Statefull firewalls

55 pts.
Tags:
Firewalls
Network security
Stateful firewalls
Okay, let me start of with I "Googled" my question but I didn't really get a good answer. So I'm going to give it a shot here. Can someone please explain to me what is statefull firewalls, and whats the different between statefull and not-statefull firewalls?
ASKED: April 9, 2008  10:51 PM
UPDATED: May 17, 2013  4:43 PM

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Part of the reason you may have had trouble finding good resources on stateful firewalls is because, as Firewall.cx founder Chris Partsenidis mentions, most modern firewalls have a mix of abilities that place them in more than one firewall category.

Typically a stateful firewall associates some kind of state to each packet (IP-addresses, Port Numbers, L4-Protocol).
So it can associate a “connection” to every packet. (e.g. the well-known TCP-connection). See this article for a very good explanation. The difference between a stateful and stateless firewall, is that the stateless firewall only looks in the static information contained in the packet it is examining. As the stateful firewall memorizes a state-association to the packet, the filter can for example filter on the amount of data transferred for that TCP-connection.

If you need to understand the differences between the variety of firewalls out there, SearchNetworking’s Introduction to firewall types guide is another good resource.

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  • Kevin Beaver
    In 17 words or less: stateful firewalls keep track of user sessions and can filter based on who/what initiated the session. A good overview can be found here. I've also created a Firewall Best Practices document that may be of interest to you. I need to update it but it's still a good overview.
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