Firewall 1            August 2002

Well it's like this, I was playing the game Soldier of Fortune online the other day when all hell broke loose. It was the normal go into the game, find a server to play on and then kill as many people as you can kinda day. Everything was just fine while I was playing but when I got done and exited the game, I noticed a browser window open. Now every time I play, I close ALL my programs and then play. Not thinking this was a big deal, I went to close the window but it didn't want to close. It took about a minute and then it closed. Now I want to go to the internet so I click on my shortcut and what do I see, well it's a little window that comes up and says "No window found" in my browser. Having no idea what this was I went to close it but it won't. After about a minute of waiting, if finally closes but then another one opens. 

This went on and on so I knew I had a problem and looking into it farther, I found some files that had been placed in my Windows/System folder on that day while I was playing. Everything I did to try to delete the files still wouldn't let me get on the net so I knew I had been "hacked" and had to do everyone's favorite........REFORMAT! 

I had been running Windows 2000 Pro for about nine months now and was very happy with it but was wanting to try Windows XP so I guess there was no better time to try it than now. Now Windows XP has a built in software firewall but that wasn't going to be good enough for what I wanted so after doing a little research, I bought a hardware firewall. The one I bought was made by Cisco Systems which makes Enterprise-Class Security hardware. The one I bought was the Cisco PIX 501 firewall. This unit has a built in four port switch along with all the protection that there known for 


Here is what came in the box which was hand delivered to me personally by the owner of a store 35 miles away from me. I could hardly believe it when he told me he was going to drive it to my house instead of shipping it by mail. This was very well packaged and came with all the necessary hardware to get me going.


This unit is 6 1/2" X 5 1/2" X 1" which is about the same size as my old eight port switch that I don't have to use anymore but could if I wanted. When the need for more than four computers comes up, I'll I have to do is hook-up the old switch to this one and there we go. Here are some of the specs:

  • 133Mhz processor

  • 16MB of RAM

  • 8MB of Flash Memory

  • 1 10Base T Ethernet port for an outside connection to the internet

  • Integrated 4-port 10/100 Mbps switch

  • Serial console port for administrative access

  • 10 Mbps cleartext firewall throughput

  • 3 Mbps VPN throughput

Let's take a look at the rest of the package.


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