Best cloud firewall of 2023

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The best cloud firewalls make it simple and easy to provide a first line of defense for your computers and networks against unauthorized intrusions and hacking attacks.

Also known as Web Application Firewalls (WAF), these are becoming an increasingly integral part of cybersecurity protection for IT networks, as a way to ring-fence and protect business networks against malicious third-party attacks. These attacks can range from anything from Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks to direct hacking activity, to malware infiltration and exfiltration.

While personal users might commonly use a basic firewall on their PC, either as a standalone software program or as part of an antivirus software platform, setting up these types of firewalls for business applications can be much more of a challenge due to the larger number of computers set up on a business IT network.

This is why cloud firewalls work really well, as you have a single platform through which you can run all of your computing devices or IT network through, without having to set them up individually. With an admin dashboard providing batch permissions, advanced settings, and customizable rules, it simplifies the whole process of using a firewall on your assets, and ccan even come with analytics to monitor performance and make changes in real-time to avoid positives.

At the end of the day, though, while there are cloud antivirus platforms as well as endpoint security and employee monitoring, all intending to help improve IT security, a cloud firewall should be the first port of call when it comes to cybersecurity, in order to provide a general protective shell around IT systems.

Below we list what we think are the best cloud firewalls currently available.

We've also featured the best malware removal software.

The best cloud firewalls of 2023 in full:

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The best cloud firewall overall

(Image credit: CloudFlare)
The advanced cloud WAF

Reasons to buy

Market leader
Customizable rules
Free tier

CloudFlare is a company that provides content delivery services, DDoS mitigation, Internet security and distributed domain name server providers. 

The solution monitors the internet on a regular basis for any new updates such as attacks and vulnerabilities. Anything that is considered a threat to the majority of their clients automatically have WAF (Web application Firewalls) rules enabled. These will protect all internet properties. Constant updates ensure that CloudFlare’s protection is in place at all times.

Cloudflare deals with a huge number of requests every hour with the solution identifying and blocking new threats. Due to their large customer base, the platform is able to rely on a collective intelligence when it comes to eradicating threats. This means that when one customer creates a new WAF rule, CloudFlare decides whether it applies to all other domains on their network.

CloudFlare has a free tier. This includes unmetered mitigation of DDoS, global CDN, shared SSL certificate and 3 page rules. Additional rules can be purchased through CloudFlare’s dashboard.

Read our full Cloudflare review.


Best cloud firewall with features

Perimeter 81 website screenshot

(Image credit: Perimeter 81)
A well known name that offers FWaaS as well

Reasons to buy

Free demo trial
Multiple features available

Perimeter 81 is a popular name on the market and it offers many services for securing one’s business. Among those services, the company also has a Firewall-as-a-Service (FWaaS) solution.

It’s a pretty powerful service that has the ability to manage multiple networks compared to just one as is the case with majority firewalls. Perimeter 81’s FWaaS uses granular access in order to prevent any potential breaches, and in turn secure and better protect an organization’s network.

Organizations can also limit and control access to their cloud network based on the user or group identity. Furthermore, they can define access policies by enforcing security policies, and by restricting entry to sensitive dataflows.

The service might be more suited for larger companies but it’s still perfectly viable for small businesses if they decide to try out the solution. Since the company has more than one service, if you choose a more expensive plan, apart from FWaaS, you’ll also be getting goodies like Always-on VPN, DNS filtering, and more, improving your security in the process. There’s a demo trial available if you want to try out the service before you pay.

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Best cloud firewall for ease

(Image credit: Amazon)


Amazon's cloud services firewall

Reasons to buy

Easy to use
Free tier
Minimal setup

Amazon Web Services is part of It provides on-demand cloud computing platforms to individuals and businesses. As part of this subscription, users have access to AWS WAF. 

AWS WAF is a web application firewall which protects web applications from threats which could compromise their security or consume resources. The solution itself is straight forward and easy to use. 

Users can create custom made rules designed to block common attack patterns such as cross-site scripting. The solution has a full featured API which allows users to automate the creation, deployment and maintenance of all rules in use.

AWS WAF works by charging you for each new rule you create. You are not charged a set price every month but you do have to be subscribed to Amazon Web Services to access this feature.

Find out more: What is AWS WAF?


Best cloud firewall package

(Image credit: Sophos)

4. Sophos Firewall

Dedicated cloud security

Reasons to buy

Multiple security features
30-day free trial

Reasons to avoid

Some UI issues

Sophos is a British security software and hardware company. It develops products for communication endpoint, encryption, network security and unified threat management.

Sophos Firewall is a unified threat manager which also acts as application security and wireless gateway.

