There is a lot of threads that are asking about hardware firewalls, so I thought a thread covering the topic was the best way to reply. There is an independent company that tests and certifies firewalls.This is their site. It will tell you everything from what is a firewall, what criteria is needed, what are the requirements, and what products has made their certification. http://www.icsa.net/html/communities...ls/index.shtml
Their criteria is strict and their testing very detailed and thorough. Their certifications set the industry standard. Just follow some links in there to learn.
This is the list of what products have that have met and maintain their certifications; http://www.icsa.net/html/communities...rs/index.shtml
This is a comparison of firewalls listing different types of info; http://www.practicallynetworked.com/...uter_chart.htm
These are some reviews; http://www.practicallynetworked.com/...dex_router.htm http://computers.cnet.com/hardware/0...-634784-634624 http://www.speedguide.net/reviews/index.shtml
There is alot of sites that have done reviews of individual products, however they would be more for ease of setup type info, not really tech data. If anyone has an interest in a particular product, let me know and I will post some specific links for you.
Keep in mind that a router is not neccessarily a firewall. A lot of them rely upon NAT which only hides you, they can do nothing if someone knows that you are there. On Cisco, unfortunately I couldn't find any type of real details pertaining to how secure their systems are. I found the wording to be somewhat confusing and vague on the actual descriptions of their products and nothing to back it up.
Some of you have asked what firewall I purchased, here you go... http://www.3com.com/products/dsheets/400526_01.html#2
This site also tells you about DMZ, if you run a server, read about it here.
This is the results of my firewalls testing and certifications; http://www.icsa.net/html/communities...a_report.shtml