So, you need a firewall for your growing home network (or small business), don’t want to lay out a couple hundred dollars (or even 1 hundred dollars), what do you do? Give up and let the world in? No. There are a few good options, one I’ll mention today is Coyote linux. This is a popular floppy sized firewall boot disk. One of the real charms of this is that it’s minimum hardware requirement is a 486DX/25 or better processor and 12MB of memory.
Excuse me, is this 2005? I thought everything needed more than that. Well, NO. If a firewall could be designed 10 eyars ago that needed a 486, then it can be today. Yes, your ancient PC sitting in the corner as a support for that new printer can be put to good use. For that matter, if your concerned about hardware failures, early Pentium based machines are worth so little you could probably pick up some for free if you find the right places.
Now, you’ll need a video card in the firewall as well as a floppy drive, but no hard drive or cdrom is necessary for this, so they can be pulled out if you like. Also, you will likely need two network cards (one to interface with your LAN, the other to talk to the outside world.) Of course, if you have something other than Cable or DSL, there are other options.
The company that maintains coyote has other product offerings that are non-free, but coyote is a free download and has a wizard to create a boot disk either under windows or linux. It can be administered through SSH or a web interface and the toughest problem these days might be finding a floppy disk to install it on.
It can be downloaded here (no bittorrent or p2p needed as it’s a small download)
A good resource for add-ons such as:
” IPTraf – Traffic Monitoring
Dynamic DNS Update
Full Remote Backup
Wake Up On Lan
or the ability to put it on different media, or different hardware support, or just support documents in general can be found here
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