We (my Landlord and I) decided to settle on a cheap homegrade router to serve our network. The network covers two houses with a maximum 12 computers in each (although usually only about 6 in each). We noticed that the traffic was so intense that the router kept buckling. Basically it's DHCP server wasn't always giving out IP address. The router has no Firewall or Proxy and very limited in what it can do. I want more control over the network so I've decided to ditch the router and build an old Pentium 3 spec machine that will run either IPCop or Smoothwall. I've run them both through VMware and I like what they have to offer. Smoothwall has better documentation but IPCop has an extra 'blue zone' which I think I need. I've included some diagrams of the proposed network: One with IPCop running 3 zones and one with Smoothwall running two zones. Which setup and firewall do you think is best for my network? Can someone go through the pro's and con's of both diagrams?