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Router/Firewall Suggestions

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by Cinic, Dec 30, 2004.

  1. Cinic

    Cinic Spongy Member

    Nov 17, 2001
    Tempe, AZ
    My inlaws are finally making the jump from dialup to cable HSI.

    I'm going to be setting up a small wired network with two machines. Anyone have any input on a quality router/firewall? I'd rather not build a *nix box even though that would probably be best. I'll set the price range at about $100.

    What are some features that a quality firewall would have?

    Thanks for any help.

  2. HerrGlock

    HerrGlock Scouts Out CLM

    Dec 28, 2000
    Look for the words "Stateful packet inspection" Other than that it's a matter of preference.

    D-Link - about $50
    Linksys - about $50-70
    I'm sure there are a dozen or so other makers of "DSL/Cable router/firewall" out there but make sure it's a firewall too.

    If you don't want to build a *NIX box, check gnatbox lite. Free, runs off a floppy, FreeBSD based and easy enough to set up.
    Smoothwall is a stateful firewall CD-based with a floppy configuration.

    Depends on what you want to do, but I would suggest one of the hardware firewalls unless you can go over there should they screw something up ;f


  3. lomfs24


    Apr 19, 2003
    I would suggest the Linksys WRT54G or the WRT54GS. Both are in the the price range you suggested. The WRT54G has B and G and the WRT54GS has those as well as SuperG capabilities. It also has the best of both worlds. It is a Linux box with a user friendly graphical user interface. To the end user you would never know it was a linux box. You log in via a web interface and point and click your settings.

    Then, in the future, if you want to get brave you can change it into a full blown linux machine.

    I like the way that it stealths the SSID. I didn't mess with mine too long in the original state but when you do MAC address filtering in the full linux part it does this on the radio level, so if you don't have a wireless card that it knows the radios won't talk to each other. I would imagine this would also happen in the graphical side as well.

    I would without reserve recommend this model of Linksys. Though I would not do this will all models of Linksys.
  4. DeadMansLife

    DeadMansLife Senior Member

    May 7, 2000
    Carlisle, PA
    If you go wireless be sure to set it up properly. Ya don't want anyone to war-drive you.
  5. I know you said you didn't want a *nix box, BUT you may want to check out IPCop. I have just over 100 in the one I use and thats old PC and all.
  6. Stephen

    Stephen Hola! Millennium Member

    Aug 24, 1999
    Dallas, Texas
    For a wired network I'd recommend this LINKSYS router. Had mine for years with no probnlems at all before I went WiFi. My wife has one as well and it's rather bulletproof.

  7. DO NOT BUY LINKSYS wired 4 port router, model BEFSR41, version 3. This is the newer model after Cisco bought them out. This is a POS device. Get the DLINK. This stupid router requires weekly reboots or else it starts to slow down. Some people report it even drops their connection. This model even has it's own "fan" club over on it is SO BAD. Get the DLINK. Much, much better. Upgrading the firmware only makes it worse.
  8. Stephen

    Stephen Hola! Millennium Member

    Aug 24, 1999
    Dallas, Texas
    Hmm... don't know about that. Mine was a 1 or a 2. My wife's new one (a month or less) is a 2. Maybe it was NOS??

    Just for the record - her other died due to a rather severe impact involving our 90+ pound dog, the router and the floor. Do the math ;f
  9. Specks


    Feb 21, 2001
    Since you are going wired, this may not apply. I have used both a linksys and a dlink router with a wireless AP. I was not impressed by the linksys config options. Specifically the MAC filter. It was bass ackwards. Why in the world would I only want to block specific MACs. I want to block everything but the 2 or 3 MACs that I know. The Linksys didn't allow me to do that. The DLink does. This is only one example. I would go with a DLink.
  10. proguncali

    proguncali 1911-2004 CLM

    Mar 14, 2002
    At your Mom's
  11. N2DFire

    N2DFire Who Me ???

    Apr 29, 2003
    Ferrum, VA
    Any comments from the experts on this one.

    Can be had for $38.75 at the following.

    I stumbled across it while web searching for a simple switch w/ USB print share to expand a network I already have in place (behind a D-Link 614+) and I have actually considered re-wiring/configuring my network to use this new box as the master router/firewall and the D-Link would simply become a "dumb" WAP.
  12. k2ue

    k2ue Member

    Sep 27, 2004
    Victor, NY
    I would recommend the same model, and I've used a bunch.
  13. Daynja


    Dec 23, 2004
    Had this linksys router for several years, and I will confirm that this is the case....linksys routers are crap.

    Get D-link if you want cheap.

    I also have a $300 computer running smoothwall, and ditched the linksys for good.

    I've heard good things about d-link, and I love smoothwall, but I think it would be excessive for what you want.
  14. k2ue

    k2ue Member

    Sep 27, 2004
    Victor, NY
    The BEFSR81 is also a POS in my experience -- it's ports will not talk to the built-in ethernet ports in Sun Ultra 5's and 10's -- one would think simple ethernet connectivity is a given, but Linksys could care less about acknowledging or fixing the problem. But my WRT54G seems to be A-OK in all respects, and provides QOS for my Vonage ATA (which was what I was attempting to use the BEFSR81 for).
  15. glock_19_9mm


    Dec 28, 2004
    Melbourne, FL
    I have a netgear WGR614. It has 4 ports with wireless access. Never ever had a problem with it. About the only thing I have not donw with it is setup a VPN (port forwarding is easy). Turning on all the securtity features is simple. Even 128 bit encryption is easy as it will allow you to type in a word and it will convert it to the correct hex code for you. Their web based menu system is by far the best I have seen (in my limited samping of routers).

    The linksys was the hardest to setup (security wise) due to their poor configuration utility. That may explain why I was able to visit inlaws on Sunday and surf the web on their neighbors linksys system that was wide open. (it was named Linksys LOL)

  16. Ljunatic

    Ljunatic On The Fringe

    Oct 23, 2001
    Lincoln, Nebraska
  17. MB-G26

    MB-G26 Bk2MiscResource Lifetime Member

    Oct 9, 2001
    Missing Sharon
    until you decide either on (a) a sw fw for $, or (b) a hw fw, and get to the store, get it installed and configured, etc. ->
    Sygate offers a free version of their home/personal firewall which is pretty decent, or, you can download and install their Pro version, for example, for a trial period and use that in the interim.
    Summary Comparison Chart
    Sygate Personal Firewall Pro & Sygate Personal Firewall [/quote]
    (The free version of Sygate FW does not include the features of:
    VPN Support
    Intrusion Detection System (IDS)
    Active Response Yes
    Anti-MAC & Anti-IP Spoofing Yes
    Advanced Configuration

    and permits only 20 Advanced (user configured, customized Rules) Rules vs. the "unlimited" allowed under the payware version.

    >> Visit our Small to Medium Businesses and Home/Home Office website
    'Lest I be misinterpreted, I'm not recommending just getting the freeware and letting it go at that - but installing the freeware version for the time being would be better than running during the interim with nothing.
  18. glock_19_9mm


    Dec 28, 2004
    Melbourne, FL
    Actually if you have windows XP and install SP-2 it comes with a software firewall as well. I tested it with and it passed just fine.