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View Full Version : Router software. Reccomendations?



kim jong il
9th November 2004, 03:36 PM
Can anyone reccomend good router software? I know of sustainable softworks NetRouterX but was wondering if there is an open source/shareware product that offers similar functionality? My modem router is a POS for want of a better description and when the link is busy I get pings of up to 4 seconds to the router. Obviously this is something I would like to eliminate. OS 9 and OS X suggestions would be appreciated. (I have decided to devote a machine exclusively for this function)

Yes it has occurred to me just to buy a proper router but this is something that I am new to (I would not really know where to start) Even pointers on appropriate google search terms would be appreciated. All you need to do is tell me where to go :lol:

cheers, kim

I have seen some second hand older Cisco routers at affordable prices and they seem to have a decent reputation. Is this right?

decryption
9th November 2004, 03:57 PM
Ever tried out Smoothwall Kim? www.smoothwall.org
It's excellent firewall and router software, that's free and very stable.
I use it here at home on a spare Pentium 200MMX and it runs fine. It's been up for almost 50 days now and not a problem at all :)

kim jong il
9th November 2004, 04:37 PM
I'll check it out.

cheers

decryption
9th November 2004, 05:20 PM
If you don't have a spare HDD around for it, or want it quiet as possible, I recommend m0n0wall (http://m0n0.ch/wall/), which runs off a bootable CD and has most features of Smoothwall.

There is also Clarkconnect (http://www.clarkconnect.org/index.php), which is like Smoothwall, but includes other server functions (file, print, web and a heap of other stuff).

Best of all, they're all free :D

Any questions, don't hesitate to ask as I'm sure a thread like this would benefit many users.

elvis
10th November 2004, 07:35 AM
Another vote for smoothwall here. It protects my home network consisting of two Macs (OSX10.3 and OSX-Server 10.3), three linux boxes, and one WindowsXP (*ptu*) box.

It stands up to the worst punishment, even when my dialup mates come over and leech from my DSL connection during LANs.

iSlayer
10th November 2004, 07:39 AM
cisco hardware routers are the best around
what kind of network are you running?
how many systems?
what kind of modem?
im not sure if a software router would be best for you.
ill tell you more once i know the nwtwork setup

stooge
10th November 2004, 09:47 AM
A cisco router would be over kill , plus you would need some knowledge of
the IOS and not be afraid of the command line. Or do you need to impress you
mates ?

You would probably need a cisco 827 or 837 if you have a dsl connection. I am not
sure of the newer dsl routers.

Clark connect , smoothwall or IPCop would the be most economical and reliable solution.

iSlayer
10th November 2004, 09:52 AM
why not just a cheap belkin or dlink router.
software routers are alot harder to setup.
smoothwall can be difficult unless you have good networking knowledge

elvis
10th November 2004, 12:25 PM
Originally posted by islayer@Nov 10 2004, 07:39 AM
cisco hardware routers are the best around
I love comments like these. Nice blanket statement there, mate. :)

iSlayer
10th November 2004, 12:28 PM
its true
cisco have been the market leader for hardware routers for a very long time.im a qualified network engineer so this field is kind of my speciality.

and also they are very simple to setup.
ive setup a few and it only takes a few minutes and the commands are simple

matttt88
10th November 2004, 03:00 PM
i use clarke connect home on my gateway. its a bit of an overkill machine.. 2500+ and all... but oh well. it works great. had to get a friend to SSH to it to get all my drives mounted and shared. Thats because its got 3 drives in it. But anyone who can install an OS can install it. its so easy, self explainitory....

does everything for you and lots of nice features and all accessable via a web interface, i beleive it is the same as smoothwall...

just curious. which one is better? smoothwall or clarke connect?

kim jong il
10th November 2004, 03:17 PM
I have a small home network. Generally I have three machines running simultaneously and the el cheapo modem router I use does not manage the network connection efficiently. My initial post makes it fairly clear that I need a better way of managing this. 4200 ms pings to the router when Bittorrent is running is shocking. 20 ms the rest of the time is no good either. (the dynamic network address translation function on my router seems slow) I also need the capacity at the moment to be able to host some games; a function which I am currently denied. Even though the modem router has an inbuilt 4 port switch I feel that the router firmware has issues. Using a managed switch to connect my machines to the modem router did improve things but it is stil less than ideal.
I feel that I can devote the resources of one machine to manage the connection more effectively than it is at the moment.

No, I don't feel the need to impress anyone. I rarely comment on my hardware except in relation to overclocking (I had a major boast earlier this year having achieved a full 25% speed boost on a G4) With a couple of exceptions I don't have the kind of friends who are likely to be impressed by my amateurish efforts. I forgot to mention I like mucking around with technology too. I do it for fun and because I can. What more of an excuse do I need?

Thanks for the input so far.

cheers, kim

PS. I'll add more tomorrow morning. I have to get another hour or so sleep before I head off to work (I'm tired and can't quite collect my thoughts at the moment)

decryption
10th November 2004, 04:48 PM
Originally posted by matttt88@Nov 10 2004, 03:00 PM
just curious. which one is better? smoothwall or clarke connect?
Smoothwall and Clarkconnect use the same firewall/NAT system. But Smoothwall is "more secure" due to the lower amount of services running. i.e: because it doesn't allow you to share printers or files or run a web server on it, there is less chance of a vulnerability in the server being exploited.

