Open Source Security Appliance Reviews (Post 1 in Series)

Readers should know that I consider myself a “hobby deal hunter” who is always looking for the best prices on any and all expenditures, including methods of securing my home network, and I love to share the deals I find. Cheap is good, free is best! If only extreme couponing applied to technology products!

In today’s economic environment, individuals and entities are trying to “do more with less” with the less often times being discretionary income. IT security professionals, security hobbyists, and ordinary users of the internet with a sense of security are no exception.

One of the deals that I spotted recently (that quickly sold out) was a barebones system listed for $79 at after a mail in rebate. Not only did the price tag spark my interest, but the machine’s specifications (after adding a NIC, small hard drive, and some RAM) made it a perfect candidate for hosting some of the open source software security appliances I had seen online. Better yet, I was certain that I had accumulated enough computer hardware over the years that could be re-purposed to meet the specifications required by these appliances resulting in minimal out of pocket cost.

The next logical step in creating one or multiple security appliances for my personal network was to install and test the features of the open source software in a virtual environment. The following series of blog posts examines some of the key features and my thoughts on the usability and performance of the open source security appliances available on the web today.  Hopefully this will prove to be useful to some small and mid-sized business as well as home users looking to implement a perimeter protection device with a range of security capabilities.

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