As mentioned earlier, I decided to build this board into a home Firewall. There are quite a few free Firewall applications available on the net, most of them based on Linux. I fell for a package called SmoothWall (www.smoothwall.org). This is an excellent Firewall application that is dead easy to install even if you’re not accustomed to Linux. It worked very well with the EPIA CL board and it allows you to use dial-up modem, ISDN, ADSL, cable modem or any Ethernet connected internet source.
One of the great advantages with SmoothWall is its size, as you could easily fit it on a 64MB CompactFlash card. Why do I mention this? Well, I installed SmoothWall on a CompactFlash card using a Compact Flash to IDE adapter to see how it would work and to be honest it worked beautifully. One major advantage to this over a hard drive is that the CompactFlash card makes no noise.
If you do find SmoothWall a bit complicated to configure, you can find a Windows tool at www.g0ng0r.com that allows you to configure your Firewall from a remote Windows machine. You can of course access the Firewall trough a web browser as well and configure it from there.
This is one of many uses for the EPIA CL board and it is an excellent product that I am sure will find a home in many new and exciting projects. Personally I would set up a small file server at home with an EPIA CL board where I can store files that I don’t use all that often or that I need a backup copy of. VIA has once again proven that it is the king of small form factor motherboards. The price could be better as the EPIA M boards are available for around £20 less, but as the EPIA CL is a brand new product this is somewhat expected.
If you need a small and quiet PC that offers dual network ports then the EPIA CL is the ideal platform. It might not suit everyone’s needs, but it is hard to find a more integrated platform than this that also offers a wide range of features at a very reasonable price.