7 Replies Latest reply: Jan 2, 2013 5:04 PM by Tzellers
rshibley Level 1 Level 1

We are looking to switch to Macs for my 20 person nonprofit and I would like to know opinions on whether the firewall that is built into Lion Server will be secure enough for a small business. Right now we have a Sonicwall TZ 210 and we hate it because it's uncessarily complicated to do what, say, DD-WRT does with ease. We are considering instead getting a Peplink Balance 30 for our two internet connections. It has a firewall, but I was wondering whether it might be simpler to turn that off and use the Lion Server firewall. Does anyone have an opinion on that?

 

Thanks,

Robert

Reply by sfatula on Nov 17, 2011 8:59 PM Helpful

Several things to consider here.... The Lion firewall is really easy to configure, so, that's a plus. To use it though, that implies you are going to use the server as a router. When you do that, you now have to use NAT, etc. So, it's more than just the firewall. You have two connections, meaning, whatever the Lion server is has to have a number of ehternet ports.

 

So, the short answer is the Lion firewall is easy and it's more than good enough to be used. However, I would say the added complications involved should lead you to using a traditional router with firewall.

Reply by BuenosAires926 on Nov 29, 2011 1:57 PM Helpful

The Airport Extreme does.  Is not possible to have more than one WAN connection to the Airport. I wish it did...

All replies

  • sfatula Level 2 Level 2

    Several things to consider here.... The Lion firewall is really easy to configure, so, that's a plus. To use it though, that implies you are going to use the server as a router. When you do that, you now have to use NAT, etc. So, it's more than just the firewall. You have two connections, meaning, whatever the Lion server is has to have a number of ehternet ports.

     

    So, the short answer is the Lion firewall is easy and it's more than good enough to be used. However, I would say the added complications involved should lead you to using a traditional router with firewall.

  • rshibley Level 1 Level 1

    Ah, that is an excellent point and it is a Mac Mini so that's probably going to preclude using it for that. It's too bad, because it did look easy, and if it's secure enough it would have made things easier. That said, what brand of firewall would anyone recommend that is easy to use and secure? Like I said, we have a Sonicwall but it's basically the opposite of easy to use. We don't have complicated needs so maybe the Peplink would work, but I would love to hear from other people who have Mac based businesses about what they use.

  • sfatula Level 2 Level 2

    Don't know what you call easy or not so easy per se, but, we use a Netgear FVS338 which does support two internet connections, and, multiple IP addresses. It's a very nice router. Check out ther online manual to see if you think it is easy or not.

  • BuenosAires926 Level 1 Level 1

    If you have a single Internet connection, the easiest way to configure your firewall is with an Airport Extreme (5th generation).  When configuring a service on the Server App, it automaticaly configures the corrensponding ports on the router.

    It also turns on RADIUS on the Airport, so your wireless users will connect to the network with their assigned user name and password.  That way, you don't have to give away the wireless keys.  When a user leaves the company disabling the user account cuts the wireless access as well.

  • rshibley Level 1 Level 1

    So with the Airport Extreme, does the Airport itself run the firewall or does the Mac Server instance do that?

     

    Also, this is probably a fantasy, but the Airport Extreme doesn't do Multi WAN, does it?

  • BuenosAires926 Level 1 Level 1

    The Airport Extreme does.  Is not possible to have more than one WAN connection to the Airport. I wish it did...

  • Tzellers Level 1 Level 1

    What ended up working for you? Did you keep the TZ 210?

     

    I see other posts here that talk about using a MacOS X Server Mac Mini and an Airport Extreme Base Station. The AEBS works as a firewall/wireless router/wired router. Did you consider this?