SmoothWall 3.0 Express (Code name: Polar) is now released, and ready to be downloaded.

You can expect to find an easier to install and configure SmoothWall according to its announcement.

It now has an improved VPN support, comes with Clamav to protect your Microsoft machines, also has the ability to monitor and record instant messages that passes trough it, and also to block some words the admin would find not appropriate. (This includes MSN, Yahoo, ICQ and AOL)

It has improved graphics to let you see who is using more bandwidth, and will not only see, you will be able to act, as its traffic shaping function will let you control the priority for the bandwidth use.

There is also a time-based and user-based control, so the admin will easily enable or disable a user from surfing the web, according to the company directives.

According to its Features page these are the improvements relative to 2.0

  • Supports a 4th NIC for Wireless Access Points.
  • 64bit support - additional builds for 64bit Intel and AMD chips.
  • Based upon linux 2.6 kernel.
  • New realtime traffic graph shows traffic bandwidth usage over time (AJAX).
  • Per-IP address traffic statistics collection in all traffic stats pages - you can now view weekly, monthly, etc totals for specific internal IPs, or see which local IP is using the most bandwidth, in real-time.
  • IM proxy with logging and filtering abilities (MSN/AIM/ICQ/Yahoo).
  • SATA/SCSI support.
  • Support for many new gigabit NICs.
  • Streamlined installer/setup.
  • Quality-of-Service (QoS) support for traffic-shaping and management - nice and easy to use but powerful, can traffic shape Peer-to-Peer traffic.
  • SIP proxy support using siproxd, with transparent mode.
  • Protection-level profile selector at install time can be used to pre-configure default settings.
  • Timed-access feature for allowing or blocking access to a list of IPs or subnets based on time of day and day of the week.
  • Outbound filtering.
  • Portforward and other networking pages now use the new service list controls.
  • New update mechanism which can download and install all pending updates with a single click.
  • Brand new even prettier theme. The polar bear is back!
  • Devel editions for people interested in hacking on smoothie.

As a final note, Smoothwall 3.0 is now based on Kernel 2.6 and support 32 and 64 bits processors.