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Use XP machine as a firewall

Posted on 2005-04-04
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Last Modified: 2013-11-16
I was asked last week to set up an internet connection at my friend's company using a spare XP machine with two network cards as a firewall between the LAN and the ADSL Modem.  Because of the crap router provided by BT which is totally unconfigurable, I tried setting it so one network card was on the same IP subnet as the LAN, the other was configured to the static IP required by the router, end then trying to create a link between the two, passing through Sygate Professional firewall.

Microsoft's Internet Connection sharing worked, but was not good enough for me as it imposed a different subnet which meant that they could not then access other systems which were IP dependent.

After two days of trying various things I eventually persuaded him to buy a decent configurable ADSL router with built in firewall and leave the XP machine out of the equation.  After 5 minutes configuration it was up and working perfectly.

How could I have set the machine up, without extra software such as a proxy server?

The card connected to the router needed to be a specific address (lets say 213.44.68.158 - not the real one), while the lan was set up on the 192.168.1.xxx addresses
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Question by:cquinn
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3 Comments
 
LVL 79

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by:lrmoore
lrmoore earned 189 total points
ID: 13696331
As you found out, XP simply is not up to the task. It does not have routing functions like Win2k server does. ICS is very limited. Your best bet would have been to reformat the PC w/Linux and something like Smoothwall
Smoothwall -- http://www.smoothwall.org/

Just my $0.02

- Cheers!
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srikrishnak earned 186 total points
ID: 13705441
Although I am very comfortable using M$ and wont go for *nix unless there is a strong reason..For this case I dont recommend XP....If you want to use a Firewall you must select a good OS with less vulnerabilities...Its like appointing a watchman who is coward n ready to die..Will prefer to have a *NIX maching (Fav is BSD Box)...As lrmoore mentioned "Smoothwall" is also fair enough to handle the requirement..
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by:cquinn
ID: 13710217
I thought that may be the case - I think I have a Redhat install disk somewhere, though my Nix skills are very rusty

Thanks chaps (or chapesses,  or both)
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