Logging and Other Features
Once you've created the firewall rules you can log the traffic to give you a better idea how effective the rules are. This router can even send the logs to a syslog server (Figure 11). Again, not bad at this price point.
Figure 11: Syslog and email alert settings
I also like how the Linksys RV082 has some basic (OK, very basic) intrusion detection capabilities as part of its alert logging capability.
Figure 12: Controlling what's logged
The system logs that are not sent to an external syslog server will be logged locally.
Firewall rules are usually used to keep any of the bad stuff out on the web from getting into your network, but sometimes we ourselves invite the dark-side into our network. To help fortify your willpower (or those who can't be trusted to use their own good judgment), the Linksys RV082 provides basic content filtering of those sites on your Forbidden Domains list (Figure 13).
Figure 13: Forbidden Domains
The results are straight forward - no access to the site. When the site is blocked it just appears as if the site is down, and you only get the typical message "cannot find server - this page can not be displayed". There is nothing that specifically tells you that this site was blocked due to a policy violation which could leave you scratching your head wondering if the site is indeed down if you forgot that you put it in your Forbidden Domains list.
Another neat feature is the support for DDNS (Dynamic DNS), which allows you to assign a fixed domain name to a dynamic WAN IP address. Using DDNS you can host your own Web, FTP or other type of TCP/IP server in your LAN even though your ISP did not provide you a fixed IP with your cable modem or DSL account. Once you have a domain address (such as yourowndomain.com )linked to a DDNS service people can find the gateway to your LAN just as they would find any other place on the web; by using the domain name (just as www.linksys.com gets you to the Linksys website, saving you from having to remember an IP address).
The trick is that because your ISP keeps changing your IP address you've got to have a service that updates the DNS servers on the Internet, telling them what the latest IP address is they need to know in order to get to yourowndomain.com . For that you use a client that tests your connection and reports back to a DDNS service what the latest IP address is. The service then makes the association between your IP address and the domain name you are using.
Figure 14: Dynamic DNS provider options
DDNS support within the Linksys RV082 only consists of two options: use DynDNS.org's service or keep it disabled (Figure 14). I opted for using DynDNS and moved one of my existing domains to their service. DynDNS did a great job with the move and I am happy with their level of service. DynDNS also provides links to dozens of dynamic DNS clients; from free to paid, from Unix to Windows.