Our old Watchguard Firebox x700 has reached its end-of-life according to Watchguard. On top of that our subscription expired more than a year ago. We ran it anyway since a new gateway security device wasn’t in the cards until recently. Check out the post on our new hardware here.
Rather than put the x700 on shelf somewhere collecting dust I decided to try something new. I had heard the hardware of the box easily supported pfSense, a freeBSD enterprise firewall. Usually it is installed on PC hardware, however a quick google search returned the following link: http://forum.pfsense.org/index.php?topic=7458.msg48369
Come to find out, the x700 not only has a 1.2ghz Celeron processor but it also has both an IDE and a 40 pin laptop hard drive connector to go with its compact flash reader. The existing software by Watchguard is stored on a 64MB compact flash card. Instead of purchasing a new card I decided to dig an old 40 gig Toshiba laptop drive out of a box, load pfSense 1.2.3 by attaching it to a desktop with an adapter and installing pfSense with a live cd.
Everything worked exactly as described on the forum. I was extremely pleased with how easy it was to configure the LAN, WAN, and optional interfaces using both a serial cable as well as the web interface. I did have to modify the drive cage inside the x700 to allow for the storage of the drive, but other than that everything was by the book.
So you may be wondering, what are you going to do with it? Well, the Bread of Life will have its own WAN connection starting December 30th so this device will be an excellent security device for that building. It supports multiple interfaces, WAN load balancing, WAN failover, VLANs, VPNs, NAT… and everything else a small shop might need.