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Review of IPFire: The Linux based home firewall and router distribution

IPFire_LogoIPFire is a free and open source firewall based Linux distribution. It acts as a router and firewall. You need to use a web interface to manage your firewall settings.

One can setup the following options out of the box when using IPFire:

  1. Proxy server with content filter and caching functionality for updates (i.e. Microsoft Windows updates and anti-virus).
  2. Intrusion detection system (Snort) with intrusion prevention guardian
  3. VPN server and client via IPsec and OpenVPN
  4. DHCP server for LAN
  5. Caching name server (DNS)
  6. Time server for time keeping
  7. Wake-on-LAN (WOL)
  8. Dynamic DNS
  9. Quality of Service
  10. Outgoing firewall
  11. System monitoring and log analysis

You can extend IPFire to include additional services for your network such as:

  1. Samba file server
  2. CUPS print server
  3. vsftpd ftp server
  4. Asterisk
  5. TeamSpeak
  6. Video Disk Recorder (VDR)
  7. Mail server system includes Postfix, SpamAssassin, ClamAV, Amavis
  8. WIFI Access-Point (HostAPD)
  9. Streaming server
  10. Routing the traffic to the Tor network or running a relay (TOR)
  11. Monitoring services like Nagio/NRPE

From the blog post:

How well is IPFire suited as a home network router, firewall, and Wi-Fi access point in it’s default configuration? IPFire is easy to install, but some assembly will be required before it can fulfill the needs of a standard home network setup.

Advanced network features like Quality-of-Service (QoS) and transparent web acceleration/proxying is easy to setup from IPFire’s web interface. However, basic needs of a home network such as passing traffic from the Wi-Fi to wired network or allowing programs to burrow out of the firewall with UPnP is much more complicated to configure.