I have been running PFSense machines for a number of years, I’m a big fan of having that level of control rather than be left to a manufacturers whims.
But, alas, my trusty one has died. Or is dying. To be frank, we’re not quite sure, its schrodingers mini-itx. Suffice to say I’m a bit fed up trying to debug it.
So I figure I might as well build a new one! And I’m talking about it here in case anyone else is keen to give it a go. My build aims to be a) rackmountable and b) wholly contained (no external modems or the like).
The first version or idea has spawned the thread title, because it is not a cheap build:
Thats £352.4, or AUD $652. Ouch. I haven’t even factored in shipping yet (and let me tell you on that case, it is scary)
So, first things first, does anyone know of a local supplier for this stuff?
These Alix boards are apparently quite good. And can be found locally, but not for cheaper.
This one probably serves your need for 3 LAN ports: http://www.pcengines.ch/alix2d13.htm
Can you get an ADSL2+ modem for miniPCI? I think I’ve seen them for laptops.
Otherwise if you just stuffed a cheap basic modem in bridge mode into the case it would work the same, but reduce your ports by one, unless you can use USB I guess.
Are you interested in a Routerboard at all? They are very specifically for networking, have every option you could ever want, a useful and to-the-point web interface (not too pretty), and are very fast. They start up in a few seconds unlike pfsense/a pc.
I have http://routerboard.com/RB951Ui-2HnD and it’s more complicated than I need.
I have no experience with these, but my initial impression seems to be that they’re quite low powered. Not that you need oodles to run a router. Just thinking about headroom essentially.
Google says no
That is quite likely an option still, but nice to avoid if possible. Having said that, thats essentially what those linked adsl2+ pci cards are, a modem in pci formfactor. Has its own network address, presents as a nic to the os.
Not sure. I’ve never used one and what I read/hear is that they can be quite complex to administer. I’m really quite fond of PFSense, its what I know, but a compelling argument could sway me.