Free Hardware Firewalls

If you have read the main Firewall topic, you will know that a “Hardware” firewall is actually a separate box to your PC and this provides “perimeter protection” for your LAN.

Good News, if you have a router (ADSL Gateway or Broadband Router) you will already have a “Free” Hardware firewall. However the firewall capabilities of different routers varies tremendously. For most people the firewall built-in to the router is usually the best option. However, if you are still reading and you don’t mind playing with computers and Linux there are at least 3 hardware firewall that I can think of.

1.  Linux Smoothwall is what I use and highly recommend. Good article on Tomshardware but Smoothwall is now going strong on version 3.0 (much better)

2.  IPCOP. Again Linux based. Good article worth reading: – Tomshardware.

3.  Monowall. Based on FreeBSB. Good article here: – Tomshardware

To use these “Free” (Open source) firewalls you will need: –

1. A spare computer – ideally a quiet one but it doesn’t need to be very powerful.

2. An extra Network card (NIC). Fitting an extra card is a must to enable the PC to become a router. You can have 3 NICs if you want a DMZ!

3. The firewall software/operating system of choice on a CD/DVD.

4. Plenty of time to play 🙂

Have fun.