Users can manage settings from Sophos’ ‘Control Center’. From here subscribers can access the utilities dashboard. This allows you to view your network, users and applications. You can also add Sophos ‘iView’. This provides centralized reporting across multiple firewalls.

The management interface gives users an overview on features such as traffic insights, system statistics and firewall rules.

Sophos offers users a 30-day free trial. This includes IPS, ATP, Sandboxing, Dual AV, Web and App Control, Anti-phishing and Web Application Firewall. Subscribers need to contact Sophos directly to receive a quote.


Best cloud firewall for security

(Image credit: Imperva)

5. Imperva WAF

Imperva is a digital swiss army knife of security tools

Reasons to buy

Free trial
Multiple security features

Reasons to avoid

Not competitively priced

Imperva offers a cloud-based Web Application Firewall (WAF).  It provides application delivery with content caching and load balancing through a global content delivery network, advanced bot protection, API security, web application security and DDoS mitigation.

The Imperva Web Application Firewall works as a gateway for all traffic coming to your online services. It filters out malicious visitors and requests such as SQL injections and XSS attacks.

The solution uses several layers of security policies to identify threats. These are maintained by a security team. Imperva uses attack information from their network to provide protection for their users.

Imperva has 45 DDoS scrubbing data centers around the world which ensures 24/7 monitoring.

To get a quote or begin a free trial, interested parties should contact Imperva directly.


Best cloud firewall for modern systems

(Image credit: Signal Sciences)

6. Signal Sciences WAF

Next generation cloud firewall protection

Reasons to buy

Quick deployment
Flexible use
Easy management

Signal Sciences was founded five years ago by the security developers at Etsy, and since then the company has grown and developed with a string of high-profile clients.

A key promotional point of the Signal Sciences WAF is that too many existing services don't properly service modern IT infrastructures, especially where there is extensive use of cloud technology, as opposed to being reliant on legacy hardware.

Setting up is so easy and quick it can be done in minutes, as there are no agents to deploy with all traffic being redirected through the Signal Services Cloud Engine, where it can be monitored and filtered as required.

There's a single management console with built-in analytics that provides real-time monitoring, so there's no need to work through multiple interfaces. There are also DevOps integration options available, not least for Slack, PagerDuty, and Jira.

Although built to cater for cloud applications, the Signal Sciences WAF can work with hybrid clouds and server hardware directly. It can also function on premise, in containers, or in the cloud. In terms of security, it blocks all common OWASP attacks, as well as misbehaving bots, and denial of services attacks. The software is fully PCI 6 compliant.

Overall, the Signal Sciences WAF doesn't just focus on security, but also performance, reliability, as well as overall management operability.


Best cloud firewall for DDoS protection

(Image credit: Akamai)

7. Akamai Kona Site Defender

Akamai’s firewall and DDoS protection

Reasons to buy

Built-in DDoS protection
Intuitive dashboard

Reasons to avoid

Full product information not on site

Akamai Kona Site Defenderr integrates DDoS protection with its web application firewall. DDoS services identify and neutralize threats from IP addresses by using a scale system from 1 to 10. These scores are based on the IP addresses ability to source suspicious traffic. Scores are then used to allow, alert or block based on the severity of the score. Users can also customize settings so they can choose which IP addresses they want blocked.

The web application firewall inspects individual traffic. Any malicious attacks are eradicated. This tool only works against web-based attacks. Users can use the management dashboard to access information such as reports and attack rates. The utility requires very little customization.

Subscribers will need to contact Akamai directly in order to start their free trial and to get a quote.

  • Make your home workers secure and productive with a remote access VPN.
  • Check out our review of Firewalla, a different kind of firewall.

How to choose the best cloud firewall

When deciding which cloud firewall to use, first consider what actual features you want, as higher-end software can usually cater for every need, so do ensure you have a good idea of which tools you think you may require from your cloud firewall. Obviously, if you're already using a cloud platform you would be encouraged to at least consider any built-in firewall as a first option.

How we test the best cloud firewalls

To test for the best cloud firewall we first set up an account with the relevant software platform, then we tested the service to see how the software could be configured for different purposes and in different situations. The aim was to push each cloud firewall platform to see how useful its basic tools were and also how easy it was to get to grips with any more advanced tools. Of course, we also tested each to ensure they actually did work against unauthorized intrusions!

Read more on how we test, rate, and review products on TechRadar.

Brian Turner

Brian has over 30 years publishing experience as a writer and editor across a range of computing, technology, and marketing titles. He has been interviewed multiple times for the BBC and been a speaker at international conferences. His specialty on techradar is Software as a Service (SaaS) applications, covering everything from office suites to IT service tools. He is also a science fiction and fantasy author, published as Brian G Turner.