Nerd Alert: Switching Firewalls

A few weeks ago I replaced the cheapest yet, arguably, most important computer in our household: our firewall. We run a Smoothwall Express based firewall which has very modest hardware requirements.

The old box was a P3-166Mhz (160MB RAM, 2GB hard drive). It started behaving erratically around the time our cable modem speed was increased from 6Mbps/384Kbps to 8Mbps/768Kbps. I figured it was due to either the slow CPU or the built-in 10Mbps network card being unable to keep up with the higher bandwidth. I purchase a replacement P3-866Mhz (256MB RAM, 10GB hard drive) off eBay and, after several hours of setup and settings migration, all was right with the World Wide Web.