• Outsource These Jobs for Your New Small Business

    blog

    Outsource These Jobs for Your New Small Business

    Starting a small business is an exciting time, and many entrepreneurs are eager to jump in and do everything themselves. This can lead to you feeling overwhelmed, however, and that’s why it’s best to hire out a few tasks. Tech-related jobs are some of the easiest to outsource. Whether you need a great website designed or are looking for cybersecurity to keep your data safe, there are lots of resources to choose from. Jimmy’s Computer Service can do everything from diagnosing software issues to removing malware, ensuring that your information is secure and that your business has everything it needs to provide great customer service. Here are a few other tech-related tasks that you can hire out in order to save money and/or create more time to focus on other things.

    Protecting your business

    The way your business is set up can affect how you pay your taxes and how personally protected you are from liability where the business is concerned, so you don’t want any mistakes to be made during the formation. Luckily, there are services offered through ZenBusiness that will help you set things up correctly, providing all the necessary paperwork to the state of Kentucky as well as giving you everything you need. Not only that, all of those important documents will be stored and organized digitally, so you can always access them with the touch of a button.

    Creating powerful marketing

    When you’re ready to start thinking about finding a customer base, consider outsourcing things like digital marketing, which can be time-consuming and expensive when done on your own but has several benefits when hired out. Look for a professional who has experience with web marketing strategies and SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, so you can reach the largest market possible; this can be a bit complicated, but a pro can take over the details and free up your time. Not only will a freelancer be able to help you create a plan for building a sales campaign, they can analyze your blog and website to make sure they’re on track, as well as to conduct an analysis on your competitors to find out what you’re up against.

    Expanding your sales

    Once you have a marketing strategy figured out and the customers are rolling in, it’s important to think about making the most of your business. You may have a beautiful website, but without the ability to securely process credit cards–which requires a third party–you can’t utilize it to sell your products. You can outsource your ecommerce platform, however, using this space to get those items in front of as many customers as possible and creating an advantage for your business when it comes to saving money. Do some research online and take a good look at available selling tools according to the market you’re in. 

    Keeping up with the financials

    Your business is booming and sales are way up, so now it’s time to consider how you’re going to handle the financial end of things. Every entrepreneur has faced slower sales months as well as periods of growth; that kind of up-and-down is normal, but it can make financial planning difficult and stressful. The good news is, these days there are several types of accounting software available to help small business owners keep their finances organized, meaning you can easily track income, expenses, and payroll in-house if you’re not eager to outsource them.

    Outsourcing the right tasks for your business means taking a look at your budget to figure out which areas need some help. When does it make sense to hire out a project? Stick with the ones that require specialized expertise, and think about how much money you’ll be saving in the long run if you go with a pro rather than doing it yourself and potentially making a costly mistake.

    Have a job for Jimmy’s Computer Service? Fill out the contact form and get in touch with your questions.

  • How to Encrypt An Email?

    Email encryption is the process of disguising the content of your email messages to protect them from being read by unwanted parties. Sensitive information such as social security numbers, passwords, login credentials and bank account numbers are vulnerable when sent via email.

    When encrypting emails, it’s important to encrypt all of them, not just the ones with sensitive information. If only some of your emails are encrypted, it is a red flag for a hacker and could make your inbox even less secure. They will only have to hack into a few emails rather than sift through hundreds to find data they can use. We explain how to encrypt emails on multiple providers and summarize our tips in an infographic.

    What is Email Encryption?

    Email encryption is essentially mixing up the contents of an email so it becomes a puzzle that only you have the key to solve. The public key infrastructure (PKI) is used to encrypt and decrypt emails. Each person is assigned a public and private key in the form of digital code.

    The public key is stored on a key server along with the person’s name and email address, and can be accessed by anyone. This public key is what is used to encrypt the email. If someone wanted to send you an email with sensitive information, they would use your public key to encrypt it. The private key is used to decrypt emails. It is stored somewhere safe and private on the person’s computer and only that person has access to it. The private key can also be used to digitally “sign” a message so the recipient knows it came from you.

    Why is Email Encryption Important?

    Email encryption is important because it protects you from a data breach. If the hacker can’t read your message because it’s encrypted, they can’t do anything with the information. Since 2013, over 13 billion data records have been lost or stolen. The average cost of a data breach in 2018 is $3.86 million. This number has grown by 6.4% since 2017. Data breaches can be costly because they take a while to identify. In 2018, the mean time to identify a breach was 197 days and the mean time to contain it was 69 days. Email encryption is a preventative measure you can take to avoid being part of a cybersecurity statistic.

    Types of Email Encryption

    blog

    The two main types of email encryption protocol are S/MIME and PGP/MIME. S/MIME (Secure/Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions) is built into most OSX and iOS devices and relies on a centralized authority to pick the encryption algorithm. S/MIME is used most often because it is built into large web-based email companies such as Apple and Outlook.

    PGP/MIME (Pretty Good Privacy/Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions) relies on a decentralized trust model and was developed to address security issues facing plain text messages. Within this model, there is more flexibility and control over how well you want your emails to be encrypted, but it requires a third-party encryption tool.

    How to Encrypt Emails in Gmail

    blog

    Gmail already has S/MIME built into the app, but it only works if both the sender and receiver have it enabled.

    1. Enable hosted S/MIME. You can enable this setting by following Google’s instructions on enabling hosted S/MIME.
    2. Compose your message as you normally would. 
    3. Click on the lock icon to the right of the recipient.
    4. Click on “view details” to change the S/MIME settings or level of encryption.

    When changing the encryption levels note these color codes:

    Green — Information is protected by S/MIME encryption and can only be decrypted with a private key.

    Gray — The email is protected with TLS (Transport Layer Security). This only works if both the sender and recipient have TLS capabilities.

    Red — The email has no encryption security.

    How to Encrypt Emails in Outlook

    blog

    Outlook is also compatible with the S/MIME protocol, but it requires additional setup.

    1. Enable S/MIME encryption. This process will involve getting a certificate or digital ID from your organization’s administrator and installing S/MIME control. Follow Office’s steps for setting up to use S/MIME encryption.
    2. Encrypt all messages or digitally sign all messages by going to the gear menu and clicking S/MIME settings. Choose to either encrypt contents and attachments of all messages or add a digital signature to all messages sent.
    3. Encrypt or remove individual messages by selecting more options (three dots) at the top of a message and choosing message options. Select or deselect “Encrypt this message (S/MIME).” If the person you are sending a message to doesn’t have S/MIME enabled, you’ll want to deselect the box or else they won’t be able to read your message.

    How to Encrypt Emails on iOS

    blog

    iOS devices also have S/MIME support built in as a default.

    1. Go to advanced settings and switch S/MIME on.
    2. Change “Encrypt by Default” to yes.
    3. When you compose a message and lock icon will appear next to the recipient. Click the lock icon so it’s closed to encrypt the email.

    Note: If the lock is blue, the email can be encrypted. If the lock is red, the recipient needs to turn on their S/MIME setting.

    Email Providers That Need Third-Party Encryption Tools

    blog

    Email providers and devices that don’t have S/MIME compatibility built-in will need a third-party tool that allows them to use S/MIME or PGP/MIME protocol.

    Encrypting Emails With Yahoo

    Yahoo uses SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) as a layer of security to protect the account but requires third-party services to encrypt with S/MIME or PGP/MIME.

    Encrypting Emails With Android

    Android emails can be encrypted through S/MIME and PGP/MIME, but both require extra setup and a third-party app.

    Encrypting Emails With AOL

    Encrypting emails in AOL can be done manually, but requires a third-party tool to implement the PGP/MIME criteria. You first must download the PGP implementation and then obtain a program that allows you to use PGP encryption with your webmail provider.

    Email Encryption Services

    Email encryption can be done manually or by a secure email service. These email service apps each have unique offerings such as encrypting emails, attachments and contact lists. They do this in the background so you don’t have to worry about doing it manually.

    Some notable providers are:

    ProtonMail

    ProtonMail allows you to enable end-to-end encryption and has PGP compatibility. It has different price levels, depending on the number of domains needed and messages sent per day.

    Ciphermail

    Ciphermail supports encryption through S/MIME, OpenPGP, TLS and PDF. It is popular for its compatibility with Android devices.

    Mailvelope

    Mailvelope is an OpenPGP encryption service for webmail. It’s compatible with Gmail, GMX, Outlook, Posteo, WEB.DE and Yahoo.

    Virtru

    Virtru provides end-to-end email encryption services and is compatible with Gmail, Outlook, Hotmail, Yahoo and a few other providers.

    Startmail

    Startmail supports encryption through PGP and is compatible with email services such as Outlook and Gmail.

    • Price: free and paid plans
    • Apps: none

    Send 2.0

    Sendinc offers military-grade encryption and is compatible with Outlook and Gmail.

    Enlocked

    Enlocked allows you to send and receive encrypted emails using PGP. It is compatible with Gmail, Yahoo, AOL, Microsoft and Outlook.

    • Price: free and paid plans
    • Apps: Chrome

    Protect yourself and your business from new cybersecurity threats by taking preventative measures. Implementing an advanced cybersecurity solution will help you find the best prevention techniques and instruct you on efficient ways to apply them to keep you safe from hackers.  

  • Best Firewall’s For Small Businesses

    10 Best Hardware Firewalls for Home and Small Business Networks (2021)

    On this website I have written tens of articles about enterprise level firewalls (especially Cisco ASA) but many people are interested to learn about the best hardware firewalls for home or small business networks, so this is what I’ll focus in this article.

    blog

    Firewalls are designed to monitor incoming and outgoing traffic, helping to keep your local network secure. While most computers have software firewalls installed, other devices lack their own security.

