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Hardware firewall suggestion?...

Posted on 2008-06-23
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Last Modified: 2013-11-16
Does someone have a good suggestion for a firewall for me?  I've been using a NetScreen 5XP, which has worked very well but is now outdated in the sense that my network has grown beyond 10 attached internet users.  There was only a costly upgrade to unlimited, and even my NetScreen rep says that a new NetScreen would be overkill for my small office.  Basically running about 8-15 computers at any given time, 6 statics and a network printer and network drive, then stop-in laptop users and temporary computer configuration units.  

I'd like a solid firewall with fast throughput and the ability to protect 10-25 users, that fits my needs and budget ($500? moe if there's a case to be made).  I have experience with the NetScreen (very complicated for me, but doable), the Watchguard Firebox, and Sonicwall.  

Basically, I'll be happy if I can keep the same Quality of Service I've been getting with the NetScreen, but with a simpler interface and still be able to protect 10-15 users at a time...to surf the internet and send/receive emails, daily but not intense vpn connections to synchronize files (handled via microsoft RRAS, so only forwarding to the file server is necessary, not a vpn hardware box)  and some remote pcAnywhere and gotomypc access, dhcp, and of course the main point a reliable sturdy firewall.

Thanks for your help on this.
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Question by:Jarrod731
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Expert Comment

by:Andres Perales
ID: 21848717
Cisco ASA 5505 or 5510
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Expert Comment

by:CMYScott
ID: 21848865
have you looked at any open-source firewall packages?

I use IPCop to separate my development group from the rest of our company - it works well.  There are about 15 laptops/desktops/servers behind the IPCop machine, plus a bunch of other IP devices which they work with.  

Smoothwall is very similar - may be a bit more robust - although I like IPCOP because it will use PCMCIA NIC's - so I have it running on an old laptop (600Mhz/512MB RAM).

I'm not familiar with NetScreen - so I can't compare feature-for-feature - but if you have an old PC/laptop laying around, you could certainly try both IPCop and Smoothwall out.  Both are available via ISO image download - burn it to a CD and boot an old PC to install it.  You don't need alot of hard drive space.  512MB of RAM will be fine for the number of users you're talking about.  Additional drive space can be used to do some caching if you like.

Good Luck
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by:
Don S. earned 500 total points
ID: 21848873
Sonicwall TZ170 25 user.  Or Fortigate 50b.
Both are very simple to setup and relitively inexpensive.
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