With Starlink becoming a global ISP, extra features such as an in-built Starlink firewall might solidify it as a must-have.
Starlink doesn’t have an inbuilt firewall. However, you can set up a hardware or software firewall for Starlink.
It has NAT that gives private IP addresses to devices on your Starlink network. NAT technically acts like a firewall since it blocks inbound data transmission.
Can you fortify your Starlink system with a sturdier firewall that offers more protection? You’re in the best place to find out.
Table of Contents
- What Does a Firewall Do In a Starlink Network
- Hardware Starlink Firewall
- How Do I Configure My Hardware Starlink Firewall?
- When Should You Choose Hardware Firewall for Starlink?
- The Software Starlink Firewall
- Can you Pair Hardware and Software Firewalls for Starlink?
- Can A Third-Party Router Be a Firewall?
What Does a Firewall Do In a Starlink Network
The basic premise of a firewall is simple. It creates a barrier between your network and any incoming or outgoing data.
A firewall for Starlink is a program or a device that reads, assesses, and filters incoming and outgoing data between your devices and foreign entities.
These are the primary functions of a firewall software or device.
- Block malicious traffic.
- Block unwanted transmitted data.
- Filter out spam.
- Monitor and prevent unauthorized access.
- Strengthen your Starlink safety, security, and privacy.
You can have one of two types of Starlink firewalls. A hardware firewall will provide a physical barrier between your Starlink router and the network.
A software firewall for Starlink will run on all your devices to control the network.
Hardware Starlink Firewall
Hardware firewall protects you from online hackers
A hardware firewall for Starlink is a device that forms a barrier between your Starlink router and the provider network.
You configure the device to filter and block incoming and outgoing traffic between the router and the network.
Since the hardware Starlink firewall is a standalone device, it protects connected devices that rely on your Starlink hardware and your ISP.
These devices include servers, computers, gaming consoles, and smartphones.
The hardware firewall device doesn’t need to be from Starlink. Starlink doesn’t officially have its own hardware firewall.
Therefore, you must rely on third-party options, such as Ubiquiti Edgerouter, Netgear Prosafe, and CISCO ASA.
These equipment have a good track record of working with Starlink.
However, you must get a Starlink ethernet cable to configure the hardware Starlink firewall.
How Do I Configure My Hardware Starlink Firewall?
You need a reliable 3rd party firewall device such as the examples above.
Also, get a $25 Starlink ethernet adapter from the Starlink store.
- Power on the firewall device.
- Connect the firewall device to the Starlink router using the Starlink ethernet cable.
- Connect the Starlink Ethernet adapter to your Starlink dishy (preferably 2nd generation)
- Configure your firewall’s settings according to your preferences.
- You must bypass the Starlink WiFi router to finish the process.
How to Bypass Starlink Wifi Router
- Ensure you connect the Starlink router and dishy via the Starlink ethernet adapter.
- Connect a 3rd party router to your ethernet adapter through an ethernet cable.
- Open your smartphone’s Starlink app.
- Open Settings.
- Search for Bypass Starlink router.
Bypassing your Starlink router limits you from accessing your network’s WiFi and Starlink router. You can use your own router.
This means all incoming and outgoing data goes through your hardware firewall device.
The final step should be checking your network connection. Speedtest.net and pingtest.net are excellent options to test connection, speed, and network latency.
Furthermore, check the state of your firewall security using canyouseeme.org or grc.com.
Note: Configuration settings will vary depending on the device.
When Should You Choose Hardware Firewall for Starlink?
Hardware Starlink firewall has major advantages for your devices and network.
It covers your network, giving you better security since it filters and neutralizes attacks before they breach your devices.
Network coverage also means ALL your devices are protected.
Secondly, hardware firewall manufacturers design them to handle more traffic.
Starlink provides impressive internet speeds between 100-500 MBps, depending on the subscription plan.
To that end, you need a firewall that can handle more traffic to match the traffic you can get.
Furthermore, the hardware firewall for Starlink ensures only one device covers multiple devices without compromising network or device performance.
Yet despite all its advantages, it also has weaknesses.
Hardware firewall devices have a steep price tag for a one-time purchase.
In addition to the one-time purchase cost, you might have to pay a professional to install and configure the device unless you are well-versed in technical matters.
Incompatibility is a major issue with hardware firewalls.
However, you can always get around incompatibility by getting reputable devices or ensuring the device is compatible with your Starlink equipment when you get it.
Lastly, any physical damage or power outage could temporarily compromise your network.
The Software Starlink Firewall
Software firewall installed in a computer
Software firewall is more of an internal traffic management and security tool.
For Starlink, a software firewall is installed in a device connected to Starlink to regulate network traffic.
It only controls the traffic to and from your devices. Unlike the hardware firewall, it leaves your network vulnerable to malicious attacks.
A software Starlink firewall needs you to download and install a reliable program into a computer.
Windows Firewall, MAC OS X Firewall, and Comodo Firewall are great go-to software firewalls for Starlink.
Since Starlink doesn’t provide software firewall solutions, it has a feature that performs like a firewall.
Starlink uses an IP address system called Carrier-Grade Network Address Translation(CGNAT).
As a newer ISP, it has limited IPv4 addresses for subscribers. Therefore, it uses CGNAT to prevent address exhaustion.
It also has NAT, which protects private networks by converting private addresses into public ones.
NAT only provides basic level security. It was not created to deal with potential threats to a network and its devices.
That’s why you need a different software option as a firewall, to protect the network.
Unfortunately, having NAT and CGNAT in Starlink limits you. You’ll have to use a 3rd party router to experience online gaming, port forwarding, and other peer-to-peer services that require bypassing your Starlink router.
Can you Pair Hardware and Software Firewalls for Starlink?
We recommend you pair hardware and software firewalls for Starlink. Think of it as providing two layers of security for your devices and network.
For starters, the software firewall only covers the device that hosts it.
Therefore, if you have several devices in your home, you’ll need individual licenses to protect them. It comes at a subscription cost that might prove steep in the end.
Moreover, software firewalls are more prone to attacks and could spread to other devices if your network is under threat.
Finally, it might be challenging if you have several devices and need to update the software on all devices.
The hardware firewall will act as a defense against outgoing and incoming traffic since it prevents malicious traffic from accessing your devices or your network.
Additionally, the hardware firewall provides more configuration options to protect your Starlink network.
Can A Third-Party Router Be a Firewall?
Technically, you can think of a third-party router as a firewall replacement since it has some security functionalities.
For example, the third-party router reads data to figure out its destination. However, it’ll discard data that doesn’t have a destination address.
That means if a computer on your network didn’t request certain data, the router will remove the data if the data does not indicate its destination.
Secondly, routers can block certain kinds of data from proceeding to an end device or network. Therefore, your computer is safe from being a launch point for attacks against other devices.
However, a third-party router alone doesn’t provide firewall-level security.
If a user clicked a link or visited a malicious site, the router would interpret this action as a request.
Consequently, the user renders their network or device susceptible to an attack.
A hardware firewall can block more attacks even when a user seems like they requested it.
With Starlink’s steady rise in popularity, we might see the development of a stand-alone firewall for Starlink.
However, currently, there are different hardware and software Starlink firewall options.
Work with a technician to determine the most secure configuration to protect your network.