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Pfsense Box or to not.

Discussion in 'Linux / BSD / Mac OS X' started by bpgt64, Jan 10, 2010.

  1. bpgt64

    bpgt64

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    One of my co-workers suggested that I try out Pfsense on an old box of mine and throw out my old router. And so I have just ordered 2 PCI Cat6 ports for the AMD64 3700+ box. Which I am told is complete overkill, but ah well.

    I was wondering if anyone out there knows of other solutions like Pfsense, or the smoothwall type variant and can make a recommendation for ease of setup and performance? I am planning on using a generic gigabit switch to backup to the box for setting connections for several devices, as well as potentially adding a subnet wireless router for a wifi connection. I am very fortunate in that most of my solutions are wired or have a 3G connection at the moment.

    Whats causing this switch is reviews Docsis 3.0 has been getting, and the fact that my otherwise trust ATT service's pings have gone from amazing(sub 60ms) to terrible(250+) when playing most games. As my iphone would suggest when looking for a wireless connection, it's because almost all of my neighbors have switched to ATT. So I am switching back to comcast and going to pickup my own Docsis 3.0 modem.
  2. Zedicus

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    my personal preference is m0n0wall. that said, in a home setting very rarely is anything more required then a good wireless router with openwrt or ddwrt. (preference is openwrt)

    i am using a new (to me) wrt350N at home with ddwrt (compatibility issues with openwrt) as my core/firewall. i guarantee you i pass more traffic through it in a day then most people will in a month. also as it does not have all the ports i need, i piggy back gig switches off of it. the wrt350n stays the core as these are just multi-port dumb switches. this set up allows movie streaming to 2 tv's, 2 laptops, torrents down to the server, shared files, etc, with only an occasional hiccup across the wireless farthest from the router.

    this is preferable over using an older computer if for no other reason then saving power, theres also space, noise, etc. theres no reason to have a big box doing the job of a 350mhz router.
  3. bpgt64

    bpgt64

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    I am planning something similar. I have 2 gigabit ports on the box and a 10/100 for the wifi. So the plan is;

    Internet][WAN][pfsense box][LAN][gigabit switch][LANCABLES][computers/ps3/xbox]

    I am also planning on seriously under clocking it to reduce power consumption.
  4. Hybrid_theory

    Hybrid_theory New Member

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    I had a look at pfsense once and it seemed to have more of a learning curve being command line based (maybe its GUI now). But m0n0wall works well as does untangle.
  5. bpgt64

    bpgt64

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    pfsense, once you configure the ports correctly, has a nice web based GUI for adding packages and what not IIRC. Gonna give it a try Saturday and possibley M0nwall.
  6. Tau

    Tau New Member

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    So you are changing to a dedicated firewall box because you are changing service providers?

    I am not following your reason for switching.

    pfSense has a full featured web GUI, once you get the box loaded and running you will want to do ALL of the maitenence from the GUI...


    I have been using pfsense for years both at home and business, and its amazing.

    I played with openWRT/tomato and found they lacked the robustness that pfsense offers, as well as the functionality/quality that a dedicated box offers as well.

    You do not need gigabit cards in the pfsense box since your internet connection will not be coming close to 100MB/s ;)


    TBH though pfsense is overkill for running in any home location unless you hapen to be hosting/storing something someone might be interested in.... and odds are you are not.

    You could save power/time/money and just use a regular router and still be fine.

    Though if you still feel the need for a dedicated box pfsense is about the best you are going to get.
  7. Zedicus

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    i still prefer m0n0wall, it too has a beautiful web based gui.

    you seem to agree that openwrt/ddwrt is plenty for most home users.

    maybe changing isp's is just a covenient time to switch, not the reason for switching?
  8. bpgt64

    bpgt64

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    I have 2 3TB Arrays that synchronize nightly. The real reason was that my former provider had an all in one soltuion, the ATT Uverse modem/router/gateway, POS, I mean it worked well, but latency wasn't all that great.

    What I have done is used a simple 8 port gigabit switch for the backbone of my network which then feeds into the pfsense box which does all the routing, which feeds into a cable modem. Today I am going to be adding a subnet however so I can have wifi; picked up a cheapo Trendnet AP from newegg.com...I'll post some pics of the whole setup, as it is very very lovely sight to behold.

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