7 Best Free and Open Source Firewall Tools

Last Updated on May 22, 2022

Security is paramount. Security involves defense in depth. Approaching security one step at a time, with consistency and rigour, you can mitigate threats, and keep intruders at bay.

FirewallIntruders use a variety of different techniques in an attempt to compromise a system. For example, systems can be attacked by denial of service, cracking, intrusion, snooping (intercepting the data of another user), or viruses/worms/Trojan horses. To have a secure box, a system therefore needs a variety of defenses.

One important step to protect a system is using a firewall. Essentially, this is a network security system, acting like a security guard between internal and external networks. The firewall controls incoming and outgoing network traffic using security rules. The rules specify which connections you want to allow and the ports and zones through which the connection can be established.

This Group Test recommends a good selection of firewall tools. Only free and open source tools are eligible for inclusion.

Best Free and Open Source Firewall Tools

Let’s explore the 7 firewall tools at hand. For each title we have compiled its own portal page, a full description with an in-depth analysis of its features, together with links to relevant resources.

nftablesProvides a new in-kernel packet classification framework
FirewalldDynamically managed firewall with support for network/firewall zones
iptablesConfigure the Linux 2.4.x and later packet filtering ruleset
ShorewallHigh-level tool for configuring Netfilter
gufwEasy, intuitive, way to manage your Linux firewall
ufwUncomplicated Firewall. This is software for managing a netfilter firewall
VuurmuurUncomplicated Firewall, manage a netfilter firewall
Best Free and Open Source SoftwareRead our complete collection of recommended free and open source software. Our curated compilation covers all categories of software.

The software collection forms part of our series of informative articles for Linux enthusiasts. There are hundreds of in-depth reviews, open source alternatives to proprietary software from large corporations like Google, Microsoft, Apple, Adobe, IBM, Cisco, Oracle, and Autodesk.

There are also fun things to try, hardware, free programming books and tutorials, and much more.
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