Keith C. Perry on 11 Aug 2014 12:38:41 -0700

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

There are some nice appliances out there but I've always prefered to build my own Linux routers.  There are other benefits since you get to treat it like any other Linux box.

The requirement to do network scans is going to reduce the field dramatically.  In years past I found such things to report too many false positives but if you really want that I think it might be more than $500 plus your annual subscription renewals.  Of course its been over 5 years since I priced stuff like this.  The field might be filling up in this space.

Edgewave's iPrism (and ePrism) does it but I never used that particular feature

Barracuda's might, I'm not sure but they do make solid products

I think they might be out of the price range you want but you might want to look at the features for comparison sake.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
Keith C. Perry, MS E.E. 
Owner, DAO Technologies LLC 
(O) +1.215.525.4165 x2033 
(M) +1.215.432.5167 

----- Original Message -----
From: "Greg Helledy" <>
Sent: Monday, August 11, 2014 3:03:08 PM
Subject: [PLUG] Network gateway solution for small business?

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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