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PIX 501 firewall configuration for small businesses

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Cisco's PIX 501 firewall is suited for small businesses -- the very customers who often lack the IT resources and expertise to carry out their own network administration. Learn how to configure the PIX 501 firewall for your SMB customers with this tip.

PIX firewall configuration from scratch

A Cisco PIX firewall is meant to protect one network from another. There are PIX firewalls for small home networks and PIX firewalls for huge campus or corporate networks. In this example, we will be configuring a PIX 501 firewall. The 501 model is meant for a small home network or a small business.

PIX firewalls use the adaptive security algorithm (ASA). This algorithm assigns security levels to interfaces and says that no traffic can flow from a lower-level interface (like the outside interface) to a higher-level interface (like the inside interface) without a rule allowing it. The outside interface has a security level of zero and the inside interface has a security level of 100.

The basic PIX configuration involves a list of relatively simple tasks.

  • Set the hostname
  • Set passwords (login and enable)
  • Configure IP addresses on interfaces
  • Enable interfaces
  • Configure a default route

Learn more on PIX 501 firewall configuration for small businesses.

About the author
David Davis (CCIE #9369, CWNA, MCSE, CISSP, Linux+, CEH) has been in the IT industry for 15 years. Currently, he manages a group of systems/network administrators for a privately owned retail company and authors IT-related material in his spare time. He has written more than 50 articles, eight practice tests and three video courses and has co-authored one book. His Web site is HappyRouter.com.


This was first published in April 2007

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