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Putting It All Together

So, the basic necessary elements are as follows:

  • A firewall PC with a 486 processor or better, and two network cards.

  • Network cards for all the PCs that you want to connect to the Internet.

  • A network hub with four or more connections, depending on your needs. If you are setting up a traditional twisted-wire Ethernet network and you've got 10/100-Mbps Ethernet cards in the computers, you can get the more expensive 10/100-Mbps Ethernet hubs, which will give you the fastest possible connection.

  • Network wiring. Traditional wiring is twisted-pair cable that is similar to the regular phone line in your home. You'll need unshielded twisted-pair (UTP) Category 5 10BaseT cables. That's usually the only type of network cable that is stocked in consumer computer stores.

  • A cable modem, xDSL box, or other connection to the Internet

Finally, you are ready to connect everything. The final part of this guide describes setting up the firewall software.

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