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You are here: MacNN Forums > Enthusiast Zone > Networking > Routers and Firewall software questions

Routers and Firewall software questions
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Romeo
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Dec 12, 2004, 06:56 PM
 
I am new to DSL modem use, have asked some questions in relation to these subjects and received great responses, so now I feel I am ready to take the plunge. I sincerely appreciate each of your responses to my questions.

I have also searched the Internet for directions on "cabling" (building cables, types of cables and plugs used, how to connect everything together, etc), and every detail is out there clearly explained (pictures and all).

Now I need help in the selection of routers and firewall software. I understand that a router is a sort of "firewall" just by itself, and also that a firewall software installed in the computer is a plus. Linksys has a great little router/DSL modem combo, but I will be using either a Nortel NTEX35 DSL modem, or a Thompson SpeedTouch 530 modem instead, since it's provided free of charge by the ISP. I will be using one computer for the time being, and maybe a second one (iMac G5) in the near future.

I am presently using a Mac 7300 that has been upgraded with a G3 Sonnet card, running under Mac OS 9.2.2. Once I buy an iMac, this will by my primary computer, so maybe I won't have the 7300 networked to the system. I will be using CAT5 cables up to the telephone jacks on the wall as well as between the router, DSL, and computer. The 7300 has a built in Ethernet port, and I imagine it will be slower than the iMac, but it will have to do for now.

My questions are as follows:

a. Can you list a couple of routers that you think are reliable and reasonably priced (under $60.00)?

b. How about reasonably priced firewall software that is not difficult to use, and would work with Mac OS 9.2.2, or if upgraded, with Mac OS X?
     
macroy
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Dec 14, 2004, 03:00 PM
 
You may want to look at linksys or Netgear for a router/firewall combo. This will provide you with acceptable protection for a home network. They are easy to use and do provide some features should you need them (port forwarding, etc.).

They typically also come with a few ports for connecting multiple computers.

As for host based firewalls, OSX comes with one.. so that should suffice. I'm not sure about OS 9.x though.

Not sure what you mean about using telephone jacks.... unless you're places is wired with RJ-45/Cat5 for all connections. Most places still use RJ-11's for phones (not going to work with Ethernet).
     
Romeo  (op)
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Dec 14, 2004, 11:37 PM
 
Not sure what you mean about using telephone jacks.... unless you're places is wired with RJ-45/Cat5 for all connections. Most places still use RJ-11's for phones (not going to work with Ethernet). [/B][/QUOTE]

What I meant to say is that I have ran CAT5 cables-instead of standard telephone cable-to all the telephone jacks in my home (that's the cable I had at hand when I built the house). So each telephone jack uses one set of wires (a twisted pair). For some reason CAT5 seems to keep static noises off the telephone line.

About the router: A friend of mine handed me a new Linksys EtherFast cable/DSL router to use, but the CD and "Fast Start" (instructions) are for Windows OS instead of Mac OS. I will have to figure how to configure the router with the "Windows" instructions. The CD also contains a firewall software, but again, for Windows. I wrote to Linksys to see if they can provide me with another CD and instructions, so I am keeping my fingers crossed. I looked in their web page, and all I found was "Windows" instructions.

Mac OS 9.2.2 does not have a firewall.

I should not have problems with the cabling and stuff like that, but I am not so certain about configuring the router. I have until Tuesday next week before I pickup the DSL modem from the ISP.
     
Scotttheking
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Dec 15, 2004, 12:09 AM
 
Originally posted by Romeo:
Linksys EtherFast cable/DSL router
What model?
My website
Help me pay for college. Click for more info.
     
Romeo  (op)
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Dec 15, 2004, 02:16 AM
 
Originally posted by Scotttheking:
What model?
oops! Forgot the model

It's a BEFSR41 EtherFast Cable/DSL Router, with 4-port switch.

I have been looking for instructions on how to configure the router all over the Internet, but I believe Linksys does not have any. I will probably have to follow the "peecee" instructions and guess the rest. I have posted a couple of questions in relation to the problem I am facing, so hopefully I can get some answers on the step-by-step instructions.

The funny thing is that under the router's serial number there is the word, "Mac" followed by another serial number.

Computer: Mac 7300 (G3 Sonnet card)
Mac OS 9.2.2
-----------
In a few weeks I will be using an imac G5 and Mac OS X on the same network.
     
macroy
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Dec 15, 2004, 09:09 AM
 
Originally posted by Romeo:

The funny thing is that under the router's serial number there is the word, "Mac" followed by another serial number.
That's the ethernet (MAC) address of that router.


It's a BEFSR41 EtherFast Cable/DSL Router, with 4-port switch.
I have been looking for instructions on how to configure the router all over the Internet...
Most DSL/cable Routers are configured the same regardless of the OS (its all based on IP).

You simply plug it in, and it should obtain an address from the ISP via DHCP. As for your LAN, it usually has a web interface for administering the router. Simply connect a system up to the router, and you should get an IP address from the router's DHCP service.

Once that takes place, just open up a browser and type in the IP of the router (the manual should tell you what the default is - i.e. 192.168.0.1). From there, the steps for configuring it should be platform independent - just follow the manual.

I took a quick glance at the data sheet for that router... it does not look like it has a firewall built in. I think Symantec makes one for the Mac... but you can do a search and see if any opensource one's come up.
     
ghporter
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Dec 15, 2004, 03:00 PM
 
CAT5 cable makes your telephone sound better because it consists of better quality twisted pairs, instead of simple pairs of wires. The problem you may run into is how you wire the jacks so that your CAT5 wiring will handle both telephone and network. If you paid attention to what you found online, and noted that ethernet uses two specific pairs in CAT5 cable, and then used a different pair for your telephone wiring, that should work fine. Otherwise, you may find that you have problems getting the correct pairs matched up at both ends of a network run.

I like the Linksys BEFSR41, but I also have a SpeedStream 2604 and a USRobotics 8000A. The SpeedStream cost all of $11 after rebate; look around and shop a bit.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
amazing
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Dec 15, 2004, 06:01 PM
 
Originally posted by Romeo:
It's a BEFSR41 EtherFast Cable/DSL Router, with 4-port switch.
I used to have one of them, it works fine. You configure it with a browser. The manuals and FAQ are all available online from linksys.com. Problem is, since you got it from a friend, did he already have it configured with a password and other restrictions? Will he help you set it up, such as providing the password and so on?

The easiest thing to do: use the manual to reset the router to the factory default configuration. Then use the linksys site to download and upgrade the firmware. After that, it's as simple as following directions.

About the firewall: OS 9 was incredibly secure, it never needed a firewall. Just be sure that you have filesharing turned off unless you need it and then just use a good computer name and password, etc. Your eventual new G5 iMac will come with Panther, which is also incredibly secure.

The main reason the common Windows PC needs a firewall in front of it is because it will be infected with spybot software and other trash within 20 minutes of connecting to broadband. Before the brandnew Windows PC has even finished downloading the latest virus and trojan definitions, it'll be infected (XPpro with the SP2 fix is more secure, but more vulnerabilities are turning up for it as well...) Neither OS 9 or X have any spybot vulnerabilities. So: no need to worry overly about a firewall--play around with it if you want but don't worry.

If you've got kids whose web surfing habits you want to restrict, you're better off with a recent router with parental restriction capabilities.
     
Romeo  (op)
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Dec 15, 2004, 10:40 PM
 
The router is brand new (never used).

Thanks for all the responses.
     
   
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