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bull Protect your Home Network with an Old PC
   See Part 1: WiFi Wireless Network Security

Sure, a $50 Linksys box will protect your home network. But how about something a bit burlier? If your old system has a Pentium processor, 64MB of RAM, a hard drive, and a CD-ROM drive, it's painless to build a pretty serious network firewall, called a SmoothWall.

What you'll need
You'll need at least two Ethernet cards: one to connect to your Internet source, and a second to connect to your home network.

How many computers are you protecting? You might want a hub if you want to connect more than one PC to the firewall. You could also use this as extra protection between the Internet and a wireless access point such as the Apple AirPort Express.

What you'll do
1. Download the SmoothWall Express ISO from
2. Burn it to a CD-R as image data. Don't burn as a file.
3. Make sure your old PC will boot from the CD. You may have to do this in the BIOS.
4. Reboot from the new SmoothWall CD you've created.
5. Follow the onscreen directions to install the firewall software.

Just plug the Internet and your new PC or network into your old PC; now your home network has some serious protection.

See Part 1: WiFi Wireless Network Security
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