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Firewall Solution Advice

Greetings;

I run a web programming business from home. I have 4 Windows computers running either Windows 2000 Pro or Windows XP Pro. I am looking for a firewall solution and am willing to spend in the neighborhood of $500 for the solution. My expertise is not firewalls or networking.

I am looking for advice on a firewall solution in my price range. (I have been told that hardware solutions are better/faster than software solutions.)


Much thanks ... Dave
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David Bach
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David Bach
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1 Solution
 
Tim HolmanCommented:
What do you use to connect to the Internet ?  A serial router, an ADSL router ??
Most Internet routers have firewalling built in, so there's not really much point buying a separate box to do the job, especially on this budget.  You're better off investing in anti-virus or malicious code detection on the clients.
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David BachAuthor Commented:
Greetings Tim;

I use a Comcast cable modem which is connected to a NIC on my Windows XP Pro system. A second NIC in the same computer connects to one of the ports in an Asante switch. The other 3 computers running Windows 2000 Pro are connected to the switch as well. The XP system acts as an Internet gateway (hopefully, "gateway" is the right term).

There are no hardware routers in the topography.

Hope this helps.


Much thanks ... Dave
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rustybiasCommented:
Dave,

You can get most any cable/dsl router and get minimal firewall protection for cheap.  The best thing you'll find in your price range if you want a firewall that will go above and beyond what you can get at CompUSA is probably a NetScreen 5-GT:

http://www.juniper.net/products/integrated/dsheet/ds_5gt_xt.pdf

http://www.pricegrabber.com/search_getprod.php/masterid=841762/search=netscreen/ut=437f3423d6c7107c
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Tim HolmanCommented:
$500 will just about cover a complete wireless router/firewall home networking kit, running the latest and fastest 802.11g variant !

Wireless router/firewall/integrated 4 port switch - $100-150

http://www.google.com/froogle?q=netgear+wireless+802.11g

Wireless PCI /PC Card adapters - $50-$100

http://www.google.com/froogle?q=pci+wireless+802.11g
http://www.google.com/froogle?q=pc+card+wireless+802.11g

Wireless is more fun at home, as you can use your laptop anywhere, especially if you've been booted out of the lounge by your wife.  ;)



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David BachAuthor Commented:
Thank you for your replies.

How does the NetScreen 5-GT compare to the Cisco PIX 501?

Much thanks ... Dave
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Tim HolmanCommented:
The Netscreen is also a very capable box.
...but I still maintain that a firewall is a glorified packet filter with some DOS protection built-in, and you can get this with even a basic Cisco 837 router (with firewall feature set), or one of those Netgear or Linksys $100 jobbies.  
If you're going to be hosting any websites, then it's wise to invest in a decent firewall, but if you just need Internet access, more or less anything will do the job, seeming by default they allow everything out and NOTHING in.. !
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