The best hardware firewalls for your home Wi-Fi in 2024

Camryn Smith

Feb 16, 2024 — 6 min read

We share our top hardware firewall picks for organizations, homes and overall customer satisfaction.

sonic firewall

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With our increasing reliance on the internet to shop, bank and work, keeping your data from the prying eyes of internet hackers is vital. You can keep your Wi-Fi data secure by using a hardware firewall. This guide will show you why you need one, how they protect internet privacy and the best home firewall devices to buy. 

What is firewall hardware?

A hardware firewall is a device that is separate from your computer and router that monitors the internet traffic coming to your devices. Some internet service providers (ISPs) offer firewall protection in their routers. However, they do not have all the benefits of a separate hardware firewall device (think scalability, centralized command hub, etc.), so it might be wise to buy one. 

Moreover, think of its function as a one-lane highway by which all internet traffic must pass through for inspection. Often, it involves measuring the data against a set of permissions to ensure it is safe for your device. If the firewall determines it contains malware or other harmful code, it drops it before it infects your computer. 

What are the benefits of using a hardware firewall?

Firewall hardware is beneficial for homes and businesses as another layer of internet security to keep systems safe from hackers. Some of the best home hardware firewalls also offer the following benefits:

  • Customization: You can customize the access ports to set and adjust permissions. 
  • Virtual private network (VPN) ability: Many hardware firewalls allow you to have a VPN. A VPN creates anonymity on your end by encrypting your data and connecting to a wide range of servers. Along with keeping your online habits more secure, you can also view content (think Netflix, news websites, etc.) you might not have access to in another country. 

How we chose the best firewall hardware

When choosing the best home firewall devices, we analyzed products on factors like price, features, customer reviews, data filtering speeds and VPN capabilities. We also categorized them based on the best overall and the best for either home or business use. Moreover, we looked at the best customer experience since gaining consumer insight lends credibility to whether the firewall will work for you. 

With these things in mind, here are the best hardware firewall devices:

Best overall:

  1. Fortinet FortiGate 60F
  2. Check Point NGFW 6000 Series
  3. Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall
  4. pFSense SG-2100

Best hardware firewall for organizations:

  1. SonicWall TZ270 Security Firewall
  2. Cisco Meraki MX Series
  3. Palo Alto Networks NG Firewalls
  4. Fortinet Fortigate 6000F Series

Best hardware firewall for homes:

  1. Ubiquiti Unify Security Gateway
  2. CUJO AI Smart Internet Security Firewall
  3. Bitdefender BOX
  4. pFSense SG-2100

Best hardware firewall for customer satisfaction:

  1. SonicWall SOHO 250 Network Security Appliance 02-SSC-0938
  2. WatchGuard Firebox T15
  3. Fortinet FortiGate-60E/ FG-60E Next Generation (NGFW) Firewall Appliance
  4. Check Point NGFW 6000 Series

Best overall hardware firewall: Fortinet FortiGate 30E 

The Fortinet FortiGate 60F offers exceptional capabilities. Use the web filtering feature to determine the permissible content allowed on your home devices. It even allows you to boot a specific device based on your schedule (think kids’ video game consoles at night.) And with one gigabit per second filtering speed, you will not experience any disruptions when streaming or gaming. 

Furthermore, it is super easy to set up. One Amazon user notes the installation took only four steps. While the price is high, its versatility, filtering speeds and customization make it an enticing choice for households and enterprising businesses. 

Best hardware firewall for small businesses: SonicWall TZ270 Security Firewall

sonic firewall

The SonicWall TZ270 Security Firewall is designed for small to mid-sized businesses and delivers advanced threat detection through stream-based, single-pass inspection. Moreover, it achieves enterprise-grade protection, and with VPN mobile connectivity, users can access the systems when in the office or working remotely.

Also, the setup is easy thanks to Zero-Touch Deployment, expediting installation at other locations through the program’s automation tools. The Network Security Manager gives you command of all your organization’s hardware firewalls through a centralized hub. Overall, the device offers easy installation, centralized tools and scalability, making it an intriguing choice for businesses. 

Best hardware firewall for homes: Ubiquiti Unify Security Gateway

Ubiquiti Unify Security Gateway

Surf the web with ease thanks to the Ubiquiti Unify Security Gateway, which can identify malware, viruses, bot-nets, drive-by downloads and other threats before they infect your device.

This device sits between the internet and the Wi-Fi router, sorting through all internet traffic before it reaches the router. All connected devices are monitored through the advanced features included with this device.

Best hardware firewall for customer satisfaction: SonicWall SOHO 250 Network Security Appliance 02-SSC-0938

sonic firewall

With the cloud-based Advanced Threat Protection, the SonicWall SOHO 250 Network Security Appliance identifies malware and zero-day threats lighting fast. The Sonic operating system allows administrators to adjust permissions for data filtering as needed, while the built-in wireless controller allows for the easy installation of a wireless network.

Customers rave about the device, noting it is fast and offers the highest level of security. If you are new to using the operating system, there might be a bit of a learning curve as you become acclimated to the design. However, reviews note the helpfulness of SonicWall. Overall, the price point might be a sticking point for some. Yet, the advanced security tools, attentive support and customization options could make the investment well worth it. 

Tips for buying your own hardware firewall

As you shop for the best home firewall device, here are some considerations:

  • VPN availability: Do you want a VPN? Some manufacturers include it in their security suites, allowing you to surf the web with anonymity. 
  • Set up: Some devices (the Sonic brand comes to mind) have an operating system that takes some acclimation. So, if a quick setup is your goal, finding one that offers easy access to permissions is vital.
  • Support: How effective is tech support? Read some customer reviews for the device you consider. Doing so gives you insight into whether the company does a satisfactory job of helping customers out. 

Software firewalls

You can also install software firewalls into your device for extra security if you want to avoid additional equipment. Software firewalls are a form of security software you install directly into your computer to protect it from cyber security threats.

Software firewalls can be a valuable tool for the everyday home internet user and are easy to manage. On the downside, they could slow down your system and require consistent upgrading. Hardware firewalls are independently run and installed, so they require fewer resources from your server. On the other hand, upgrading your hardware device could become very expensive.

Best firewalls for small businesses

If you run a small business, having solid security is paramount. Here are a few of the best hardware firewalls for small businesses:

Need a faster internet plan?

Along with protecting your data, now is an excellent time to see if there are better internet options that could accommodate your needs. Research and compare all the internet providers and plans in your area

The bottom line

Hardware firewalls filter internet traffic through a single stream to stop viruses, malware and other harmful code. Keep in mind that your device’s capabilities will only be as good as your internet plan.


What is a hardware firewall?

A hardware firewall is a physical device that can add extra security to your home or business networks by filtering web traffic to the server.

Both have their advantages and disadvantages. Hardware firewalls require less resources from your server, but can be costly to update the physical equipment. Software firewalls are more convenient for the everyday home internet user, but they could slow down your system and require consistent upgrading.

Firewalls are a great way to add an extra layer of security to your network because they act as a gatekeeper to your server.

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Camryn Smith

Written by:

Camryn Smith

Cammy is a writer with Allconnect, growing her broadband industry knowledge for over a year on the internet marketplace. Her expertise lies in home internet and broadband service with a focus on providers, plans… Read more

Robin Layton

Edited by:

Robin Layton

Editor, Broadband Content

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