VPNs and firewalls are the most important tools when it comes to internet security. While these two security tools are very different, they are both equally important in protecting your sensitive information.

Firewalls filter out unwanted traffic and protect your device. VPNs, on the other hand can mask your online identity and give you privacy security. You can use a VPN to bypass firewalls that are extremely strong. However, this requires that the VPN have certain traits.

This detailed guide will cover everything, from the basics of how they work to the types and most important features of VPNs and firewalls. We will also answer the most important question: can a VPN bypass firewalls? Continue reading to learn everything you need about this important topic in online security.

What is a Firewall?

A firewall protects your network against unwanted information and leakage to external sources. A firewall can be used to block or restrict access to any online site they consider inappropriate or potentially harmful.

Many online users and businesses use firewalls in their expanded form. This is most evident in streaming companies, which use firewalls to block content from users outside the target area. There are many other examples as well, including online shops, pornography, and gambling sites. These firewalls are necessary because they must adhere to strict laws in order not to be taken down.

Types Of Firewalls

Although the term “firewall”, is used to describe all protection, it’s not one type. It is important to understand the differences between firewalls so that you can choose the right one for your business or personal needs. There are three types of firewalls.

  • Hardware firewalls – Although they look similar to standard routers, hardware firewalls offer a more secure alternative and are preferred by business owners. Because they inspect every data packet before it reaches the network, this is why they are so popular. Hardware routers are also more vulnerable to attacks than software ones.
  • Software Firewalls– These are not physical firewalls, but features that can be installed on specific devices. These firewalls are ideal for protecting individuals and devices, but they are not recommended for companies or businesses with many employees.
  • Cloud-based Firewalls These firewalls use a server in the cloud, which is usually set up as a proxy. Proxy firewalls are also referred to them. They are similar to hardware firewalls but more suitable for businesses that need a lot of scaling flexibility.

There are also different types of firewall filtering. There are many types of firewalls available: packet-filtering firewalls; circuit-level firewalls; next-generation firewalls; and many others that work on different principles. All share the same goal: to protect your device against malicious attempts.

Firewalls: How do they work

Your device is protected by a firewall. It acts as a barrier between any security threats and your device. They use different filtering methods to remove all unwelcome data and only deliver the information that your device needs.

In simple words, how do firewalls prevent VPNs from connecting? It is quite simple. A firewall acts as your device’s shield.

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It uses pre-set rules (controllists) to allow or block data packets from reaching your device. These predetermined rules are usually based on domain names and IP addresses. They can also be based on ports or protocols. These rules can also be based upon target keywords. These rules will be applied to VPNs that don’t comply with access requests.

These practices are common in authoritarian countries all over the globe. The Great Firewall of China is the most prominent example. Combining technology and legislative action, this combination includes blocking all internet tools from outside, limiting information sources and forcing companies to adjust their national regulations. A reliable VPN service can help you bypass the Great Firewall of China.

Deep Packet Inspection: A More Elaborate Firewall System

Deep packet inspection (DPI), is not a firewall. It is instead a network packet filtering method with incredible capabilities. It can filter out spam, viruses, intrusion attempts and any other information not in compliance with predetermined protocols. DPI is more than just looking at packet headers. It’s therefore an important security feature in your firewall.

How does this complicated security feature work? It examines all packets it receives in order to determine the origin of the packet. They are stopped at a particular checkpoint, and it determines what to do. This is done according to the rules that its network administrator or system administrator has assigned.

Deep Packet Inspection is an advanced system that deserves to be thoroughly understood. DPI is more complex than conventional packet filtering and requires many key techniques. This page does not cover all the details, but it is highly recommended that you do so if this topic interests you.

What is a VPN?

Virtual Private Networks, also known as VPNs, are a privacy and security tool that lets you create a private tunnel to a remote server. It hides your IP address and makes you virtually invisible. You can connect to VPN servers on any side of the world, so there are no restrictions regarding their physical location.

Traffic sent to and from your VPN server is encrypted and scrambled when it’s connected. It is nearly impossible to decipher, even if traffic leaks from the VPN server. A VPN is a powerful tool for many online activities.

  • Secure your sensitive and private data
  • Provides a secure portal to torrenting and P2P sites
  • Unblocking block-locked regions and streaming blocked content
  • Surrender to any censorship by authoritarian governments
  • You can bypass ISP restrictions like bandwidth throttling

Types Of VPNs

We can categorize all VPN services into three categories when discussing the types of VPN services. These are intranet-based sites-to-site and extranet-based sites-to-site. Remote access VPNs fall under the third category. Individual VPN customers most often use the latter, while corporations who want to protect sensitive business information primarily use the first two. Let’s now discuss each type of VPN.

Site-to-Site VPN

The intranet site-to–site VPNs work differently to the well-known remote-access VPNs. Site-to-site VPN services are designed to allow multiple VPN users from different locations to access each other’s resources. It allows them to share sensitive data and information without worrying about it falling into the wrong hands.

