Firewalls act as the first line of defense in keeping your network secure. They monitor incoming and outgoing traffic to help prevent attacks on your systems. While software firewalls can be useful in some cases, these typically only protect the device they’re running on. For most small businesses, it makes sense to use a hardware firewall that can protect every device on the network. But with so many options available, it can be tough to decide which is right for your business.
We’re here to make the decision-making process much easier. We’ve selected the best firewall hardware options for small businesses and will explain what makes them good candidates. If you’re just looking for a quick list, here’s a brief rundown of our top picks:
Best firewall hardware for small businesses:
- SonicWall TZ400 Security Firewall: A customizable, versatile solution for small businesses with possible expansion goals.
- Ubiquiti UniFi Security Gateway: This budget option is easy to install and manage.
- WatchGuard Firebox T35: Ideal for businesses with up to 20 employees, the T35 comes with optional built-in wifi.
- Protectli Vault – 4 Port: A robust firewall hardware for use with open source firewall distributions.
- Cisco Meraki MX68: This all-in-one router and firewall is backed by advanced cloud-managed security.
- Sophos XG 86: A next-generation firewall with optional wifi and centralized management.
There are a ton of hardware firewall options out there, but you can select the best ones by looking at some key criteria. Here’s what we took into consideration when choosing our recommendations.
- Reputable company
- Provides strong protection against instructions
- Includes standout security features
- Straightforward to install
- Easy to manage
- Offers good value for money
Best firewall hardware for small businesses
Here’s our list of the best firewall hardware for small businesses:
SonicWall recognizes that enterprise firewall solutions can be too complex and overwhelming for smaller organizations. Its TZ series is designed with small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in mind. It offers simple installation and operation, so should be manageable even for less advanced users.
- Network Security Manager: A centralized management system that enables you to control all aspects of the firewall from a single location.
- Zero-Touch Deployment: A quick and secure connection process that requires minimal configuration.
- Capture Advanced Threat Protection (ATP): A cloud-based sandbox program that blocks zero-day threats such as ransomware attacks.
- Real-Time Deep Memory Inspection (RTDMITM): A patent-pending feature that works as part of the ATP service to inspect suspicious code.
You can customize your service with optional features like built-in wifi and Power over Ethernet (PoE).
The TZ series has evolved over the years. The latest offerings are the TZ570, TZ570W, and TZ670 models, but these are more suitable for mid-sized businesses and distributed organizations. For SMBs, the TZ400 should be more than sufficient.
Price: The standalone hardware retails for around $700, which includes a one-year warranty. A one-year security bundle will cost roughly $300 on top of the unit price.
If you’re on a tight budget, you might be interested in the Ubiquiti UniFi Security Gateway (USG). This compact firewall solution is simple enough for home use but versatile enough for small businesses. The device features three 1GB ethernet ports and is simply connected to your router to protect all devices using the wifi network.
The firewall is managed using the UniFi Controller, a Graphical User Interface (GUI). Here you can adjust your firewall settings, view which applications are connected to the internet, create Virtual LANs (VLANs), and more.
Ubiquiti is especially suitable for users who already have UniFi devices such as switches or wifi access points as part of their network, as they can all be controlled from the same interface.
Price: The Ubiquiti USG costs around $125 and comes with a limited one-year warranty.
WatchGuard has a full range of hardware firewalls to cater to businesses of all sizes. The most suitable for firewall hardware for small businesses are the T35 and T35-W, though if you have five or fewer users, the T15 models might be enough.
The T35 and T35-W allow for up to 20 users and have better performance than the smaller T15. They include five 1GB ethernet ports and can support 25 branch office VPN tunnels and 25 mobile VPN tunnels. The “W” stands for built-in wifi.
Security bundles are extra with optional add-ons including application control, APT (Advanced Persistent Threat) blocker, data loss prevention, and threat detection and response.
Need a unit that can withstand harsh conditions? WatchGuard makes the Firebox T35-R, a ruggedized version that can handle humidity, extreme temperatures, and dusty environments.
Price: The hardware itself costs around $550 for the T-35 and $650 for the T35-W, both including a one-year support and maintenance subscription. Security subscriptions start at around $100 per year.
Protectli offers a small range of firewall hardware models that work a bit differently to some others on this list. Units are designed for use with any open source firewall distribution, which is good for lowering costs and offering flexibility. That said, it does mean it’s not a plug-and-play solution, so not all that suitable for the less tech-savvy user.
Vault models come with two, four, or six ports, with the four-port model being suitable for most small businesses. Optional extras include built-in wifi, RAM (4GB or 8GB), and an SSD (32GB or 120GB).
Price: The price range of the four-port model is $199–$359 depending on which additional features you go for.
For business owners looking for a router and firewall combo, one of the Cisco Meraki models could be a great fit. These can support up to 50 users and you have a variety of options when it comes to interfaces, firewall throughput, and VPN throughput.
The top tier of the small branch models is the MX68, which features two 1GB WAN ethernet ports, 10 1GB LAN ethernet ports (two of which support PoE), 450 Mbps firewall throughput, and 200 Mbps VPN throughput. A wifi-enabled model (the MX68W) is also available.
One of the main advantages of the Meraki firewalls is the ability to maintain a speedy wifi connection.
An advanced security license including content filtering, Google SafeSearch, intrusion detection and prevention, and advanced malware protection can be purchased for an additional fee.
Price: The MX68 retails for around $970, which includes a one-year security and support bundle. You can expect to pay roughly $300 extra for built-in wifi.
6. Sophos XG 86
Sophos offers several options for next-generation firewalls for small businesses. The XG 86 is the lowest-tier model but will be ample for many organizations. It offers high speeds and supports an unlimited number of users. Wifi is optional.
Features include on-box reporting, four 1GB Ethernet ports, and a 225 Mbps VPN. Managing the firewall is easy with alerts, backups, and one-click firmware updates.
If you’re dealing with multiple firewalls, you have the option to use Sophos iView, a centralized reporting system that enables you to monitor a distributed network.
Price: The XG 86 retails for around $470 with a one-year security bundle. A built-in wifi model will only set you back about $60 more.