Before purchasing a firewall, you must understand the difference between a host-based and network firewall. While both protect your data, they do so in different ways.

Host-based firewalls are simple programs often used for home or personal computers. They protect a single computer and are also less expensive than network firewalls. Types of host-based firewalls include ZoneAlarm, Norton personal Firewall and the firewall already built into Windows XP called the Internet Connection Firewall.

A network firewall is much more sophisticated than a host-based firewall and used by large corporations that house many computers. While they are expensive, these firewalls are much faster and offer more advanced features than their counterpart.

Some of these features include the opportunity to manage more than one firewall centrally, obtain sophisticated reports and the ability to apply firewall rules for individual users.

Your business’ security is important. Make sure to understand the components of a firewall before purchasing one.

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