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It is interesting that many broadband ISPs try to discorage their users from using hardware firewall routers when should be encouraging them.


This is really a matter of cost drivers IMHO. Here in Frankfurt, I can go to the local "Circuit City" equivilent and buy any one of 8-10 different brands / models of DSL modem/firewall/router combinations. If you figure that the poor tech support staff (mostly located in either India or Ireland :o - thank GOD I speak English as a native language!) would have to know how to configure each of these.....

A case in point was that I called Tech Support for my ISP because I couldn't connect. The DSL line looked fine, my internal network was fine, everything looked fine - even my router said it was connected to the outside world and had a valid IP address. Of course, since I have the router configured NOT to respond to a network side ping, the tech support gal on the other end of the phone (in Ireland) couldn't see my router so I turned that back on for a bit and <poof> she could see it. I still couldn't reach anything or anyone..... After being on the phone for 45 minutes and exhausting her knowledge, I resigned myself to getting a new router. On a lark, I decided to poke around a bit and what did I find but that the NAT table had become "unsync'ed" from the actual DHCP Address provided by my ISP. Slapped the correct address into the NAT table and <presto!> it all worked again :blush:

Now, consider that I have 20 years of experience in the Telecommunications and Network Management field, have an M.Sc in Computer Information Systems, and I worked for an hour before I called Tech Support. The girl I was talking to had 6 months of experience and a crash course in MS Windoze..... :blink: and you can see what kind of difficulties (read "cash expenditure") they would have to try to support even a small number of HW Firewalls.....

In my personal net, I have a HW Router/Firewall (No, I am not going to tell you what brand! :ph34r: ) that hooks to the DSL modem and then a software firewall on each machine in the net. Each machine has a virus scanner that scans the entire machine every 24 hours and updates it's definitions every 24 hours. (Noooooo, I am not paranoid, I KNOW that there are critters out there to get control of my 'puter! :D )


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