6 Best Firewalls for Small Businesses in 2021

 6 Best Firewalls for Small Businesses in 2021

Industry reports indicate that over 50% of SMBs suffer data breaches, yet less than 30% have effective protection against cyberattacks. 

While training your employees against social engineering attacks (like phishing) is a crucial step toward improving your cybersecurity, the easiest step is investing in a network firewall. Network firewalls automatically protect against a variety of malicious data and users and can also offer peripheral security services to your business. 

While firewalls traditionally targeted enterprise-level companies, some vendors have tailored their offerings to suit the scale and unique needs of SMBs. Small to midsize business reviewers on TrustRadius highlight these products as the best options for their businesses: 

Watchguard Network Security
Cisco Meraki MX
SonicWall TZ
SonicWall NSA series
6 leading firewalls for SMBs
This list includes the products present on the Small Business Firewall TrustMap, which is dynamically generated based on the intersection of B2B buyers’ interest and trScore. They are ordered according to the number of small business ratings and reviews each product has.

#1 WatchGuard Network Security — The Option for MSPs

Some businesses find value in partnering with a 3rd-party Firewall-as-a-Service (FWaaS) provider to outsource their firewall security rather than having to manage it in-house. WatchGuard excels for those small or midsize 3rd-party Managed Service Providers looking to provide FWaaS. 

MSP reviewers report that WatchGuard’s Fireboxes are very easy to manage. Particularly when managing firewalls across multiple clients, WatchGuard’s customizable configuration allows you to adapt your services to each client without creating an unruly ecosystem for your security specialists. WatchGuard’s customer support is also highly praised by MSP reviewers and in-house users alike. The vendor’s ability to effectively support both partners and in-house users indicates its flexibility for MSP users or users who want to deploy it for their businesses. 

Some users take issue with the cost of the platform. This complaint is more common among security platforms like WatchGuard that also boast a wider range of features than traditional firewall products. For businesses that utilize the full range of features offered, such as managed service providers, the layers of security can justify the added cost.

“I have and will continue to recommend WatchGuard Network Security to clients large and small. Our business has had no opportunity to say, “You’re too small or simple to not benefit from this level of security.” WatchGuard has a solution we can confidently offer to even our smallest client with confidence and know we can convey the peace of mind having a WatchGuard Network Security appliance.” 

Tracy A. | Senior Support Specialist | Tech Help | 1-10 employees
#2 pfSense — The Open Source Option

pfSense is the only open-source firewall software on this list. The software is free, with additional paid features like customer support. pfSense is unique because it only offers the firewall software itself, while third parties like Netgate sell both the software and hardware appliance. pfSense’s recommended appliance for small businesses is the SG-1100 for small or branch offices or the SG-3100 for Single Office/Home Office (SOHO) users.

pfSense includes features to act as a traffic router as well as a firewall, which reviewers say benefit its load-balancing capabilities. The software’s graphical user interface stands out to users as especially user-friendly and accessible. Open-source software is always heavily reliant on the accompanying documentation, and recent users have praised pfSense’s documentation.

While pfSense stands out for its open-source design, that’s also its main drawback. Reviewers note that one drawback to pfSense is that you are unable to purchase the necessary hardware appliances to run the firewall software on. Software updates and improvements are also dependent on community engagement. That said, so long as you are confident in and satisfied with the hardware you’re running the firewall on and the community behind the product, pfSense is a top open source firewall option!

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