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Using an old computer as a network router / firewall


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#1 funnytim

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Posted 16 April 2009 - 02:21 AM

Hey all,

With a old computer sitting around gathering dust, I decided to try see if I could find any good use for it. I came across one article where it suggests using an old computer as a network router / firewall. The computer would therefore serve as an internet gateway, where all my internet traffic would go through that computer first.

The article is:
http://reviews.cnet.com/4520-10165_7-5465494-1.html


My question is, would this be practical / useful? Taking into account namely electricity costs, as the computer would have to be on 24/7 (Does paying for the more usage in electricity outweigh the advantages of using such a system).
Does it really offer any more protection than a "normal" router, and would it impact the internet traffic speed significantly?


Thank you for your opinions!

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#2 Blam6

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Posted 16 April 2009 - 06:15 AM

Depends on the specs of the system.

You could set it up as a proxy server to save a bit of bandwidth.

I wouldn't set up a firewall with it, total overkill.

A smarter option would be convert it to a NAS with something such as FreeNAS or install Xubuntu to it, set up Sama shares for NAS access, and stream media around your house with VLC and mediaportal.

And set up autobackups.

endless possibilities!

#3 funnytim

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Posted 17 April 2009 - 12:08 AM

Hi,

Depends on the specs of the system.

Specs are 256MB of RAM, AMD Athlon XP ~990MHz cpu, 5GB HD.

You could set it up as a proxy server to save a bit of bandwidth.

How would that help though? Wouldn't all data still have to be routed & downloaded through the computer anyway?

A smarter option would be convert it to a NAS with something such as FreeNAS or install Xubuntu to it, set up Sama shares for NAS access, and stream media around your house with VLC and mediaportal.

And set up autobackups.

What exactly is NAS? Is it sort of a server OS so that I can share files on it (or put files on that computer, and others can access it), backup, etc?
Unfortunately that might not be too ideal with only a 5GB hard drive :S





Thanks!

#4 BillyIT

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Posted 30 December 2010 - 12:01 AM

Hi,

Depends on the specs of the system.

Specs are 256MB of RAM, AMD Athlon XP ~990MHz cpu, 5GB HD.

You could set it up as a proxy server to save a bit of bandwidth.

How would that help though? Wouldn't all data still have to be routed & downloaded through the computer anyway?

A smarter option would be convert it to a NAS with something such as FreeNAS or install Xubuntu to it, set up Sama shares for NAS access, and stream media around your house with VLC and mediaportal.

And set up autobackups.

What exactly is NAS? Is it sort of a server OS so that I can share files on it (or put files on that computer, and others can access it), backup, etc?
Unfortunately that might not be too ideal with only a 5GB hard drive :S





Thanks!


NAS is Network-Attached Storage. We have one at work that is four 1TB hard drives set up in a RAID configuration. We use if for imaging and tools and software storage. The way it is set up is so that only the IT shop has access to it. I have an old Dell Precision 420 that I am going to try setting up as a NAS. The main problem with it is the memory. Not sure how much I have at the moment, but it is RIMM and extremely hard to find.




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