    In a typical home network, video doorbells, baby monitors, and smart home devices are only as secure as the basic firewall inside the Wi-Fi router connected to the ISP.

    With a hardware firewall, you get an extra level of protection for securing all devices in the home or SOHO network.

    A dedicated hardware firewall usually connects to your router and your devices connect to the firewall, thus reducing the risk of hacking and malicious cyber attacks.

    Some hardware firewalls even allow you to monitor your child’s Internet usage and receive text alerts of potential cyber threats.

    To increase the security of your network, consider adding one of the following 10 hardware firewalls which are suitable for home and small business networks.

    I have carefully selected the following devices based on their feature set, how effective they are, trustworthiness of manufacturer etc.

    Table of Contents [show]

    Best Hardware Firewalls for Home Network Use

    I have grouped this article in two general categories. Let’s start first with the best models for home use.

    You are here: Home / Network Security / 10 Best Hardware Firewalls for Home and Small Business Networks (2021)I may earn a small commission if you buy through the links in this website without any extra cost to you. My Recommendations however are not biased in any way.

    10 Best Hardware Firewalls for Home and Small Business Networks (2021)

    On this website I have written tens of articles about enterprise level firewalls (especially Cisco ASA) but many people are interested to learn about the best hardware firewalls for home or small business networks, so this is what I’ll focus in this article.

    hardware firewalls for home and business

    As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

    Firewalls are designed to monitor incoming and outgoing traffic, helping to keep your local network secure. While most computers have software firewalls installed, other devices lack their own security.

    In a typical home network, video doorbells, baby monitors, and smart home devices are only as secure as the basic firewall inside the Wi-Fi router connected to the ISP.

    With a hardware firewall, you get an extra level of protection for securing all devices in the home or SOHO network.

    A dedicated hardware firewall usually connects to your router and your devices connect to the firewall, thus reducing the risk of hacking and malicious cyber attacks.

    Some hardware firewalls even allow you to monitor your child’s Internet usage and receive text alerts of potential cyber threats.

    To increase the security of your network, consider adding one of the following 10 hardware firewalls which are suitable for home and small business networks.

    I have carefully selected the following devices based on their feature set, how effective they are, trustworthiness of manufacturer etc.

    Table of Contents [show]

    Best Hardware Firewalls for Home Network Use

    I have grouped this article in two general categories. Let’s start first with the best models for home use.https://e29e6781e0b064dbb64f400480485a9c.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.htmlblog

    1) Ubiquiti Unifi Security Gateway (USG)

    3,361 ReviewsUbiquiti Unifi Security Gateway (USG)

    • 3 Gigabit Ethernet ports, CLI management for advanced users
    • 1 million packets per second for 64-byte packets
    • 3 Gbps total line rate for packets 512 bytes or larger

    $232.00Check DetailsPrice incl. tax, excl. shipping   Cisco ASA Configuration for ASDM Management Access

    Last update on 2021-11-10 at 16:36 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

    With the Ubiquiti Unifi Security Gateway, you get an advanced hardware firewall and router that supports Gigabit Ethernet speeds and even more. While the device is intended for use in businesses, it is affordable enough for home use as well.

    The device sits between the Internet and the local WiFi router, routing all traffic before it even reaches the router. All devices connected to the network are then monitored and protected through the advanced network management and security features.

    As with other hardware firewalls, remote monitoring and management is available through a Graphical User Interface (GUI) called the Unifi Controller.

    You are here: Home / Network Security / 10 Best Hardware Firewalls for Home and Small Business Networks (2021)I may earn a small commission if you buy through the links in this website without any extra cost to you. My Recommendations however are not biased in any way.

    10 Best Hardware Firewalls for Home and Small Business Networks (2021)

    On this website I have written tens of articles about enterprise level firewalls (especially Cisco ASA) but many people are interested to learn about the best hardware firewalls for home or small business networks, so this is what I’ll focus in this article.

    hardware firewalls for home and business

    As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

    Firewalls are designed to monitor incoming and outgoing traffic, helping to keep your local network secure. While most computers have software firewalls installed, other devices lack their own security.

    In a typical home network, video doorbells, baby monitors, and smart home devices are only as secure as the basic firewall inside the Wi-Fi router connected to the ISP.

    With a hardware firewall, you get an extra level of protection for securing all devices in the home or SOHO network.

    A dedicated hardware firewall usually connects to your router and your devices connect to the firewall, thus reducing the risk of hacking and malicious cyber attacks.

    Some hardware firewalls even allow you to monitor your child’s Internet usage and receive text alerts of potential cyber threats.

    To increase the security of your network, consider adding one of the following 10 hardware firewalls which are suitable for home and small business networks.

    I have carefully selected the following devices based on their feature set, how effective they are, trustworthiness of manufacturer etc.

    Table of Contents [show]

    Best Hardware Firewalls for Home Network Use

    I have grouped this article in two general categories. Let’s start first with the best models for home use.https://e29e6781e0b064dbb64f400480485a9c.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.htmlblog

    1) Ubiquiti Unifi Security Gateway (USG)

    3,361 ReviewsUbiquiti Unifi Security Gateway (USG)

    • 3 Gigabit Ethernet ports, CLI management for advanced users
    • 1 million packets per second for 64-byte packets
    • 3 Gbps total line rate for packets 512 bytes or larger

    $232.00Check DetailsPrice incl. tax, excl. shipping   Cisco ASA Configuration for ASDM Management AccessPauseUnmuteLoaded: 2.87%Remaining Time -10:13

    Last update on 2021-11-10 at 16:36 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

    With the Ubiquiti Unifi Security Gateway, you get an advanced hardware firewall and router that supports Gigabit Ethernet speeds and even more. While the device is intended for use in businesses, it is affordable enough for home use as well.

    The device sits between the Internet and the local WiFi router, routing all traffic before it even reaches the router. All devices connected to the network are then monitored and protected through the advanced network management and security features.

    As with other hardware firewalls, remote monitoring and management is available through a Graphical User Interface (GUI) called the Unifi Controller.https://e29e6781e0b064dbb64f400480485a9c.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.htmlblog

    Users can easily change firewall settings, create VLANs, enable Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) to check which applications are using the Internet, enable QoS features, Intrusion Detection (IPS/IDS) etc.

    The management features are part of the Unifi Controller Software, which also supports management of other Ubiquity UniFi products such as WiFi Access Points, UniFi switches etc.

    If you have other UniFi devices in your network or maybe you are planning to get a UniFi WiFi Access Point (HINT: its one of the best WiFi APs out there !!), then USG firewall is a great choice (for both home and small business networks).

    Pros:

    • Ability to monitor traffic before it reaches the local network (using DPI).
    • Remote management via a web interface or mobile app (using the UniFi Controller) 
    • Relatively affordable solution
    • One Gbit/sec bandwidth (or more) (Great for Gigabit ISP speeds)
    • Deep Packet Inspection and QoS Capabilities
    • Powerful Firewall Performance and Features
    • Supports Intrusion Detection/Prevention (IDS/IPS)
    • Sturdy design and highly trusted vendor

    Cons:

    • May contain too many features for a standard home user

    2) Mikrotik hEX RB750Gr3

    The first impression you get with this device is that it is a normal wired SOHO router with limited capabilities. This Mikrotik device is much more than that.617 ReviewsMikrotik hEX RB750Gr3 5-port Ethernet Gigabit Router

    • The hEX RB750Gr3 is a five port gigabit Ethernet router for locations where wireless connectivity is not required.
    • The device has a full size USB port. USB slot type is USB type A This new updated revision of the hEX brings several improvements in performance.
    • It is affordable, small and easy to use, but at the same time comes with a very powerful dual core 880MHz CPU and 256MB RAM, capable of all the advanced configurations that RouterOS supports.

    $59.41

    You are here: Home / Network Security / 10 Best Hardware Firewalls for Home and Small Business Networks (2021)I may earn a small commission if you buy through the links in this website without any extra cost to you. My Recommendations however are not biased in any way.

    10 Best Hardware Firewalls for Home and Small Business Networks (2021)

    On this website I have written tens of articles about enterprise level firewalls (especially Cisco ASA) but many people are interested to learn about the best hardware firewalls for home or small business networks, so this is what I’ll focus in this article.

    hardware firewalls for home and business

    As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

    Firewalls are designed to monitor incoming and outgoing traffic, helping to keep your local network secure. While most computers have software firewalls installed, other devices lack their own security.

    In a typical home network, video doorbells, baby monitors, and smart home devices are only as secure as the basic firewall inside the Wi-Fi router connected to the ISP.

    With a hardware firewall, you get an extra level of protection for securing all devices in the home or SOHO network.

    A dedicated hardware firewall usually connects to your router and your devices connect to the firewall, thus reducing the risk of hacking and malicious cyber attacks.

    Some hardware firewalls even allow you to monitor your child’s Internet usage and receive text alerts of potential cyber threats.

    To increase the security of your network, consider adding one of the following 10 hardware firewalls which are suitable for home and small business networks.

    I have carefully selected the following devices based on their feature set, how effective they are, trustworthiness of manufacturer etc.

