I finally made the decision to get a decent firewall.
My choice: Astaro Security Gateway 7.401. Reason of choice:
- Well, for starters: it's free! (yep, as in free beer!).
- It's the same as the corporate HW appliance they have, and from all the things i read, a pretty tough one
- And of course it's open source.
- I really needed to improve my basic firewall knowledge.
- Same with setting up a decent home network, that's nicely protected too
So i looked around the web, checking out what to put the thing in. I quickly chose for a small form factor case, for occupied space, and for energy usage.
This is what i got myself:
Case: AOpen m360
Motherboard: Jetway J7F2WE-2G with a daughterboard containing 3x Gigabit LAN ports
The rest: 1 GB RAM, 20GB 2.5" HD (used), Slim DVDROM (used)
OK, that was the easy part, the hard part was assembling the bitch.
First off, i had to open up the dvdrom to get under the controller board and set the jumper to slave, because i only have 1 IDE cable (which has a master that can connect on a 2.5" HD, and a slave for normal IDE use).
Second, damn it's hard to get everything in such a tiny box (why they call it mini-itx, i reckon...).
Then, after some playing around with getting the cables nicely put, i started up the machine, checked out the bios, where i disabled the halt on errors for keyboards (it's a firewall with web interface, why the hell do i need a halt on no keyboard...)
And now, the most beautiful part, because it just *worked*:
I put the firewall behind the cable modem, set my Linksys WRT160N wireless router up as a switch/WAP and done...
W000t! That was easy
Getting to understand the NAT & Packet filter rules was something else, i can tell you (certainly as i never had to configure a firewall myself), especially as the Astaro manual presumes you know what everything means...now i do, i think...
But all in all: Happy to have it running, and eager to learn more about it!