seeking tips for setting up a home office...

kitts kitts at
Thu Jan 19 16:53:33 GMT 2006

On Thursday 19 January 2006 01:20 IST, Nigel Henry wrote:
> > 2) Internet sharing and firewall. Protection as required.
> I use Smoothwall Express2, soon to be upgraded to Express3 (just in Alpha
> at the moment). This can be installed on an old machine. I use it on a
> 100Mhz, 32MB RAM, I Ghz harddrive machine, but would suggest something
> perhaps a bit faster, with perhaps 128 to 256 MB RAM, and a bigger
> harddrive. It is secure, and handles NAT (Internet sharing). You can also
> setup a DMZ (demiliterized zone) where you can keep your Internet
> accessable webserver, ftpserver, mailserver, etc, keeping them separate
> from your LAN. Connection to the Internet is either by serial modem (not
> much use if your running a webserver), or ethernet connection to an ADSL
> router/modem. I believe USB router/modems are a problem with Linux. Also,
> and perhaps I'm a bit paranoid, but I also have Guarddog, a GUI for
> IPtables packet filtering firewall on all my client machines. This
> enables you to also block selectively, outgoing ports. Of course, most
> router/modems have built in firewalls, but make sure you get one that has
> connection to your ethernet connection, rather than USB. Again I'm not
> sure of the connections. You probably just need to connect it to the
> uplink on your ethernet switch.

Thanks for the reference Nigel. I briefly went through the smoothwall site 
and it seems good. I am however, concerned that it is not just a software 
installation on linux but installs with linux. This would probably alright 
but then it seems that the kernel is an old one.

I am particularly concerned as i do wish to have other software installed on 
the server but may be faced with compatibility problem with the older 
version of linux in place. I know i will have a subversion server running 
on it.

Or is this all not really a problem at all?

I do not mind putting up a higher config for the server. I could make my 
existing PC; an AMD64 3000+ with 1Gig of RAM be the server while i 
personally use a laptop.

> > 3) Connecting to the local network from outside over the internet and
> > acessing it like it were local.
> The Smoothwall will also handle port forwarding so that your client
> machines can also be accessed from the Internet. Obviously your ISP will
> have to have provided you with a static IP address for this to work.
> Otherwise you will have to subscribe to someone like no-ip, if you only
> have a dynamic IP address from your ISP.

I have had heard of no-ip but never used it. Will smoothwall make it easy to 
setup and provide good guidelines on connecting over the internet? I have 
not had prior experience with stuff like VPN etc. which i think is *the* 
way to do it(?).

> There are other hardware firewalls, IPcop for instance, and Firestarter
> (available from Sourceforge) is comparable to Guarddog. There are also
> many others, apart from no-ip offering web redirection. Nigel.

Gaurdog is already on my list! :-)


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