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I have a small business application that I am comparing firewalls for and I'm looking for honest reviews of their performance compared to features.

I'm torn between the FortiGate-60D and the ZyXEL USG110. Obvious that the Fortinet is cheaper than the ZyXEL by $100, as too is the annual licensing for Fortinet. Is that a good indicator that ZyXEL has better services and features?

As far as throughput the ZyXEL shows specs of having better bandwidth throughput than the Fortinet.

This is a relatively small office of 5 computers, a central file server and a netgear wireless R7000. The network is a Gigabit network but incoming internet is only 20Mbps. We do however have 3 times a day an offsite backup of server data, using rSync so not a lot of BW out but a lot of requests to run comparisons.

  • You could also make a custom firewall via an inexpensive tower with multiple NICs, running OpenBSD. Cost are lower due to OpenBSD being free, and one of the most secure OS's out there. Just finished a Firewalls and Intrusion Detection course running OpenBSD/SNORT, was quite interesting. – NZKshatriya Dec 27 '16 at 18:41
  • Being that it is such a small office do you really need the feature set on these firewalls or will a basic SOHO router like a Linksys etc work. Also is there any reason why you are not considering SonicWall? – Jeff Dec 27 '16 at 22:54
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Assuming you have any basic level of competence, the hardware on most of these is a bit... naff, running lower end mips or arm processors, tied up with a custom ASIC.

About 200usd would get you something with significantly more flexibility, 4 ethernet ports and such. It might even be more powerful, but I haven't really found documentation on what these run.

There's similar boxen on amazon according to ars technica, who have run extensive tests on it.

As for OSes are concerned, I'd go with pfsense - its actively updated, bsd based and pretty well documented, understood.

There's no annual fee (though pfsense has their own hardware and support program). You're essentially paying a fee for updates anyway unless you have a pretty darned good support contract.

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  • exactly why I suggested a box running OpenBSD with a custom pf lol – NZKshatriya Dec 28 '16 at 5:11
  • And I suggested a specific box, as an answer cause I am SO totally getting one of these when finances allow. Maybe 2. – Journeyman Geek Dec 28 '16 at 5:12
  • lol. As long as they are better than the core2duos we had to use for our projects in the firewalls/intrusion detection course I just finished..........yay slowness. – NZKshatriya Dec 28 '16 at 5:14
  • Hence this model - its got better single thread performance than the j1800 models. You can also spec it to a fair bit better than the official PFsense models. – Journeyman Geek Dec 28 '16 at 5:15
  • I have a similar setup with a fanless box but a newer celeron CPU that supports AES-NI rather than the J1900, the performance is better for OpenVPN. Just make sure any box you get has Intel NICs as the throughput is better. pfSense works fantastically well and is far more accessible UI-wise than running OpenBSD directly and doing command line configuration (nothing against OpenBSD.) Given the consumer grade quality of Netgear kit, and the current security flaws this is by far the best option. – James Snell Dec 28 '16 at 19:54

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