the small business (home user) problem

There is a problem in IT and security with home users and small businesses. Security and any sort of halfway solid IT infrastructure is simply not possible without buying an outside service or having the luxury of an employee or employee friend with IT aptitude (and even they can be detrimental to security). Devices and software are expensive, and open source tools tend to be more advanced than many small businesses can handle (consultants that know licensed Microsoft tools are a dime a dozen, but an open source/linux guru will cost ya).

So I liked reading what Untangle (formerly Metavize) is doing. They have a server device that you can run and it looks rather robust for a tool they are offering free to small shops with 10 or less computers (that would include me at home!). This is like Smoothwall, but with other features. I look forward to checking this out, but if it is as easy and solid as it looks from the website, I’ll be quite enthused to recommend it for people without a budget or IT support.

The server appears to provide firewall, antispam, antispyware, antivirus, web filtering, and various other services that make sense to be packaged into one single chokepoint device on a network. I think I will try to segment off a part of my home network and drop this in with a test laptop behind it and see how it works. I just need to find a spare system that is close to the required specs, and I think my old server that I just phased out a few weeks ago may be just the ticket.