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  1. #1

    What is the best firewall distro/application for SOHO users?

    I recently had an idea to provide the following service to small businesses: Create and manage a basic firewall/gateway that could handle content filtering, bandwidth throttling, and firewall services(anti virus and the like).

    The idea is that, especially where I live, small businesses really have no implementation of network security, or really even a concept of it. My thought is that I could provide this service to them for a flat monthly fee using relatively cheap hardware and an open source linux platform/application. I could manage it almost entirely from my house through webmin, ssh, or some flavor of remote management, and I could potentially handle large amounts of clients by effectively scripting the entire process.

    That being said, I would like to ask one specific question here. What is the best distro/application to use in this context, and how could one practically go about implementing it? My knowledge of linux has been exploding as of late because I have been forcing myself to use it on all of my machines instead of Windows, however I can't seem to find any clear answer on the first half of the question, let alone the last half.

    Any foresight, knowledge, opinions, facts, instruction manuals(especially instruction manuals), or insight would be extremely helpful. I am here to learn, so let loose the hounds of knowledge!

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Roxoff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Nottingham, England
    There are several firewall-only distributions around, if you have old pc bits laying around you can turn them into a firewall appliance. I've used Smoothwall Express for many years on my network, and it's can do pretty much all you want, and has a web-based configuration.

    There are several others that may suit the job too (take a look on Distrowatch), they're usually free (or, at least, have a free version) so you can try them out to find which suits you best.
    Linux user #126863 - see

  3. #3
    I second the coolness of Smoothwall. Also a good firewall-as-as-distro (so I've heard) is Untangle - there is a free/lite version of it.

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