Most firewalls are not fast enough for fiber broadband

As moves to deploy unparalleled fiber-based services throughout the Denver Metro area, we have begun to realize that the limiting factor in Internet performance is no longer the last mile connection.
I speak of the Firewall.

Most SMB Firewalls are woefully inadequate to the task of managing fiber speed traffic streams. Almost all the current crop of firewalls were built for 10Mbps and under – bonded T1s, or EoC.

Putting these firewalls under test at 100 Mbps or even 1000 Mbps speeds showed them to be a serious bottleneck.

For residential service you can rely on software firewalls on the PC, such as Norton. But for business applications, that’s a non-starter.

We are evaluating a number of different next-generation firewalls, and our criteria are:

Handle speeds up to 1000 Mbps
IPv6 Support
Reliable even under heavy load and 1000’s of simultaneous connections

We are also starting to think that a lot of perceived “Slow Internet” problems are a result of slow or buggy firewalls. Fortunately, there seem to be some good units that are extremely affordable, and extremely good quality.

I’ll report back with our recommendations in about a month.