Category Archives: Open Source

A free firewall – Smoothwall Express

Home users will rely on the controls in their router or a software firewall on their computer, but for business users a proper firewall solution is required.  The problem that arises especially for smaller businesses is the cost but there are free alternatives, one such product is Smoothwall Express.  Smoothwall Express is a free firewall that includes its own security-hardened GNU/Linux operating system and an easy-to-use web interface.  I have it running in a live environment for over a year now and it is very stable.  All you need to get started is an old desktop, at least two network cards but preferably three, and a download of Smoothwall.

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Dia a free alternative to MS Visio

When documenting changes to the network infrastructure I feel that a diagram is nearly always necessary to allow support staff to fully understand the system.  My preferred application is MS Visio which has a wealth of options for creating diagrams including UML, floor plans, network diagrams and more.  You can quickly and easily create very professional looking documentation.  I am lucky that my organisation provides Visio as it is expensive to purchase as an individual, so I was interested to come across a free alternative called Dia.

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