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advice on buying firewall hardware

Mon 22 October 2018

Several people have asked me recently what hardware I would buy today for use as a home firewall.

for a total of $176, including shipping. Links were accurate as of October 22, 2018.

This gets you a tiny box, similar in size to random commercial house router/firewall/wifi access points, which can run a standard Linux operating system with a complex firewall running at 1 Gb/s in and out, more RAM than strictly necessary, and an SSD which is both very large (and therefore can last a very long time) and boot the system quickly enough that you can do a reboot without losing TCP sessions.

I would also recommend a medium-sized USB thumb drive to set up as an emergency booting and backup device. Call it another $15 or so.


revisiting a new firewall

Fri 13 January 2017

A few years ago I wrote about my new firewall. Let’s look at what I’ve learned since then.

First, you should know that I’m very pleased with the firewall. It continues to function smoothly. Debian upgraded from 7 to 8 without a hitch. I added a few new software features:

  • TINC and OpenVPN servers
  • replaced a full BIND DNS with Unbound (and BIND running behind it on another server)
  • monitoring software
  • an IPv6 tunnel

The CPU is basically idle all of the time. It has four cores; it’s possible that two have never been woken up …

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