Thursday, June 27, 2013

In search of an affordable hardware firewall for a USB modem

I think I've found a source which explains why there are no devices which convert an ethernet port into a USB port, i.e. which plugs into an ethernet port on a computer and effectively adds a USB port. (In other words, there's no adapter that would allow a USB modem to be connected to an ethernet jack.) As far as I can tell, it's because an ethernet port is a terminus (a "slave") on a network, whereas a USB port is an origin, with a controller:

Re: Is it possible to convert Ethernet to USB?

Faulty Logic.

The USB to Ethernet is a Ethernet Controller connected to a USB host device.

So it's like a "External Ethernet Card" that uses USB as an interface, not a true "converter".

The problem with ethernet is that it's not a host/device controllable hub. You don't "direct connect" through ethernet, the network port is by design a external connection. Anything you hook up to the ethernet port is by its' nature "Another device on the network".

Anything you hook up to USB would be "A local device using the local USB root hub".
from Is it possible to convert Ethernet to USB?

So, the only way to add a hardware firewall to a USB modem would be to plug the modem into a "3G router" with ethernet LAN ports, if there is such a thing, and disable the wifi (such as by disabling it in some menu, removing the antenna, and shielding the router by putting it in a metal enclosure with the smallest possible openings for the cables, if it's not already shielded).

But good luck finding even this sort of router.  I've been searching and have yet to find any definite statements, other than a couple of heavy-duty wired routers costing hundreds of dollars, with no-nonsense specs for network administrators.

Then there's the question as to whether a router''s firewall would really provide additional security.  So, ultimately, the only way to ensure security from hackers, unless you're a genus hacker yourself and know every possible trick, is to have a separate computer that's never connected to the internet  But then you'd have to ensure that nobody could execute a "no knock" (>29 54> 11 9) search (i.e. sneak in while you're out, without leaving a trace, despite typical false-sense-of-security measures) and gain access to your data).

However, I think it's interesting that it's nearly impossible to find a router that doesn't require you to broadcast your network traffic, albeit supposedly encrypted. Considering the fact that truck-sized holes have been discovered in firewalls, only to be left in place for years without the offenders' "competitors" pointing it out, this is just another indication that the internet is being used to spy on us much more than we've been led to believe - not by the official government, but by our actual government which uses the official government as a smokescreen.