    Table of Contents [show]

    Best Hardware Firewalls for Home Network Use

    I have grouped this article in two general categories. Let’s start first with the best models for home use.https://e29e6781e0b064dbb64f400480485a9c.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.htmlblog

    1) Ubiquiti Unifi Security Gateway (USG)

    3,361 ReviewsUbiquiti Unifi Security Gateway (USG)

    • 3 Gigabit Ethernet ports, CLI management for advanced users
    • 1 million packets per second for 64-byte packets
    • 3 Gbps total line rate for packets 512 bytes or larger

    $232.00Check DetailsPrice incl. tax, excl. shipping   Cisco ASA Configuration for ASDM Management AccessPauseUnmuteLoaded: 8.93%Remaining Time -9:37

    Last update on 2021-11-10 at 16:36 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

    With the Ubiquiti Unifi Security Gateway, you get an advanced hardware firewall and router that supports Gigabit Ethernet speeds and even more. While the device is intended for use in businesses, it is affordable enough for home use as well.

    The device sits between the Internet and the local WiFi router, routing all traffic before it even reaches the router. All devices connected to the network are then monitored and protected through the advanced network management and security features.

    As with other hardware firewalls, remote monitoring and management is available through a Graphical User Interface (GUI) called the Unifi Controller.https://e29e6781e0b064dbb64f400480485a9c.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.htmlblog

    Users can easily change firewall settings, create VLANs, enable Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) to check which applications are using the Internet, enable QoS features, Intrusion Detection (IPS/IDS) etc.

    The management features are part of the Unifi Controller Software, which also supports management of other Ubiquity UniFi products such as WiFi Access Points, UniFi switches etc.

    If you have other UniFi devices in your network or maybe you are planning to get a UniFi WiFi Access Point (HINT: its one of the best WiFi APs out there !!), then USG firewall is a great choice (for both home and small business networks).

    Pros:

    • Ability to monitor traffic before it reaches the local network (using DPI).
    • Remote management via a web interface or mobile app (using the UniFi Controller) 
    • Relatively affordable solution
    • One Gbit/sec bandwidth (or more) (Great for Gigabit ISP speeds)
    • Deep Packet Inspection and QoS Capabilities
    • Powerful Firewall Performance and Features
    • Supports Intrusion Detection/Prevention (IDS/IPS)
    • Sturdy design and highly trusted vendor

    Cons:

    • May contain too many features for a standard home user

    2) Mikrotik hEX RB750Gr3

    The first impression you get with this device is that it is a normal wired SOHO router with limited capabilities. This Mikrotik device is much more than that.617 ReviewsMikrotik hEX RB750Gr3 5-port Ethernet Gigabit Router

    • The hEX RB750Gr3 is a five port gigabit Ethernet router for locations where wireless connectivity is not required.
    • The device has a full size USB port. USB slot type is USB type A This new updated revision of the hEX brings several improvements in performance.
    • It is affordable, small and easy to use, but at the same time comes with a very powerful dual core 880MHz CPU and 256MB RAM, capable of all the advanced configurations that RouterOS supports.

    $59.41Check DetailsPrice incl. tax, excl. shippinghttps://e29e6781e0b064dbb64f400480485a9c.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.htmlblog

    Last update on 2021-11-10 at 11:12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

    For this low-price tag, the Mikrotik hEX RB750Gr3 packs some powerful features that you will find only in high-end devices.

    Although it can easily be used in business environments (hospitality, office, education, retail shops etc), because of its low price, compact design and flexibility it is great for a home network as well.

    This router runs on RouterOS which supports advanced routing configurations (NAT, port forwarding, VPN, bridging etc) as well as stateful firewall, Layer-7 application detection and protection, firewall filtering rules etc.

    It is equipped with 4xGigabit LAN ports and 1xGigabit Internet (WAN) port. Although the ports support Gigabit speeds, the whole device can go up to 470 Mbps maximum. So, it is ideal if you have Internet connection speeds of up to 500 Mbps.

    Pros:

    • For the price, it has powerful firewall and routing features similar to high-end devices.
    • Easy to setup for basic home/office network use.
    • Uses RouterOS which is a free and very powerful router/firewall operating system.
    • For advanced users, you can configure almost anything you can imagine with this device.
    • Free and regular firmware updates.
    • Powerful firewall features.

    Cons:

    • The device does not support full Gigabit Internet connections (max 470 Mbps)
    • Fairly steep learning if you want to configure advanced settings.

    3) Firewalla

    Firewalla is one of the easiest hardware firewalls to install and set up, making it a great option for the average homeowner or non-technical business owner.315 ReviewsFirewalla: Cyber Security Firewall for Home & Business, Protect Network from Malware and Hacking | Smart Parental Control | Block Ads | VPN Server and Client | No Monthly Fee (Red)

    • COMPATIBILITY: This is * Firewalla RED * (NOT THE FIREWALLA BLUE), The IPS functionality is limited to 100 Mbits. This device may not be compatible with all routers. Please look at the “specification sheet” document in this listing, or compatibility guide in the manufacturing site for routers that works with Firewalla. May require login to router and do basic configuration.
    • COMPLETE CYBERSECURITY PROTECTION – Firewalla’s unique intrusion prevention system (IDS and IPS) protects all of your home wire and wireless internet of things devices from threats like viruses, malware, hackng, phishing, and unwanted data theft when you’re using public WiFi. It’s the simple and affordable solution for families, professionals and businesses. Let Firewalla’s built-in OpenVPN server keeps your device usage as secure as it is in your home.
    • PARENTAL CONTROL AND FAMILY PROTECT – The days of pulling the power cord from the dusty old router are behind you; with just a few taps on the smartphone, you can see what they’re doing, cut off all access, or cut off only gaming or social networks. Turn on Family Protect to filter and block adult and malicious content, keep internet activities healthy and safe.

    $119.00Check DetailsPrice incl. tax, excl. shippinghttps://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.488.0_en.html#goog_389093046

    You are here: Home / Network Security / 10 Best Hardware Firewalls for Home and Small Business Networks (2021)I may earn a small commission if you buy through the links in this website without any extra cost to you. My Recommendations however are not biased in any way.

    10 Best Hardware Firewalls for Home and Small Business Networks (2021)

    On this website I have written tens of articles about enterprise level firewalls (especially Cisco ASA) but many people are interested to learn about the best hardware firewalls for home or small business networks, so this is what I’ll focus in this article.

    hardware firewalls for home and business

    As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

    Firewalls are designed to monitor incoming and outgoing traffic, helping to keep your local network secure. While most computers have software firewalls installed, other devices lack their own security.

    In a typical home network, video doorbells, baby monitors, and smart home devices are only as secure as the basic firewall inside the Wi-Fi router connected to the ISP.

    With a hardware firewall, you get an extra level of protection for securing all devices in the home or SOHO network.

    A dedicated hardware firewall usually connects to your router and your devices connect to the firewall, thus reducing the risk of hacking and malicious cyber attacks.

    Some hardware firewalls even allow you to monitor your child’s Internet usage and receive text alerts of potential cyber threats.

    To increase the security of your network, consider adding one of the following 10 hardware firewalls which are suitable for home and small business networks.

    I have carefully selected the following devices based on their feature set, how effective they are, trustworthiness of manufacturer etc.

    Table of Contents [show]

    Best Hardware Firewalls for Home Network Use

    I have grouped this article in two general categories. Let’s start first with the best models for home use.https://e29e6781e0b064dbb64f400480485a9c.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.htmlblog

    1) Ubiquiti Unifi Security Gateway (USG)

    3,361 ReviewsUbiquiti Unifi Security Gateway (USG)

    • 3 Gigabit Ethernet ports, CLI management for advanced users
    • 1 million packets per second for 64-byte packets
    • 3 Gbps total line rate for packets 512 bytes or larger

    $232.00Check DetailsPrice incl. tax, excl. shipping   Cisco ASA Configuration for ASDM Management AccessPauseUnmuteLoaded: 10.53%Remaining Time -9:25

    Last update on 2021-11-10 at 16:36 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

    With the Ubiquiti Unifi Security Gateway, you get an advanced hardware firewall and router that supports Gigabit Ethernet speeds and even more. While the device is intended for use in businesses, it is affordable enough for home use as well.

    The device sits between the Internet and the local WiFi router, routing all traffic before it even reaches the router. All devices connected to the network are then monitored and protected through the advanced network management and security features.

    As with other hardware firewalls, remote monitoring and management is available through a Graphical User Interface (GUI) called the Unifi Controller.https://e29e6781e0b064dbb64f400480485a9c.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.htmlblog

    Users can easily change firewall settings, create VLANs, enable Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) to check which applications are using the Internet, enable QoS features, Intrusion Detection (IPS/IDS) etc.

    The management features are part of the Unifi Controller Software, which also supports management of other Ubiquity UniFi products such as WiFi Access Points, UniFi switches etc.

    If you have other UniFi devices in your network or maybe you are planning to get a UniFi WiFi Access Point (HINT: its one of the best WiFi APs out there !!), then USG firewall is a great choice (for both home and small business networks).

