Back to our HomePage | Back to our Services Page | Sign up for Service

SteelNet EXCLUSIVE "Red Alert" firewall system

"Most ISP's simply place your Computer (PC) or Network on the internet without any protection whatsoever. Your PC or network device is directly reachable from the internet. The costs and configuration of protecting yourself are the responsibility of the internet user. Installing firewall protection, spyware protection, and anti-virus protection can not only be costly, but difficult to setup and maintain. SteelNet protects all of our customers with several layers of technology maintained by our seasoned security experts. The "Red Alert" firewall system is one example of this protection provided to each of our customers. You simply won't find this level of protection from anywhere else but SteelNet."

Here are just a few features the Red Alert Firewall system has to offer to our customers:

Internet by Request-

Most broadband connections are "always on". This is great from a time perspective; you simply sit down, click, and you are on the internet. Your PC or network is "always" on the internet. This is beneficial, however, it is also detrimental, since your PC or network can be reachable at all times if the proper protection is not in place. This allows malicious software and hackers to reach your PC and begin knocking at the door of your data. At SteelNet, you are only on the internet when you request to be. Think of it as a one way door; you can only enter from one side. Your PC or network is ONLY on the internet when you are requesting a site or internet application. Only your PC or network along with that single requested connection are allowed to pass through our system at one time. Not only does this protect you when you are away, stopping any connection from reaching you, however it also protects you when you are using the internet by allowing only the requested site to communicate back to you.

PDFP (Perimeter Default Forward Protection)-

Placing a firewall at the edge of a network is not uncommon, especially with ISP's. This "edge firewall" protects the ISP itself and, in some cases (such as SteelNet's Red Alert system) it protects the customers from the outside internet world. What about the customers? Who protects customer A from say customer B? In many cases ISP customers are all on the same network, even though the ISP may offer protection from hackers over the internet through expensive firewall systems there is very little (if any) protection between each customer. If one customer is compromised by a virus for example what prevents that virus from spreading to other customers? Most ISP's leave this level of protection up to the customer, not at SteelNet. By default all communications on our network must route through our network facility. Even if your neighbor was on our service any communication between your connection and your neighbors is routed through the Red Alert Firewall system. Unless our engineers have allowed specific communication (for work at home for example) everything is denied. At SteelNet we not only protect our customers from the internet but also from each other.

SPI (Stateful Packet Inspection)-

In computing, a stateful firewall (any firewall that performs stateful packet inspection (SPI) or stateful inspection) is a firewall that keeps track of the state of network connections (such as TCP streams, UDP communication) traveling across it. The firewall is programmed to distinguish legitimate packets for different types of connections. Only packets matching a known connection state will be allowed by the firewall; others will be rejected. This process takes quite a bit of hardware resources to run especially for a large number of connections and for a large number of users. This is the reason why most firewall (such as over the counter $100 routers etc) do NOT HAVE SPI. It simply requires expensive fast hardware to run SPI. ALL of the firewall's that compose the Red Alert Firewall system at SteelNet are composed of high end hardware to accommodate high speed firewall inspection without sacrificing speed. And since this hardware is owned and maintained by SteelNet, each and every one of our customers benefit from an expensive, enterprise class firewall system without ever having to purchase one. Basically by default no connection is allowed to the internet without you requesting that connection. The moment you open your internet enabled application or internet browser that request is made and our firewall system responds instantly. You are only on the internet when something on your PC or network requests to be.

Flexible application firewall-

The SteelNet Red Alert Firewall system uses "layer 7" technology to tell exactly what type of data is being sent in addition to where the data came from and where it is going. Using this technology the firewall can explicitly allow or deny any connection our customers request. For example if a customer would like to view a web enabled security camera from there summer home we can publish the appropriate rules within the Red Alert system to allow that connection to anyone, or to the specific ISP or IP address of the customers winter home. Allowing ONLY specifically who or what and where a person can access that camera from the internet. THe firewall is completely maintained by our security team so our customers need to do nothing, we do all for this at no charge for each and every one of our customers.

Intelligent Traffic Shaping and Load Balancing-

Using all the technologies above to "inspect" the data through our network for security purposes can also be used to improve the quality of our services through traffic shaping. With every passing day the internet is used for more and more. The average household or business may have several connections to the internet going at the same time. In the past that was not a concern since typically only one thing was being performed over the internet at a time. Now we see several connections to the internet even on one pc. For example you may be listening to music over the internet while reading a news article and downloading an update to your Windows OS in the background without you even knowing. That's three concurrent connections to the internet all on one PC. With a conventional internet connection each of these are allowed to take up the entire speed of your connection. For instance when your PC begins to download that Windows update you notice your web pages begin loading slowly, or the music skips and restarts and you are not sure why? This is due to how your ISP limits your speed. Every ISP limits there customers to a certain Kbps, you may commonly here 1megabit or 5 megabit connection etc. These are all referring to your overall speed that you are allowed to be downloading at one time. If one item is using your connection it can potentially take up the entire speed you are allowed leaving nothing left for other applications. With SteelNet's Red Alert firewall system the traffic is prioritized as it enters for each and every customer. If you are downloading a file and you make a VOIP call or begin to surf to a web site our firewall will transparently reduce the speed of the downloading file to allow room for the VOIP call and the web request. It does this dynamically. This makes your overall internet experience smoother and more consistent even if your are using it for multiple tasks at the same time.