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I am someone with too many old computers on his hands. I have my own LAN and want all my machines to be connected to the Internet, whilst at the same time making my LAN fairly secure. The new iptables is a good upgrade from the old ipchains in this regard. With ipchains, you could make a fairly secure network by dropping all incoming packages not destined for given ports. However, things like passive FTP or outgoing DCC in IRC would cause problems. They assign ports on the server, tell the client about it, and then let the client connect. There were some teething problems in the iptables code that I ran into in the beginning, and in some respects I found the code not quite ready for release in full production. Today, I'd recommend everyone who uses ipchains or even older ipfwadm etc., to upgrade - unless they are happy with what their current code is capable of and if it does what they need. I would even go as far as saying that iptables beats quiet a lot of the commercial firewall implementations that I have seen so far.

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