    Pros:

    • Ability to monitor traffic before it reaches the local network (using DPI).
    • Remote management via a web interface or mobile app (using the UniFi Controller) 
    • Relatively affordable solution
    • One Gbit/sec bandwidth (or more) (Great for Gigabit ISP speeds)
    • Deep Packet Inspection and QoS Capabilities
    • Powerful Firewall Performance and Features
    • Supports Intrusion Detection/Prevention (IDS/IPS)
    • Sturdy design and highly trusted vendor

    Cons:

    • May contain too many features for a standard home user

    2) Mikrotik hEX RB750Gr3

    The first impression you get with this device is that it is a normal wired SOHO router with limited capabilities. This Mikrotik device is much more than that.617 ReviewsMikrotik hEX RB750Gr3 5-port Ethernet Gigabit Router

    • The hEX RB750Gr3 is a five port gigabit Ethernet router for locations where wireless connectivity is not required.
    • The device has a full size USB port. USB slot type is USB type A This new updated revision of the hEX brings several improvements in performance.
    • It is affordable, small and easy to use, but at the same time comes with a very powerful dual core 880MHz CPU and 256MB RAM, capable of all the advanced configurations that RouterOS supports.

    $59.41Check DetailsPrice incl. tax, excl. shippinghttps://e29e6781e0b064dbb64f400480485a9c.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.htmlblog

    Last update on 2021-11-10 at 11:12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

    For this low-price tag, the Mikrotik hEX RB750Gr3 packs some powerful features that you will find only in high-end devices.

    Although it can easily be used in business environments (hospitality, office, education, retail shops etc), because of its low price, compact design and flexibility it is great for a home network as well.

    This router runs on RouterOS which supports advanced routing configurations (NAT, port forwarding, VPN, bridging etc) as well as stateful firewall, Layer-7 application detection and protection, firewall filtering rules etc.

    It is equipped with 4xGigabit LAN ports and 1xGigabit Internet (WAN) port. Although the ports support Gigabit speeds, the whole device can go up to 470 Mbps maximum. So, it is ideal if you have Internet connection speeds of up to 500 Mbps.

    Pros:

    • For the price, it has powerful firewall and routing features similar to high-end devices.
    • Easy to setup for basic home/office network use.
    • Uses RouterOS which is a free and very powerful router/firewall operating system.
    • For advanced users, you can configure almost anything you can imagine with this device.
    • Free and regular firmware updates.
    • Powerful firewall features.

    Cons:

    • The device does not support full Gigabit Internet connections (max 470 Mbps)
    • Fairly steep learning if you want to configure advanced settings.

    3) Firewalla

    Firewalla is one of the easiest hardware firewalls to install and set up, making it a great option for the average homeowner or non-technical business owner.315 ReviewsFirewalla: Cyber Security Firewall for Home & Business, Protect Network from Malware and Hacking | Smart Parental Control | Block Ads | VPN Server and Client | No Monthly Fee (Red)

    • COMPATIBILITY: This is * Firewalla RED * (NOT THE FIREWALLA BLUE), The IPS functionality is limited to 100 Mbits. This device may not be compatible with all routers. Please look at the “specification sheet” document in this listing, or compatibility guide in the manufacturing site for routers that works with Firewalla. May require login to router and do basic configuration.
    • COMPLETE CYBERSECURITY PROTECTION – Firewalla’s unique intrusion prevention system (IDS and IPS) protects all of your home wire and wireless internet of things devices from threats like viruses, malware, hackng, phishing, and unwanted data theft when you’re using public WiFi. It’s the simple and affordable solution for families, professionals and businesses. Let Firewalla’s built-in OpenVPN server keeps your device usage as secure as it is in your home.
    • PARENTAL CONTROL AND FAMILY PROTECT – The days of pulling the power cord from the dusty old router are behind you; with just a few taps on the smartphone, you can see what they’re doing, cut off all access, or cut off only gaming or social networks. Turn on Family Protect to filter and block adult and malicious content, keep internet activities healthy and safe.

    $119.00Check DetailsPrice incl. tax, excl. shippinghttps://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.488.0_en.html#goog_389093046https://e29e6781e0b064dbb64f400480485a9c.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.htmlblog

    Last update on 2021-11-10 at 16:36 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

    The company produces an affordable version that supports up to 100 Mbit/sec bandwidth (the Red model) and a more powerful version that supports 500 Mbit/sec speeds (the Blue model).

    • Red Model: If your Internet speed is less than 100Mbps and have less than 50 home devices.
    • Blue Model: If your Internet speed is more than 100Mbps and have more than 50 devices (e.g business network).
    • NEW: Gold Model: The most powerful model with 3Gbps performance, using the same Firewalla Security Stack as the other models

    All versions allow you to monitor devices and networks via a mobile app with a simple user interface. Easily adjust any of the settings, including auto-blocking and parental controls. 

    Firewalla devices use the cloud extensively in order to receive security threat updates. The AI powered Firewalla cloud collects knowledge from all connected devices and distributes security updates to all devices to mitigate attacks. 

    The device simply connects to a power source and your existing home router. You can connect Firewalla in any current network setup that you have such as combo router/modem from ISP, separate modem and router, mesh WiFi network etc.

    After installing the app, you can instantly begin monitoring Internet traffic that goes in and out of your local network to anywhere in the world.

    Firewalla also includes a built-in VPN server, allowing you to establish secure connections with your home or business network while away from the home or office.https://e29e6781e0b064dbb64f400480485a9c.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.htmlblog

    Pros:

    • Ease of installation
    • Simple user interface
    • Affordable
    • Intrusion Prevention and CyberSecurity protection for all of your devices.
    • One-time payment. No monthly fee.

    Cons:

    • Not suitable for Gigabit internet speed (except the Gold Model which supports multi-gigabit).

    4) Bitdefender Box 2

    547 ReviewsBitdefender BOX 2 (Latest Version) – Complete Home Network Protection for Your WiFi, Computers, Mobile/Smart Devices and More, Including Alexa and Google Assistant Integration – Plugs Into Your Router

    • UNLIMITED PROTECTION AND SUPPORT: Bitdefender BOX 2 plugs into your (Non-Mesh/Non-Google Wi-Fi) router and protects an unlimited number of Wi-Fi and internet connected devices using Total Security Unlimited. Bitdefender BOX 2 includes unlimited complimentary support, as well as automatic updates to the latest security technologies.
    • ADVANCED THREAT DEFENSE: Our full-featured, cross-platform network security suite ensures all your Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and IoT devices are fully protected. This includes: Real-Time Data Protection, Multi-Layer Malware and Ransomware Protection, Social Network Protection, Game/Movie/Work Modes, Microphone Monitor, Webcam Protection, Anti-Tracker, Password Manager, File Shredder, Secured Online Banking and Shopping, Parental Controls, automatic updates, and much more
    • NETWORK DETECTION AND OPTIMIZATION: Bitdefender BOX 2 automatically detects and optimizes all the devices on your network during the first 48-hour post-install window. During this 48-hour period, your network may slow down. Once complete, experience a fully protected network with speeds up to 1 Gbps thanks to the 1.2 GHz Dual Core processor and dual 1 Gbps ethernet ports

    $237.78Check DetailsPrice incl. tax, excl. shippinghttps://e29e6781e0b064dbb64f400480485a9c.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.htmlblog

    Last update on 2021-11-10 at 16:36 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

    The Bitdefender Box 2 is designed to provide a simple method for protecting your home network and Internet of Things (IOT) devices. After connecting to the router, the device automatically begins monitoring and optimizing your network for the best security.

    With the 1.2 GHz dual-core processor, the device can support speeds up to one Gbps. It also supports the latest smart home controllers, including Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.

    This is also a WiFi router with Dual-Band (2.4GHz and 5GHz) AC1900 speed wireless radio, thus protecting both wired and wireless devices in the home.

    The hardware firewall includes typical monitoring and security features along with software and cloud-based protection.

    Additional security features are provided through the Bitdefender Total Security antivirus service. You get a free one-year membership with yearly subscriptions available after the first year (for protection of unlimited home devices).

    The Box must be connected to your existing router which must be configured either as Access Point (AP Mode) or Bridge Mode.

    In order to apply the enhanced and advanced parental control features of Bitdefender, your computers and mobile devices must have “Bitdefender Total Security” installed on them. This is good because you will get great Antivirus protection as well.

    Pros:

    • BitDefender is a very effective Antivirus and Anti-Malware vendor with proven history record.
    • Is compatible with home automation devices
    • Supports one Gbit/sec internet speeds
    • Offers remote management via mobile app
    • Advanced Parental and Monitoring features applied right on the End-point devices (smartphones etc).

    Cons:

    • Requires a subscription to use the advanced security features
    • Does not work with mesh wireless networks or WiFi extenders

    5) Zyxel Next Generation VPN Firewall

    140 ReviewsZyXEL Next Generation VPN Firewall with 1 WAN, 1 SFP, 4 LAN/DMZ Gigabit Ports [USG20-VPN]

    • High Performance Gigabit Ports 1x Internet (WAN) Port, 4x Local Network (LAN) Ports, 1x SFP Gigabit Fiber (SFP WAN) Port for Uplink to Fiber Internet Services
    • Up to 90Mbps Encrypted VPN throughput (IPsec/L2TP: 10 Concurrent, SSL: 5 Concurrent Upgradable to 15 Max) for Secure Remote Access, Office to Office or Device to Office
    • Up to 350Mbps Stateful Packet Inspection (SPI) Firewall and 20,000 Max TCP Concurrent Sessions ideal for Small Offices < 10 Users

    $169.95Check DetailsPrice incl. tax, excl. shipping

    Last update on 2021-11-10 at 16:36 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

    Zyxel Next Generation VPN Firewall offers Internet security both locally and remotely. After installation, users can access their local networks remotely through secure VPN connections.

    This device was designed as an enterprise-level solution for enhanced security and remote VPNs. However, the simplified installation process and affordable price make it suitable for home use as well.

