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router/hub/dhcp client units for cablemodem

Yesterday, Jerry Callen gleaned this insight:

> > It is probably better to have a dedicated firewall between your home 
> > systems and the cable modem. 
> I can't imagine NOT having a firewall between my internal network and
> the Internet at large. The very thought gives me the shakes.


> > The advantage of the applicance firewalls are in their ease of 
> > management.

> This is why I went with a SonicWall, but it's a two-edged sword. The
> management IS very easy; Sonic has a nice browser-based interface for
> checking networks status, opening up ports, etc. It also can run a
> DHCP server for your internal LAN; I've gotten to be a fan of DHCP, so
> on first blush that looks pretty useful, too. And it's low-maintenance;
> very low power consumption, no disk to crash, no noticable heat 
> production, no fan noise, and very small (the size of a small 4-port
> hub). The newest versions contain an integrated 4-port hub, in fact.

Ease of use/management is a BIG plus, BUT...

> BUT - because it's a proprietary solution, you can only do what they
> let you do, and you can't fix bugs. One fellow on MediaOne has been 
> struggling for the better part of a year with some weird DHCP lease
> renewal problem. Sonic also took a while to support PPPoE. And the DHCP
> server doesn't have any flexibility; you can't, for instance, define
> the WINS server address. They keep adding features to the firmware,
> but it's (of course) on their schedule, not miine.

This is where a Linux box excels!  If there's one argument for using a
Linux system for your firewall, that + really cheap = said argument.
You can probably buy same for less, or at least not much more than your
price for a SonicWall...  VERY flexible, and as I understand it with the
2.4 kernel it will be even more flexible...  I hope so!

PGP/GPG Public key at
Derek D. Martin      |  Unix/Linux Geek
derekm at  |  derek at

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