Stateful vs. Stateless Firewalls: Which One is Best For You?

Last updated on March 22nd, 2022 at 10:16 pm

Stateful firewalls can be equipped to monitor and detect the states of all traffic in the network, allowing them to monitor and defend against based on traffic flow patterns.

Stateless firewalls, however, are focused on only specific packets and use pre-defined rules to block the flow of traffic.

Firewalls are essential to protect data and systems of business.

Based on pre-written security guidelines, firewalls regulate and control the flow of data that flows through and out of your network—knowing the distinctions between stateful and Stateless firewalls ensure that your company is adequately protected.

Aren’t All Firewalls Equal?

There are many kinds of firewalls. Outgoing and inbound traffic is governed by a variety of rules within the firewall of an organization.

Additionally, various types of firewalls are available to guarantee that they are the right fit for the company’s network and requirements.

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In any situation, they are security measures intended to keep untrusted and corrupt files from being accessed while safeguarding the company’s assets on the network.

Firewall kinds are typically networks firewalls operating on network hardware or host-based firewalls that depend on host computers for monitoring the flow of traffic.

When researching the types of firewalls for your company, you might have come across stateful and stateless firewalls. There’s also another type of firewall, the next-generation firewall that is now the most popular kind. Let’s have an examination each.

How do you define a stateful firewall?

stateful firewall

Stateful firewalls can monitor every aspect of the stream of traffic, including their properties and communication channels.

They can also integrate tunnels or encryption and determine TCP connection stages, the packet state, and other critical information about the status of the connection.

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How do you define a stateless firewall?


Stateless firewalls rely on clues such as the destination address, source address, and other essential values to determine the presence of threats and then block or limit those deemed untrustworthy.

The rules are set to determine if traffic is allowed or blocked; however, the system cannot discern between legitimately desired communications and sophisticated efforts to disguise illegal communications as trusted in the first versions of firewalls.

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Stateless firewalls can’t analyze beyond the headers of the packet’s contents to determine if the traffic is allowed.

Stateful Vs. Stateless Firewalls: Pros and Cons

Similar to most comparison and contrast scenarios, Stateful and stateless firewalls come with their pros and cons. Here are the pros and cons of stateful firewalls vs. stateless options for firewalls.

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Stateful Firewalls: Pros & Cons



Stateful firewalls are proficient in detecting illegal attempts to send messages or fake ones.

Security vulnerabilities could permit hackers to gain access and control of a firewall that isn't updated with most recent software updates.

The powerful memory keeps important characteristics of networks.

Certain stateful firewalls may be tricked into allowing connections from outside through an action as simple as a visit to a website.

The firewalls do not require many ports to communicate appropriately.

Man-in-the-middle attacks can create more significant security risks.

Stateful firewalls have an extensive log-logging capability and strong protection against attacks.

An intelligent system with stateful firewalls that base future filtering choices on the cumulative total of the past and current research findings.

Stateless Firewalls: Pros & Cons



This firewalls provide robust performance.

Stateless firewalls do not inspect traffic.

High traffic is no threat to stateless firewalls that perform well under pressure and do not get distracted by the minutiae of the process.

The stateless firewall doesn't look at the whole packet but instead --whether the data is compatible with the existing security regulations.

Stateless firewalls have always been more affordable to purchase. However, these days, stateful firewalls have drastically decreased in cost.

Require a setting to achieve an appropriate level of security.

What is the best choice between a stateful or a stateless firewall?

Firewalls offer security to companies of any size. Examining the pros and cons of different firewalls will help you figure out which one is the best choice for your business.

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Small Business Firewall Needs

A small-sized business like a sole proprietorship or a single-member LLC can benefit from firewalls to keep internal files and systems secure and ward off criminals.

Given the generally higher price of a stateful firewall, it’s probable to think that an untrusted firewall is a good solution for small-scale businesses.

The traffic volume may be less than those of a large enterprise. Therefore the threats might be less and less frequent.

The rapid efficiency of stateless firewalls with their capacity to handle massive loads makes this firewall an ideal choice for small-scale business owners who are savvy.

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Enterprise Firewall Needs

Also called dynamic packet filtering, stateful firewalls typically provide more security options for businesses than traditional firewalls that are stateless.

They are powerful tools that can identify dangers and tackle them face-to-face. The sophisticated memory capabilities of the firewall become faster and wiser with time.

Continuous monitoring of traffic provides an additional layer of protection in conjunction with other security measures designed for larger organizations.

Secure attack prevention and logging capabilities enable network administrators to protect their organization’s assets safely.

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Other Scenarios for Choosing Stateless Firewalls

Remember that stateless firewall technology may be old-fashioned. However, there are some situations in which this technology could be an option

  • A small-sized office with only a handful of trustworthy people looking for routing capabilities can manage with a non-existent firewall.

  • Stateless firewalls can be sufficient within a network and residing between VLANs to give more control, but knowing that the traffic from outside is taken care of by an existing stateful (and most likely “next-gen” firewall).

Other Scenarios for Choosing Stateless Firewalls

While it’s essential to comprehend the distinctions between stateful and stateless firewalls and their benefits, it’s necessary to understand that technology for firewalls has changed. 

The next generation of firewalls offers users more protection than stateful or stateless firewalls.

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One of the main drawbacks of stateful firewalls is that they are “connection” based. That is, a large portion of the information collected by stateful firewalls depends on the state of the connection (i.e., the port assigned to the application being utilized).

The issue is that many modern applications may (and often) utilize multiple ports based on the different services they offer. Also, you can use ports that are not standard or change ports while they are used.

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Next-generation firewalls go beyond the limitations of traffic inspection based on connections and allow you to concentrate on examining the applications themselves.

When looking at traffic via the application, they also let you mix various security options, including intrusion prevention or web filtering.

Protect Your Business Today

Ensuring your business’s assets are protected with the appropriate firewall is an essential step to protect your data and your equipment and employees.

Deciding between stateful vs. stateless firewalls will give your business the capability to safeguard your network’s assets while keeping an eye on them.

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Check out a variety of firewalls to figure out what type of firewall will provide the most security and support for your business.

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