    The existing Internet connection and router or modem connect directly to the Zyxel Firewall, which also includes four Ethernet ports. Zyxel Firewall includes support for IPv6 and multi-WAN failover.

    This device is categorized as UTM firewall which means Unified Threat Management. This refers to protection at the application level such as web content inspection, application controls, antivirus, intrusion prevention etc. You will need a yearly subscription license to use these application layer features though.

    Without subscription, the device is still a solid hardware firewall device.

    Pros:

    • Allows users to setup up to 10 secure VPN connections using Layer-2 Tunneling Protocol (L2TP) and IPSEC.
    • Includes access to Zyxel OneSecurity service, which provides regular updates
    • Includes a guided installation process for entry-level users
    • Device is very reliable and solid.

    Cons:

    • The Firewall WAN only supports about 200 Mbps to 350 Mbps transfer rates.

    CUJO Smart Internet Security Firewall

    NOTE: A reader has shared in the comments below that CUJO will be discontinued in March 2021, so we don’t recommend this product anymore.

    The CUJO AI Smart Internet Security Firewall is built for home or business use and features anti-virus, malware, and phishing protection for all connected devices. It connects directly to the WiFi router and supports up to one Gbps Internet.

    There are three connection modes namely:

    • Standby: CUJO does not protect the network. Used for troubleshooting and configuration assistance.
    • Direct/DHCP: In this mode, you should disable DHCP on your home router and allow CUJO to provide IP addresses to the network. This is the most preferable way to operate.
    • Bridge Mode: For networks that have multiple WiFi routers and Access Points. Connect all of them to CUJO for full protection.

    Using the CUJO AI mobile app, users can quickly set up the physical box. It works with most WiFi routers, including WiFi extenders and mesh routers, except for the Google WiFi mesh.

    After setting up the hardware firewall, CUJO provides 24/7 protection for computers, smartphones, tablets, and smart devices. With remote monitoring, users can instantly see what devices are connected to the network and what websites are getting visited.

    CUJO is simple enough for home use but still includes the sophisticated protection needed for business security.

    Pros:

    • Automated setup and installation that only takes a few minutes
    • Support for one Gbps Internet speeds
    • Can identify if a local computer is compromised with Botnet malware etc.
    • Able to work with WIFI extenders and mesh routers
    • Flexible connectivity options to the rest of the network.

    Cons:

    • Minimal amount of controls (no firewall options for customization etc).
    • No Web Administration via desktop browser (only through mobile app)

    Best Hardware Firewalls for Small Business (SMB) Network Use

    The devices in this category are slightly more expensive than the previous ones but they are best suited for business environments with more demanding requirements.

    1) FortiGate 30E

    86 ReviewsFORTINET FortiGate 30E Network Security/Firewall Appliance

    • New

    $202.00Check DetailsPrice incl. tax, excl. shipping

    Last update on 2021-11-10 at 16:36 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

    FortiGate has experienced the most impressive growth as a security manufacturer the last years. This company launched some of the most flexible firewall devices (both Entry-level UTM and Enterprise-Grade models) in the market.

    The FortiGate 30E is designed for small to mid-sized businesses and provides complete protection and Unified Threat Management (UTM) services to users. The device is simple to set up and uses cloud management for easier administration.

    This firewall also includes four LAN Gigabit Ethernet ports for connecting computers, routers, Servers, or switches.

    In such a small device you can find advanced security protections such as application control, advanced threat protection, Intrusion Prevention System (IPS), Web Filtering, VPN etc.

    Fortigate devices support the VDOM feature which lets you create several virtual firewalls on the same hardware device thus segmenting the network to different zones such as guests, employees, public servers etc.

    Pros:

    • Fortigate firewalls are among the most flexible and feature-rich devices in the market.
    • FortiNet as a company is one of the most trusted manufacturers of security devices.
    • The hardware firewall supports 950 Mbps of pure firewall throughput and 150Mbps throughput if all Threat Protections are enable (which is pretty good for a small business).
    • The Fortinet Security Fabric (cloud management service) and FortiGuard Security Service provides real-time intelligence in threat prevention (one of the best in the industry).

    Cons:

    • Requires a subscription to continue using the security and support services (just like all other UTM vendors).

    2) SonicWall TZ400 Security Firewall

    No products found.

    The TZ series of SonicWall firewalls are entry-level business models suitable for small to medium offices or branch offices belonging to a larger corporation.

    SonicWall is well known for manufacturing excellent firewall products and the TZ series are no-exception.

    The SonicWall TZ400 offers enterprise-grade network security through its Unified Threat Management (UTM) system. It provides hardware, cloud-based, and software antivirus and network monitoring for a complete security solution.

    To take advantage of all UTM software security features, a license subscription is needed just like all other UTM firewall appliances.

    As an enterprise-level product, the TZ400 can support over 100 additional ports when combined with the Dell X-Series network switches.

    Thanks to the processing power of this device, the TZ400 can perform deep packet inspection of all Internet traffic without reducing transfer speeds. The device offers 1.3 Gbps throughput with real speeds of 900 Mbps for WAN connections.

    Pros:

    • Is a robust solution that can handle all the security needs of a small to medium-sized business
    • Includes support for SSL VPN mobile connections
    • Offers deeper packet filtering to reduce the risk of cyber attacks
    • SonicWall is a trusted vendor with proven record in UTM firewall appliances.
    • High performance optimized device for not compromising in speed even if advanced security features are enabled.

    Cons:

    • One of the more expensive hardware firewalls

    3) Cisco Meraki MX64W

    1 ReviewsCisco Meraki MX64W Firewall with 802.11ac Plus MX64W Enterprise Security and Support 1YR BDL

    • Cisco Meraki MX Security Appliances are ideal for organizations with large numbers of distributed sites. Since the MX is 100% cloud man – aged, installation and remote management is simple. The MX has a comprehensive suite of network services, eliminating the need for multiple appliances. These services include Layer 7 application firewall, content filtering, web search filtering, SNORT based intrusion prevention, web caching, Intelligent WAN with multiple uplinks and 4G failover.
    • The MX provides a complete networking and security solution that typically requires up to four appliances: branch router, next-generation firewall, Layer 7 traffic shaper, and CIPA-compliant content filter.
    • Enterprise Security and Support License features include:

    Check DetailsPrice incl. tax, excl. shipping

    Last update on 2021-11-10 at 16:36 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

    Cisco is the leading manufacturer of enterprise-level networking solutions. Meraki has been acquired by Cisco to serve the SMB market of wireless LAN products (and also other SMB network solutions).   

    With the Meraki MX64W, the company has created a WiFi router and hardware firewall with superior Internet security features.

    Users can also maintain fast Internet connections. The device uses layer 7 application visibility to monitor and prioritize traffic without significantly reducing bandwidth, supporting up to 1.2 Gbps WiFi speeds and 250 Mbps firewall throughput.

    Cisco also provides advanced security services for an additional fee. These options include advanced content filtering, Cisco Threat Grid, and advanced malware protection.

    Pros:

    • Complete enterprise-level WIFI and internet security solution
    • Excellent management cloud capabilities.
    • Support for up to four WiFi access point SSIDs thus segmenting the network.
    • Ability to support up to 50 users (great for small-medium offices).
    • Meraki and Cisco are well established brands in the field of networking and firewall security.
    • You get a future proof product with unprecedented vendor support.
    • Hardware Lifetime Warranty.

    Cons:

    • A relatively expensive option that may be out of reach for some businesses.

    4) Protectli Firewall Appliance With 4X Intel Gigabit Ports

    339 ReviewsProtectli Vault FW4B – 4 Port, Firewall Micro Appliance/Mini PC – Intel Quad Core, AES-NI, 4GB RAM, 32GB mSATA SSD

    • THE VAULT (FW4B): Secure your network with a compact, fanless & silent firewall. Comes with US-based Support & 30-day money back guarantee!
    • CPU: Intel Quad Core Celeron J3160, 64 bit, up to 2.2GHz, AES-NI hardware support
    • PORTS: 4x Intel Gigabit Ethernet ports, 2x USB 3.0, 1x RJ-45 COM, 2x HDMI

    Check DetailsPrice incl. tax, excl. shipping

    Last update on 2021-11-10 at 14:54 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

    The Protectli Firewall Appliance features an Intel Quad Core Celeron processor with 4GB RAM and 32GB SSD drive making sure that almost any open-source firewall software will be running great on it.

    It also includes 4 gigabit Ethernet ports, including a LAN and WAN port for connecting the device to a home network.

    The device is intended for experienced users and electronics hobbyists. It uses open-source software firewall distributions, which require some technical knowledge to install and configure.

    The company also calls the device The Vault. The small form factor PC is built for use as a hardware firewall/router and includes a 32GB mSATA solid-state drive and 4GB of DDR3L RAM. However, users may upgrade the RAM up to 8GB.

    Some open-source firewall and other software that can be installed on this module include pfsense, dd-wrt, FreeBSD, ClearOS, CentOS, OpenVPN etc.

    Pros:

    • Works with a wide variety of open source firewall projects.
    • Extremely reliable device.
    • Provides a customizable solution for advanced users who can install a great open-source firewall for great protection.
    • Offers whisper-quiet operation with fan-less construction with no mechanical or moving parts.

