In recent years, Next-Gen Firewalls (NGFW) have emerged as a key technology for securing enterprise networks against modern online threats. Next gen firewalls combine the protection of a traditional firewall with advanced features like packet filtering and intrusion detection to combat a broader range of cyberattacks.
In this article, we’re going to look at the nine best next-gen firewalls. Our comparison includes an overview of some of the top next-gen firewalls on the market, with features such as intrusion prevention systems, SSL inspection, machine learning, and policy management.
Here is a list of the nine best Next-Gen Firewalls (NGFW):
- Fortinet FortiGate (7000 series) – Our top pick for next-gen firewalls. Leading next-gen firewall with intrusion prevention, AI, SSL inspection, management console, and more.
- Forcepoint NGFW – Next-gen firewall with automated failover, advanced malware detection, application whitelisting/blacklisting, and more.
- Palo Alto Networks PA Series – Machine learning next-gen firewall with TLS/SSL decryption, QoS policies, automated threat prevention, and more.
- Juniper Networks SRX Series – A range of firewalls and SD-WAN solutions with unified threat management, advanced threat protection, centralized security management, and more.
- SonicWall Next-Generation Firewall TZ Series – Next-gen firewalls with zero-touch deployment, deep memory inspection, SSL/TLS decryption, and more.
- Barracuda CloudGen Firewall – Next-gen firewall with advanced threat protection, an IDS/IPS, VPN, and more.
- Cisco FirePOWER Series – Series of network firewalls with an IPS, malware detection, centralized policy management, URL filtering, and more.
- Sophos XG Series – Series of next-gen firewalls with threat intelligence, intrusion prevention, a web application firewall, anti-spam solution, and more.
- Check Point Quantum Security Gateways – Next-gen firewalls with threat detection, zero-touch access, antivirus, URL filtering, and more.
The Best Next-Gen Firewalls
Fortinet FortiGate is a series of next-gen firewalls that includes an intrusion prevention system that can automatically detect threats. The Fortinet Fortigate 7000 series is the gold standard of next-gen firewalls with threat detection powered by AI, which can inspect plain text or encrypted traffic and identify cyber-attacks.
In terms of throughput, Fortinet FortiGate offers 100 GBPS of NGFW throughput, 120 GBPS of intrusion prevention throughput, 50 GBPS of SSL inspection throughput, and 80 GBPS of threat protection throughput. The high throughput enhances performance and lowers latency for end-users.
Users can manage their network settings through the management console, which comes with features like compliance checklists you can use to manage your environment.
Fortinet FortiGate is one of the top solutions to research if you want a top of range next-gen firewall. It is available as an appliance and virtual machine. You can request a demo from this link here.
- Intrusion prevention system
- AI-threat detection
- SSL inspection
- Centralized management console
Forcepoint NGFW is a solution that combines a next-gen firewall with an SD-WAN for high availability. With Forcepoint NGFW you can deploy broadband, wireless, and dedicated lines on-premises with automated failover to protect against service disruptions. Through the dashboard you can view a top-down perspective of network activity, helping you to identify and respond to security events quickly.
The firewall comes with Forcepoint Advanced Malware Detection to detect zero-day ransomware threats. Zero-day protection is useful because it protects against unknown strains of malware and ransomware, reducing the chance of your network falling victim to the latest online threats.
At the application-level, Forcepoint NGFW provides whitelisting and blacklisting to control which applications can access the internet. Application controls are customizable so you can select which services will be able to access online services. The firewall also includes accelerated decryption to inspect HTTPS and SSL/TLS traffic to ensure that no malicious activity takes place.
Forcepoint NGFW is ideal for enterprises that require a high-availability and secure firewall solution. For pricing information, you need to contact the sales team to request a quote. You can request a demo from this link here.
- High availability
- Automated failover
Palo Alto Networks PA Series is a machine learning-powered next-gen firewall. With Palo Alto Networks PA Series you can use TLS/SSL decryption and inspection to monitor traffic and ensure that no encrypted malicious traffic gets through your defenses. There is also DoS protection to defend against brute force attacks on your network.
The Palo Alto Network PA series comes with a range of administration options you can use to manage your network. For example, configurable QoS policies allow you to optimize network performance and determine which applications and users take priority.
A threat prevention feature uses payload-based signatures to block malware and zero-day attacks. Palo Alto Networks updates the signatures daily to ensure the firewall can detect the latest threats. In addition, URL filtering automatically detects and prevents web-based threats like phishing links and phishing sites.
Palo Alto Networks PA Series is one of the top firewalls for enterprises in the market for an advanced next-gen firewall with anomaly detection capabilities and QoS settings. For pricing information, you need to contact the company directly to request a quote. You can request a demo from this link here.
- Machine learning
- TLS/SSL decryption
- QoS policies
- DoS protection
- Automated threat detection
Juniper Networks SRX Series is a range of firewalls and SD-WAN solutions designed for private, hybrid, and public cloud environments. The firewall addresses online threats head-on by scanning incoming traffic with deep packet inspection to identify viruses, malware, and other malicious attachments.
The firewalls also come with Juniper Advanced Threat Prevention, which can identify known and unknown threats with machine learning and advanced malware analysis. Centralized security management gives users the option to manage the security settings of multiple locations from one place.