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Extranet Site-to-Site VPN

Although they are similar to intranet VPNs, extranet site-tosite VPNs have one distinctive difference. These VPNs allow for a private connection between two intranet networks but do not allow one network to access the other. This is common when two companies work together on a single project.

Remote Access VPN

Remote-access VPNs are often used to refer to all Virtual Private Networks. Remote-access VPNs connect the user to remote servers, creating an encrypted tunnel and private connection.

The user can browse restricted sites privately and all other activities while connected to the server. Remote-access VPNs are commercially-friendly, easy to set up, and relatively straightforward to use compared to site-to-site VPNs.

Is it necessary to use a VPN and a firewall?

A firewall is not necessary if you are using VPN to protect your network. However, it can add an extra layer of security. A VPN will keep you safe and secure even if you don’t want the hassle of creating a complex firewall on your device. Most modern operating systems have a specific firewall type already installed.

What are the main differences between VPNs and firewalls?

You should remember that a firewall protects your device by preventing malicious files from accessing it. A VPN, on the other hand, allows you to protect your network and not your computer when you’re online.

A VPN can only protect data sent to and from your device via the encrypted tunnel. It cannot protect you from viruses. The Virtual Private Network cannot prevent malicious files from being downloaded to your computer by accident when you are connected to it.

A VPN does not provide tools for limiting data traffic and port restrictions. This is another important difference that you should be aware of when choosing between a VPN or firewall. Although some VPNs of higher quality may include kill-switch capabilities, this is not the same as a VPN.

The last difference between firewalls and VPNs is that they can’t bypass geo-restrictions, or unblock any website. They cannot be used to enforce network and content restrictions. This is why a VPN is so powerful and can be used to enforce network restrictions.

Can a VPN bypass a firewall?

Yes, VPNs can bypass firewalls. VPNs can bypass all firewalls. This includes websites, schools and universities. We have already mentioned that most VPNs for consumers, also known as remote access VPNs can bypass any type of network restrictions. A VPN serves a second critical purpose. It provides additional privacy and security while accessing the internet.

How does a VPN bypass a firewall?

A VPN does not bypass firewalls, but it tunnels through them. You’re tricking the firewall into believing you are at the remote server’s address by switching your IP address with that of the server to which you are connecting. You can tunnel through the firewall by choosing a server in the same region as the firewall allows access to.

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VPN Features to Look for To Override Firewalls

Every firewall is different and not every VPN can bypass them all. You shouldn’t rush to sign up for any service without carefully considering its capabilities. When looking for a VPN to bypass firewalls, you should be aware of several key features. Let’s look at each one in more detail.

VPN Obfuscation

Obfuscated VPN Servers are highly skilled servers that conceal the fact that you’re using VPN to reroute network traffic. They make VPN traffic appear like regular traffic and your ISP and police can’t tell you that you are using a VPN. VPN obfuscation can be a useful feature if you are trying to bypass firewalls or live somewhere with strict internet censorship.

Strong Protocols

A good selection of protocols is essential if you are looking for a VPN to help you navigate through complex firewalls. Many VPN protocols can reliably pass firewalls. Protocols such as OpenVPN are capable of bypassing most firewalls but not all. PPTP, however, is less capable of avoiding firewall blockages. You should also search for specific VPNs that offer in-house protocols.

SOCKS5 Proxy

SOCKS5 proxy works only at the application level, but they aren’t restricted to web traffic. They don’t encrypt data and only protect your browser or the application you have set the proxy to. They are ideal for bypassing firewalls and protecting data on P2P and streaming apps. Many VPN services do not offer SOCKS5. However, there are a few VPNs that allow you to use their servers for SOCKS5 proxy services. NordVPN is the best-known.

Browser Extensions

The VPN service should offer browser extensions. At least, for Chrome and Firefox. These extensions are a great way to bypass firewalls at your school or workplace. They don’t require administrative rights and can be installed without your knowledge.

Large Adept Server Network

Quality is more important than quantity when it comes to VPN servers. A VPN service should have both quality and quantity, since they both are essential for bypassing firewalls. It is essential to have reliable servers that can route your data. You should also have multiple options so you can quickly switch between them if you run into any issues.

VPN vs. Firewall: Which one is better?

There is no definitive answer to the question of which VPN or firewall is better. They are different from one another and offer different characteristics. This is why the answer to this question remains subjective.

Are you looking to protect your device against hackers and other harmful files? A firewall is the best way to protect your device from hackers and other harmful files. A VPN is the only way to protect your data.

It is up to you to decide which tool to use to improve your security. If you want to ensure your network and devices are protected against any malicious attempts, you can combine both of these tools.

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Evangeline Christina is a Cyber Security Enthusiast, Security Blogger, Technical Editor, Certified Ethical Hacker, Author at Cyberspecial.net. Previously, he worked as a security news reporter in a reputed news agency.

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