How do I use an old PC as a firewall?

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Drew Bethel, Aug 9, 2005.

  1. Drew Bethel

    Drew Bethel Screenwriter

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    Got an old e-machine, xp, 20 gig hard drive, 256 ram, 900 mhz processor. I'm using DSL at home. Is this worth it or should I just hand the old PC over to my nephew? :b
     
  2. Mike_J_Potter

    Mike_J_Potter Second Unit

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    Yes you can use it as a firewall/ router providing you have a second nic. Though your pc is overkill for them, most of those will run on a old 486. There are several free linux based bootable programs you can use such as smoothwall, leaf, and ipcop.
     
  3. Paul Padilla

    Paul Padilla Supporting Actor

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    If you're looking for a project or a learning experience then you might have fun.

    Other than that IMHO it would be more trouble than it's worth. If you have XP pro or home on your normal computer then it's built in firewall actually tests out really well. Make sure you have SP2 and all the security updates installed. Even if you're using 98 or (eeeeek [​IMG] ) ME, you'd still have a better time of it installing Zone Alarm or Black Ice directly on the workstation(s). If there is an issue you don't have to worry about monitoring a seperate machine.

    If you're already sharing your Internet connection, then each computer is responsible for it's own connectivity...typically through a cable/DSL router. Adding a dedicated firewall to the mix just creates another point of failure to troubleshoot.

    Let your nephew blow away some monsters...er...ummmm...that is, spend some quality time engaging in academic pursuits. [​IMG]
     
  4. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    I wouldn't use that computer to do it. If you're going to do it with Windows you're pretty much wasting your time and should just buy a software firewall for your new PC or use the XP firewall.

    If you're going to use Linux, then it may be worth it, but I'd get an original Pentium to do that instead of using a PIII.
     
  5. Ken Chan

    Ken Chan Producer

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    A cable/DSL router will use less electricity and make no noise.
     
  6. Tekara

    Tekara Supporting Actor

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    Don't let these guys get you down, building your own router is an excellent way to learn a new operating sytem and some of the finer details of a network.

    I reccomend using freeBSD based Monowall, its a great combination and has some powerful features. In addition monowall has a superb interface that's easy for novice users.
     
  7. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    If you want a project, keep going. But if you just want to git 'r done, buy a $50 router / firewall at the store and be done with it. You can give your old PC to your nephew and everyone's happy.

    Benefits include
    - Much easier installation
    - Takes less space, less energy, less noise
    - Improve stature in you're nephew's eyes [​IMG]
     

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