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NetworkWorld: FreeS/WAN brings VPNs to Linux

Dec 16, 2000, 12:08 (4 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Phil Hochmuth)

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"FreeS/WAN, or Free Secure WAN, is a project started 4 years ago by John Gilmore, an open source software programmer. The original goal of the project was to encrypt 5% of all Internet traffic by distributing and installing low-cost encryption devices in businesses and homes running Linux and FreeS/WAN software on old PC equipment. While this ambitious goal was not met, the project did result in a handy tool for cheaply building a VPN using Linux and commodity PC hardware and network components."

"FreeS/WAN and Linux can be used to set up a secure, encrypted VPN tunnel connection between two networks over the Internet. According to Gilmore's site, users can secure their networks with a PC running Linux, FreeS/WAN software and two Ethernet Cards. This encryption box would sit between a company's LAN and firewall and encrypt incoming and outgoing traffic sent over a WAN."

"Linux boxes running FreeS/WAN support IP Security encryption, a security protocol that is standard in most VPN hardware and software and will be a part of IPv6, the forthcoming upgrade to the Internet's fundamental communications protocol. For secure authentication between data senders and recipients, the software includes Internet Key Exchange and Diffie-Hellman protocol, two widely used security key protocols."

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