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Small Business Network Topology

Not sure which sub category this belongs, so admin's try not to be too harsh.

I was talking to a co worker of mine about our network topology at one of our branch offices.

basically the system goes like this:

internet > modem > firewall > router > internal network (switches nodes servers etc)

I was explaining to him that I think it's in reverse order, that it should be

internet > modem > router > firewall > internal network

he said no, think of the firewall was protecting everything inside the network.

I didn't have a rebuttal because i do not completely understand why the router should be before the firewall, I've just always known it to be that way from diagrams seen / read in articles.

So I propose this question to everyone here, what is truly the best router / firewall small business network setup and why?
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More about small business network topology
  1. Best answer
    Your coworker is correct; installing the firewall just outside the router allows it to easily inspect and filter all data streams. It also helps to protect your router from hacking.
  2. Best answer selected by beezdat.
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