongoing monthly charges you will be required to pay.

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Discussion Comments
By Drentel — On Nov 07, 2014

@Animnddel - Also keep in mind that your computers are vulnerable to attacks other than through the Internet. You or someone on your network could easily plug in an infected device to a USB drive. You don't want to have to suffer the consequences because your teenager downloaded some type of music video or whatever, and it was infected.

By Sporkasia — On Nov 07, 2014

@Animandel - A good home network firewall will protect your computers on the network from one another. If one computer on the network somehow gets a virus then it will probably eventually appear on the other computers unless you have a network firewall.

Even with individual firewall protection on all of your computers, one of them could still get infected, as most people with personal computers are aware of. The network firewall provides that extra protection, and your other computers can act as backups for the infected computer.

By Feryll — On Nov 06, 2014

@Animandel - If you are using a wireless network router connected to a cable modem for Internet then you should be protected with the individual computer firewalls and security systems. I'm sure there are ways to get around virtually any protection system, but you are in good shape comparatively speaking.

By Animandel — On Nov 05, 2014

If all of the computers in my home network already have firewall and general computer and Internet protection then do I need additional protection for the network? This seems like overkill to me, but I know very little about the fundamental workings of computer systems and Internet protection, so I could be wrong.

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