Tools for the Home User

Published: 2008-01-06
Last Updated: 2008-01-07 00:26:21 UTC
by Lorna Hutcheson (Version: 1)
1 comment(s)

Since Christmas has come and gone, I'm sure we have many more new computers that have made their debut on the internet.  I have gotten asked over and over again by friends and family what they can do to make their home system or small home office more safe and to be aware of what is happening. 

In light of this, I thought a diary might be the way to go in order to solicit and compile an updated list of good tools that folks can put to good use.  If you have something that you use or have used that you think would be worthy of mentioning, please drop us a line and I'll compile a list. 

To start things off, I wanted to point to a tool called PacketProtector that was recently featured on and provides some nice features for protecting your wireless home network.  PacketProtector is a Linux distribution for your wireless router.  Here are a list of the features that you get according to their website:

--a stateful firewall (iptables)
--WPA/WPA2 Enterprise wireless (802.1X and PEAP with FreeRADIUS)
--intrusion prevention (Snort-inline)
--remote access VPN (OpenVPN)
--content filtering/parental controls (DansGuardian)
--web antivirus (DG + ClamAV)
--a local certificate authority (OpenSSL)
--secure management interfaces (SSH and HTTPS)
--advanced firewall scripts for blocking IM and P2P apps
--IP spoofing prevention (Linux rp_filter)
--basic protocol anomaly detection (ipt_unclean)

This is a nice addition without having to add any other computers to your network if you don't want/need to.  If you have tried it (I haven't as of yet but I hope to do so in the very near future), please let me know your thoughts such as ease of use etc.  I'll try to compile that as well.

1 comment(s)


The prerequisite for this 'unified threat management device' is a Linksys WRTSL54GS or ASUS WL-500g, which I priced as high as $150 and as low as $80-ish for both makes and models. While the concept is nice, I don't need another router and this firmware appears exclusive to only those two models...I certainly can't experiment with this unless I make a point of purchasing one of those routers.

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