Subject: What plateform for a home Firewall ?
To: None <>
From: Eric Delcamp <>
List: current-users
Date: 12/13/1999 21:20:38
Hi !

Cable-modems and others permanent-connection device to Internet begins to be
more and more popular (at least in France). To avoid piracy and assure a
privacy, a firewall is necessary. For a home user, there is actually only
two solutions: a dedicaced computer with Linux/xxxBSD but this cost some
money and need expertise, or a software (under Win95/NT) to block access of
some ports. I want to study a third solution : a lost-cost computer with
NetBSD and 2 network interfaces.
The perfect machine should be :
- Easy to install. No keyboard, no screen, just 2 network ports, and power
(by AC Adapter or direct plug)
- Easy to use. No knowledge of networking. Minimal configuration by
Web-browser (with statistics) or telnet (expert mode ?)
- Reliabilty. No mechanical parts, no drives, no floppy. Maybe just a fan.
- Easy upgrade. Software on memory card (PCMCIA, CompactFlash, others...)

My first think was about StrongARM architecture. But I don't know hardware
manufacturers for this. I want to avoid Intel (but it's only a personal
choice ;-). Don't know about SH3, or other "exotic" processor.

I need advice or help to choose the architecture, the motherboard (2 network
interfaces, don't forget this), level of performance, maybe to build driver
(could NetBSD boot on CF-cards ?), etc...

My goal is not commercial, I just want to do something "usefull" with
NetBSD. The goal is to build a project, maybe a prototype. If it could bring
some money to NetBSD later in a commercial version, why not, but it's not my
first priority and I don't want to be implicated on this business.