Setting up a firewall is key to securing your network perimeter.Firewalls can block sensitive ports, filter incoming and outgoing traffic to block malicious connections and ensure no unsolicited data exchange.
In the world of free software, there are many firewall solutions to choose from.Below is a list of the best firewall solutions for hardening your network on Linux.
1. Uncomplicated Firewall (UFW)
UFW or Uncomplicated Firewall is the default firewall solution on Ubuntu and many famous Linux distributions.It uses the Netfilter framework, a built-in component of the Linux kernel, to monitor and manage network traffic.
If you are a beginner looking for free and easy-to-use firewall software with basic functionality, you can adapt to using UFW as it is readily available in your system.All you need to do is call it and implement your configuration.
IPFireis a free, secure and open source firewall distribution.It is not a software package, but a complete operating system.Originally, it was released as a fork of the IPCop project.As of now, it has developed into an independent operating system based on Linux From Scratch (LFS).
IPFireProvides a minimal approach and an intuitive color-coded user interface.Beginners will find it very easy to navigate the system and configure it to their requirements.
In addition to its firewall capabilities, IPFire provides additional capabilities to detect and mitigate intrusions.If you need a feature-rich, dedicated, lightweight firewall solution and are on a tight budget, you can rely on IPFire.
OPNsenseis an open-source, FreeBSD-based firewall distribution that offers free and paid subscriptionsOPNsensecommercial version.It is an advanced firewall system that offers tons of additional features in addition to monitoring and managing network traffic.
Some of OPNsense's flagship features include the ability to deeply analyze network packets, filter network traffic, and handle external threats through an online intrusion detection system (IDS).
In addition to these lucrative features, what makes OPNsense the first choice for many is its easy-to-use web interface, documentation, and multilingual support.If you're looking for a serious, advanced network security solution, you can put your trust in the richness of the OPNsense firewall system.
Endian Firewall is an open source plug-and-play stateful firewall distribution.It is available as freeware or paid software if you want to enjoy customer support.It comes with real-time packet monitoring, antivirus, website statistics logging, and more.
EFW is highly flexible and you can configure it for home and business users.It can build a highly secure and scalable network perimeter.
5. shore wall
shore wallThe software, much like UFW, is a firewall interface running on the Netfilter framework for monitoring and filtering network traffic.It is open source and free to use.Unlike other firewall solutions mentioned (except UFW),shore wallNo specialized hardware or virtualized containers are required to work.
You can simply download and install the package and implement it.While Shorewall is a very simple piece of software, don't underestimate its capabilities, as it is highly configurable and can adapt quickly when dealing with rapidly changing network environments.
pfSense is an open source firewall platform based on FreeBSD.It is also the parent project forked out of OPNsense.This is why there are many fundamental similarities between pfSense and OPNsense. pfSense provides advanced network security and intrusion detection, and you can deploy it as a router, DHCP or DNS server.
It is highly configurable and application flexible.Additionally, the highly accessible network control center makes it very easy to manage the pfSense system and gain a comprehensive view of the security posture at the network perimeter.
Due to pfSense's history, its documentation is extensive to help new users familiarize themselves with the environment. Training courses are also available for the commercial version of the pfSense firewall.
ConfigServer Firewall (CSF) is a free, cross-platform, versatile stateful firewall solution. CSF provides a large number of functions.From tracking logins to processes and sensitive services, to setting custom email alerts when the system detects suspicious connections, you can configure CSF to do everything a firewall is supposed to do, and more.
Since it is a highly advanced firewall solution, it is recommended that only system administrators or technically savvy users implement this firewall in their network.
8. smooth wall
smooth wallis a free and open source security hardened firewall distribution.It is one of the advanced firewall solutions equipped with real-time traffic monitoring, web content filtering, emergency records management and more.Although it's free software, you can also buy it if you wantsmooth wallcommercial version.Pricing for the commercial version is quote based.
Similar to UFW and Shorewall,Vuurmuuris a free and open source firewall tool that utilizes the built-in firewall components of the Linux kernel, such as iptables and Netfilter, to manage network boundaries.It provides an intuitive Graphical User Interface (GUI) layout to configure the firewall.
VuurmuurA gray area between being minimal and being feature-rich at the same time.Its GUI is usable by casual users, and since it's fully scripted, you can easily implement your automation scripts.
clearOSis an open source firewall distribution based on CentOS.While its flagship version is a paid product, there is also a free community edition that you can download and deploy right now.Unlike other comparable firewall solutions,clearOSis relatively easy to install and configure.
Once you have ClearOS installed, you can configure it through an easy-to-navigate web-based control panel.Even better, ClearOS is a widely used software, and as such, it has good documentation.If you run into any issues with ClearOS, a read of the documentation will definitely solve your troubles.
Secure your home network with the right tools and configuration
You shouldn't take cybersecurity lightly.An uninvited intruder can monitor your movements on the Internet and potentially hijack your device and, worse, your virtual identity.
While securing your network can be a tedious task that requires technical expertise, in reality, a secure network is built on basic digital hygiene and some important configurations of how you connect to the internet.
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