Untangle – Open-source network gateway

20 03 2008

Always on the lookout for great open-source products, I stumbled across Untangle on Christopher Dawson’s blog on ZDNet. Untangle is a network gateway product that brings together a number of popular open-source security and network applications into one package.

I have been a Watchguard Firefox supporter for years, but Untangle’s feature list gives Watchguard a run for its money. It offers just about everything my Firebox did, including spam filtering, web filtering, protocol control, virus and phishing blocker, intrusion protection, reporting, as well as remote access functionality. Best of all, as Untangle is an open-source product, it is freely available and can be downloaded and installed on regular hardware. A similar feature set on a Watchguard Firefox would cost thousands in yearly subscription fees.

I have put together an old Pentium 4 box with 2 network cards, downloaded the ISO, and I am up and running. I am done with most of the configuration, and so far, it was relatively painless. My current firewall/spam/intrusion solution is still in place, but a number of computers in my test environment are also routing through the Untangle box to test its functionality without compromising security. If it lives up to its claims, Untangle would be providing a feature set that Watchguard charges thousands of dollars for on a yearly basis.

I would recommend trying it out.