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Pfsense question

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Hey All,

I just received an old eMachine W3118. I want to build a pfsense router out of it for home use. My question comes down to the NIC.

Here is the flow I am wanting to set up.

Cable Modem > Pfsense Router > switch > wireless router.

I need 2 ports on the pfsense box (modem to pfsense and pfsense to switch)

I looked inside the pfsense box and there are 2 pci slots, 1 pci-e x1 slot, & 1 pci-e x16 slot. I think buying 2 network cards, 1 for the x1 slot and one for the x16 slot would seem like the best and cheapest route. I don't want to use the on board nic because it's only 10/100 speed. I would like to have it support gigabit for future use. Does anyone have any suggestions on the type of cards I should buy or maybe a different way to set up the pfsense box?
ShagginWagon
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ShagginWagon
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post #2 of 5
I would just buy a 2 port Intel GB NIC and use it in the x16 slot. I bought a HP Proliant NC360T card and it works perfectly (i cut mine down to an x1 card) but really anything with a good intel GB slots should work fine. Unless you have faster than 100mb/s internet, that 10/100 port isnt really going to be limiting as it is simply your incoming network.

You might want to check out Astaro free if youre just using it at your home. the only limitation is 50 ip's which most homes and small businesses would be ok with. Its a product that is actually worth learning as its used in some commercial environments.
Edited by appleg33k85 - 10/5/14 at 2:46pm
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post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the info appleg33k85. I haven't heard of Astaro(sophos) yet, but after doing some quick research it looks like many people prefer that over pfsense. Your right about the MB nic. I currently have 50 mb/s internet speed at the moment so I might as well use it. Thanks again!.
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post #4 of 5
I use one of these in my router, think i spend about $20 on it for a dual one. I believe it's the PCI-X version which fits into a PCI slot but does over hang out the back. No i wish i would have gotten one for a PCI-E x1 slot instead.
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post #5 of 5
For home use, it is almost impossible to beat Astaro. You will also find alot more documentation since it is a commercially supported product. The Admin guide alone is a god sent for new people or converts. Bugs are also addressed much faster. I am in no means knocking PFsense. It is an excellent product for Routing/Firewall use and is the king of performance. Unless you have a 100+ Mb/s connection, any semi-modern desktop hardware is more than enough. Make sure you have 2+GB of RAM. 4+ is Best for all Features and use Intel/Broadcom NICs. Don't use realtek crap or you will regret it later when weird bugs crop up. You also get 10 free licenses of Sophos EndPoint Protection with it now. Keep in mind Astaro is a full UTM, so that means that it is gonna use more resources and be slightly slower than PF/Snort alone. The upside is you get so many features, tested updates and imo a much better experience overall. I would also look into Endian and Untangle. Endian is also an excellent product. Untangle is nice, but frankly their free version sucks now compared to Astaro/Endian which give you every feature that is in the paid version.
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