Back to Page 1: How to Protect an Entire Network with Untangle

Hardware Requirements

Like other router/firewall platforms, you can either buy Untangle preinstalled on a server or create your own appliance by installing the software on a PC or server. When creating your own, keep the following minimum requirements in mind:

  • 1 GHz Intel-based processor (32 or 64 bit)
  • 512 MB of RAM
  • 20 GB of Hard Drive
  • 2 Ethernet cards (3 if you want to create a DMZ)
  • Ethernet switch and/or wireless access point (for distributing access)

At least during the installation, you’ll also need a bootable CD/DVD drive, monitor, keyboard and mouse. To create the install disc, you need a blank CD or DVD and access to a PC with a CD or DVD burner.

Warning: Installing Untangle will wipe everything from the hard drive.

Deployment Options

There are two ways to deploy Untangle. The Router method provides NAT and means you hook the Untangle PC directly to the Internet modem. The Transparent Bridge method turns the NAT function off, meaning you connect the Untangle PC to a router which is plugged into the Internet modem. Neither method is generally safer or better than the other, but it’s usually best to use the minimum amount of hardware, thus the Router method.

Remember for either deployment method, the Internet traffic must pass through the Untangle PC. One Ethernet port on the Untangle PC will be the Internet/WAN input. Another Ethernet port will be the output to your local LAN. Thus you’ll need an ethernet switch to connect more than one computer and/or a wireless access point for Wi-Fi connectivity.

Installing Untangle

Download and burn the ISO image file to a CD or DVD disc. Make sure you have the Untangle PC hooked up using the Router or Transparent Bridge method. Then insert the disc in the desired PC, reboot, and then follow the installer that should boot up. Once installed, you’ll reboot. Then click Launch Client, go through the Setup Wizard, and select the Lite Package.

If you need help, refer to their Wiki.

Once the basic network and Internet functionality is working, you can start configuring the security features.

Keep Using Protection on PCs

Though Untangle provides reasonable protection, it doesn’t support malware scanning of secured HTTPS traffic, like other network-wide solutions. Thus you should always install and keep Internet security software updated on all your desktops and laptops. Since you have double-protection, you might opt for using a free anti-virus program, such as from AVG or AVAST. You should also take advantage of the built-in Windows Firewall.

Eric Geier is a freelance tech writer and author of many networking and computing books, for brands like For Dummies and Cisco Press. He also founded NoWiresSecurity, which helps businesses quickly and easily protect their Wi-Fi with enterprise-level security. Additionally, he’s a Field Technician for Fast-Teks, an on-site computer services company that has hundreds of locations across the U.S.

Keep up with security news; Follow eSecurityPlanet on Twitter: @eSecurityP.

Back to Page 1: How to Protect an Entire Network with Untangle