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Linux.com: Linux Network Device?

Apr 27, 2000, 18:58 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Scott Nipp)

"Cable modems and DSL service are becoming increasingly popular high-bandwidth Internet service options for home users. DSL service is also being offered in many areas as an Internet connectivity product for small businesses. The rates for these services are very affordable, but you tend to get only the most basic level of service unless you plan on paying substantially more than the entry-level rates. Many homes and even more small businesses need multiple e-mail accounts, and have more than one computer. This means that you will be paying more for those extra e-mail and IP addresses, depending on your provider. Avoiding some of these extra costs is where Linux can very affordably come to your rescue."

"A low-end Linux system can be configured to extend the basic service that your provider offers in order to accommodate your needs. A simple 486-based system with no more than 16MB of RAM and no hard drive is capable of acting as a simple firewall and can basically convert your one IP address from your service provider into several, one for each computer you want to have Internet access. This firewall can help to protect your computers from someone on the Internet "hacking" into your computers and causing you countless headaches. This firewall configuration does require a significant degree of skill, but you can find some pre-configured "rules" to do a pretty good job of protecting your location. The IP "conversion" is actually called "IP Masquerading", and will allow you to have this system provide "private" IP addresses for the other systems on your network. The firewall setup helps to protect your environment, but the IP Masquerading can end up saving you quite a bit on your monthly service provider bill."

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