eBox, a home network solution par none

eBox, a home network solution par none

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eBox Platform is a unified network server that offers easy and efficient computer network administration for SMBs. It can act as a Gateway, an Infrastructure Manager, a Unified Threat Manager, an Office Server, a Unified Communication Server or a combination of them. These functionalities are tightly integrated, automating most tasks, avoiding mistakes and saving time for system administrators.

I have a fairly complicated home network, which includes several desktops , a linux server, laptops, media centre, x-box, nintendo, wifi access point, wifi phones, etc. All of these gadgets connect to the internet for email and other connectivity based stuff.

To make matters worse, we also run a B&B on the same property, so have guest access into our home network via the Wifi access point (via WPA2 encryption).

Bandwith costs have been spiralling out of control, and it has become impossible to keep track of where it all goes. At the same time the growth in desktops / laptops meant that files and pictures were being duplicated all over the place, with no clear network sharing or backup structures. As we use a combination of windows, mac and linux it is real hard to share stuff reliably.

Then came eBox. I installed it from the ISO image onto a fairly old desktop pc with dual network cards. It essentially becomes the new gateway, sitting between the internal home network and the internet.  It comes with a transparent proxy so caches all thoses sites, images and files accessed from multiple computers.  It gives me clear reporting of what traffic is used where, and it keeps the Wifi users fro mthe B&B out of the private network.

I have now defined SMB based file shares for the various desktops to use, automated backups and print shares. Finally it is possible to print form the Mac to the printer on the windows.

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Ebox comes with a easy to use GUI but I have dived into the linux side to set up some custom apps.  For one I have installed ntop for extra reporting. I have also added some custom rules to allow incoming traffic from outside into the network.

The next project is to connect the asterisk module in the ebox into my asterisk server in the office, allowing for integrated comms between the two.

Overall ebox is a great solution, coming with a comprehensive list of modules, and allows inexperienced admins to configure all these options. It also allows experts to log into the linux side and make manual configuration changes.

4 thoughts on “eBox, a home network solution par none

  1. No problem, ebox rocks!

    Any idea where I get get a “little” device running ebox to use as a home router / fw?

    Would be great if it came in a router sized housing.

  2. Hi again! I’m sorry for taking so long to answer, I didn’t realize about your question until recently – we discussed the issue and as every now and then we get questions regarding the hardware that should be used in different eBox installations, we thought about opening a new topic in the Forum to find out what eBox users actually use.

    The new topic is here: http://forum.ebox-platform.com/index.php?topic=2041.msg8621#msg8621 and we hope to get plenty of questions and answers related to the hw used on different eBox installations so that it can be useful for all eBox users.

    Please feel free to drop us a line through the forum!

  3. Yes, you can connect from outside to the ebox, using openvpn, http or https.
    You need to know your router’s public ip address (or use dynamic dns) and need to open and forward the relevant ports from your router to your ebox.

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