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How to protect your home’s wireless network

How to protect your home’s wireless network.

Wherever you turn on the Internet, there are dangers. Malicious hackers try to gain access to your data using malware, compromised firewalls, and brute force attacks. Without proper security measures, the security of your network and personal data is at serious risk.

To protect your network, you might consider installing a network-wide firewall like Firewalla Gold. This new, family-friendly, easy-to-use firewall was designed for home users and small businesses, but to help you decide if it’s the right one for you, we are testing it against this extensive firewall. overview.

Firewalla Gold: Design and Unboxing

Firewalla Gold is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, but in terms of cybersecurity, it does a pretty good hit.

When unpacking Firewalla Gold, don’t expect an outdated manual or a lot of unnecessary packaging. The kit includes Gold itself, as well as a power supply, a mounting plate, a USB control dongle, and screws to secure it. A small card inside contains a link to a website with instructions to follow to set up your firewall.

Basically, it is a plug and forgets solution with a mounting plate that allows it to be installed out of sight. That’s the point – it’s not here to grab your attention, it works in the background to block threats, ads, and more, only notifying you when it detects a potential problem.

Firewalla Gold comes with an American-style power cord by default. If you order through the Firewalla website, you can buy a suitable international cord for an additional $ 10, although you can find it elsewhere.

Compared to the earlier Firewalla Blue and Red products, this Firewalla is slightly larger and flat, with a metal groove at the top that helps keep it cool during use. The product has been thought of with passive cooling in mind, but we still recommend using it only in well-ventilated areas.

The design is simple

striking and vastly improved over earlier models. The only downside (which we see) is the lack of an included Ethernet cable to quickly connect it to your local network (or configure it as a router).

Although cables are cheap, Firewalla Gold retails for $ 499, so you’d expect it to have everything you need to get started. Please be aware that this product was designed for home users who (unlike technicians) may not have spare Ethernet cables.

Firewalla Gold: Features and Specifications

This funded firewall has all the features you need to secure your network. Firewalla Gold is the fourth generation of Firewalla products that have undergone several years of real-world testing that has allowed the company to improve and improve the product.

According to Firewalla,

Firewalla Gold uses four stages of monitoring and protection to keep your devices secure, including deep packet monitoring of your network traffic and behavior analysis to detect anything “out of the ordinary”. It also protects against threats (such as hacking attempts) using predefined or user-defined rules.

As part of a series of protections to keep your network safe, Firewalla Gold includes parental controls to block websites that cannot be accessed, and a built-in VPN server and client to connect to an external VPN. service or create your own for remote network connection.

If you want to block or remove ads, you can do so across your network using Firewalla Gold’s ad-blocking features, which block ads (including video ads) from showing on your devices on a number of well-known networks. For example, if you want to prevent ads from appearing on your TV, this would be the perfect solution.

If you are worried about the number of devices on your network, or if you want to “block” a certain number of devices from the rest, you can use network segregation. This isolates some devices, preventing internal and external access. This feature is great for outdoor surveillance cameras, for example, to stop surveillance.

This feature can also be used to monitor and control the use of data used by other devices. This can be done via the web interface or using the Firewalla mobile app for Android and iOS users.

On the hardware side, Firewalla Gold is an open platform that supports extensibility using Docker containers and SSH access to remotely configure and install additional software. The device runs a version of Debian Linux with a 64-bit Intel 2.2GHz quad-core processor, along with 4GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage.

Firewalla Gold can be connected to an existing LAN or can be configured as the main router on a LAN thanks to four “multi-gigabit” Ethernet ports (rated at up to 3Gbps) that are available on the back of the unit.

Installation and Set-Up : Firewalla Gold

Firewalla Gold comes with a configuration card that directs you to a link on the Firewalla website. This link is your personalized setup guide with tips and tricks on how you can set up and use a firewall on your network.

Firewalla recommends using Firewalla Gold in router mode. This means that Firewalla Gold fully manages and controls your network traffic. The setup guide offers some help setting up your existing router to do this, but you may need to refer to your router’s user manual first.

You can also configure Firewalla Gold as an add-on to your existing router as a DHCP server (issuing an IP address) in DHCP mode. Or, if you want to leave the router settings unchanged (or cannot change them), you can set it to simple mode. As the name suggests, Simple Mode is easy to configure as it doesn’t require any other settings.

