Also a good firewall for small networks
|Tuesday, August 01, 2000|
Though the name of this product is ProxyServer, it actually does much more. The Dual-Ethernet Proxy has two 10BaseT Ethernet ports, and one RS232/V.35 port. These three can be used to create various configurations for a small business setup. For example, you could connect one port to your internal network, and the second to an Internet access device, like an ISDN router or any other Ethernet-based Internet connection. All computers connected to the internal network will then use this Internet access device. The RS232 port can be used to connect a modem or an ISDN Terminal Adapter. The proxy can then be configured to automatically dial the modem to connect to an ISP.
The ProxyServer is also a firewall. One of its Ethernet ports connects your internal network, and the other connects your Internet servers. The firewall can then filter packets between the two networks. You can also configure it to accept all incoming traffic, or deny access to specific protocols, ports, and services. For example, you can deny access to specific IP addresses, or block FTP access, etc. However, it doesnt allow further fine-tuning. For example, the HTTP proxy cant filter out Java and ActiveX traffic. We also missed logging and monitoring features.
Installing the box is fairly simple. If you have an Ethernet Internet connection, like an ISDN router, then connect it to one port on the box. The second port, of course, goes on the internal network. Each port is then assigned an IP address, and you have to define the Internet gateway. Alternatively, you can define the device connected to the RS232 port as the gateway as well. The ProxyServer can act as a DHCP server and automatically assign IP addresses to clients on the internal network. They will then be automatically configured to access the Internet through the Multi-tech ProxyServer.
The ProxyServer can be configured through
a Web browser, telnet, or a direct connection to a PC. Its performance was pretty good.
However, the manual and online documentation could be better with more detailed
explanations about the controls. The online version has links to some more technical
information, which is pretty useful and has to be downloaded. The configuration software
is slightly difficult to use, and takes some time to get
Other features in the ProxyServer include Virtual Server that enables you to have multiple servers on your LAN with one static IP address. It has Internet access control tools that provide client and site filtering. It also supports VPN tunneling using a standard PPTP client and external tunneling server. The firmware on the ProxyServer can also be upgraded easily.
The ProxyServer costs Rs 29,950, plus taxes and comes with one-year warranty. A CD with software from TUCOWS also accompanies the product. Its a good solution for small companies who need Internet access and basic firewall features.
Courtesy: Anuj Jain at PCQ Labs