Using Server 2k3 as Router/Firewall

By DownRightTired ·
Over the past 3 weeks Ive gone through 2 DOA and one just non functioning WG Firebox firewall. Though I didnt purchase these, they seem to have some nice features for the price (VPN, WAN Failover) Well since 0 of the 3 have worked so far, Im considering taking on old PC and setting up server 2k3 on it with a couple of NIC cards and using it for this. Can anyone give me any disadvantages to this or recommend better software to use for this other than win server? BTW i understand software routing will generally be slower than hardware but I only need to support 50 internet connections tops. I also will be supporting a e-mail server(50 users) and an FTP server.

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W2k3 is an expensive solution.

by stress junkie In reply to Using Server 2k3 as Route ...

This is the perfect opportunity for you to consider using Linux in your network. Benefits include price and security. Price: zero. Security: I just don't trust Microsoft to block everything that I want to block. They have their agenda, I have mine. Enough said.

Here are a few suggestions for Linux distributions that are preconfigured as firewall/routers. In some cases you can also add network web proxy server software, web restriction software that functions like Net Nanny et. al., IPSec tunneling software, and whatever else you want to have between your LAN and the Internet.

IPCop: the gold standard in Linux firewalls.

Smooth Wall Express: the free version of a commercial distribution:

Devil Linux: Looks interesting and secure.

You can find more Linux distros at

I wouldn't spent (US)$850 for firewall software (W2K3 Server) and then not know if the vendor allowed me to block what I want to block. I wouldn't spend that money for firewall software and then have to pay a lot more money to add features/functions. But that's just me. You may have other ideas about these issues.

Let me know what you think.

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other features

by DownRightTired In reply to W2k3 is an expensive solu ...

its not so much strictly the firewall capabilities im looking for. I need it to be my interface between my network and WAN. What Im looking for is first of all port fowarding, then WAN failover as well as possibly load balancing. Im not a newbie to linux, and would not mind integrating it in, but Im not real experienced with the command line stuff. Windows server was just a thought because we have several licenses already.

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by lstivers In reply to Using Server 2k3 as Route ...

if you are not wanting to spend much money on this, and you have a medium sized company, i recommend the BARRACUDA spyware firewall, this thing is magic it limits everything from surfing non allowed sites to virus protection, and it is very inexpensive, just google barracuda networks and you will find it quickly. we have been using this in our company for about a year and it works like a dream, easy to set up, and easy to maintain, you do all maintenance by using explorer and typing the ip address of the box itself it really is great, hope i helped, good luck.

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