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Network Security: Firewall, Its Types, Advantages and Disadvantages

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One of the most important tools used to secure networks is firewalls. A firewall can be hardware or software. It filters all network traffic to prevent unauthorized access between computer networks. Other types of network security are access control, antivirus and antimalware, data loss prevention, email security, web security and wireless security. Traditional packet filters, application gateway, and stateful packet filters are used to achieve this defense. Individually, all the filters works in a various way to filter and control traffic. Some of firewall requisite are that all communications will go through the firewall, the firewall permits access to information that has been authorized, the firewall can bear attacks at the time of an attack, block outgoing network traffic based on source or destination IP addresses and blocking network traffic based on content. As of currently, a couple major companies like, Cisco and Check Point are two of the top firewall vendors around.


In 2013, Yahoo was one of the major companies to have a data breaches in the 21st century. Businesses need firewalls. Firewall protection is for anybody. There are personal, small organization and enterprise organization firewalls. What is your data worth to you? It is important to organizations to protect lost data, confidential data and staff time. The three main firewall categories are traditional packet filters, application gateways, and stateful packet filters. This paper will be going over network security, specifically firewalls, the different types of firewalls and the advantages and disadvantages of each packet filters.

Traditional Packet Filters

A traditional packet filter is the most basic filter out of the three presented. It reviews every single datagram one at a time. It decides on whether to prevent data from passing or allow data to pass based on “administrator-specific” rules. In other words it provides network security by sorting network communication established on the information enclosed in TCP/IP headers of each packet. In the network layer of the OSI model use data used by packet filters contains destination port and protocols, source port, , destination IP addressed and source IP address. A couple protocol types are TCP and UDP. Packet filters can be executed using the access control lists, which are frequently established on most routers. One advantage is the performance; traditional packets process information only on one layer, which is enhancing efficiency and makes them very fast. The second advantage is that it is cost efficient. Lastly, traditional packet filters are good for transferring management. However, a disadvantage is that packet filters do not track the TCP session material created when clients communicate with each other. As Mr. Dnaiel Newman says, “when initial communication with clients starts, it uses TCP, they perform a three-way handshake, which is used to establish the TCP session”. Since these sessions are not supervised by packet filters, the clients become easy target for spoofing to occur. The next packet filter reviewed is stateful packet filter.

Stateful Packet Filters

A Stateful filters actually track TCP connections, and use this knowledge to make filtering decisions. A stateful packet filters firewall permits and denies packets based on a set of rules very that similar to traditional packet filter. This firewall watches the progress of each communications session from beginning to end and applies a set rules centered on the source, protocol, destination address and port. It analyzes records to confirm connection requests happen in the appropriate arrangement. The firewall also keeps every single communications session from beginning to end and implements set rules based on protocol, port and source and destination addresses. Some advantages are it can distinguish between valid and falsified ACK packets and the capability to look into the records of certain packet types. Some of the disadvantages of stateful packet fitters is it allows direct connections between untrusted and trusted hosts. The next packet filter discussed will be application gateway.

Application Gateway

An application gateway, also known as proxy filter, is an application-specific server through which all application data (inbound and outbound) must pass. To clarify, an application gateway makes access assessments established on packet information at all seven layers of OSI model. It sits between the client and the destination functioning as a middleman between the two collaborating parties. It requires the client to establish a session with the application itself, which in turn creates a second session between itself and the destination. Some advantages are application gateways provide a higher level of security that traditional packet filters do as well. Some disadvantages are slower performance, Lack of performance, it can present speed and performance issues, specifically when a enormous number of sessions are being simultaneously negotiated.


In conclusion, an hardware or software firewall needs to be implemented. Many companies sell firewalls like, Cisco, Checkpoint, Sophos and WatchGuard. To keep your data safe, you need to have a firewall. This essay reviewed network security, specifically firewalls, the different types of firewalls and the advantages and disadvantages of each packet filters.

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Network Security: Firewall, Its Types, Advantages And Disadvantages. (2020, July 14). GradesFixer. Retrieved July 24, 2021, from
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