With some googling, I learnt that routers contain hardware firewall. But I saw in many pictures that firewall and router devices are apart as follows:

firewall and router devices separately

I know that there are a lot of firewall devices and also router devices in the markets separately. But what is the point? Can we say that in time, router included firewall device in itself and became 2 in 1 device? Or Can we say that firewall device means router and router device means firewall?

Note: My question is not about software firewall and router device. I'm asking you the difference between hardware firewall and router device.

  • 1
    Go look at the datasheets on a Cisco ASR 9000 series router, and a Cisco Firepower 9000 series firewall. That should illustrate the difference.
    – Xander
    Commented Mar 5, 2016 at 18:48

2 Answers 2


A router can be some simple very cheap device to connect a home to the internet. But it can also be some really expensive device managing the traffic on the backbones of the internet. Similar a firewall can be some simple software to filter packets based on port and IP address only which easily fits into the home router. But a firewall can also be something doing deep inspection with a high performance in which case you usually have an expensive appliance just for this task.


Firewalls can be very complex devices requiring unique approaches and not something that can simply be included as a feature of a router. Similarly, when you get into very high bandwidths, you don't want a router doing more than routing packets.

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