What to buy for a PC firewall?

Extracted from debian-list
Tip provided by Georges Bonser
> I will be setting up a firewall and need to decide what type of
> computer to buy.  It will be a debian intel pc running as a
> packet filtering system (restricting various ports, etc) and will
> have 2 100 BaseT interfaces.  I plan to use 2.1.XXX kernels and
> ipchains. In the future it may get fancier with proxy support and
> more interfaces on the inside of the wall.  What I need to know
> now is how much computer to buy.  Should I get 450 MHz PII or is
> an older 200 MHz PPro enough?  How much memory and disk should be
> available for possible future proxy services?

The bottleneck will be the PCI interface, not the CPU. A P166 would be
plenty. Going much higher than this really isn't going to buy you
anything. If your connection to the internet is less than a DS3, a 486 can
easilly saturate it. In other words, if all you have is a T1 to the
internet, just about any PC will do the job. A 100MB NIC to the internet
means nothing if the internet connection is a T1 on the other side of the
router. You are never going to receive more than 193K Bytes/second on a

If all you are doing is a firewall, Get a cheapo PC that works with Linux.
Don't spend more than US$500 on it. Any more computer horsepower will not
buy you a thing in throughput.

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Appears in section(s) : install hardware
Tip recorded : 16-11-1998 22:24:14
HTML page last changed : 27-07-1999 20:09:32