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IDG.net: Replacing a Linux gateway with a cheap appliance

Apr 21, 2001, 18:00 (12 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Nicholas Petreley)

"I DEMONSTRATED LAST week that I'm almost as ignorant about networking as my network cards. In case you missed that column, I'll summarize. Thanks to at least one broken 3Com 3C905B card and what I suspect are some broken Linux Intel Ethernet Pro/100 network card drivers, most of my network cards auto-negotiate their connections to be full-duplex on my Ethernet hubs. That wouldn't be so bad if it weren't for the fact that all my hubs are half-duplex."

"What I didn't realize at the time is that the reason my hubs are half-duplex is because all Ethernet hubs are half-duplex. Only Ethernet switches are full-duplex. This seems embarrassingly obvious now, but the flub cost me the propeller on my beanie...."

"Anyway, I must point out that Linux can still do more sophisticated firewalling than any of the appliances such as the SOHOware and Linksys boxes. I still use the firewall capabilities of Linux for the servers that are connected directly to the Internet. But for many situations these simple units make Linux, BSD, or even Windows firewalling gateways obsolete. And who knows, perhaps one or more of these cheap devices is running embedded Linux anyway."

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