Setting up a Free Linux Firewall

At our office we actually run a few separate networks to make sure that our main servers have the best protection available. For two of our three networks we run a free firewall based on Linux.

Our favorite product for our free firewall is IPCop, which is an open-source product currently up to version 1.4.11. The free firewall will run even on low powered equipment that would otherwise probably be retired in most settings.

Here is a list of some of the features that are built into the base level installation of IPCop:

  • Secure https web administration GUI
  • DHCP Server
  • Proxying (Squid)
  • DNS Proxying
  • Dynamic DNS
  • Time Server
  • Traffic Shaping
  • Traffic/Systems/Firewall/IDS graphing
  • Intrusion Detection (Snort)
  • ISDN/ADSL device support
  • VPN (IPSec/PPTP) functionality

One of the great things about IPCop is that you can quite easily expand the firewall with quite a few add-ons that are readily available on the Web.

The IPCop web-site has very good documentation for how to set-up the firewall, if you are looking for a more robust package though you can find instructions on installing IPCop + Copfilter over at HowtoForge: The Perfect Linux Firewall Part I — IPCop.

This is the process that we went through when we last built an IPCop firewall and it produces a very robust and easily managed free firewall solution.

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