SmoothWall Express 3.1



SmoothWall Express is a Linux distribution that converts an old PC into a hardened Internet firewall device. It’s hardware requirements are modest, a home or small office network can be handled by a 486 with minimal memory.

It can also act as a wireless access point and can be set up so that wireless users have more restricted access, to reduce the harm that a wireless intruder could cause.

Proxy servers for web and mail are included, along with email virus scanning and filtering. Traffic graphs show when and for what your network is used most.

The goals of the project can be summed up as:

  • Be simple enough to be installed by home users with no knowledge of Linux
  • Support a wide variety of network cards, modems and other hardware
  • Work with many different connection methods and ISPs from across the world
  • Manage and configure the software using a web browser
  • Run efficiently on older, cheaper hardware
  • Develop a supportive user community


Hardware support

  • Any Pentium class CPU and above – with a recommended minimum of 128MB RAM . 64bit build for Core 2 systems.


  • Supports LAN, DMZ, and Wireless networks, plus Extrnal.
  • External connectivity via: Static Ethernet, DHCP Ethernet, PPPoE, PPPoA using various USB and PCI DSL modems.
  • Portforwards, DMZ pin-holes
  • Outbound filtering Timed access
  • Simple to use Quality-of-Service (QoS)
  • Traffic stats, including per interface and per IP totals for weeks and months
  • IDS via automatically updated Snort rules
  • UPnP support
  • List of bad IP addresses to block


  • Web proxy for accelerated browsing
  • POP3 email proxy with Anti-Virus
  • IM proxy with realtime log viewing


  • Responsive web interface using AJAX techniques to provide realtime information
  • Realtime traffic graphs
  • All rules have an optional Comment field for ease of use
  • Log viewers for all major sub-systems and firewall activity


  • Backup config
  • Easy single-click application of all pending updates
  • Shutdown and Reboot from UI


It’s open-source, supports a wire range of hardware and old PCs. It’s simple and has a browser UI.

Development is slow.A major version was released in 10 years.


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