Ask the Expert

Inside or outside the firewall

I read where some shops setup servers inside and/or outside the firewall. I'm not sure I understand the significance of doing it one way or the other. What are some pros/cons regarding placing a Domino server outside a firewall vs inside?

Firewalls give you much better security from outside crackers (malicious users). That is the purpose of firewalls. You can control which TCP ports are open on your server to prevent crackers from hunting for ways to break in. If you want, you can specify what IP addresses (physical machines) are allowed access to the server. And many other features of advanced firewalls.

The downside to firewalls is that they cost a little money and require careful set up and maintenance. If you want to run a top-quality network, however, they really are required.

This was first published in June 2001

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