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Host-based firewall

Host-based firewall definition

A host-based firewall is a firewall installed directly on an individual device, rather than on a whole network. Regular users install them to protect their devices from malware, and larger companies use them to control the spread of malicious software in a network if one device is infected.

Host-based firewall advantages

  • Enhanced security. A host-based firewall improves the security not only of the device it is installed on but the whole network the device is connected to. Some network firewalls may let a malicious application through, while a host-based firewall will stop it and therefore prevent it from spreading to other devices on the network.
  • Easy to customize. A single device can have a few different firewalls installed on it, set to provide different kinds of protection.
  • Mobile compatibility. Mobile devices won’t be covered by a company’s network firewall when the users move about, so a host-based firewall is a great way to ensure continuous protection.

Host-based firewall disadvantages

  • Difficult to manage company-wise. A network firewall’s settings can be changed and affect all users connected to the network. Host-based firewall settings are customized for each device. Therefore, a unified change is much more difficult to implement.
  • Weak logging capacity. Host-based firewalls don’t have powerful logging capabilities like network firewalls do.