    Cons:

    • Difficult for novices to set up and configure

    5) WatchGuard Firebox T15

    16 ReviewsWatchGuard Firebox T15-W with 1YR Standard Support WGT16001-WW

    • WatchGuard Firebox t15-w with 1-yr standard Support (WW)
    • 802. 11B/g/n operating in the 2. 4 GHz and 5GHz bands for high performance and superior reliability
    • All WatchGuard appliances come with a minimum of 90 days support, which includes unlimited support cases

    $332.36Check DetailsPrice incl. tax, excl. shipping

    Last update on 2021-11-10 at 16:36 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

    WatchGuard Firebox T15 is a WiFi router (select models only) and hardware firewall in one device. This small box connects directly to the Internet and can be used as an access point for the local network. It supports 802.11b/g/n WIFI and 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands (in the wifi version).

    The T15 is intended for up to five users, offering 400 Mbps speeds through the hardware firewall and 90 Mbps speeds when the software UTM features are enabled. By UTM features we mean the software protection mechanisms such as intrusion detection, antivirus, ransomware protection, data-loss prevention etc.

    If you have more office users then select the T35 for 20 users or T55 for 30 users.

    Users can also configure their own secure VPN connections with speeds up to 150 Mbps.

    With the provided Ethernet ports, users can directly connect three computers or routers for one Gbps transfer rates.

    Pros:

    • Offers broad protection with full UTM solutions for remote workers
    • Supports secure VPN connections with fast transfer speeds

    Cons:

    • The hardware firewall limits WAN speeds to 400 Mbps, making it suitable for about five
    • Performance is reduced considerably (90Mbps) if all UTM features are enabled.

    Cons:

    • One of the more expensive hardware firewalls

    3) Cisco Meraki MX64W

    1 ReviewsCisco Meraki MX64W Firewall with 802.11ac Plus MX64W Enterprise Security and Support 1YR BDL

    • Cisco Meraki MX Security Appliances are ideal for organizations with large numbers of distributed sites. Since the MX is 100% cloud man – aged, installation and remote management is simple. The MX has a comprehensive suite of network services, eliminating the need for multiple appliances. These services include Layer 7 application firewall, content filtering, web search filtering, SNORT based intrusion prevention, web caching, Intelligent WAN with multiple uplinks and 4G failover.
    • The MX provides a complete networking and security solution that typically requires up to four appliances: branch router, next-generation firewall, Layer 7 traffic shaper, and CIPA-compliant content filter.
    • Enterprise Security and Support License features include:

    Check DetailsPrice incl. tax, excl. shipping

    Last update on 2021-11-10 at 16:36 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

    Cisco is the leading manufacturer of enterprise-level networking solutions. Meraki has been acquired by Cisco to serve the SMB market of wireless LAN products (and also other SMB network solutions).   https://e29e6781e0b064dbb64f400480485a9c.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.htmlblog

    With the Meraki MX64W, the company has created a WiFi router and hardware firewall with superior Internet security features.

    Users can also maintain fast Internet connections. The device uses layer 7 application visibility to monitor and prioritize traffic without significantly reducing bandwidth, supporting up to 1.2 Gbps WiFi speeds and 250 Mbps firewall throughput.

    Cisco also provides advanced security services for an additional fee. These options include advanced content filtering, Cisco Threat Grid, and advanced malware protection.

    Pros:

    • Complete enterprise-level WIFI and internet security solution
    • Excellent management cloud capabilities.
    • Support for up to four WiFi access point SSIDs thus segmenting the network.
    • Ability to support up to 50 users (great for small-medium offices).
    • Meraki and Cisco are well established brands in the field of networking and firewall security.
    • You get a future proof product with unprecedented vendor support.
    • Hardware Lifetime Warranty.

    Cons:

    • A relatively expensive option that may be out of reach for some businesses.

    4) Protectli Firewall Appliance With 4X Intel Gigabit Ports

    339 ReviewsProtectli Vault FW4B – 4 Port, Firewall Micro Appliance/Mini PC – Intel Quad Core, AES-NI, 4GB RAM, 32GB mSATA SSD

    • THE VAULT (FW4B): Secure your network with a compact, fanless & silent firewall. Comes with US-based Support & 30-day money back guarantee!
    • CPU: Intel Quad Core Celeron J3160, 64 bit, up to 2.2GHz, AES-NI hardware support
    • PORTS: 4x Intel Gigabit Ethernet ports, 2x USB 3.0, 1x RJ-45 COM, 2x HDMI

    Check DetailsPrice incl. tax, excl. shipping

    Last update on 2021-11-10 at 14:54 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

    The Protectli Firewall Appliance features an Intel Quad Core Celeron processor with 4GB RAM and 32GB SSD drive making sure that almost any open-source firewall software will be running great on it.

    It also includes 4 gigabit Ethernet ports, including a LAN and WAN port for connecting the device to a home network.https://e29e6781e0b064dbb64f400480485a9c.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.htmlblog

    The device is intended for experienced users and electronics hobbyists. It uses open-source software firewall distributions, which require some technical knowledge to install and configure.

    The company also calls the device The Vault. The small form factor PC is built for use as a hardware firewall/router and includes a 32GB mSATA solid-state drive and 4GB of DDR3L RAM. However, users may upgrade the RAM up to 8GB.

    Some open-source firewall and other software that can be installed on this module include pfsense, dd-wrt, FreeBSD, ClearOS, CentOS, OpenVPN etc.

    Pros:

    • Works with a wide variety of open source firewall projects.
    • Extremely reliable device.
    • Provides a customizable solution for advanced users who can install a great open-source firewall for great protection.
    • Offers whisper-quiet operation with fan-less construction with no mechanical or moving parts.

    Cons:

    • Difficult for novices to set up and configure

    5) WatchGuard Firebox T15

    16 ReviewsWatchGuard Firebox T15-W with 1YR Standard Support WGT16001-WW

    • WatchGuard Firebox t15-w with 1-yr standard Support (WW)
    • 802. 11B/g/n operating in the 2. 4 GHz and 5GHz bands for high performance and superior reliability
    • All WatchGuard appliances come with a minimum of 90 days support, which includes unlimited support cases

    $332.36Check DetailsPrice incl. tax, excl. shipping

    Last update on 2021-11-10 at 16:36 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

    WatchGuard Firebox T15 is a WiFi router (select models only) and hardware firewall in one device. This small box connects directly to the Internet and can be used as an access point for the local network. It supports 802.11b/g/n WIFI and 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands (in the wifi version).

    The T15 is intended for up to five users, offering 400 Mbps speeds through the hardware firewall and 90 Mbps speeds when the software UTM features are enabled. By UTM features we mean the software protection mechanisms such as intrusion detection, antivirus, ransomware protection, data-loss prevention etc.https://e29e6781e0b064dbb64f400480485a9c.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.htmlblog

    If you have more office users then select the T35 for 20 users or T55 for 30 users.

    Users can also configure their own secure VPN connections with speeds up to 150 Mbps.

    With the provided Ethernet ports, users can directly connect three computers or routers for one Gbps transfer rates.

    Pros:

    • Offers broad protection with full UTM solutions for remote workers
    • Supports secure VPN connections with fast transfer speeds

    Cons:

    • The hardware firewall limits WAN speeds to 400 Mbps, making it suitable for about five
    • Performance is reduced considerably (90Mbps) if all UTM features are enabled.

  • How To Stop DDOS Attacks? 6 Tips for Fighting DDoS Attacks

    Knowing how to stop a DDoS attack quickly could be the difference between your organization thriving and going out of business. That’s because the effects of a successful DDoS attack can be devastating, making your organization disappear from the internet and unable to interact with customers.

    If you do fall victim to a DDoS attack, you are not alone. High-profile victims of DDoS attacks in 2018 include organizations as diverse as Google, Amazon, PlayStation, Pinterest, and GitHub – which was on the receiving end of the highest volume DDoS attack ever witnessed.

    A basic denial of service (DoS) attack involves bombarding an IP address with large amounts of traffic. If the IP address points to a Web server, then it (or routers upstream of it) may be overwhelmed. Legitimate traffic heading for the Web server will be unable to contact it, and the site becomes unavailable. Service is denied.

    See our picks for top DDoS vendors

    A distributed denial of service attack (DDoS) is a special type of denial of service attack. The principle is the same, but the malicious traffic is generated from multiple sources — although orchestrated from one central point. The fact that the traffic sources are distributed — often throughout the world — makes a DDoS attack much harder to block than one originating from a single IP address.

    Learn about different types of DDoS attacks

    DDoS attacks becoming more frequent

    DDoS attacks are becoming increasingly commonplace, according to research published by Corero Network Security at the end of 2017. Its DDoS Trends and Analysis report found that the number of attacks increased by 35% between Q2 2017 and Q3 2017.

    One reason for their increased prevalence is the increasing number of insecure Internet of Things (IoT) devices that are being infected and recruited into botnets such as Reaper.

    The volume of data launched at DDoS attack victims has also gone up significantly, largely thanks to amplification attacks such as the memcached amplification attack technique. Earlier this year, cybercriminals launched some 15,000 memcached attacks, including an attack on GitHub that maxed out at an astonishing 1.35 Tbps.

    Preventing a DDoS attack when malicious actors can launch over 1 Tbps at your servers is almost impossible, and that means that it is more than important than ever to understand how to stop a DDoS attack after it has started to affect your operations. Here are six tips for stopping a DDoS attack.

    How to stop a DDoS attack

    1. Identify The DDoS Attack Early

    If you run your own servers, then you need to be able to identify when you are under attack. That’s because the sooner you can establish that problems with your website are due to a DDoS attack, the sooner you can stop the DDoS attack.

