Chapter 16. Commercial products based on Linux, iptables and netfilter

Table of Contents
Ingate Firewall 1200
What's next?

This section was added so that corporations may have their products tested and added to this tutorial. If you are a company and would like to have your products tested and reviewed in this section, you are more than welcome to contact the author through usual channels (see the top of this tutorial). Mind you that this section is not the definite place to look for product testing. It is rather a try to offer something to all of the corporate producers of Linux based products, and who contribute to the development of GNU/Linux software.

If someone feels that their product has been badly reviewed here, they are more than welcome to contact the author for a more complete description of the problem, or to have their revised product possibly re-reviewed with newer firmwares etc. This might change, since the author doesn't know how popular this review section will be.

Ingate Firewall 1200

In short, the InGate Firewall 1200 is a commercial firewall product. To be fairly honest, they are definitely in the pricey range and not for most/any home-users. However, you get what you pay for, and this is an excellent product in other words. Before we go any further, it should be noted that the InGate firewalls are hardware and software solutions. Basically it is a very small computer running a modified Linux kernel. Of course, you will pretty much never see that it is actually running Linux (except for naming conventions in the interface, and so forth).

A lot of effort has been put into creating a nicely advanced webinterface to configure and administrate the firewall from. The InGate 1200 firewall has 2 10/100 Mbps Ethernet connectors and the larger versions has more (up to 6 10/100/1000 Mbps Ethernet connectors and 2 mini Gbic ports).

They also have SIP traversal support and SIP support for Internet telephony, and built in support for TLS. The 1200 came with 2 SIP user licenses, and the number differs depending on which firewall/SIParator you buy. The user interface for handling SIP is excellent and very intuitive, though it does use quite a lot of tech heavy jargon. It might be a good idea to keep the manual around in other words, which might actually be true whatever you are doing on this machine, for multiple reasons really. The manual is excellently written, and it might also be very hard to understand the interface before you get used to the highly technical language they have chosen to use. The manual is 250+ pages and available both in English and Swedish as of this writing, and as I've already said, very well written.

On top of this, the InGate firewalls has ipsec based VPN and QoS support. The ipsec based VPN should be interoperable with all other ipsec implementations, including "Road Warrior" roaming.

The device also has a very simple to setup logging facility. The machine can either log locally, or via syslog and/or mail. The local logging facility has exceptionally good and finegrained search capabilities through the logs. My only problem with the local logging facility is that the search engine might be a little bit too slow. This is actually my main and only concern with the whole firewall, the whole user interface is a bit slow, and sometimes it jumps to the main page after editing. This might have been fixed in newer versions however. All things considered, this isn't a bad fault at all, and it could have been much worse than a slow user interface/weird linking.

The first time I tried the test machine that I got, I borked the configuration pretty badly (I.e., I inverted the interfaces among other things). Because of this, my original setup time was around 4-5 hours before I could reach the Internet. If I hadn't done these initial errors, the original configuration time would probably have been around 1 hour or so. Of course, this can only be expected when using a new and unknown (to you) interface.

The default values are very good. In other words, they are non-existant except for the most basic options. The first thing you do, is to set the IP address of the device via a "magic ping" (set the device mac address to an IP address and then ping the IP address - this must be done locally). The opposite ethernet port is per default turned off, until you turn it on, and no configuration except the most basic is done by the InGate developers (log groups and so on).

In conclusion, this is one of the best commercial firewalls I have seen on the market. The only real flaw is that the user interface is a tad slow and that the device is rather high priced. The pros of the device far far outweighs most cost issues that any company would have, and the simplicity of not having to scratch install a system of your own could actually make this a simpler and cheaper device to set up than a scratch installed system for most companies - especially if the process consists of a large quantity of firewalls and the administrators are experienced in other InGate products. Of course, this is always the case I assume!