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Re: [vox-tech] networking
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Re: [vox-tech] networking



on Mon, Jan 20, 2003 at 11:19:40AM -0800, Jim (evesautomotive@sysmatrix.net) wrote:

> I am very new to computers let alone the linux operating system.  I am
> very interested in buying some new hardware, suse linux professional
> 8.1 software, and some other things to make a local area network in my
> house for my family and me.

Commendable goal.

> I am going to get cable broadband very soon and want to have linux as
> my server.  My family uses another OS besides linux.  Can I still run
> these non linux systems off of my future linux server via LAN?  

Presumably, you're planning to use the GNU/Linux system as your
Internet gateway, and want to know if your (legacy MS Windows?) systems
will be able to access the 'Net through it.  Yes.  This is generally
done via "NAT" (network address translation), and is very common.

> Does linux have easily configurable firewalls?  

"Highly configureable" and "easily configureable" may be somewhat
exclusive.  GNU/Linux has among the most configureable firewalls you can
find, and you can schedule changes to the rules such that, say, access
to the 'Net from one or more internal hosts is deactivated at a
particular time, and reactivated at another.  This can be configured by
day of week or other basis as well.

> Can I easily adjust settings so my teenage daughter can't log on the
> internet at 2:30 in the morning?  

See above.

You can also run a Web proxy (squid) which provides a number of
additional features:

  - You can log access.  In the "use the 'Net responsibly" philosophy,
    your daughter is responsible for knowing that her surfing habits can
    be reviewed.

  - You can filter specific content.  This might be sites, but another
    useful feature is to block content which can be harmful to legacy MS
    Windows systems (there are worms/viruses which can attack via web
    browsers).

  - You can increase surfing response by caching frequently viewed
    content.  This can increase your apparent surfing speed by 10-20% in
    typical cases.

> Do I have to worry about what modem I can or can not use?

Somewhat.  Some internal "WinModems" don't work under GNU/Linux.  Other
WinModems _will_ work.  Many old-timers prefer an external modem, though
we'll occasionally say that a jumpered internal modem (the packaging
should claim it works with DOS or GNU/Linux) can be substituted.  

...but this largely doesn't matter for broadband.  Most DSL/Cable
services connect to your internal network as an Ethernet hub.  There's
no hardware issue here -- your network card will work just fine (though
your DSL/Cable provider may balk at dealing with GNU/Linux).  You can
still use an ordinary phone modem as a backup connection, or to
send/receive faxes, etc.

Peace.

-- 
Karsten M. Self <kmself@ix.netcom.com>        http://kmself.home.netcom.com/
 What Part of "Gestalt" don't you understand?
   Geek for hire:  http://kmself.home.netcom.com/resume.html
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