Date: Mon, 11 Aug 2014 15:03:08 -0400
From: Greg Helledy <firstname.lastname@example.org
[PLUG] Network gateway solution for small business?
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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
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
*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
*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.
P: +1 215-884-7500
F: +1 215-884-1385
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