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You are here: MacNN Forums > Enthusiast Zone > Classic Macs and Mac OS > Could Quadra = Firewall?

Could Quadra = Firewall?
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Oct 24, 2000, 11:49 AM
 

I've seen some Quadras for sale dirt cheap lately. I'm dreaming of getting a dsl connection in the vaguely near future, and I'd like to set up a firewall/server if I do. With no pci slots (or ethernet?), would a Quadra be of any use, or would it just be another case sitting around in my apartment?
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The Wolfe
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Oct 24, 2000, 01:03 PM
 
I have a Quadra 630 I plan on using as a router once I spring for DSL service (soon). I got an Ethernet card for about $25 and I plan on running NetBSD when the time comes. It's currently in action as a redundant backup server along with my Performa 5200, and it works great.

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Eliott Wolfe
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druber  (op)
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Oct 24, 2000, 06:32 PM
 
Hmm, you intrigue me with your posting. Just how Unix-like is netbsd? Would it be a good primer of sorts for using the command line in osX and such as well?
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druber  (op)
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Oct 24, 2000, 06:42 PM
 
Actually, my parents have a Performa 575 (LC040) sitting around the house. Would that work as well as a Quadra to run netbsd? It's only got the stock 5mb ram, and it looks like being a Quadra for the ram would cost less than getting a chip for the Performa (poor old slugger).
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Oct 24, 2000, 07:19 PM
 
BSD is UNIX. It is just a variant, like Linux.

A Quadra unfortunately might not be able to catch up with your DSL connection, hence not giving you maximum throughput on your fast machine.

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Jon Purdy
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Oct 24, 2000, 08:22 PM
 
You say, "with no pci slots or ethernet."

What do you mean by this? I thought all Quadras had PCI slots.
Anyway, if what you say is true, then I don't see how you can use it in this way, since (in my understanding) a firewall needs TWO ethernet cards (at least one of which would have to be PCI) to work properly.

Other than that, I don't see why it wouldn't work. Firewalls really need very limited hardware specs. They are often 5+ year old machines. Expecially if you loaded a version of Linux on it (oh, there may not be one that works on pre-PPC machines - haven't checked), I'd think it would work fine for this purpose. I don't think that the slowness of the machine would really slow down your internet connection, seeing as the data throughput of the bus on even machines that old is way faster than any DSL download speed.

This is all my speculation, as I've never tried this, nor have I ever owned a Quadra, so don't take my word as golden on this. Hope it works for you though, and post your experiences with this if you try. It would be something I night try myself if it works.

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Oct 24, 2000, 09:22 PM
 
None of the Quadras had PCI slots. They all had NuBus slot, and a few had comm slots. Most had built-in ethernet and a 10baseT NuBus card can be had for $15-25 on ebay.
     
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Oct 24, 2000, 10:12 PM
 
As I understand it, the Quadra can function as a software router with only one ethernet card, but if you want it to be firewall, you will need a second ethernet card to separate your LAN from the ethernet. You will also need NAT software like IPNetRouter, which is about $89.

When you add it all up, it makes more sense to buy a dedicated hardware router. You can get a dedicated hardware router like the LinkSys BEFSR-41 for under $100, and it will probably result in a faster and more reliable connection than using the Quadra as well as taking up less room and electricity.
     
The Wolfe
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Oct 24, 2000, 11:11 PM
 
A Quadra is plenty fast enough to be used as a router. It depends on what model Quadra you have in mind with regard to a firewall. A Quadra 700, 800 or 950 would be fine since they all have AAUI Ethernet on the logic board (and you could add a second Ethernet connection through NuBus).

BSD is really as good a choice in many respects as Linux - it's just that Linux gets a good deal of mention in the press (which is good) and more people know about it. BSD has been around for years, I'm running a version of NetBSD on my IIci, and the software has been around since the early 90's. BSD is very mature and stable.

There is a Linux version for older 68k Macintoshes, MacLinux68k. http://www.mac.linux-m68k.org/ I've fooled around with MacLinux68k for the past three or so years and it works more or less if you have the right hardware (check the site for the most up to date quote on your computers compatability). I've had it running on LC II's and several different Quadra's. It's fun, but it doesn't compair to BSD in terms of stability, software and maturity (I say this with regard to the 68k version of Linux only - the other PPC and Intel versions are just as good as BSD in my mind).

druber- unfortunatly that Performa 575 won't run Linux, and I believe won't run BSD either. The LC040 doesn't include an FPU, and FPU emulation isn't working yet in MacLinux68k and I don't believe BSD supports the chip. If you want to get some shell (command line) experiance under a UNIX like OS, I'd suggest giving MacO6 a try. "Mac06 ("Mac oh six"), is a POSIX library and a system kernel running on top of MacOS". I'm planning on installing it on my other IIci and giving it a try. It will run on just about any Mac hardware 1988 and up.



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Eliott Wolfe
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druber  (op)
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Oct 25, 2000, 11:16 AM
 
Thanks for the replies, gang. I probably won't go with a Quadra. I've got a broken 6100 at home (no chime but I can hear the power supply try to start, haven't cracked the case yet). Maybe I'll try to fix it instead and stick a linux on there. No big need for it. Just trying to renew my Techie card, is all.
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Oct 27, 2000, 06:02 AM
 
As for those questioning whether a Quadra could keep up with a DSL or Cable Modem connection, I have a MacIIci 20MB/2GB Hard drive running as my Web and FTP (NetPresenz) eMail (Eudora Internet Mail Server) DNS (MacDNS) and Router (IPNetRouter) with two Sonic NuBus Ethernet cards. It runs like a champ for months at a time and my connection feels just as fast behind it as connected directly. Actually with my primary DNS server a few feet away from me rather than an ISP's, I think it might be a little faster....

I cobbbled all this together and most of the software for free or next to it except for IPNetRouter which I do own and am mightily impressed with.

If you just want solid internet connections then go with a hardware router. If you want to play - then a computer is the ticket...

drewman

     
   
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