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LAN & WAN Reviews

LAN Interface Setup

IPCop distinguishes between several interfaces and types of configuration. The "green" interface is present in every configuration: this is the adapter that connects to your home network. During the setup process, you are asked to select the correct driver for your card. In most cases, selecting Probe, which launches the automatic detection routine yields good results (Figure 9).

Network adapter configuration

Figure 8: Network adapter configuration

A successful Probe

Figure 9: A successful Probe

If your card is not recognized by the automatic detection routine, you'll have to select it manually using the Select option. Don't worry if the name of your card does not match the one IPCop finds; the Linux kernel detects the cards by their chipset, not by the model number or similar. That's why a D-Link card may be detected as a Realtek 8139, for example.

Once you've selected the correct network adapter, it's time to assign an IP address to the card. Since this is the LAN interface that connects to your home network, you should choose an IP address from the pool reserved for private use:

10.0.0.0 - 10.255.255.255 (10/8 prefix)
172.16.0.0 - 172.31.255.255 (172.16/12 prefix)
192.168.0.0 - 192.168.255.255 (192.168/16 prefix)

See RFC1918 - Address Allocation for Private Internets if you'd like more detail.

We chose the most commonly used address range (192.168.0.1 through 192.168.0.254) with our gateway receiving the last address in the block (Figure 10). For our subnet mask we used 255.255.255.0, since we're not going to be configuring more than 253 computers in this network.

Setting the IPCop computer's IP address

Figure 10: Setting the IPCop computer's IP address

This completes the first part of the setup (Figure 11). Although additional settings can be adjusted later on during the configuration, the system is now bootable.

Installation completed

Figure 11: Installation completed

All too often, after installation, we forget important data provided by the setup program. The most crucial pieces of information are probably the IP address and the host name (which we will get to in a moment). Take a moment to write them down.

http://ipcop:81
https://ipcop:445

Note that the port numbers, 81 and 445, are very important since they are close to, but not the same as, the standard ports for HTTP (80) and HTTPS (443). You can also use the IP address that was assigned in the last step - 192.168.0.254 - , instead of the hostname (ipcop), when entering the IPCop machine's URL.

Basic setup is now complete, but there are still a few other settings that need to be configured before we're done. The installer will next walk you through selecting a keyboard mapping if you're not going to use the standard "QWERTY" keyboard layout, and setting a timezone for the system clock.

Next, you'll be prompted to enter the IPCop machine's hostname, which is the TCP/IP equivalent of the computer name in Windows. This is the name under which the router will be visible on the network and can be used instead if the IP address in the URL for the admin web interface. The default is ipcop, which suits our purpose just fine, so we'll leave it. The default domain name can be left unchanged as localdomain, unless your network is part of a domain.

IPCop can also be used with ISDN cards, but that's not a very viable option in the U.S. due to cost and availability. So we'll select Disable ISDN and move on.

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