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LinuxGazette: Implementing a Bridging Firewall

Mar 04, 2002, 16:34 (5 Talkback[s])
What is the difference between a bridging firewall and a conventional firewall? Usually a firewall also acts as a router: systems on the inside are configured to see the firewall as a gateway to the network outside, and routers outside are configured to see the firewall as the gateway to the protected network. A bridge is piece of equipment that connects two (or more) network segments together and passes packets back and forth without the rest of the network being aware of its existence. In other words, a router connects two networks together and translates between them; a bridge is like a patch cable, connecting two portions of one network together. A bridging firewall acts as a bridge but also filters the packets it passes, while remaining unseen by either side.

Why might you want to so such a thing? A couple of reasons spring to mind:

  • You can plug in a firewall without changing any of your existing network software configuration.
  • You may want to protect part of a network where you do not have control of the external routing into your network.

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