Protecting Your Linux System with FireStarter and Storm Firewall - page 6
Using a GUI to Configure a SystemWe'll confess that our initial reaction to this product was a little chilly. $100 seems like a lot of money to lay down for a GUI front-end to a fairly well documented tool. A few things helped us warm up to it:
First, the included manual is superb. There are books on the shelves of the local booksellers selling for $40 or more that, while they may provide a lot more text, give more than we really need to know to feel comfortable with the subject matter on a working basis. The manual was just right. Second, the technical support was excellent. The representative we spoke to was competent and knowledgeable. Sixty days of support like that on a product may well be worth $100 to people with the burden of safeguarding a network from harm.
Storm Firewall still isn't going to be for everybody. $100 is a lot to pay for a home network with fairly static characteristics and few services to worry about. The complexity of the tool also moves it out of the comfort zone, since half its functionality is wasted on basic home users.
We'd still enthusiastically recommend it to professional users, though, who will probably not mind having their company pay the money to provide them with a tool that makes their lives a little easier or give them the cushion of solid technical support.
FireStarter and Storm Firewall are both great packages if deployed in
the appropriate context. One thing we noticed both lacked,
though, is an automated response system of any sort. It's up to the
user to note a potential attack or hostile scan in the logs and
specifically disable access by a host. To a certain extent, that's no
big deal: if the firewall's sound, the kiddies can come and scratch at
the door to no great effect. Both offer easy righ-click menus that
allow the offending host to be dropped forever. According to
Stormix's Simon Kirby, though, automated reactions to trigger events
is under consideration for the next version of the product, due out
early next year.
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