This may be an interesting project to try out.

  ACOLYTE 01:12 06 Jan 2005

Setting up the router-firewall

to make a router you will need the following,

a) 1 old PC (a p100 with 32 megs ram and a 500 meg or 1 gig HD is more than enough),, this will become the dedicated router-firewall.

b) some way to connect the router to the ISP, i.e. an ADSL USB modem for ADSL or a NIC (ethernet card) for cable modem or a dialup modem if you are using dialup. If the old PC doesn't have a USB port then you can get a PCI USB card for around 15 quid or less.

c) a NIC card to connect the router to your home lan (wireless will be an option soon!) a NIC card costs around 5 quid, you will also need a NIC card in each PC you need to connect.

d) a ethernet switch (or hub) if you have more than one PC you need to connect, a switch works just like a multi-way extention cable but it's designed to split an ethernet connection between your PCs so you can plug in many PCs (an 8 way switch for connecting 7 PCs is about 50 quid or less now, a 4 way switch for connecting 3 PCs is around 20 quid), if you have more than 7 PCs you want to connect then get another switch and connect it in or get a larger switch to start with.

Once you have the bits you are set

In my opinion the the easiest and best router-firewall can be made by downloading 'IPCop' from click here - it's a free, open source firewall.

Installation is simple, just burn a CD from the downloaded file (the complete OS is only 30 megs!) and boot from the CD to install. If your old / doner PC can't boot from CD then you will need to use floppy disks which can be created on another PC by using the IPCop CD you made. (there are other ways to install it without needing even a CD drive - but that is beyond the scope of this txt!)

IPCop is a complete operating system, which means there is no underlying windows OS required on the p100 / doner PC and no licenses to worry about. This is the truely neat part, a free OS that is pre-configured to install simply and provide you with a high quality dedicated firewall-router that is simple to setup and simple to use.

If you are installing IPCop for the first time then you will need to read the installation manual at click here , think of it as reading the manual to your video recorder, it isn't that long and will allow you to understand IPCop and become more confident about the installation process. I think you can install it in about an hour after reading install guide, have a quick look at the FAQ as it should answer most questions you may have.

  LastChip 01:28 06 Jan 2005

click here for a Firewall that will run totally from memory.

You load it from a floppy into the memory and if anyone succeeds in penetrating the firewall, turn off the machine and simply reboot from the floppy. Therefore, there is nothing to write to. No hard drive or floppy!

  pete-290318 01:47 06 Jan 2005

Dont get me wrong here but WHY??

I love messing with pc bits and have a loft full of them but why go to all this trouble when router/firewalls are so cheap these days.

I have 3 pcs running downstairs on a router/firewall which icorporates a 5 port switch and print server, bought 12 months ago for £26 brand new and this links to my loft which has a 8 port switch bought around the same time for £17 secondhand, and theres always 3 or 4 pcs coupled to that, which are one medium spec machine and other low spec cobbled together machines for playing with and I use them for testing bits and pieces that I pick up and when theyre up and running ok often "give" them to friends and family for "homework pc's for kids" etc but going back to the routers ... they only measure 6" x 3" x 1" high and dont take up any room so I cant see the reason in going to this trouble to make one .... but I'll probably now have a go just to find out. ( it keeps me out of the pub). Thanks for the links and idea.


  Forum Editor 01:51 06 Jan 2005

but I'm not sure why you would need to go to all this effort (and have another computer case clogging up your desktop) when you can buy a nice neat ADSL modem/router complete with its own firewall for under £30. If you don't want the modem you can get just the router with firewall for £25. Both devices will have at least 4 LAN ports, so you don't need anything else, bar the appropriate LAN cards for each computer.

  accord 07:51 06 Jan 2005

Wasnt this in PCA or PC Pro back end of last year?? Im sure I read it.

  ste_bla 09:13 06 Jan 2005

If you made the firewall with Lynix running on it you can balance the connection between users so that a household downloading hog cant get all the bandwibth

  jack 09:39 06 Jan 2005

I tried a similar project two years ago, having been given an old Dell lappie I set it up as a dedicated Internet portal. The usual A/V and firwalls were installed, and any bug that got uin stayed there it did not interfiere with main set up. But after a while I tired of the constant chair swinging from from Internet machine to main machine- I scrapped it and gave the lappie away.
So its back to main machine with as much protection as I can think of .

  ACOLYTE 11:10 06 Jan 2005

I know it would be easier to set up a modem/router firewall and probably cheaper i just thought it would be interesting to see if it actually all worked after it was done.As for it being in a PC mag i have no idea i read this on the web,it wasn't my idea i just liked the sound of it,and i think i might give it a try,if nothing else it would teach me a few new things.
It would be a satisfying thing to know i good get it to work,even with instructions,lol.

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