With more and more small-office and home computers being left connected to the Internet at all times, the owners of those machines are being faced with problems that used to confront only big operations. The authors of Firewalls for Dummies spread the message: everyone with a cable modem, data satellite dish, or DSL connection needs a firewall now. Thankfully, though, these guys go beyond merely showing how to set up turnkey personal firewall products--too many Dummies books explain the obvious and the generally intuitive--and reveal how to set up the sorts of firewalls that protect sizable networks. By understanding these techniques, small operators can plan for growth and improve their level of protection. What's more, this book provides a serious explanation of corporate firewall products and techniques that's appropriate for people who build and maintain big systems.
The authors generally steer away from showing how to configure specific firewall products, though a few of the biggies--Microsoft Internet Security and Acceleration Server, BlackICE, ZoneAlarm, and Check Point FireWall-1--get comparative overview coverage. Mostly, they favor more general firewall configuration strategies and techniques. These they explain with a lot of prose, a fair number of conceptual diagrams, and tables that sum up permission rules. This is a worthwhile read. --David Wall
Topics covered: Firewalls and the ways they can be deployed to prevent unauthorized access to computers and networks without interfering with the protected users' ability to get out to the Internet. A summary of networking fundamentals as they apply to firewalls is followed by coverage of network address translation (NAT), demilitarized zones (DMZs) as created by multiple or even single computers, and filtering policies. [via]