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LAN & WAN Reviews

Firewall Features

Firewall, Settings

Figure 4: Firewall, Settings
(click image to enlarge)

The Stateful Packet Inspection (SPI) features of the HS-100W's built-in firewall are disabled by default and the configuration screen (Figure 4) provides us with two tabs - one for controlling general Settings and one for using Service Blocking. Since the SPI firewall features are in addition to the basic firewalling provided by the HS-100W's NAT router, you could leave the "Enable firewall" box unchecked and probably never notice any difference. But if you open ports to expose servers on your LAN, you'll definitely want to turn the SPI features on.

I was pleased to see a logging feature for the firewall which may help you to determine if someone is trying to hack into your system. There is also a Triangle Route Bypass feature for thwarting a certain type of DoS Attack, if you are concerned about that sort of thing.

Although similar in nature to the service blocking available in the Parental Control section, the firewall will allow you to do service blocking for all users, including those who have Parental Control accounts set up.

Firewall, Services

Figure 5: Firewall, Services
(click image to enlarge)

Although firewalls are normally used to control the flow of incoming traffic, the Service Blocking feature (Figure 5) will control whether your LAN users can access specific Internet services, i.e. outgoing traffic. You can create custom services by specifying a port range, or select from pre-defined services such as FTP, ICQ, and IRC.

You may also elect to block services on specific days by clicking the checkboxes labeled Monday-Friday, and even specify times to block within the specific days you've selected. These features are especially useful if you decide against using the Parental Controls but still want to keep people from running certain services.

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