    To be in a position to do this, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with your typical inbound traffic profile; the more you know about what your normal traffic looks like, the easier it is to spot when its profile changes. Most DDoS attacks start as sharp spikes in traffic, and it’s helpful to be able to tell the difference between a sudden surge of legitimate visitors and the start of a DDoS attack.

    It’s also a good idea to nominate a DDoS leader in your company who is responsible for acting should you come under attack.

    2. Overprovision Bandwidth

    It generally makes sense to have more bandwidth available to your Web server than you ever think you are likely to need. That way, you can accommodate sudden and unexpected surges in traffic that could be a result of an advertising campaign, a special offer or even a mention of your company in the media.

    Even if you overprovision by 100 percent — or 500 percent — that likely won’t stop a DDoS attack. But it may give you a few extra minutes to act before your resources are overwhelmed completely.

    3. Defend At The Network Perimeter (If You Run Your Own Web Server)

    There are a few technical measures that can be taken to partially mitigate the effect of an attack — especially in the first minutes — and some of these are quite simple. For example, you can:

    • rate limit your router to prevent your Web server from being overwhelmed
    • add filters to tell your router to drop packets from obvious sources of attack
    • timeout half-open connections more aggressively
    • drop spoofed or malformed packages
    • set lower SYN, ICMP, and UDP flood drop thresholds

    But the truth is that while these steps have been effective in the past, DDoS attacks are now usually too large for these measures to be able to stop a DDoS attack completely. Again, the most you can hope for is that they will buy you a little time as a DDoS attack ramps up.

    4. Call Your ISP Or Hosting Provider

    The next step is to call your ISP (or hosting provider if you do not host your own Web server), tell them you are under attack, and ask for help. Keep emergency contacts for your ISP or hosting provider readily available so you can do this quickly. Depending on the strength of the attack, the ISP or hoster may already have detected it – or they may themselves start to be overwhelmed by the attack.

    You stand a better chance of withstanding a DDoS attack if your Web server is located in a hosting center than if you run it yourself. That’s because its data center will likely have far higher bandwidth links and higher capacity routers than your company has, and its staff will probably have more experience dealing with attacks. Having your Web server located with a hoster will also keep DDoS traffic aimed at your Web server off your corporate LAN so at least that part of your business – including email and possibly voice over IP (VoIP) services – should operate normally during an attack.

    If a DDoS attack is large enough, the first thing a hosting company or ISP is likely to do is “null route” your traffic – which results in packets destined for your Web server being dropped before they arrive.

    “It can be very costly for a hosting company to allow a DDoS onto their network because it consumes a lot of bandwidth and can affect other customers, so the first thing we might do is black hole you for a while,” said Liam Enticknap, a network operations engineer at PEER 1 hosting.

    Tim Pat Dufficy, managing director of ISP and hosting company ServerSpace, agreed. “The first thing we do when we see a customer under attack is log onto our routers and stop the traffic getting onto our network,” he says. “That takes about two minutes to propagate globally using BGP (border gateway protocol) and then traffic falls off.”

    If that was the end of the story, the DDoS attack would still be successful. To get the website back online, your ISP or hosting company may divert traffic to a “scrubber,” where the malicious packets can be removed before the legitimate ones are be sent on to your Web server.

    “We use our experience, and various tools, to understand how the traffic to your site has changed from what it was receiving before and to identify malicious packets,” said Enticknap. He says PEER 1 has the capacity to take in, scrub and send on very high levels of traffic, but with levels of traffic comparable to those experienced by Github, even this scrubbing effort would likely be overwhelmed.

    5. Call A DDoS Mitigation Specialist

    For very large attacks, it’s likely that your best chance of staying online is to use a specialist DDoS mitigation company. These organizations have large-scale infrastructure and use a variety of technologies, including data scrubbing, to help keep your website online. You may need to contact a DDoS mitigation company directly, or your hosting company or service provider may have a partnership agreement with one to handle large attacks.

    “If a customer needs DDoS mitigation, then we divert their traffic to (DDoS mitigation company) Black Lotus,” said Dufficy. “We do this using BGP, so it only takes a few minutes.”

    Black Lotus’s scrubbing center can handle very high levels of traffic, and sends on the cleaned traffic to its intended destination. This results in higher latency for website users, but the alternative is that they wouldn’t be able to access the site at all.

    DDoS mitigation services are not free, so it’s up to you whether you want to pay to stay online or take the hit and wait for the DDoS attack to subside before continuing to do business. Subscribing to a DDoS mitigation service on an ongoing basis may cost a few hundred dollars a month. If you wait until you need one, however, expect to pay much more for the service and wait longer before it starts to work.

    Read more about DDoS solutions

    6. Create A DDoS Playbook

    The best way to ensure that your organization reacts as quickly and effectively as possible to stop a DDoS attack is to create a playbook that documents in detail every step of a pre-planned response when an attack is detected.

    This should include the actions detailed above, with contact names and telephone numbers of all those who may need to be brought into action as part of the playbook’s plan. DDoS mitigation companies can help with this by running a simulated DDoS attack, enabling you to develop and refine a rapid corporate procedure for reacting to a real attack.

    An important part of your planned response to a DDoS attack that should not be overlooked is how you communicate the problem to customers. DDoS attacks can last as long as 24 hours, and good communication can ensure that the cost to your business is minimized while you remain under attack.

    Your organization should commit significant efforts to preventing a DDoS attack from affecting your infrastructure, and that’s the subject of the next article in this series, How to Prevent DDoS Attacks.

  • How to Protect Your Computer from Hackers, Spyware and Viruses

    It’s a combination of good habits, smart security and the right tools



    Cybersecurity is super-important. We live a significant part of our lives online and on computing devices. Whether it’s a laptop, a smartphone or your desktop computer at work – you’ve got valuable information shady people would love to have. Wouldn’t it be nice if you knew how to protect your computer from hackers and all the other hazards of the digital world?

    The good news is that it’s not difficult to learn some core tips and tricks that will significantly improve your safety on the net. Get ready, because this is going to be a mega guide of practical advice that will help you use a computer and the internet without getting burned.

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    Learning Good Cybersecurity Habits

    When we’re young, our parents teach us general rules for life meant to keep us safe. Always look both ways before crossing the street. Never get in a car with a stranger. That sort of thing.

    Sadly the technology of today didn’t exist when many of us were young, so there’s a definite need to have the same sort of common sense, but adapted for the digital world.

    Use Strong Passwords & a Password Manager

    Passwords are still one of our best defenses against getting hacked. Most sites will have a minimum password complexity. For example, they’ll say a password must be a certain length and contain a particular mix of character types. Sadly, any sort of password that a human being can easily remember is likely to be one that can be broken through brute-force guesses sooner rather than later. 

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    The best thing you can do to protect your computer from hackers is use a trusted password manager. These managers keep track of all your passwords securely and will generate randomized strong passwords that are almost impossible to guess using brute force or any other password cracking method.

    The good news is that most people don’t have to go looking very far for a password manager. Google Chrome already has a very competent one built in. You can generate strong passwords within the browser and sync them to the cloud. So wherever you’re logged into your Google Account, you can retrieve passwords with ease.

    Password Protect Everything

    Of course, you need to set passwords on anything that could fall into the wrong hands. Your computer, phone and tablet should all have their own passcodes or passwords. Biometric unlocking, such as fingerprint or facial recognition, aren’t quite as secure. So it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with your device’s biometric kill-switch if it has one. 


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    This is a command or keypress that disables anything but passcode entry. For example, if someone forces you to hand your computer or phone over, they can’t access the device without your code. They can however point the camera at your face or place your finger on the fingerprint sensor. 

    Use Encryption Wherever Possible

    Encryption is a technique that mathematically scrambles your data, so that it can’t be read without the proper key. For example, websites that start with “https” use a secure encrypted method of sending data. So only you and the receiving website know what’s being said. 


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    Outsiders, such as your service provider or anyone inspecting the data packets as they pass through various stops on the internet only know your IP address and the address of the page you’re visiting.

    Not only should you avoid websites that don’t use encryption, you should also stick to chat services that offer “end-to-end” encryption. WhatsApp is an example of this. End-to-end encryption stops even WhatsApp itself from knowing what’s being said in your chats.

    Don’t Trust Anyone Blindly

    One of the biggest risks you’ll face when online, comes from impersonation and anonymity. When interacting with someone, you have no idea whether they are who they say they are. In fact, thanks to artificial intelligence, you can’t even be sure that you’re interacting with a real human being at all. 


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    This means that it’s very important to get some sort of third-party confirmation that you’re in contact with the person you should be. Even if the person is who they say, you should also take their claims and promises with a pinch of salt. Treat them with at least the same skepticism as you would with a new acquaintance in real life.

    Use Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) Whenever Possible

    Two-factor authentication is a security method where you use a completely different channel as the second part of your password. It’s one of the best ways these days to protect your accounts from hackers. So, for example, you might receive a one-time PIN through your email account or as a text message to a registered number when you log into a service. With “2FA” getting your password stolen isn’t enough for the bad guys to access your account.


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    Of course, with enough effort, it’s possible for criminals to get around 2FA. They can also try to hack your email password or perform a “SIM swap” scam and take control of your phone number. However, this is a lot of extra effort and risks, which makes it unlikely that you’ll be targeted in this way at random. As such, 2FA is one of the strongest deterrents you can put in place.

    Dealing With Hackers

    The term “hacker” has a broad set of meanings in the computer world. Lots of people think of themselves as hackers and people who really are hackers might not conform to the image most people get from the movies. Nonetheless, hackers are out there, which means you need to know how to deal with them.


