A very common query asked by network and security administrators is difference between Firewall, IPS and IDS.

All the 3 terms related to providing security to network and are considered essential components of a Network especially Data Center Network.

The main difference being that firewall preforms actions such as blocking and filtering of traffic while and IPS/IDS detects and alert a system administrator or prevent the attack as per configuration.

A firewall allows traffic based on set of rules configured. It relies on source, the destination addresses, and the ports. A firewall can deny any traffic that does not meet the specific criteria.

IDS is passive device which watches packets of data traversing the network, comparing with signature patterns and setting off an alarm on detection on suspicious activity. On the contrary, IPS is an active device working in inline mode and prevents the attacks by blocking it.

Furthmore, below table enumerates the difference between Firewall, IPS and IDS in detail –



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