Welcome!

Open Source Cloud Authors: Christoph Schell, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Wesley Coelho, Rainer Ersch

Blog Feed Post

Open Source Firewalls - Untangle and pfSense comparison

So this week I had the opportunity of setting up a little lab to test both of these firewalls. Before this week I had no idea these firewalls even existed, and the only open source routing/firewall software I even knew of at the time was Vyatta; which is really only for routing purposes.

Starting off, you really need to pay attention to the system requirements, especially Untangles. I attempted to install both of these using Ubuntu with VirtualBox and was in for a nasty surprise. Originally skimming the requirements brought me to this issue, to where I used an old Dell Dimension 3000 box to use this on. Which as you may know, is very obsolete and moth-eaten. Lets just say the 1 GB of RAM and 40 GB hard drive didn't satisfy my general virtual needs; especially Untangles thirst for resources. So I decided to use ESX 3.5 on a beastly server that happened to be laying around; now we're talking.

Simply put, Untangle loves memory. There is no way around it, this is a Debian based OS that comes with its own pretty GUI; so you can see what I'm saying. But thats not just it, the tools on this thing are immensely creative. They are so creative that you need 2 GB of memory to run them properly. And thats if you only have a small amount of users. They say with 1-50 users you will be fine with 1 GB of memory but I highly recommend using more than that, who would not want to use more than 1 GB of memory anyways? Also, you will be fine with a Pentium 4 or equivalent processor until you hit 50+ users. Once your in the realm of that many users, you will want to be going dual core with 2 GB+ of memory. That will last you until 150 users, and well, you see where I'm going with this. This thing will handle up to 5000 users on a quad core, which I think is staggering. But are all these resources worth it? Absolutely!

Out of the box this thing will come with spam, phishing, spyware, and virus blockers. Not to mention its own Protocol Control which personally, is my favorite. Because it gives you a whole list (4 pages worth) of protocols to choose from, and take action on each. It has its own IPS as well, which has a good chunk of viruses/malware to choose from for blocking, with signatures included. And all of these tools are very straight forward with a friendly GUI. Almost anyone that has a basic understanding of networking and web application will be able to work with this fairly easily. There are a lot of other detailed tools as well, but I decided to briefly go over the ones that I found important.

Now unlike Untangle, pfSense is a FreeBSD OS. This firewall is very lightweight and has a pretty powerful terminal. Instead of needing a ton of memory and CPU power, this little guy can run comfortably on 128 MB of memory, and 300 MHz of CPU power, which is mainly for residential purposes. Once you reach 20-50 Mb throughput, you'll want a 500 MHz system with about 512 MB of memory. Still thats pretty lightweight if you ask me. 100 Mb wire-speed? Eh, no problem, just push your CPU power to about 700 MHz to 1 GHz, this thing operates effortlessly.

Administering pfSense can only be done from the Webui, locally you have the terminal, which is very helpful in setting up the box. Once your in the Webui, theres a few wizards to help you to get started. You really need to dig in order to find some of the nifty tools, in the start it doesn't throw them all at your face for ease of use like Untangle does. The blocking is mostly done through a rule base inside the Webui, which I started to like a lot. But unlike Untangle, you need to start from scratch on all the blocking/passing, whereas Untangle gives you about 4 pages worth of different protocols and web categories to block/pass that have signatures already in place.

The available services for pfSense are also pretty nifty. You can set up your own PPPoE server, OpenNTPD server, and you can even enable RIP on your network, among others, and VPN setup seems fairly easy.

I personally think Untangle is the best to get started on for a beginner. The GUI is very helpful and directive on what you should do. I personally liked the web filter and how it gave description of everything you selected, that can be very helpful if you are unsure. PfSense requires you to build everything from scratch, its way more advanced versus Untangle; but this also gives you a lot more control. However, the performance of pfSense while being so lightweight is unbeatable. Especially if you aren't looking to spend a lot of money on hardware. All in all, it comes down to personal preference.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Hurricane Labs

Christina O’Neill has been working in the information security field for 3 years. She is a board member for the Northern Ohio InfraGard Members Alliance and a committee member for the Information Security Summit, a conference held once a year for information security and physical security professionals.

