Netscreen 5gt: best home firewall for the money?
I have a habit of using better than average hardware for my home network. In truth, I prefer near enterprise class if possible.
The Netscreen 5gt is the precursor to the current Netscreen SSG5. The SSG5 is a great box, 120MB throuput, 6 interfaces, multiple virtual routers, etc. The 5gt went end of sale on December 31st, 2008. However, it’s still going to be software supported until December 31, 2013! There is a catch: Juniper.com won’t let you download new software unless you registered the device when it was new.
So, if you can work around the download issue (like buying a device from a vendor who includes the latest updates) you can have a stateful firewall that’ll do advanced networking. Compared to the SSG5, the 5gt is a little bit lame – somewhat annoying port names and limited port reconfiguration. Still, the device will do far more than the average cheap nat box.
If you have deeper pockets, go for either an ssg5 or… a new SRX 100 series. I’ve demo’d the SRX (and have a few on the way for production) and they’re very nice boxes. They run junos and the throughput is general doubled for the money on a similar netscreen. However, an older 5gt will only run about $50 on ebay.