I have to say Linux impresses me in more ways then any operating system i have seen to date. One of the things thats really blows my mind is what can be done with it. Take for example this article that I’m doing on firewalls. Would you believe me if i told you . you could take one of your old pentium or amd cpu based machines and turn it into a high tech firewall / router? Well you can and trust me when you see these two products I’m referring to you will be impressed.

First though a bit of a disclaimer if you are just a basic user and you only want a firewall that you plug in turn on and forget about then this article isn’t for you. This article is for the guy or gal with some time on their hands and want to check out some cool software and at the same time protect their machine.

The two software programs i will be referring to are both what i call a Live CD. You take a old computer with small hard drive as in 2 gigs or less and a cd rom. You stick the cd in and fire the machine up. Over the last few days i have been reading about both of these programs and like i said if your a geek and want some cool software to mess around with then these are the programs for you.

The reason why there are two software programs I’m referring to is because one was just as impressive as the other. I should state i haven’t tried either of them yet because i need a few more parts before i can try them out but i do plan on doing so. The names of the programs are Smoothwall and IPCop. The amount of control you can get with either of these programs is second to none you wont be getting a 70 dollar router from circuit city to do what these programs do.

Both programs really excel in logging info and depending on how freaky you are to know what your packets are doing you can set the programs up to tell you all kinds of stuff. I should mention both of these programs are meant to be setup by home users despite the fact they can get quite complicated if you want them to be. Both programs have really nice looking interfaces to them that make configuring them easy. And like so many Open Source projects both of these are FREE programs.

Here are the links to the two programs go check them out and look at the screen shots..