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Old 06-28-2008, 10:08 AM   #1
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Cool Proxy/Firewall


I look after the computers in the office for my church, about 12 users, all running windows XP/Vista. IT is not my main job, I'm the sound&media guy, but have some experience, so i'm responsible for it!

Our network setup currently looks something like this:

Internet---ADSL Router---winXP ‘Server’---HUB==Client PC’s & Printers

We don’t have a ‘real’ server, we use a dedicated machine that runs windows XP with 2 NIC’s (1 connected to the ADSL router and the other to the HUB) and ICS enabled to give everyone access to the internet. The built in windows firewall is on, but honestly don’t think it is doing much! This has been working ok for 2 years+

We have a 5Gb cap on our internet connection which we have been reaching in a week or so recently. (Telecoms=expensive in south Africa)
I’ve been looking at ways of filtering the content that people are viewing on the internet as I’m pretty sure that youtube is to blame!

I managed to get Squid for windows running on the ‘server’ and clients could browse the net and after battling with the conf file I managed to block streaming video so youtube displays “This video is no longer available” NICE!

Unfortunately, as soon as I disabled ICS on the ‘server’ the clients could not send/receive emails with outlook 2003

After much Googling I understand you need SOCKS or iptables or something to let people access a pop server. But no luck sorting that out!

Could you please help me with a solution?

These are my ideas:

1-get squid or some proxy on the xp ‘server’ to work! i.e. block streaming audio/video but allow browsing and pop access for outlook.

2-setup a linux box to be a real server – proxy/firewall?

With no 2… I have an old machine that isn’t being used that could do this. (I still need the XP ‘server’ for file and print sharing)
It’s a Celeron (PIII) 600 with 256Mb RAM and 8Gb HDD (I tried runing Ubuntu desktop to see if it would be ok, which it is managing with)

I have ubuntu server, but could do with some VERY specific instructions on doing a clean install of ubuntu and seting up the proxy/firewall software on it.

I guess the setup will then look like this:

Internet---ADSL Router---ubuntuServer---HUB==XP ‘server’ (file), Client PC's & Printers

Security is not a major concern, hence the current setup. Ease of use is, I like the fact that when we have volunteers coming in from oversees (Which we do often) they can simply plug in their laptop to a network point and the current XP machine allocates them an IP address and allows them access to the internet. Since IT is not my major responsibility I don’t want to have to run around creating accounts, giving out passwords and/or playing with settings on their machine everytime a volunteer wants to check their email!
If i do implement a system using linux, how easy is it going to be for the receptionist to make it work if something goes wrong and i'm out testing the new 20K line array for our new 5000 seater auditorium!

Please can somebody help me with this?
I’ve tried to give necessary information, while keeping it brief. (How did I do?) but if you need more just shout.

Thanks in advance guru’s!!

Last edited by JaimeLopes; 06-28-2008 at 10:11 AM.
Old 06-28-2008, 03:21 PM   #2
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Welcome to LQ!

Setting up DHCP, Squid (with DansGuardian) and Firewalling on
Ubuntu shouldn't be too hard, and I think the machine should cope
reasonably well if you don't need to do virus-scanning on web-
content as well as it being a plain proxy.

Now I have no idea what ICS is or how it interacts with pop
accounts, so can't really make any suggestions as to how that
would work via the Ubuntu machine.

As for "ease of use": that will depend on the receptionist. There
are web-frontends available for many of the services a Linux server
can offer, and it may be possible that the receptionist can grasp
the concepts and do the right things. Of course (while less likely
than with windows machines) there's the possibility that something
with the machine goes wrong on a different level (e.g. a file-system
check is required after a power failure), in which case the staff
(or yourself) may find that you're out of your depth all together.

Realistically I'd suggest that you familiarise yourself (and others)
with Linux before you put it into place, or try to find someone who
can provide services on a pay-basis. It's a bit like with a car;
if you don't know where the fuel, the oil and the water go, or how
to check the tire pressure - don't try to rely on it too much.



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