LinuxWorld: Linux firewall survey, Part 3: Linux appliance roundup

“The idea is simple — let’s get some custom hardware and
software, put them into one easy-to-install “black box” and write
some software to manage the beast. The end user doesn’t need to
know what OS is inside, or how to install and configure the
software. This approach can be useful — you can install this kind
of firewall in minutes and not worry about playing with
installation, reading boring manuals, and so on. The hardware is
customized for the software and the software is polished for the
hardware. The only problem is that you don’t really know how it
works — but intruders probably don’t, either.”

“Most hardware firewall appliances are ordinary server machines
with a preinstalled and preconfigured software firewall. WatchGuard
Firebox II, manufactured by WatchGuard Technologies, follows a
different approach. For Firebox II, WatchGuard designed completely
new hardware from the ground up to ensure better performance.”

It must be some kind of perversion that open source
software, namely Linux, was used to build a completely proprietary
“black box” solution. This can be a problem if you want to hack
around with the Firebox II software.
On the other hand, if you
want to do that, you bought the wrong product in the first

“Firebox II is only one element in an integrated solution
offered by WatchGuard. The WatchGuard LiveSecurity System combines
a hardware firewall and content-filtering system with a security
alerting and updating subscription service. The base unit in the
Firebox II family should be sufficient to meet the needs of most
small to medium-sized organizations (50 to 100 workstations).”

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