Through the GUI, I fired up the firewall:
With several policies to
configure, setting up the firewall is the longest, and likely the most important
part of the process. Without a properly configured firewall, your
network is not well protected from unauthorized outside access. Now, the
use of non-routable IPs does go a long way to stopping tampering, but it is not
enough. The Netwinder allows you to easily define which ports (if IPs are
the addresses to your network, 'ports' are like the doors) are open and
accessible. Also, you are able to create general policies to accept or
deny specific kinds of traffic.
Conclusions and cups of coffee
I had zero
trouble setting this box up. The admin features (like policy editing on
the Firewall) mean that once the Netwinder is set up, you're able to decide
what the Netwinder does and doesn't do. This means that it doesn't step on the toes of any of
the expensive hardware that may already be present in a networked office environment. Infact, giving the mundane DHCP
and DNS duties to the Netwinder may free up a powerful computer
in many office situations which can be put to much
better uses. Looking at it from that perspective, it all comes down to the difference in
cost between setting up a computer, with all the necessary software, and Netwinder.
at $1,995.00, the Netwinder is a bit pricey
for the hardware its made up of. We should however keep in mind that
it is not just barebones computer, but a 'solution'. The
bottom line comes down to this: the Netwinder does
what it's supposed to do. It provides easy, out-of-the-box functionality
that every small office can make good use of. It does its job well, with a small footprint and without any complaints.
Considering all those points it's hard not to see the
Netwinder OfficeServer as pretty good value for the money. So, on a scale from
1 to 10, it gets a well earned 8.
For more info, or to get your own Netwinder, slide on over to Rebel.com :-)