Brent Saner on 8 Jan 2008 17:05:33 -0800

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Re: [PLUG] Sharing an Internet Connection

for a full routerbox, i'd also definitely have to recommend smoothwall. i love it.

On Jan 8, 2008 8:03 PM, Chad Vogelsong <> wrote:
>From personal experience, I think the easiest route for him would be the first one with the old PC.  You would need maybe 3 NIC's at the most (if you wanted to segregate the 2 internal networks).  2 NIC's if you don't need to.

There are distributions that specialize in NAT, FW, QoS, etc.  monowall, pfSense (both built on BSD actually).  Both are easy to use and work well.  The easiest I found to work with is smoothwall.  Download the Express edition from  It's a Linux base, all OSS and you get constant updates when you register (free).  The install is one of the easiest I've ever seen.  It steps you through pretty much everything, with automatic NIC setup as well (choosing which NIC goes to what connection).

The web interface is gorgeous and simple to navigate and setup.  You can also still login to it via SSH / console and muck around manually at the command line if you want.  I have smoothwall running on a 300 MHz AMD-K6, 64 MB with a 2.5 GB drive and I've gone as low as a Pentium 133 MMX, 32 MB, 2 GB to run it on.  It still performed well enough.

The most important features for me were the QoS (favor VoIP traffic over P2P, IM, Mail, FTP, etc.).  Also the ability to segment my wireless network was important.  If you want more fine grained bandwidth controls, go with pfSense.  You can set percentages, traffic loads, etc.  SmoothWall just lets you prioritize traffic, but it works quite well.

Just my $0.02.


Brent Saner

Bill Gates is to hacking as Sid Vicious was to the Sex Pistols: no talent, everyone hates him, and he's just in it for the fame and money.
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