[clug] anyone using a Linux as an Internet gateway?

Scott Ferguson prettyfly.productions at gmail.com
Wed Oct 20 21:04:13 MDT 2010

On Wed, 20 Oct 2010 18:41:05 +1100, Scott Ferguson
<prettyfly.productions_at_gmail.com> wrote:

>> On 20/10/10 11:38, Peter Barker wrote:
>> > On Wed, 20 Oct 2010, Scott Ferguson wrote:
>> > 
>>> >> I can highly recommend IPCop as a firewall and router
>>> >> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IPCop
>>> >> It's a good way to recycle an old, low spec PC. Smoothwall Community
>> > 
>> > Now-adays I recommend people *not* reuse an old PC for this 24/7 work. 
>> > I suggest they make an investment in a low-power box and wait for the
>> > machine to pay for itself in power savings.
>> > 
>> > I replaced a 70W PC with a 4W Fit-PC (version 1).  That's about $85/year
>> > in electricity (at current rates).  The unit cost me $420.  That's not a
>> > bad ROI.  I find the machine to have ample power for shifting packets
>> > around.
>> > 
>>> >> Cheers
>> > 
>> > Yours,
> As an ROI, it's going to take 5 years to break even, 

Fail! Terrible maths. (You are correct Peter)

> not counting the
> initial "old" pc investment (I use low-end laptops with the screens
> removed - I don't know the power consumption). In terms of lower
> pollution - an older machine has already been manufactured and shipped...
> I suspect your solution is incapable of stateful packet inspection,
> virus filtering, advanced proxying and caching etc.

Fail again! I've since looked at the correct specs - it's more than
capable of running IPCop with Copfilter, Snort etc. With the FIT-PCs
capabilities it's possibly overkill for an IPCop (or similar) installation.

> That said, the original poster may only be looking for basic routing and
> firewall abilities.
> Horses for courses and all that. I repeatedly require Windoof updates,
> antivirus definition files, Adobe packages, linux packages etc - so the
> ability to use Update Accelerator
> http://update-accelerator.advproxy.net/ saves me considerable time and
> bandwidth (download once, reuse many times).
> For my purposes recycling an old boxen is much cheaper and creates less
> CO2. Every download saved equals more less total electricity used than
> just that on the firewall/router alone. Perhaps I've failed to
> extrapolate correctly?
> Sincerely

The CO2 produced by production of a new computer is irrelevant to the
post. The FIT-PC is a lovely little device - I'd still recommend a
dedicated firewall/router OS. All flavours of Linux are capable of doing
that, though the kernel should only support the needed functionality for
the sake of security.
If you could find a single-board computer similar to the FIT-PC, without
the video card and with another ethernet port it would be perfect.
I shall now go and bang my head until sense returns ;-p


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