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Untangle 7.2 includes Internet portal functionality

The popular Internet gateway Untangle now includes a Web-connection launch pad feature called Captive Portal. IT pro Rick Vanover highlights the new feature.

In a number of previous blog posts, I’ve mentioned how the Untangle gateway appliance delivers a lot of powerful features; including many available for free. I’ve used Untangle in my personal lab, and have been very pleased with the product. Version 7.2 of the Untangle appliance has been released and includes the new Captive Portal feature.

Captive Portal is one of the free applications that works alongside basic functions such as DNS and DHCP as well as content filtering, adware protection, QoS and many more. The Captive Portal provides the following features:

  • Allows network administrators to enforce an Internet usage policy (terms of use) before being able to connect to the Web.
  • Enforce authentication via a username and password (including Active Directory)
  • Establish time access policies
  • Customizable start page
The customizable start page, for example, allows you to populate text that describes the terms of use for the network traffic that you are providing. This is, of course, in addition to the other Web traffic patterns that are permitted by the other Untangle applications on the appliance. The Captive Portal application also keeps logs of systems and their logon attempts from the Web start page. Couple this with the content logs of the other applications of the Untangle appliance, and a solid offering takes shape from the free offering. The customizable start page is shown in Figure A below:

Figure A

Figure A

The Untangle appliance touts its solution as a solution for the small and medium business as well as educational institutions. The traditional appliance may be a little more powerful than the average home user requirement, but in the case of my lab it has served very well. Untangle also offers a special version for smaller networks called Re-Router which runs as a virtual machine on the system connected to the Internet.

Are you in the open-source or free Internet gateway space? If so, how do you enforce Web usage policies without a tool like the Captive Portal?

About

Rick Vanover is a software strategy specialist for Veeam Software, based in Columbus, Ohio. Rick has years of IT experience and focuses on virtualization, Windows-based server administration, and system hardware.

8 comments
joe
joe

I've been successfully running our office Internet connection with the pfSense firewall (http://www.pfsense.org/) for over a year now and it continues to meet all my requirements (basic firewall, NAT/PAT, QoS, Traffic Shaping, DMZ, VPN). It also has a captive portal feature. It is fairly light on CPU (runs on FreeBSD) and so can run on older hardware (tested it on a 800MHz PIII, 256MB RAM). It has a fairly intuitive web based interface and is extensible via packages that can be downloaded directly from the web interface (provides useful graphing and tracking facilities). I would highly recommend pfSense as a good open source firewall.

tbmay
tbmay

...pfsense before and I agree it's a well done project. I ended up going back to OpenBSD for firewalls because I didn't have the flexibility I needed (without jumping through many hoops)with pfsense on every deployment. Plus, OpenBSD has the best security reputation and it makes sense to use it at the edge of the network. I'm keeping my eyes on the pfsense project though.

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