How to protect your home’s wireless network

Simple mode uses ARP spoofing to convince other devices that Firewalla Gold is your network router, forcing any connected devices on the network to route traffic through it. This has some compatibility issues with some types of routers and may not work as efficiently, but it will be the easiest to set up and use.

First, you need to connect your existing Firewalla Gold router or AP to port 4 on the rear panel (WAN port) using an Ethernet cable. Ports 1 through 3 can be used to connect other devices. Although the device has an HDMI port, it is currently not being used on the test model we received.

After the device is connected and powered on, you will need to install the Firewalla Gold app from the App Store for Apple devices or the Google Play Store for Android devices. This will allow you to install and configure your device.

The Firewalla app is well designed, easy to use, and should get you from the initial setup steps to full operation within 10 minutes if your Firewalla Gold is properly connected to your network.

Novice users should understand the on-screen instructions with clear guides and clear explanations to guide you through the setup process. Power users and pros alike will probably have no problem, but since the product is consumer-oriented, it’s nice to see a simple approach take priority.

Firewalla Gold: Usage

Firewalla Gold is an evolution of the service that has been in development for several years. With a focus on home and small businesses, Firewalla Gold has been designed with simplicity in mind. This is evident from our tests over several days.

Of course, a firewall is not meant to be visible – you have to be able to install it and forget it. Fortunately, this feature works well. With features enabled, such as advertising and IP-based location blocking, the device simply worked without issue during our tests.

It blocked ads, prevented threats, and most importantly, did not interfere with existing network services. All the devices on my network continued to use the Internet without any problems, exchange files, and connect to each other. Except for testing the network segmentation functions, all devices could continue to communicate.

Using the Firewalla application, it was also easy to change the settings as needed. For example, ad blocking could affect some UK streaming services, so disabling certain devices from ad blocking ensured the services were up and running in less than a minute.

Services like VPN connectivity and segment blocking (where devices can be quarantined quickly, for example, is infected with malware) can be a little more difficult for novice users to understand, but the Firewalla website has an extensive FAQ section. which should help explain difficult-to-understand functions and settings.

Testing Firewalla Gold over several days with multiple users and multiple devices connected to it has proven that the device does what it promised: protects your network, blocks ads and outside threats, and gives you additional security features that your network would otherwise have. maybe absent.

How to protect your home’s wireless network

Firewalla Gold vs. Alternative Firewall Devices

Firewalla Gold is a versatile device that simplifies local network security. There are alternatives you can try, but it all depends on your budget and the time you need to get set up.

For example, you can use open-source pfSense on a custom-built machine, old PC, or Raspberry Pi as a network firewall. pfSense is recognized in the industry and highly recommended, but it takes a lot of training from setup to setup.

It is also completely free to use, or you can get it pre-installed on the Netgate SG-3100 for the same price as Firewalla Gold, but with older hardware and fewer features.

On the contrary, Firewalla Gold benefits from several years of development, testing, and improvement. This is the fourth edition of the Firewalla line, and with an easy-to-use application and SSH access to update and install your own software, it offers all the headache-free customization.

Alternatives to Firewalla Gold do exist, but you may have to pay extra to match the functionality. For example, you can take the Bitdefender Box, which also offers threat detection and anti-malware protection for your entire network, but on a slower device that isn’t as easy to configure or expand as compared to Firewalla Gold.

You can also take a look at enterprise-grade hardware such as the Ubiquiti EdgeRouter 4. It offers similar functionality to Firewalla Gold, but without a user-friendly interface and on slower hardware.

Whether you build your own firewall or opt for a complete turnkey solution, few firewalls offer the enhanced user interface, feature set, advanced hardware, and level of customization that Firewalla Gold offers its users.

Protecting Your Network

Firewalla Gold is one of the most exciting consumer-grade security products to hit the market in recent years. Priced at $ 499 with no additional fees or commissions, it is priced at the lower end of the market, but with the kind of features, you might see in an enterprise-class Cisco or Juniper.

Functionality is the most important benefit of Firewall Gold, with features like ad blocking and real-time threat detection that most users can turn on and forget.

For power users and enterprises, extensive customization, especially with the ability to extend functionality with Docker containers and SSH access to install additional software, is a very flexible solution.

We have no doubt that Firewalla Gold will protect local and business networks well, offering a huge improvement in security over a simple software firewall. After all, you can only protect yourself from hackers if you have the necessary hardware to keep you safe in the first place.

How to protect your home’s wireless network

How to protect your home’s wireless network

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