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    Types Of Hackers

    Let’s start off by clearing up a few misconceptions. Not all hackers are criminals. It used to be that legal hackers insisted that criminal hackers be referred to as “crackers”, but the term never really stuck in the mainstream.

    There are three kinds of hackers: white hat, grey hat and black hat.

    White Hat hackers are also referred to as “ethical” hackers. These hackers never break the law and everything they do is with the consent of their targets. For example, a company wanting to test their network security may hire a white hat hacker to do a “penetration test”. If they manage to break in, they’ll steal or damage nothing. Instead, they’ll report to the client and help them devise a fix for their security vulnerability.

    Grey hat hackers also don’t deliberately do harm, but they aren’t above breaking the law in order to satisfy their curiosity or find holes in a security system. For example, a grey hat may do an unsolicited penetration test on someone’s system and then let them know about it afterwards. As the name suggests, grey hats can be criminal, but not malicious.

    Black hat hackers are the boogeymen that most people think of when you use the word. These are malicious computer experts who are out to make money or simply sow anarchy. It’s the black hat variety that we’re all meant to be wary of.

    Be Aware of Social Engineering

    It’s easy to think of hackers using high-tech methods to break into systems, but the truth is that the strongest tool in a hacker’s arsenal doesn’t involve computers at all. A system is only as strong as its weakest link and, more often than not, that weak link is a human being. So, rather than taking a strong technological system on, hackers will target the weaknesses in human psychology.

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    One common tactic is to phone someone, such as a secretary or low-level technical staff at a company. The hacker will pose as a technician or an authority and ask for information. Sometimes the information isn’t obviously sensitive.

    There are also social engineering techniques that can be done via text chat, in-person or in email. 

    Learn To Spot Harmful Emails

    Email remains one of the most popular ways for malicious people to get at you. It’s perfect, because you can simply send off millions of emails and find a few lucrative victims through sheer large numbers. 

    The best defense against harmful emails is to know how to spot them. Any email which offers you implausible rewards and requires you to part with money, should be discarded. It may be easy to laugh at the idea of a prince in some far off land who’ll give you millions of dollars, if you’ll only part with a relatively small amount now. Yet, each year millions of dollars are stolen from people who fall for these scams. If something seems fishy or too good to be true, it probably is.

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    One of the best ways to detect these scams is to put the text of the email into Google or by visiting a site like ScamBusters. There’s bound to be a very similar scam already on the record.

    Apart from the general class of scam emails, there are also phishing and spear phishing emails. These emails aim to get information from you that can then be used in further attacks. The most common targets are usernames and passwords.

    phishing email usually has a link in it that leads to a fake website, meant to look like your online banking facility or some other site you have an account with. Thinking you’re on the real site, you enter your user name and password, handing it directly to people who should not have it.

    Spear phishing is the same thing, except that those targeting you know who you are. So they will tailor the email to contain details specific to you. They might even try to pose as your boss or someone you know.

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    The way to deal with phishing attempts and protect your computer from hackers is to never click on links from unsolicited emails. Always navigate to the site yourself and make sure the web address is exactly correct. Spear phishing attempts can be thwarted by using a second channel to verify it.

    For example, if it’s someone saying they are from your bank, phone the bank and ask to speak with that person directly. Likewise, pick up the phone and ask your boss, friend or acquaintance whether they really sent the mail in question or not.

    Be Extra Cautious When Away From Home

    It’s easy to think of hackers as people who ply their trade from miles away, sitting in front of a computer in a dark room somewhere. In real life, the person sitting at a table in the coffee shop could very well be hacking you while sipping on a latte.

    Public spaces can provide easy pickings for hackers. They can try to fool you in-person by asking you for private information. The sort of stuff you’d put in security questions or can be used in social engineering attacks. Sometimes people can simply look over your shoulder as you type in a password or display sensitive information.

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    A common threat is public WiFi. Anyone who’s on the same WiFi network as you, can see the information your device is sending and receiving. They may even get access to your device directly if it’s not configured properly somehow. 

    The most important precaution to take if you have to make use of a public WiFi network is to use a VPN, which will encrypt all data leaving your computer. You should also use a firewall and specifically mark the WiFi network as a public one, to block direct access from other users on the network. Usually you’’ll be asked if a network is private or public when you first connect to it.

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    The last major thing you should be wary of is public USB devices. Never stick a found flash drive into your own computer or a work computer. Hackers often leave infected drives with spyware around hoping that someone will plug it into their computer, giving them access. 

    Public charging spots are also dangerous. You should use a USB cable that can only provide power and not data when charging from unknown sources. Just in case the charger has been replaced with a hacked one.

    Dealing With Malicious Software

    Malicious software includes viruses, spyware, adware, trojans and various other subtypes of nasty software packages.We’ll go over each type of malicious software and then also cover how to either avoid or fix the issue.

    Computer Viruses

    Quite possibly the best-known form of malware, a computer virus is a self-replicating piece of software that spreads from one computer to the next through disks, drives and email. Viruses are not standalone programs. Instead, they usually tack themselves on to another legitimate program and execute their code when you run that program. 

    Apart from making copies of itself to infect new computers, viruses also have a “payload”. This can be something harmless or mildly irritating, such as a message that pops up to laugh at you or it can be serious. Such as a virus that completely wipes all your data.

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    The good news is that viruses cannot spread themselves. They need help from you! The first and most important safeguard is antivirus software. Windows Defender, which comes with Windows 10, is perfectly adequate for most people, but there are many choices out there. While macOS and Linux viruses exist, these markets are relatively small, so virus creators don’t bother too often.

    That’s changing however, and if you do use one of these operating systems it’s a good idea to find an antivirus package you like, before their increasing popularity brings a flood of new opportunistic viruses.

    Apart from using an antivirus package, common sense precautions include not sticking your USB drives into any old computer you come across. Especially public machines. You should also be very wary of running software you find on the internet that’s not from a reputable source. Pirated software, apart from being illegal, is a hotbed of viruses and other malware. 

    Trojans

    Named for the wooden horse that snuck a bunch of soldiers into the city of Troy, this type of software pretends to be a legitimate utility or other useful program. As with a virus, the user executes the program and then the malicious code goes into effect. Also, as with a virus, what that payload is depends on what the creators want to accomplish.Trojans differ from viruses in the sense that they are standalone programs and don’t self-replicate.

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    Most antivirus software keeps a database of trojan signatures, but new ones are being developed all the time. This makes it possible for a few new ones to slip through. In general it’s best not to run any software that comes from a source you don’t entirely trust.

    Ransomware

    This is a particularly nasty form of malware and the damage ransomware can do is staggering. Once infected with this malware, it quietly begins encrypting and hiding your data, replacing it with dummy folders and files with the same name. Ransomware authors have different approaches, but usually the malware will encrypt files in locations that are likely to have important data first. Once it’s encrypted enough of your data, there will be a popup demanding payment in exchange for the encryption key.

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    Sadly, once encrypted, there is no way to get your information back. However, under no circumstances should you ever give money to ransomware creators! In some cases you can get previous versions of important files by checking the Volume Shadow Copy. However, the most effective way to protect yourself against ransomware is to store your most important files in a cloud service such as DropBox, OneDrive or Google Drive. 

    Even if the encrypted files get synced back to the cloud, these services all offer a rolling backup window. So you can go back to the moments before the files were encrypted. This turns a ransomware attack from a major disaster into a mild irritation.

    Worms

    Worms are another form of self-replicating malware, but there’s one major difference when compared to viruses. Worms don’t need you, the user, to do anything for them to infect a machine. Worms can roam networks, entering through unprotected ports. They can also make use of vulnerabilities in other software programs that allow for malicious code to run.

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    What can you do about worms? They aren’t as much of a problem these days, but make sure you have a software firewall on your computer and/or router. Always keep your software and operating system up to date. At the very least when it comes to security updates. Of course, keeping your antivirus up to date is also an essential precaution.

    AdWare & Spyware

    AdWare and Spyware are two types of pretty irritating malware that can do varying levels of harm. AdWare usually doesn’t damage anything on purpose. Instead, it makes advertising pop up on your screen.

    This can make the computer unusable by cluttering the screen and using up a ton of system resources, but once you’ve removed the AdWare your computer should be no worse for wear.

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    Spyware also rarely does any direct damage, but is much more malicious. This software spies on you and then reports back to its creator. That can involve recording your screen, watching you through your webcam and logging all your keystrokes to steal passwords. That’s scary stuff and, since this happens in the background, you won’t even know something is going on. 

    Specialized malware removal apps such as AdAware will make short work of these programs, but you can also prevent infection the same way you do for trojans and viruses.

    Browser Hijackers

    Browser hijackers are a particular pain in the neck. This malware takes over your web browser and redirects you to pages that benefit the creator. Sometimes this means fake or dodgy search engines. Sometimes it means being redirected to fake versions of sites or pages filled with nasty adverts. 

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    The good news is that the same anti-malware software that takes care of adware and spyware will also deal with browser hijackers. If you’re running Windows 10 they are also much less of a problem, because WIndows requires your permission to make the sorts of changes that browser hijackers need to work.

    You’re The Most Important Part!

    If people are usually the weakest part of a computer security system they can also turn out to be the strongest component of all. Try to read up on the latest cybersecurity threats when you have a chance. Try to practice the basic, common-sense safety principles we discussed above and learn to trust your gut. There is no such thing as perfect security, but that doesn’t mean you have to be a passive victim of cyber crime.

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