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Networks Recommend a software router/firewall?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by wywywywy, 5 Sep 2007.

  1. wywywywy

    wywywywy Member

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    Hi all,

    Since I need a 24/7 server for various things (automation server, monitoring server, file server, web server, etc), I am thinking about replacing my current 3Com standalone hardware router with a software router/firewall on the server.

    This is because I found that most standalone routers are not flexible enough in their configuration, except some enterprise-level routers. And I can also save electricity by having everything on this low-power server instead of using multiple devices. Not to mention I will have complete control over it.

    So can anyone recommend a good and reliable software router/firewall please? Preferably one that is open-source?
    Years ago I used to use the Kerio WinRoute Pro (or something like that), it worked but was slow and unreliable.
    I also tried the Windows ICS + Windows Firewall... yea it worked but is way too basic, and I'm not sure about their security either.

    The server will be running XP, Vista, or Server 2003.
    Sorry but please do not suggest Linux/FreeBSD/etc, as I *need* to use Windows for the automation software and IIS.

    Any tips/advice/suggestions welcome.

    Thanks.
     
  2. steveo_mcg

    steveo_mcg New Member

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    The simplest suggestion would be to keep your windows box and put it behind a ipcop box or the like, any old machine would do for this role my P2 been up for two years now. This would be a virtually drop in replacement for the router and give all the flexibility/security you need whilst not wasting resources on the automation machine.
     
  3. Hazardous

    Hazardous New Member

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  4. wywywywy

    wywywywy Member

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    Steveo_mcg:

    I know of ipCorp, and essentially this is the kind of things I want, but for Windows, because I am keen to have everything all in one box. I live in a one-bed flat so space is a premium and energy consumption is also my main concern. So I want to have my ITX box to do everything. Thanks for the tip though.

    Hazardous:

    Thanks but Comodo isn't a router?
     
  5. Hazardous

    Hazardous New Member

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    :confused:

    Comodo is a [free] software firewall... which is what I though you were after?

    You also mention having tried other software firewalls (WinRoute/Windows)?


    So yeah... I'm totally :confused:
     
  6. wywywywy

    wywywywy Member

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    Sorry for not being clear.

    Most routers double-up as firewalls, because it is relatively easy to build the design in.
    For example WinRoute is a router (port-forwarding, internet sharing, VPN server, etc) with firewall functionality.

    But if I need two pieces of software, one for routing one for firewall, it is not a problem for me. But I need to find a software router first!

    Thanks.
     
  7. CaseyBlackburn

    CaseyBlackburn Network Techie

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    Windows 2003 can do routing built in. It's under the Remote Access and Routing role. You just need NAT and you can also use the basic firewall or you can use a third-party one. But it's not going to be pretty no matter how you do this.

    You would really be off better having another server running either Untangle, Endian, IPCop, or Smoothwall (In the order of my preference)
     
  8. wywywywy

    wywywywy Member

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    Hi,

    I'd never wanted one, but after seeing the Untangle demo video, OMFG!!!!!! I FK WANT IT! :D

    As for Endian, I don't see NAT mentioned anywhere?

    On the Windows front, hardware support will be a million times easier than Linux for me, but it's the NAT software thats the problem.
    Except Kerio, which isn't good at all, there is just nothing out there.

    I am just thinking, how practical/reliable/quick would it be if I use a virtual machine to run Untangle inside Win 2003 Server?

    Thanks.
     
  9. CaseyBlackburn

    CaseyBlackburn Network Techie

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    It's there though. It has everything your SOHO router has plus a lot more. They don't say NAT because it's a given I guess. It does NAT though, I used it for a long long time until I found Untangle.

    Once again just use the NAT software builtin to Windows 2003 Server.
     
  10. wywywywy

    wywywywy Member

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    Ohhh 2k3 has NAT built in?! (I must have misread your last message)
    Damn I didn't know, will investigate more now.

    Do you know its name by any chance? It is not the same as ICS, is it?

    Thanks.
     
  11. CaseyBlackburn

    CaseyBlackburn Network Techie

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    As I said before it's under the Routing and Remote Access role. NAT, VPN, etc are under that role. The wizard will help you set it up.
     
  12. wywywywy

    wywywywy Member

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    Thanks found it now!
    I use 2k3 everyday... but have never noticed that!

    Cheers!!
     
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