"It is possible to set up a software firewall in Linux, to turn
off the multitude of services that distributions maniacally start
by default, and to install software designed to prevent cracking
and to report it if it has taken place. I have some of that
installed (though not a firewall), but as they say in the military,
my confidence level was not high -- good enough, maybe, for a
dialup, but not for a permanent connection."
"As it happened, I was going to need to add some hardware
anyway: A network card, and a hub, because I wanted to feed a
couple of machines, maybe more. My printer has a network connection
available. I keep a couple of notebook machines around, and there
is always a machine in progress here...."
"Fortunately, practically everyone in the network hardware
business has now come out with a little box that performs a
multitude of functions: firewall, NAT, and so on. These typically
allow many machines to be served by the same cable (or DSL)
connection. It's plugged in between the cable modem and the hub (or
the computer, if only one machine is involved)."
"I decided to try to get all three -- the network card, hub, and
firewall box -- from the same company, for the simple expedient
that if I had to phone tech support, it would be more difficult to
lay the blame on one of the other suppliers. My choice was D-Link,
because their products are inexpensive, because they promise Linux
support, and because I was satisfied with their technical support,
which I phoned and talked with before I bought anything. Their
answers were satisfying."