Network Based Firewall vs Host Based Firewall

Rashmi Bhardwaj | Blog,BUZZ,Security

Network Based Firewall

In the last article, we understood what is a Network-based Firewall. In this article, we will further move ahead and compare Network-based firewall with Host-based firewall and how each has edge over others.

While Network Based Firewall filters traffic going from Internet to secured LAN and vice versa, a host based firewall is a software application or suite of applications installed on a single computer and provides protection to the host.

Related – Firewall vs IPS vs IDS 


It’s notable to share that Network firewall does not know about the Applications and vulnerabilities on a machine or VM. Only the OS will know that and Host based Firewall will be the best bet to provide security to the OS Eend System.)

The major benefit of using host based Firewall is that since the protection system is installed in the host itself, it is very easy to point out whether the actual attack was successful or not.

Related – Cisco ASA Firewall Interview Questions

Palo Alto Firewall Interview Questions

When it comes to network like 1 or 2 PCs, Host based Firewall alone can protect the network from malicious attack and provide security. However, when it comes to larger networks, Host-based Firewalls are not enough.

In fact, Network Based Firewall and Host based firewall both should be implemented to meet the security protection requirement.

If we are in a big organization, it is a mandatory IT policy to implement both flavours of Firewall.

Network Based Firewall & Host Based Firewall

Firewall filters traffic going from Internet to secured LAN and vice versa.
A host firewall is a software application or suite of applications installed on a singular computer
At the Perimeter or border of the network like Internet handoff point to address the unauthorized access from the entry/exit point.
Placed at end Host systems and will be in a way, 2nd line of defence if unauthorized traffic has not been blocked by Network based firewall.
Hardware/Software based
Hardware based
Software based
Functions at
Network Level
Host level
Cannot be moved until all the assets of LAN have been migrated to new location
Since Host based Firewall is installed on end machine (Laptop/desktop) , hence Host based firewall is mobility friendly
Internal Protection
(same VLAN/Zone)
For end host to end host communication in same VLAN , Network Firewall does not provide security
For end host to end host communication in same VLAN, Host based Firewall provides security control and protection.
Network Protection
Strong defence barrier compared with host-based. Infact Network Firewalls are hardened enough leaving very less space for attacker to play.
Limited defence barrier compared to Network firewalls
Easy to scale since increase in number of users in LAN triggers more bandwidth requirement and rightly sized Firewall considering future growth does not require much of effort to accommodate high bandwidth.
More effort required to scale in terms of more installations & maintenance on each device when number of hosts increase
Manpower may be shared and limited since only 1 or 2 sets of Network Firewall need to be managed
Dedicated IT team required to monitor and maintain and update Host based Firewall on each end device
Setup requires highly skilled resources with good understanding of Security devices
Skillset of basic Hardware/software understanding and program installation
Lower when comes to large enterprise
Higher when it comes to large enterprises

Download the difference table here.




Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Shopping Cart