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About LAD

LateralAccessDevice (LAD) is commercial-grade software that turns a computer chassis into a high-performance, multi-purpose Internet / network management tool that combines a SIP server and VoIP PBX, routing and switching, multi-dimensional firewalling, network monitoring, access control, packet capture, DNS, NAT and a host of other applications into one easy to use, integrated, high-security package. Incorporating LateralFirewall and LateralDNS technologies, LAD is a superior tool for routing, managing, monitoring, securing and controlling your network, whether at home, in the office or anywhere else. Now supporting Wi-Fi 2.4Ghz and Wi-Fi 6E for both 5G and 6G wireless networking.

How It Works

LAD is self-contained software/firmware that you install and run on your own x86 computer (x86 refers to a specific architecture of computer -- in the past it was also referred to as IBM-compatible or as having Intel or AMD CPUs inside). As far as hardware goes, you will need at least the following:

What About the OS?

No separate operating system is required. LAD is a self-contained module that is its own operating system, running directly on the hardware, so no need for Windows, Linux or any other OS.

  • At least a 4-core processor or a dual-core processor if you do not intend to use LAD's VoIP functions
  • At least 4GB of RAM
  • One USB port
  • Two Ethernet ports
  • A SATA HDD, any capacity
  • A USB stick, any capacity
  • Wi-Fi card (optional, but required to enable Wi-Fi functionality)

While many desktop computers would likely be compatible, if it only has one Ethernet port you will need to get a network interface card with two or more Ethernet ports for pass-through and routing functionality (see hardware recommendations). You can also get new mini-computers with multiple Ethernet ports already built in that would be suitable, if the specifications meet or exceed the minimums above. As far as the USB stick goes, the smaller (capacity-wise), the better. While any size USB stick will work, the larger its capacity, the longer it takes to prepare, so a smaller one is just more convenient.

Once you have your computer lined up, you will need to download the LAD module and put it on a USB stick. This makes a bootable USB stick from which you will boot up your hardware to transform it into a fully-featured LateralAccessDevice appliance. Please note that this process will reinitialize and overwrite both the USB stick and the computer's hard drive, so any data on either of them will be overwritten and irretrievably lost.

A Few Things to Keep in Mind

  • When you change your password, write it down and keep it in a safe place.
  • While you can connect your computers and other devices to LAD via a switch, you will get the most out of its functionality when you connect them all directly (see examples of how to connect LAD to your computers, other devices and Internet source).
  • You may run LAD with its default settings or configure it as you wish. A few examples:
    • By default administrative access is locked to the local network, meaning that LAD's user interface cannot be accessed from the Internet.
    • By default LAD records all the network traffic that passes through in full.
  • Using LAD's packet capture features are very handy in case you experience a "break in" or network abnormality, as it provides the digital fingerprints, footprints and whatever other "prints" may be needed for examination and forensic investigation.
  • The larger the HDD, the longer LAD can retain data before the oldest gets overwritten by the newest, and the longer "lookback" period you will have. Why should you care about how far back you can see the data? Read this article on the usefulness of packet capture data.
  • To familiarize yourself, you may want to take a look at the devices LAD found on your network and identify them (that way if your smart fridge starts conspiring with your entertainment system, you won't be caught flat-footed).
  • If you use gadgets like video cameras and similar network-connected devices, consider disabling or limiting their access to the internet so they canít get up to mischief when youíre not looking.
  • Many devices actually only need a few types of communications, rather than full Internet access, in order to fulfill their function. In fact, most devices donít need any access to the Internet, unless they are uploading or downloading data. Even then they typically only need access to a few specific places, not the whole world wide web. In practice it is a really good idea to limit where they can go to only those specific Internet locations that you really need them to access.