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Difference between Firewall and Router

Hi all,

I apologize for the seemingly easy question. I am a systems guy who has been put in the position of network guy since the real network guy left the company.

I have several coworkers that want to remove a firewall from a location and simply use the Cisco 1601 that is in place to handle their perimeter security. While I know that taking the firewall away is a bad idea, I can't really elaborate any more because I don't know that much about it. I know that a router doesn't firewall and a firewall doesn't route, but that doesn't seem to work on these guys.

Can anyone point me to a good resource so I can throw it at my coworkers and show them that removing the firewall is bad?

Thanks much,



Re: Difference between Firewall and Router

Hi Gabe,

Firstly, you are correct in that having a firewall is right to protect your network rather then using a router to do a firewall job. The question is very generic in that using a router as a firewall is known as a 'poor mans firewall' a firewall is built for exactly what it says - protecting your internal network from the outside but a router is made for routing traffic for a network NOT for being used as a firewall - but you can use it to do that. It really depends on how secure you want your network to be, if you want a real security then use a firewall like PIX series.

You can find lots of information by searching the internet or cisco website on the subject, also there is a very good document on router security here (published by NSA)

Hope this helps a little.. Jay

New Member

Re: Difference between Firewall and Router

Thanks, Jay. It helps out some. I managed to find a few other things out on the net as well, so hopefully I'll be able to convince them otherwise. Either way, there will likely be a time in the future when I can say "I told you so!"

Thanks again,


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