[Scottish] Broadband: Made my Trigger

Cameron's Yahoo cameron_lochaber at yahoo.co.uk
Sun Sep 28 01:17:09 BST 2003

Harry Sigerson wrote: >>    [In passing LinkSys has a wireless router out in
the U.S. that from 'real' firewalling stance is SPI; which I'm told by
someone who knows about these things says 'Stateful Packet Inspection' and
is a prerequisite of  'real' firewalling. <<

Harry, your friend only told you part of the story. The LinkSys BEFSR41 was
a 'real' enough firewall when Julia recommended it to you well over two
years ago. At that time, the Linksys BEFSR41 had the SPI (''Stateful Packet
Inspection') option which made it a real and viable firewall. The SPI
function was later removed by Linksys in the v1.43 firmware update, but at
the time you bought it, the router had the SPI function. I found in her
archive the e-mail where Julia directed you on how to configure the SPI
function. Julia wrote to you informing you how to set-up the firewall back
when you bought the router.
In v1.43 and beyond, the SPI option has been removed, so you won't need to
disable it. Don't forget to check the the "Enabled" check box on the right
side of each entry. (Not visible in screenshot)
For her clients who required the SPI and the firmware updates, Julia
recommended replacing their BEFSR41 routers with other models. As you know,
she did this work as a favour to her friends and didn't charge them for it.
Julia was a physicist, and never worked in any professional capacity as an
IT manager. She thoroughly researched each item she recommended and her
systems worked as designed.

She also recommended ZoneAlarm Pro as your software firewall. These were
sensible, low-cost options at the time for your Windows 98SE system when she
discovered you were connected to NTL cable, completely unprotected by any
firewall without even as much as an anti-virus programme. The Linksys
BEFSR41 along with ZoneAlarm Pro was sufficient for most people's (Window's
users) needs.

On our network she chose the Cisco equivalent of a bomb shelter as her
router on the other side of a Linux box. (I'm still trying to figure out
exactly how it all works because she wrote some of the code herself.) The
SCSI Windows CAD workstations she built have software firewalls as well.

A good source of wireless products in the UK is http://www.wireless4u.co.uk/
The last I saw, they were selling the Linksys WRV54G for £94.99 (exc. VAT).
You might also consider the D-Link DI-714P+, the Netgear WGR614 and the
Netgear FWAG114. Zoom and Netopia make nice routers too.

Julia didn't trust the security of wireless networking and its encryption
algorithms in situations where security is particularly important. There
were a few situations where she recommended that her clients stay with a
wired system.  For most people wireless is fine.

Returning to Phil's question, I prefer the ease of a router set to enable
DHCP IP allocation. That setup works for any PC plugged into the network no
matter the OS. With a router, once it is set up and working properly, and
you can forget about it. (For any Windows PCs on the network, it's important
to add a software firewall as well anti-virus.)


-----Original Message-----
In article <E1A2o5s-0006mm-01 at lug.org.uk>, wrote:
> People have advised to get a router, but I am not sure what the difference
> between a router and an adsl modem are? Do I need both?

for what it's worth, from this lurker on ScotLUG; who is still trying to
get round to Linux.

I have had NTL's broadband 512/128 cable modem connection for almost as
long as it has been available in Glasgow.

The modem's output is fed into a LinkSys BEFSR41 (NAT) router which in turn
feeds my son's iMac and my PC. It is a 4-porter. (The blurb that came with
says it can with switching boxes handle up to 25x machines; I wouldn't want
say how well)

The BEFSR41 is not wifi. I have seen it priced as low as £49, which is a
lot less than PC World was trying to sell it at once upon a time. They were
asking #14x for it; at the time I got it for £106

I have it, the NTL modem, set up using Ethernet (you have the choice of
that or USB with it) with a NIC card in my PC, the iMac comes NICed.
The BEFSR41 router picks up a dynamic IP address. If NTL does some work on
their gear at their end, then I get the router to re-establish the dynamic

The little group works well I have to say.
[In passing LinkSys has a wireless router out in the U.S. that from 'real'
firewalling stance is SPI; which I'm told by someone who knows about these
things says 'Stateful Packet Inspection' and is a prerequisite of 'real'
firewalling. Blurb on this router is at...
...it is being sold in the US by Amazon.com for $220; I don't know if it is
available in the UK]


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