Juniper Networks SRX Series is an excellent choice for enterprises that need to defend against day-one threats. For pricing information, you need to contact Juniper directly to request a quote. You can sign up to buy from this link here.
- Firewall and SD-WAN
- Unified threat management
- Juniper advanced threat prevention
- Centralized security management
SonicWall’s Next-Generation Firewall TZ Series is a series of firewalls aimed at SMEs. The TZ Series offers zero-touch deployment so you can deploy devices to multiple locations and use Network Security Manager to centrally manage your network configurations.
With deep memory inspection, the TZ Series detects advanced cyber attacks such as ransomware and malware with shared threat intelligence that can detect zero-day threats. When combined with the intrusion prevention system and content filtering, the TZ Series provides comprehensive protection against all types of threats.
At the same time, SSL/TLS decryption looks out for threats hidden in encrypted traffic. For extra security, employees can access the network with the 802.11ac wireless SSL VPN.
SonicWall’s Next-Generation Firewall TZ Series is a reliable option for SMEs looking for a next-gen firewall with a diverse selection of security features. To view pricing information for the TZ series you need to contact the sales team to request a quote. You can submit an inquiry from this link here.
- Zero-touch deployment
- Deep memory inspection
- Built-in storage and redundant power
- SSL/TLS decryption
Barracuda CloudGen Firewall is a next-gen firewall with traffic management and SD-WAN. The series comes with advanced threat protection and checks files against a regularly updated cryptographic hash database to identify malicious activity. If the system detects malicious activity it can respond with an automatic quarantine to control the problem.
An Intrusion Detection and Prevention System (IDS/IPS) provides protection against cyber threats. The IDS/IPS can detect network threats such as SQL injections, access control attempts, cross-site scripting, DoS/DDoS attacks, viruses, and spyware, so it can block even the most advanced attacks.
VPN capabilities enable remote users to connect to network resources with SSL and IPsec. The VPN is portal-based so that users can connect seamlessly. There is also a mobile portal for iOS, Android, and Blackberry devices that employees can access from a smartphone or tablet.
Barracuda CloudGen Firewall is a solution suitable for those that require advanced threat detection and automated response capabilities. You can order a trial from this link here.
- Traffic management
- Advanced threat protection
- Intrusion detection and prevention
Cisco FirePOWER is a series of network firewalls with IPS and malware detection capabilities. The Cisco FirePOWER Series IPS can identify indicators of compromise within the network and automatically respond. Regular signature updates ensure the IPS is also ready to detect emerging online threats. At the same time, advanced malware protection detects and blocks malware from entering your network.
Centralized policy management allows you to manage firewalls, application control, URL filtering, and malware protection. Here you can monitor discovered threats and begin the remediation process. There is also a URL filtering feature that can categorize over 280 million URLs with 80 different categories.
The Cisco FirePOWER series is recommended for enterprises that need to secure public or private cloud environments. For pricing information, you need to contact the company directly to request a quote. You can contact the sales team here.
- URL filtering
- Malware detection
- Centralized policy management
The Sophos XG series is a series of next-gen firewalls that use threat intelligence and intrusion prevention to block unknown threats. The Sophos XG Series’ threat intelligence uses deep learning to detect zero-day threats. This enables the firewall to follow up with automatic responses like quarantining the malicious content so it can’t spread to other systems.
A web application firewall provides protection against Layer 7 web-based attacks. Similarly, there is an anti-spam solution that protects the user’s inbox from threats like phishing attacks and spam.
Remote workers can easily connect to your network with a VPN client. The VPN client is available on Windows and macOS so that users can log into the network from wherever they are located. There are also application-based mobile VPN clients with IPSEC and SSL VPN.
The Sophos XG Series is suitable for enterprises that require all-around protection from private-network and web-based threats. You need to contact the company directly to request a quote for pricing information. You can sign up for the free trial here.
- Intrusion prevention
- Deep learning
- VPN client (and mobile VPN)
- Web application firewall
- Email inbox protection
Check Point Quantum Security Gateways are next-gen firewalls designed to protect against the fifth generation of cyber-attack. Advanced threat detection enables the solution to detect zero-day exploits and ransomware threats. With Zero-Touch Access, you can configure the appliance in a matter of minutes.
The series also offers a range of security features to protect against a variety of threats. For example, there is an antivirus to block viruses and malware, and URL filtering to combat web-based threats. All files entering your network are quarantined in a sandbox and inspected before they are permitted to enter, reducing the likelihood of a breach.
You can manage security settings through a web-based SmartConsole. Here you can configure firewall access policies, manage new gateways, monitor applications, devices, users, mobile devices, and more to ensure that your service is secure.
Check Point Quantum Security Gateways are fit for enterprises that require an advanced threat prevention solution that’s easy to deploy and manage. You need to contact the sales team for pricing information. You can request a demo here.
- Zero-touch access
- Unified security management
- Threat detection
- Sandbox protection
- URL filtering
Choosing a Next-Gen Firewall
Next-gen firewalls like the Fortinet FortiGate, Forcepoint NGFW, and Palo Alto Networks PA Series are leading the way to combat the next generation of threats while granting users enhanced centralized management capabilities.
Before committing to deployment, it’s a good idea to research multiple solutions so you can find a firewall that provides the best coverage against the threats facing your environment.