Does firewall has an "expiration date"?
Youri Vanderleyden 15/11/2019

Does firewall has an "expiration date"?

Just like many items from the supermarket, your firewall also has an expiration date. The average lifespan of a firewall is between 3 and 5 years. Most firewalls available in retail stores have a slightly shorter lifespan than a professional-grade firewall. However, firewalls can sometimes last longer than specified if they are regularly maintained, like a car! But how do you "maintain" a firewall so that it lasts longer than its expiration date?

Just like food, you need to be careful about how you store firewall hardware. As long as the firewall is placed in a dry area, where it isn't too hot or cold, the hardware should continue to function well for several years. Dusty spaces can also be detrimental to your firewall. Therefore, placing your firewall on the floor under a table is not the best idea. Storing it properly might extend its lifespan to about 7-10 years.

Try to update, even on older devices 

Even the best-preserved items will eventually deteriorate. Firewalls, with every new feature and improvement, are increasingly taxed, but the hardware remains the same.

To take advantage of the latest features and best security, a firewall will need to be regularly updated. This keeps the firewall "fresh." In most cases, a support contract is necessary, so it is highly recommended.

Firewalls continue to work, even without support 

Manufacturer support may end, but that doesn’t mean the firewall will stop functioning. The firewall will not stop working and may continue to perform its function well beyond its expiration date. Replacement isn’t always necessary. Let a specialist take a look to see if the hardware and coverage are still adequate.

Some features disappear with an older firewall 

However, if updates and support contracts are no longer available, the extra features and functions that a modern firewall offers usually disappear. But there is no reason to panic; the firewall will still work as long as the hardware does.

Don't wait until the firewall fails 

If the device does need to be replaced, it is usually simple. In case of a complete failure, a very basic firewall may suffice (or a backup device) for a short time until a permanent replacement can be installed. In other cases, you can continue using the current one until a new device is selected.

Afterwards, the needs of the network and its users can be evaluated.