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Can a Notebook Computer Serve as a Firewall?

Some home networks have attempted to use a notebook computer as the firewall computer. Of course, a notebook computer takes up much less space. However, only someone who is fully experienced in Linux installation and configuration should attempt to set up a notebook firewall.

Many drawbacks and difficulties accompany the notebook setup. First, notebook computers deteriorate much more rapidly than standard desktop systems. The limitations imposed by portability make notebook computers less durable and more prone to failure. It may not be worth the effort to build a notebook firewall for a computer that might not have much life remaining.

Secondly, getting two Ethernet cards to work in a notebook computer is no small trick. Usually the infrared port must be disabled in order to free up an IRQ for the second card, for example. If you want to attempt to set up a notebook system as your firewall computer, your should read through everything on the "Linux on Laptops" Web site.

This guide describes the installation of a firewall computer on a traditional 10BaseT Ethernet network, but the network could also be a wireless or phone-line networking system.

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