@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that DXWorldExpo has been named “Global Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Digital Transformation is the key issue driving the global enterprise IT business. Digital Transformation is most prominent among Global 2000 enterprises and government institutions.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Datera, that offers a radically new data management architecture, has been named "Exhibitor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo ®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Datera is transforming the traditional datacenter model through modern cloud simplicity. The technology industry is at another major inflection point. The rise of mobile, the Internet of Things, data storage and Big...
"We provide IoT solutions. We provide the most compatible solutions for many applications. Our solutions are industry agnostic and also protocol agnostic," explained Richard Han, Head of Sales and Marketing and Engineering at Systena America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"We've been engaging with a lot of customers including Panasonic, we've been involved with Cisco and now we're working with the U.S. government - the Department of Homeland Security," explained Peter Jung, Chief Product Officer at Pulzze Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Calligo, an innovative cloud service provider offering mid-sized companies the highest levels of data privacy and security, has been named "Bronze Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo ®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Calligo offers unparalleled application performance guarantees, commercial flexibility and a personalised support service from its globally located cloud plat...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 21st Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devic...
"The Striim platform is a full end-to-end streaming integration and analytics platform that is middleware that covers a lot of different use cases," explained Steve Wilkes, Founder and CTO at Striim, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"We are focused on SAP running in the clouds, to make this super easy because we believe in the tremendous value of those powerful worlds - SAP and the cloud," explained Frank Stienhans, CTO of Ocean9, Inc., in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
DX World EXPO, LLC., a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based startup trade show producer and the creator of "DXWorldEXPO® - Digital Transformation Conference & Expo" has announced its executive management team. The team is headed by Levent Selamoglu, who has been named CEO. "Now is the time for a truly global DX event, to bring together the leading minds from the technology world in a conversation about Digital Transformation," he said in making the announcement.
"MobiDev is a Ukraine-based software development company. We do mobile development, and we're specialists in that. But we do full stack software development for entrepreneurs, for emerging companies, and for enterprise ventures," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
While the focus and objectives of IoT initiatives are many and diverse, they all share a few common attributes, and one of those is the network. Commonly, that network includes the Internet, over which there isn't any real control for performance and availability. Or is there? The current state of the art for Big Data analytics, as applied to network telemetry, offers new opportunities for improving and assuring operational integrity. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jim Frey, Vice President of S...
SYS-CON Events announced today that DXWorldExpo has been named “Global Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Digital Transformation is the key issue driving the global enterprise IT business. Digital Transformation is most prominent among Global 2000 enterprises and government institutions.
In his opening keynote at 20th Cloud Expo, Michael Maximilien, Research Scientist, Architect, and Engineer at IBM, discussed the full potential of the cloud and social data requires artificial intelligence. By mixing Cloud Foundry and the rich set of Watson services, IBM's Bluemix is the best cloud operating system for enterprises today, providing rapid development and deployment of applications that can take advantage of the rich catalog of Watson services to help drive insights from the vast t...
SYS-CON Events announced today that EnterpriseTech has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. EnterpriseTech is a professional resource for news and intelligence covering the migration of high-end technologies into the enterprise and business-IT industry, with a special focus on high-tech solutions in new product development, workload management, increased effic...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Massive Networks, that helps your business operate seamlessly with fast, reliable, and secure internet and network solutions, has been named "Exhibitor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo ®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. As a premier telecommunications provider, Massive Networks is headquartered out of Louisville, Colorado. With years of experience under their belt, their team of...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloud Academy named "Bronze Sponsor" of 21st International Cloud Expo which will take place October 31 - November 2, 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Cloud Academy is the industry’s most innovative, vendor-neutral cloud technology training platform. Cloud Academy provides continuous learning solutions for individuals and enterprise teams for Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, and the most popular cloud com...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloudistics, an on-premises cloud computing company, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Cloudistics delivers a complete public cloud experience with composable on-premises infrastructures to medium and large enterprises. Its software-defined technology natively converges network, storage, compute, virtualization, and ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CHEETAH Training & Innovation will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct. 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CHEETAH Training & Innovation is a cloud consulting and IT training firm specializing in improving clients cloud strategies and infrastructures for medium to large companies.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Datanami has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Datanami is a communication channel dedicated to providing insight, analysis and up-to-the-minute information about emerging trends and solutions in Big Data. The publication sheds light on all cutting-edge technologies including networking, storage and applications, and thei...
The current age of digital transformation means that IT organizations must adapt their toolset to cover all digital experiences, beyond just the end users’. Today’s businesses can no longer focus solely on the digital interactions they manage with employees or customers; they must now contend with non-traditional factors. Whether it's the power of brand to make or break a company, the need to monitor across all locations 24/7, or the ability to proactively resolve issues, companies must adapt to...