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Relatively simple linux router / vpn distro

Posted on 2010-11-25
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
I have discovered that my router is a piece of garbage. It doesn't even support VPN passthrough. It's a Linksys BEFSR81.

Ideally I'd like to replace it with a linux distribution running in a virtual machine on my Windows server. What is a good linux distribution which will provide a "plug and play" router that will work with virtual hardware, and basically provide the services of a decent router?

I'm primarily looking for VPN passthrough, port forwarding, and bandwidth management

Also, what extra hardware should I put in the server in the way of NICs? Would it be useful / necessary for the machine to have several network adapters to work with?
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Question by:Frosty555
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6 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:SkykingOH
ID: 34213013
If you are willing to lean toward BSD instead of Linux the pfSense box is the most full featured free firewall/IDS/VPN concentrator available.

On the Linux side the Debian based Untangle works well.

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by:Frosty555
ID: 34213978
Sure I have no qualms over what kind of OS it is. I just would like it to be relatively straightforward to configure (e.g. provide some kind of web interface or other method of configuration so I'm not playing around with settings files all day)

I'll take a look into those two products. I'm also looking at Vyatta - do you know anything about that one? It seemed to suggest that it was specifically designed to be used in a virtual environment.
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by:Frosty555
ID: 34214595
I looked into Vyatta - and it is a very nice BSD based firewall/router.

But it still is basically just a graphical skin over linux's existing routing system. I still need a lot of knowledge about how to set up the iptables, the firewall, etc., far more than what you'd need for a traditional router.

I'm really looking for something with a web interface and configuration similar to that of traditional routers. Does something like that exist?
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Ross-C earned 500 total points
ID: 34214947
I had the same opinion as you with vyatta and didn't really have any linux experience.  Vyatta is well worth spending a bit of time evaluating.  The docs are really well written, each documented feature is like a tutorial.  After a couple of days i was able to configure a point to point ipsec vpn.  I found it easier to configure with the command line, you can press tab during the command line to drill through the commands.

There is a really good blog here http://roggyblog.blogspot.com/ with lots of vyatta video tutorials If you watch a couple of them and download the docs you should find it easier than you think.

Hope this helps
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Author Comment

by:Frosty555
ID: 34244160
Well I've finally resurfaced after plunging in way over my head with all of these distros.

I think the problem is I just don't understand the terminology and concepts behind linux networking well enough to do anything useful with these distros.

I'v'e even give OpenWRT / DD-WRT a try but the x86 platforms are somewhat difficult to compile/setup so they work in a virtual machine environment.

I'm throwing in the towel, I think i'm just going to go buy a router.
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Expert Comment

by:Ross-C
ID: 34252656
if you tell me what you need to do i can help you out if you like.
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