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Firewalls vs Routers

June 19th, 2019 by David Dick

Digital lock

Do you have a Firewall? Probably not. The most common answer to that question is "I don't know". "There is this little box in the back room that does something and the main wire from ATT or Spectrum plugs into it". That's the second most common answer. Most companies do have a router – even if it's the very basic unit that Spectrum or ATT delivered with your internet service, but it's not a firewall.

A router tells your data traffic which way to go and is the first line of defense against potential threats. The router assigns a private IP address to each computer on the local area network and then uses a process called network address translation (NAT) to map the private addresses to a single public address. This process hides the true addresses of attached devices and controls what traffic reaches each PC. While this process gets you connected to the internet it's not doing anything other than basic routing of traffic. Do you feel safe enough from the landslide of potential internet attacks?

Diagram of a firewall system

You need a firewall. A firewall looks deeper into the data information and manages the information that both arrives and leaves the data network. Looking deeper into the data traffic helps to locate and isolate viruses, malware, phishing or malicious traffic and enforces specific company policies that may be in place. Some of the best firewalls are "also" routers - giving you the best of both worlds. Improve your company's safety. Improve your network connectivity speeds. Improve your ability to sleep at night. Get a firewall and get a good one.

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