Brett Taylor on 11 Aug 2014 12:33:54 -0700

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Re: [PLUG] Network gateway solution for small business?

As much as I love DD-WRT, pfSense, monowall, and custom ipfw/natd configs, I’d suggest going with something that has legit service contracts behind it. I always heard good things about Astaro but I haven’t really heard much since they became Sophos. Either way, they still look like a decent option worth exploring further:  I’m assuming these would be cheaper than a Sonicwall equivalent, and just as capable.


On Aug 11, 2014, at 3:03 PM, Greg Helledy <> wrote:

> We have an office with about 20 employees.  We currently use a PC with a Windows-based application to handle connecting our LAN to the internet.  The hardware and software/OS install are both aging and reliability is declining, which is proving to be a problem.
> The solutions I see are:
> 1. buy a new PC and do a fresh install of the OS and application (both of which we already have licenses for)
> 2. buy a new PC and install an OSS alternative (pfSense?)
> 3. buy a dedicated gateway/router/firewall appliance
> We are leaning towards 3. for a few reasons:
> a. the router will be easier to maintain, take up less space, produce less noise and heat, and consume less electricity than a PC
> b. it looks like we can get a small business-class router for around (~$500) the price of a basic PC
> c. we can get an appliance that does out-of-the-box the things we care about, and don't need the additional flexibility that a PC would provide.
> The things we need are:
> *gateway with firewall that can be configured to do port forwarding of incoming connections
> *ability to handle 2 WANs simultaneously.  We have service from two providers, for redundancy.  We don't need any complex traffic shaping/load balancing, just need traffic to go to ISP B when ISP A is down.
> *DHCP that can assign fixed IPs to networked machines by MAC
> *antivirus scanning of traffic, to protect the Windows-based machines on the LAN
> *a built-in wireless access point would be nice, but is not necessary (we can just plug something in).
> I have started doing some research but surprisingly, flaky firmware seems to be a frequent user complaint even in this class of device.  I love my tomato router at home but we need to stick with factory firmware for this application.  If anyone has a recommendation, please send it my way.  Thanks in advance, and sorry for the interruption.
> -- 
> Greg Helledy
> GRA, Incorporated
> P:  +1 215-884-7500
> F:  +1 215-884-1385
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