[thelist] Networks, webservers, file servers, etc.

Chris Johnston fuzzylizard at gmail.com
Tue May 2 08:34:01 CDT 2006

On 5/2/06, Richard Brown <rich at cregy.co.uk> wrote:
> I am starting to look at building networks. I have up to now usually
> used a Netgear 4 port router/hub and ran a network like that. The
> network usually consists of a variety of OS's but most XP boxes.
> However, I now want to add into these networks, backup technology and
> also webservers. I use Mac OS X but can use also XP or Linux sort of! I
> know I need to use a modem to connect to the net and serve web pages
> but is it best to use Netgear's in built web pages or default to a
> purpose build web serverplease? If I built a web server would you then
> have that as a file server and also as a router please?
Is this for a business or for something that you are running out of your

As for how to set it up, if it is just something you are running out of your
home, then I would get a router/hub that supports a DMZ - Demiliterized Zone
- and place the web server on that. This will isolate the web server from
the rest of your network. That way, if the web server gets hacked, your
other computers are safe.

Along that same line, the only thing I would put on the web server box is
the web server. Any database, file, print, etc servers should be placed on
another box inside your firewall. This will prevent them from being hacked
if and/or when your web server is hacked.

As for a firewall, NAT should be safe enough. I would suggest using a Linux
box, but OS X and Win XP as also good bets. You just have to know how to
harden them problem--all three OS's, not just win XP.

If you want to put a computer based firewall between you, your web server
and the outside world, then I would strongly suggest you take a look at
Smoothwall[1]. It is an open source firewall/router that is very easy to use
and also very secure. I would also strongly advice against putting both your
web server and your firewall/router on the same box. Once again for security

[1] http://www.smoothwall.org/

Chris Johnston

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