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From "Damian Carey" <jami...@gmail.com>
Subject Off topic? Small business firewall candidates
Date Sun, 28 Dec 2008 23:37:35 GMT
Hi all,
Sorry if this is too off topic - but I need advice. Any direction
would be useful.

What is a good (what ever that means) - reliable - ZERO MAINTENANCE
firewall for small business PCs that allows me to open individual
ports to the local LAN?

We are soon to deploy our distributed Java Desktop app out to
customers. Typical customers will run from 1 to perhaps 10 PCs, all
working off the same database.  These businesses are very "industrial"
(think "Auto Mechanic") - so forget what they SHOULD do - they just
plug in new PCs and get going - and they will not change their ways.
Generally the PCs are pretty infected - but that is their problem. At
our trial customers our DBs and apps work brilliantly despite any

What I'm looking for is candidates for firewalls for our server.
Essentially we just want to open ports 1527 (Derby) and 1099 (RMI) to
the LAN (say thru Also - this needs to be
set-and-forget - there is no IT support in these small organisations.

I love my ESET NOD32 Anti-virus and firewall at home - and I have
never had a problem in years, but unfortunately I can't just set it to
"Automatic Mode" and then open some ports - I must go to "Policy" or
"Interactive" Mode to open those ports - and that is completley
unacceptable for our customers.

I always struggle with Norton - it is not transparent (to me) about
what it is doing or what it is blocking or why or how to unblock
something.  It gives me nightmares and I will never recommend it to a
customer.  Norton and McAfee (aka "more coffee") seem to focus on
getting customer subscriptions renewals - not at helping my technical

Any advice, suggestions, recommendation is welcome - even from Norton
and McAfee fans!

Many thanks,

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