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Features - Firewall

Let's say you have a nice cable Internet connection and several computers on your local network which all need Internet access. ClarkConnect can be your answer here too. You'll need two network cards in the ClarkConnect machine - one connects to your cable modem, and the other plugs into your network hub or switch. When you install and configure ClarkConnect in "Gateway Mode", the system automatically shares the incoming Internet connection with the local network, and sets up a firewall system that by default drops incoming connection attempts. You can configure the firewall with still another simple, yet effective interface (Figure 10).

Port Forwarding

Figure 10: Port Forwarding
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The firewall system allows you to open ports for requests from the Internet, or forward those requests to other systems on the local network as shown above. You can also block local systems from accessing certain ports, domains, or IP addresses.

Another interesting and useful feature of the firewall is bandwidth management. Using this feature - based on the CBQ.init project - you can place limits by port or by IP address on maximum upload and download speeds. For instance, if you're running an FTP server that gets so popular one day that your local Internet access grinds to a halt, you can limit how much bandwidth is available on the FTP port. Other uses might include limiting the bandwidth that an abusive domain or even a particular user can consume. Managing bandwidth is also done through the simple interface shown in Figure 11.

Bandwidth Management

Figure 11: Bandwidth Management
(click on image for larger view)

Other useful features of the ClarkConnect system include a DHCP server, which automatically assigns IP addresses and network information to local computers, and intrusion detection system (Snort), which logs attempted security breaches. To cap everything off, there's a very nice Statistics section (MRTG) (Figure 12) under the Reports tab, where you can view graphs of all sorts of system performance stats.

Figure 12: Statistics
(click on image for larger view)

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