Review: SmoothWall Express 2.0

Using Smoothwall

Smoothwall will work with several types of Internet connections, such as ISDN, ADSL, and even dialup. I used all three Smoothwall zones, placing my web and mail server in the "orange" zone. Once installation is complete, you can connect to the Smoothwall web interface from any computer in the "green" zone. You're greeted by the following home page:

If you've just installed Smoothwall, the home page will display a message telling you there are updates available. Smoothwall handles updating in a rather curious way. First, from your local desktop, you download the updates. Then, using the Smoothwall web interface as shown below, you upload an update file to the Smoothwall, where it's installed.

After all available updates are applied, you can then move on to setting your Smoothwall up to your liking. Smoothwall includes a DHCP server (dhcpd), a web proxy (squid), and an intrusion detection system (snort). In addition, there's also a dynamic DNS updating system, which works with services like Dyndns.org, a SSH server, and even an IPsec VPN system (FreeSWAN). Each service is easily configured through the web interface, an example of the DHCP configuration page follows:

Figure 3: Services : DHCP
(click image to enlarge)

Some services have several options to configure, while others like SSH just have a checkbox or two as shown below: