Internet cafe solution

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In around 3 weeks away from actually implementing an internet cafe solution from my research and helpfulness of fellow members ive concluded that:- there are a few options to choose from. asuming an adsl connection. 1) set up a linux solution say clarkconnect and xp on the clients etc 2)setup a linux based proxy server and use squid and dans guardian etc with xp clients 3)setup a win2000 client server network, use group policies etc to limit what users can do and use free proxy on the actual server. 4) set the comps in a workgroup and use software such as netcafe etc 5)setup a workgroup and use a linksys router with built in firewall and dhcp, try to limit what the clients can do with guest accounts (suggestions on how to further increase security will be much appreciated) From the above you can probably tell that i'm pretty confused about what setup i should go for. ui want to keep costs to a minimum if possible but if theres a problem in that i dont have much experience of linux!!! Any suggestions??

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option 5 is the best

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  • ChinaBJ
    Option 5 is best. The main reason is that you need not too much maintenance. But, I suggest that you still need server for acounting, printing, or system upgade service,or centerl anti-virus system.
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  • Poppaman2
    While I understand the reasons for suggesting Option 5, I respectfully disagree with the choice. It would probably be the easiest way to set up the cafe, however, as I mentioned before in response to one of your previous posts/questions about this issue, a Linksys router, especially a "small" one, is ideally suited for a small office/home office/home network where you will have direct control over who does what when, and where you "know the players" (end users) and can discuss any incorrect/inappropriate Internet behavior with them easily, if indeed any occurs. As a business, you will be open to a large(er) variety of compromises, both internally and externally, and therefore require a somewhat more robust solution. While I share your lack of knowledge and experience with the Linux OS, I would agree with a previous poster (sorry, I do not remember whom, so cannot give credit due...) that perhaps a Squid server might be appropriate. Barring that, there is a Microsoft product (called ISA Server) which will work well in your environment, or you can obtain a firewall appliance (a SonicWALL TZ series appliance, for example, can be had for $300.00-500.00 USD) which offers excellent protection for a reasonable price (there are many brands available - I simply mention SonicWALL as they are the brand I'm most familliar with).
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  • Cptrelentless
    If I remember rightly, the Sonicwalls have a rudimentary web filter option on them, as well. From my experience I would agree and say never use home networking equipment in a business. Not only does the continuous volume of traffic usually fry them, but I have found they have issues when you are doing something funky like multicasting or some sort of net admin jobs that never happen in a home environment. Leverage the ROI, is what you're supposed to say these days.
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  • Itspec
    This can be a fairly simple set up if thought out. I would agree to go with some type of 'commercial' rated gateway/fw/router, ie, the SonicWall, there are others. Or you can simply use a Win2K server using something like Winroute (software based firewall, NAT and proxy server). Another thing to consider to avoid headaches, and make life much simpler and less time consuming is to use some kind of imaging technology on the client end..there is a product out there called DeepFreeze, or any imaging software, be, it Ghost, Drive Image Pro, Portlock, this will allow you to 'refresh' your clients pretty much automagically, and can be set up to do so on a daily, weekly basis. Therefore you create your base image, if something goes wrong, blow it away, and blow down a fresh one ready to go.
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  • Bigshybear
    Have you looked at the Zyxel G-4100?
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  • Boardinhank
    Lets say not knowing the price off the top of my head that you put in a microsoft 2003 server, run Terminal services on it, and ISA for your fire walling, access even some filtering etc. Then on the client side get some of these thin client terminals, very small easy to have installed around your cafe. something like this http://wyse.vecmar.com/winterm/winterm_1200LE.htm pretty cheap no OS to corrrupt, and you can do all your management from the server. You have to purchase thin client ACL's from microsoft not sure the price there as well, but you wont have to patch any desktops, or purchase XP pro for all the PC's... You will be able to control what a user can do and see from the server and it is microsoft so you will be able to find someone to help you through issues that might come up.
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  • R76ijecx
    Thanks for the responses so far, has anyone used smoothwall, is it a good enough firewall etc for an internet cafe? if yes could that be a fairly straight forward setup? i assume i can then setup most clients with linux saving a lot of money? how about say mandriva linux with squid configured as a proxy server?
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  • Boardinhank
    I actually use 2 smoothwall boxes for firewalls and point-to-point vpn... they work fine, pretty easy to setup and would work well in your enviroment. There are some out of the box linux installs that give you internet access and install pretty easy. Linux is great and I highly recommend it, just have a linux guru in your back pocket that you can pay to solve problems if things have problems. You are definately required to know more if you go that route.
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  • Boardinhank
    keep in mind on the smoothwall that if you do not have a pc lying around to throw the free smoothwall on then you are going to still have to purchase some hardware to install it on, of course it can be old and used making it cheaper but still cash out of pocket still the same. if you were buying a new pc you are still say 300$ out, and there are actual firewall, filtering, virus protection gateways like the symantec 320 that you could be using for a couple hundred more, and still run the linux desktops behind it.
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  • R76ijecx
    hmmm, still pretty confused though i think the smoothwall option is looking more and more attractive, i have an old pc which i could be used. from what i have read about smoothwall i might need to use a router with an ethernet connection rather than a modem. or even a wireless gateway so i can connect wireless clients. Any recommendations on the router type?(we use PPPoA here in the uk) i have used a standard linksys gateway at home with no problems at all, but have been advised not to use this in the internet cafe! any recommendations? if i create guest accounts on the clients that will stop them installing software, do you think there may be other issues in an internet cafe setup? also does anyone know how to disable internet options menu in internet explorer and also the run command? Thanks Mo
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  • R76ijecx
    i am considering various netcafe packages for billing, or maybe the good old register (which users must sign in to). i'm not sure how to actually setup online gaming, will i have to simply open a couple of ports in the firewall, or move it to a DMZ? or maybe only allow local rea network gaming... also i reckon it might be a good idea to setup the gaming machines on a gigabit ethernet setup, what do you reckon?
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  • MithunMCSE
    Yes Option 5 is the best if you know how to configure the router... this will reduce the setup/maintainance time/cost.... Best regards Mithun
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  • Delebute2004
    Sorry for the late post... But have you looked into Netopia's solution? They have a DSL modem/rouer that incorporates all the features that you want and sets up a login page so users can sign up and connect; it also has different firewall settings enbling management to the XP PC's...
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  • husseink
    HOW TO MAKE A QUERRY IN ACCESS 2007 SORTING THE FIRST LETTER OF THE SECOND?
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