Home TECHSECURITY What Is the Difference Between NGFW and UTM Appliances

What Is the Difference Between NGFW and UTM Appliances

by Naveen Agarwal

What is UTM?

NGFWs and UTMs are designed to protect and prevent malicious programs from entering the system or network. But despite these similarities, they also do have differences. UTM or Unified Threat Management is an approach to information security in which a single hardware or software installation provides multiple security functions. UTM’s principal methods include flow-based inception and proxy-based inception, which checks for disruption in the data flow – whether the issue is external or not. UTM’s proxy-based inception keeps scanning for possible security threats. If the incoming content is malware-free, it will allow further access to the system. However, if the content contains problematic programs, it will be removed from the system as soon as possible.

UTM also has two variations: UTM firewall and UTM appliance. However, a UTM appliance is a much bigger and powerful security tool that more prominent industries with more extensive networks can use compared to firewalls. Let us know why and how.

UTM Appliance

Unlike a firewall, UTM appliances are only available as hardware. Because of their size and capacity, UTM appliances are connected to the leading network and are constantly providing maximum security against all external threats and attacks. Unlike firewalls, whose primary concerns are with the flow of data packets, a UTM appliance has a more diverse range of functions. Below are features that showcase how powerful UTM appliance ensure security in the network:

  • Able to manage and balance network loads better than firewall hardware due to its enormous capacity.
  • Prevents any sort of data leaks that might occur. It provides a gateway antivirus solution. It includes network intrusion prevention as well as on appliance reporting too.
  • Prevents phishing attacks, along with several spam attacks as well.
  • Helps in averting data leaks and performs functions like gateway anti-spam, gateway antivirus protection, network load balancing, appliance reporting, network intrusion detection, prevention, etc.
  • Data is centralized, which can be viewed holistically. Users get a better, real-time overview of threat detection statuses.
  • Provides hardware consolidation along with a much simple way of management. Thus, it can be viewed as the best service for enterprises.

UTM appliances’ capabilities are excellent, but it doesn’t mean they do not have disadvantages. In fact, it has a minor drawback. A UTM appliance needs to be connected to the leading network at all times for it to function. Regardless of this advantage, it is still clear that the benefits outshine UTM appliances’ limitations. Today, most organizations prefer to use UTM appliances that already provide complete protection against a host of incoming threats without installing different security systems to offer a range of other options, which is costly and inefficient for big industries.

NGFW Vs. UTM Appliance

NGFWs filter unwanted external malware content through the intrusion prevention system (IPS) and deep packet inspection (DPI). Like UTM appliances, Next Generation Firewall provides several benefits like application control and intrusion prevention, and visibility of their network. Although NGFW is software, unlike UTM appliances, it offers multiple functionalities, same with UTM appliances. Functions such as scanning, accessing and detecting malware content on data packets.

There can be multiple points to look into when talking about the difference between NGFW and UTM appliances. The following are what industries consider:

UTM Appliance

  • Serves a bigger purpose and provides reliable security to numerous large systems
  • Provides unconventional policies since it deals with a more extensive field
  • Perfect for significant business industries with more extensive networks
  • Reduce complexity while detecting the potential external threats and enhances visibility rate to its users.
  • Enhances data protection by completely controlling network security through various methods

NGFW (Next Generation Firewall)

  • Protects selected network services
  • Tends to prefer manual security reporting and management techniques
  • Ideal for small businesses and IT teams
  • Provides application awareness, stateful inspection, fully integrated intrusion prevention system, active directory/LDAP identification, etc.
  • Has DPI that traces the source of malicious attack directly to the application and blocks it


Because a lot of data has been going online nowadays, increasing data privacy has been the focus of organizations. With the advancement of malicious attacks, it is always a must for companies to have highly secured network systems. Over the years, lots of development regarding network security has been done. The development of Next Generation Firewall from traditional and the rise of UTM appliances to ensure data privacy from these advanced external unethical and illegal virtual attacks and unlawful access. Knowing which network security is the best for your kind of network is only essential.

The decision regarding which to choose should be based on your network and organization requirements. To stay ahead of the cyber threats, picking between NGFW and UTM appliances is the best option. Both offer solid security against malicious attacks. Although there might be differences between these two security systems, both are proven to protect your network at all times.

Don’t let your data be breached and exposed by outsiders. With Sangfor opt for these two robust securities to ensure that your network is safe from being accessed by attackers.

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