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New Member

Firewall Recommendation

Hello all: I am interested in purchasing a firewall to learn network security. This would be a lab firewall. Being that I am currently unemployed, it would need to be an inexpensive solution.

Would someone please let me know which model(s) and features they would recommend.

I am looking at the: 1605, 501 & 506. It looks like I would need: IPSec, IDS and 3DES to start with.

Thank you,



Re: Firewall Recommendation

the 501 and 506 are highly similar, for home use a 501 10 user license is fine (if you have more than 10 machines at home, you need help). A 506 is not worth it - if you are really looking to understand pixen, a used 520 with > 2 interfaces might be a good idea, but since a 506 only has 2, just like a 501, it is of no extra benefit over a 501. the 3des feature key is now free.

neither IOS or PIX OS has much real IDS features. Look at snort - an open source IDS that runs on damn near every OS these days.

linux and the bsds have firewall software included with them, as do some windows versions.

New Member

Re: Firewall Recommendation


I just remembered that I have a bunch of 2500 IOSes. One of them should have the FW feature set.

Would this be an adequate substitute for the PIX? (except for the IDS as you mentioned)

(Oh, I only have about 3 computers!)


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