But yeah, they're pretty much the same :)

decryption
10th November 2004, 04:54 PM
Originally posted by islayer@Nov 10 2004, 12:28 PM
its true
cisco have been the market leader for hardware routers for a very long time.im a qualified network engineer so this field is kind of my speciality.

and also they are very simple to setup.
ive setup a few and it only takes a few minutes and the commands are simple
Just because they're the market leaders, doesn't mean they're the best.
In many applications, paying for Cisco hardware is *total* overkill.
Running something like Freesco (http://www.freesco.org/) or Zebra (http://www.zebra.org/) is probably good enough and much much cheaper at least 50% of the time. But "experts" often recommend Cisco because all they know *is* Cisco (thank you CCNA program).

For home users, no-one ever needs Cisco gear. No-one.
Unless you're running an ISP or something from your house :P

elvis
10th November 2004, 08:17 PM
Originally posted by islayer@Nov 10 2004, 12:28 PM
cisco have been the market leader for hardware routers for a very long time.
"Saying your product is the best because more people use it is like saying MacDonalds make the best food". :)

"Best" is a relative term. Best price to performance ratio? Best bang for your buck? Best device in the home-user affordability bracket? None of these titles belong to Cisco.

I've just recently had this exact same argument in another thread (it must be that time of year where the CCNA's are all out of work again or something). I use Cisco gear, I'm even mates with quite a number of Cisco employees who I went to uni with, and have in the past even implemented fixes from my requests. So what?

decryption has it bang on: Cisco are nowhere near the right product for the home market. Way too expensive for a home user, and even complete overkill for most small businesses.

So bearing that in mind, howsabout we stay on topic and answer the question the poor lad starting this thread asked? And that is: "Router software. Reccomendations?".

For a home network, any router that specifies it has an SPI Firewall (Stateful Packet Inspection) is good enough. These can be had for as little as $150 these days. In fact, here's one that matches that description perfectly:

http://www.pcrange.com.au/index.php?page=na_7100s&id=2

Or of course, you could spend a few thousand bucks on a Cisco PIX:

http://www.ht.com.au/Scripts/xworks.exe?CAT:NU3

After all, they are the "best". :P

jeremy
10th November 2004, 11:15 PM
Originally posted by islayer@Nov 10 2004, 12:28 PM
its true
cisco have been the market leader for hardware routers for a very long time.
Pity they're crap then. I.e. dropping packets with the ECN bit set *sigh* (I know it's fixed now but it should never have happened and wouldn't be surprised if there are still routers out there that haven't been updated).

None the less, I was going to suggest that linux makes a good router but others beat it to me (i.e. smoothwall, et al are based on linux). Only difference is that here I use a Debian system which has it's advantages and perhaps disadvantages as well (I think smoothwall is minimal in the way of standard system commands which does make it a little less convenient for any attackers).

Cam
11th November 2004, 05:33 PM
Originally posted by islayer@Nov 10 2004, 12:28 PM
its true
cisco have been the market leader for hardware routers for a very long time.im a qualified network engineer so this field is kind of my speciality.

and also they are very simple to setup.
ive setup a few and it only takes a few minutes and the commands are simple
Qualified Nework Engineer?

Cisco may or may not be 'the best' but its a global domination. A high precentage of Data router's currently in use in big corporations are cisco, true. But why does this make them the best? Microsoft owns a huge percentage of the desktop market, but they certainly are not the best at it.

Cisco is a overkill for home use.. They are purely meant for small-large business. You will be looking for around $300-$500 for a low end DSL router.

If you have a look around you can pick yourself up a decent hardware router that will do the job for around $100-$200

kim jong il
12th November 2004, 09:08 AM
I only mentioned a hardware router as recently I bumped into a guy who had some older, now redundant, technology for really good prices (really good). I really want a situation where one machine cannot dominate the 'POS' router and link like I mentioned earlier (even though the pipe is one third full only). Even if one of the machines only wants to send one damned packet, I don't want to wait 4 seconds for it to happen. I don't want 20 ms pings to a router that is only 5 metres away. Puhlease! I want 1 ms or less. If my macs can ping each other in 0.7 ms, they can communicate with the damned router in the same time frame.

And I don't want to waste money on a solution that only may work or even should work. It will work or its not a solution.

So thanks all for positive input. I just have to try to find time to implement solutions. Working out when this might happen is the next problem (work is nightmarishly busy at the moment)

EDIT: PS the hardware router I looked at would have been overkill. It would have worked a treat though.

And to the guy who referred to me as 'the lad' I feel kindly disposed toward you already :)

EDIT: the guy = elvis (sorry elvis)

iSlayer
12th November 2004, 09:15 AM
Originally posted by Cam@Nov 11 2004, 05:33 PM
Qualified Nework Engineer?


yep.
i can design, build and manage large networks among other things.
but unfortunatly i dont work as one.
not alot of jobs in the networking industry here in tas

eyeLikeCarrots
12th November 2004, 10:51 AM
I'll put in another vote for monowall......

Going to be running mine off a compact flash card next week...

BSD allt he way baby