Webfilter vs Firewall Appliance
More than ever before, today companies, organisations and internet users in general have to defend their IT systems from hacker attacks in order to safeguards their data and documents. But, what is the best choice? In this post we will explain the advantages of a webfilter compared to a firewall appliance both for homeowners and companies
Webfilter: the ideal solution for today’s dynamic world
Traditionally, companies and organisations have used physical tools – the so-called Firewall Appliances – with a double aim:
» defending their networks from cyber attacks and avoiding to have their data and documents stolen;
» blocking access to undesired contents: for both homeowners and companies this can mean not only adult content but also platforms that decrease the level of attention of their pupils or the level of efficiency of their employees. Such websites include social networks, online shopping sites and the websites of competitors or websites dedicated to the search for a new job.
Firewall Appliances create an actual “wall” between the laptops and the Internet network. But how exactly does a firewall appliance work?
How does a firewall appliance work?
The firewall is a physical checkpoint inserted between the internet network and the network of laptops inside a company or house. Companies and home owners must therefore purchase additional hardware, install it and carry out the necessary maintenance. Once it is up and working, the firewall blocks the flow of data towards websites that, according to the information available to it at that specific time, are considered dangerous.
The firewall then scans all the incoming and outgoing information in order to highlight possible threats. When signs of a threat appear, the firewall blocks the flow of data towards/coming from the implicated website and the user will be shown an alert message.
>> Are you an appliance producer? It is possible to integrate FlashStart into your appliance from scratch ? Contact us.
The advantages of a Webfilter
Today, companies can decide for an alternative solution: the webfilter. The webfilter is a DNS Internet filter that has the same aims as a firewall but comes with several advatages.
First of all, you can enjoy the protection given by a webfilter with no need to purchase any additional hardware. This means saving not only on base costs but also on the costs of maintenance. Moreover, given how fast technology is changing today, companies might have to change/update their tools frequently in order to ensure the webfilter appliance keep working. And this implies using time and other resources.
A webfilter is entirely cloud-based: protect your company with no need to purchase any additional hardware.
FlashStart Webfilter: the protection for all types of tools
FlashStart offers an innovative webfilter solutions, suitable for all kinds of devices. The FlashStart cloud webfilter is indeed available in two versions:
» At the router level: the filter is installed at the router level inside the company or house. In this way, all the devices connected to the net are automatically protected.
» As end-point application: the filter is installed directly on the device through the ClientShield app. This solution is very useful for companies that exploit the possibility of remote work or where the employees are often outside company premises. Indeed, each device will be protected individually, wherever it is.
>> FlashStart is the webfilter provided in 109countries ? Try it now.
FlashStart Webfilter: a constantly updated protection
Webfilters work through deny lists (also known as blacklists): these are lists that include the details of all the websites that shall be blocked. The FlashStart cloud webfilter counts more than 18 categories of deny lists, which go from malware&threats, to porn, to advertisements and audio and video content.
For more information about the FlashStart deny and access lists please have a look at our dedicated article.
The deny lists are constantly updated:
» Every day, FlashStart scans the Internet for new threats and/or new versions of old threats.
» When a threat is highlighted, it is analysed using a mix of algorithms and human skills.
» The non-compliant website is then added to one of the existing deny lists and, automatically, the cloud gets updated.
» Users can safely navigate online in protected mode: they don’t have to download any kind of update and will not notice any change.
>> FlashStart is the webfilter chosen by over 600 resellers and partners ? Try it now.
FlashStart Webfilter: the flexible protection
FlshStart allows you to decide what protection level you want to set:
» Basic protection, granted to all the devices where the FlashStart cloud DNS filter is active, automatically protects from the main threats, such as malware, trojans, worms and phishing attempts;
» Service administrators can then decide to activate higher protection levels.
Moreover, it is difficult to disable FlashStart: the user needs a specific key, which is provided only to the service administrator/provider. But don’t worry: FlashStart grants almost zero latency and the users of your network will want to keep it going at all times.
>> FlashStart is the webfilter that protects over 20 million users ? Try it now.
FlashStart Webfilter: fully customizable protection
The FlashStart cloud webfilter is totally customizable so as to satisfy the needs of companies, organizations and home owners. For example:
» Do you find social networks to be a source of distraction for your employees or your children? You can block access to social networks during work or study hours and allow it during the lunch break or in the evening
? The FlashStart cloud webfilter allows you to set up block during specified time intervals!
» Having the possibility to access online shopping websites, such as Amazon, is very tempting and risks decreasing the efficiency of your employees. At the same time, though, it might be a necessity for the employees working in specific company departments, such as the purchasing department. You can set up FlashStart so as to allow access to these websites only for some users.
? The FlashStart DNS filter makes it possible to set up different rules for different users’ groups.
For more information about the customization obìptions of the FlashStart webfilter please have a look at our dedicated article.
>> FlashStart is the webfilter that blocks every day 80 million undesired websites ? Try it now.
Coming soon: FlashStart hybrid – the innovative solution towards the future
FlashStart is about to launch FlashStart Hybrid, a new, hybrid technology. Until the end of 2021, Hybrid will be available only in the Italian market, but FlashStart is working on a version to distribute the system also abroad.
Hybrid combines the experience of FlashStart in the two sectors:
» the firewall sector, which was FlashStart initiali product, the one that the company launched in 2003
» and that of the webfilter, which is the market that FlashStart approached in 2010 and where it became well-known, to the point that today the FlashStart DNS filter is distributed in 109 countries all over the world and has servers in Milan, Frankfurt, and South Africa.
The result is a new solution that is easy to integrate with the systems that are already in use by the company, that grants a complete firewall protection and allows service administrators to filter and block dangerous or undesired contents.
>> FlashStart is the webfilter provided in 109countries ? Try it now.