Choosing the best Linux® firewall first involves understanding precisely what you want the firewall to do. A firewall is a vital part of network security that is necessary to keep essential data from being susceptible to being stolen, hacked, or corrupted by individuals outside the organization where the data is stored. If you are looking to choose the best firewall for a computer on the Linux® operating system, the best way to choose the Linux® firewall that is right for you involves taking into account your own needs, the cost of the firewall, the amount of Internet traffic the firewall can effectively handle, and the technological needs of your organization.
You should first begin by determining how much traffic you need to be able to handle and the amount of potential infiltration or hacking you must protect against. Consider the monthly traffic through your servers as well as whether or not you need protection for e-mail as well as Web traffic. Another major factor in making your choice is whether or not you need simple firewall protection for your home use, or more complex firewall protection for use in an office or commercial Web server location. By determining exactly what you need in the way of firewall protection, you will be better able to narrow down the Linux® firewall options available to you.
You will also want to determine whether or not you need packet firewall protection or proxy firewall protection. Packet protection accepts data from outside sources in small amounts, called packets, and then uses a predetermined set of rules made by you, the firewall administrator, to determine what packets to accept or reject based on these rules. Proxy firewall protection allows connections by outside users to a proxy, or duplicate server, then determines whether or not to allow these connections to the main server based, again, on a set of predetermined rules created by you as the firewall administrator. Depending on your business or data connection, you will need to determine which of these methods better suits your needs.
Choosing the best Linux® firewall is not a complex process, but it is one that will take some thought and consideration on your part. Once you have found several firewalls that meet your specific needs, you also need to weigh the different price points. You will want to make sure you are getting the highest possible amount of protection and functionality for the lowest or best price that you can find before you spend money or time on purchasing and installing a Linux® firewall.