Checkpoint VPN to Mediacenter

[Sasha] sent along this video. It’s a rather long (8 minutes) log of converting a checkpoint firewall into a home media player. The one in the video just needed a PCI video card, a and a USB hub to become a normal (yet still 1U) machine. I’m not sure what CPU was in it, but it was enough to run XP.


  1. Joel says:

    the cpu was a intel celeron m

  2. Joel says:

    and it is 1.5ghz

  3. TJ says:

    “to run XP.”

    Stopped caring right there.

    Would have been interesting to see how it ran as a MythTV system though.

  4. aximbigfan says:

    sheesh, what an old video card, he could have at least used a radeon 9550…

  5. Brad says:

    “at least used a radeon 9550…” Be careful there, I have the 9600 (same card, but the 9550 is under clocked).

  6. lain says:

    to #3: then do it yourself and find out for us kthx :)

  7. Ben says:

    I’d do a hack like this, except who on earth would pay nearly US$6k for a celeron M 1.5 and 80gb hard drive?

  8. busonerd says:

    Hardware looks like its just a relabled:

  9. Ben says:

    Not a bad mark-up… that nexcom thing is about US$650 …. the checkpoint one about US$6k

    Still to much for a really simple box and a board, if you ask me…

    Any salesmen want to start a new company with me? Let’s call it “chokepoint” and sell rate limiters for 6k/piece :P

  10. maros says:

    It’s not very impressive. In this case there is complete PC, he only plugged some cables, poor graphic card, and installed WinXP (sic!). No revelations.

  11. orvtech says:

    nice mod, but I would be more impressed if it was running OSX with front row or Gentoo with some media player applications.

  12. Bdav says:


    So this chap has installed XP on a PC, after adding GFX / HDD? Wow. $6k for a UTM-1. He could have sold it, and bought a proper Media center with HD recording etc….

  13. khankhan says:

    Sell it, and buy a cool media center!

  14. CriticalFault says:

    Its not done to be cost affective. Its done to be done. No one will ever be able to say it can’t be now! Besides, I imagine they didn’t go out a buy one brand new. Normally hack what people aren’t using anymore. Companies throw away the damnest things.

  15. Mr Jones says:

    its not about practicality, people! its about making things work for unintended purposes… Geesh—I am constantly amazed at how critical people can be (this coming from mr jones) when commenting on a hack. So dude loaded XP on it—-So its a 6K dollar M class processor with 1 NIC slot and 1 USB and your grandma could buy one with 10 times as much capacity for half the money—blah blah blah… what? I dont find anything ANY MORE COOL on any of you guys sites! you act as though someone personally let you down because they loaded XP on it. bunch of whiners.

    I enjoyed watching it—-and its “hackworthy in my book”. i give it 7 out of ten for its unique approach. It could have used more of a “write-up”—and if it had been written up better it would have probably mentioned that other items can be hacked together into computers (not just checkpoint firewalls) such as office copiers and video game systems. I found the 10 minute video a refreshing change from the usual “takes me 30 minutes just to read and understand the schematic”……i liked the fact that i could repeat this hack if i were so inclined (one just never knows when one might find an old checkpoint at a flea market or rummage sale for $5)….unlike the laser cooked coffee, which was also cool.

    You people act like you expect “Mary Masterson” and “Wii Laptops” every single day! Not one person has something positive to say about this?

    i liked it, op sys and all. good job dude and hackaday.

  16. ten-seven says:

    If the Checkpoint box is out-of-service/warranty/support, what’s it good for? Nice re-deploy! My only concern would be if it’s quiet enough, since the original purpose doesn’t require it to be quiet.

    FWIW, you can do the same thing with F5 BigIP units and various other “appliance” boxes, since they’re about the same size as a TiVo.

  17. Kinda cool actually. That’s something I probably would have tried, after backing up the hard drive.

    I was interested in seeing how the default checkpoint OS boots with a VGA output attached.

  18. aw says:

    it’s 1.5 ghz celeron processer,1gb ram, gigabit network card, usb2.0, 80 gb hd standard for approx $4k U.S.
    bit pricey for me ! but what ever works for you is fine

  19. mycroes says:

    I just hoped the box would be cheap. What the guy did was just nice. It isn’t extremely special or anything, but at least we now know the manufacturer didn’t even try to not let people run something else on it. That’s understandable for $6k though. Would be nice if these things were like $100 or maybe $200, would make for a nice server for any kind of thing… And a Celeron M 1.5 GHz will surely do fine for a media center, it sucks that there’s no sound in it though (but that’s what the alien DAC is for, right?). If anyone can come up with a better hardware ‘hack’ in the same context as this one, be sure to let hackaday know ;)

  20. Ring0 says:

    Could have sold it on Ebay and bought 15 or more Apple TVs. I mean wow.

  21. mad_cow says:

    Hmm, I wonder if he could of dumped the original OS and saved it so we could build our own checkpoint vpn’s out of old computers?

  22. binary says:

    I think its pretty cool, whats the point in life if you can’t make stuff out of other stuff!

    Wicked man! A cool hack 7/10

  23. ben says:

    this is the stupidest hack i’ve seen on hackaday, that is a $7,000 unit and you could have bought a pIII and a big enough hd for 200 bucks and then still had $6,800 left, or bought a high end media computer and had 6,000 dollars left over. and that done to be done is a load of crap, hardware is hardware.

  24. MRE says:

    Its not a bad hack, but it certainly is a simple/no-brainer sort of job. but kudos: repurposed trash is repurposed trash, reguardless of its initial purchase price. any recycling is good recycling. I think it is certainly a simple job but perhaps not exactly worthy of a 7 minute video.. I mean trim that a bit?!)
    I think it is far more important to note (as this hack has pointed out) that Checkpoint is seriously dicking their customers, simply because said customers are too dumb to know better.

    unfortunately, the only way to ‘let the cat out of the bag’ is to void your warrenty and thus most of those people willing to pay 6 grand too much for a pos like this would never have opened the case.

  25. Chris says:

    This is pitiful. It’s just like me putting a new video card in my pc and getting hackadayed.

  26. Joe says:

    Has anyone tried this with any other firewalls. I attempted this with a Packeteer and a Firebox III 1000 series but neither of them worked. The Firebox was the closest since the graphics card actually worked but the powersource was only made to power the motherboard and the system worked with rom chips instead of an actual drive.

  27. Pau1 says:

    actually, i was googling for this very thing and this is the only place on the internets that i found the specific answer. of course, its a couple of years later and these puppies can be had for a mere $695 with wireless. unless you have the good fortune to fall upon a stash of used ones. looking forward to getting ubuntu installed to use as a san / media repo.

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