Most people know that firewall plays an important role in securing our systems and networks. Firewall acts like an security guard between internal and external network by controlling and managing incoming and outgoing network traffic based on set of rules. All messages entering or leaving your network should pass through a firewall, which examines each message and blocks those that do not meet specific security criteria.
There are many open source firewall solutions available for download on the internet. Here in this article, we’ve come up with a list of some of the best free open source firewall software for your consideration.
Smoothwall Express – The Smoothwall Open Source Project was set up in 2000 to develop and maintain Smoothwall Express – a Free firewall that includes its own security-hardened GNU/Linux operating system and an easy-to-use web interface.
Firestarter – Firestarter is a free and open source personal firewall tool that uses the Netfilter (iptables/ipchains) system built into the Linux kernel. Firestarter has the ability to control both inbound and outbound connections provides a easy to use graphical interface for configuring firewall rules and settings. It also provides real-time monitoring of all network traffic for the system.
IPCop – The IPCop Firewall is a Linux firewall distribution that is geared towards home and Small Office Home Office users. The IPCop provides a well designed web interface to manage the firewall and makes usage easy.
Shorewall – Shorewall (or the Shoreline Firewall) is an open source firewall tool for Linux that builds upon the Netfilter (iptables/ipchains) system built into the Linux kernel making it easier to manage more complex configuration schemes.
Iptables – Iptables/Netfilter is the most popular command line based firewall. It is the first line of defence of a Linux server security. Many system administrators use it for fine-tuning of their servers. It filters the packets in the network stack within the kernel itself.
pfSense – pfSense is a free open source customized distribution of FreeBSD tailored for use as a firewall and router. Its based on the concept of Stateful Packet filtering. It offers wide ranges of feature which is normally available on expensive commercial firewalls only.
M0n0wall – M0n0wall is an embedded firewall distribution of FreeBSD. It provides a small image which can be put on Compact Flash cards as well as on CDROMs and hard disks. It runs on a number of embedded platforms and generic PCs.
IPFire – IPFire is a free Open Source hardened Linux appliance distribution designed for use as a firewall. It offers corporate-level network protection for anyone who needs it from home users all the way up to large corporations.
Vuurmuur – Vuurmuur is another powerful Linux firewall manager built or manage iptables rules for your server or network. At the same time its very user friendly to administrate no prior iptables working knowledge required to use Vuurmuur.