PfSense for small home network on commodity hardware



  • Hey everyone!

    I'm running an home network for 10-12 devices, and I wanted to replace my cheap TP-LINK router with an old commodity computer I have lying around, running pfSense.

    I connect to the Internet through an ADSL2+ connection, and I'm pretty limited on bandwidth (13Mbps in, 1Mbps out).

    Before someone tells me: I know pfSense is overkill. But I'm doing this out of exasperation (and I also really like the software to be honest ;D ). All of the routers I've used had some problems: some just died on me, others don't have some stupid-simple functionality I really need, some need to be reset every once in a while because the software is crappy.

    The computer is a Core 2 Quad Q8300 with 4GB of RAM and it has a Intel 82567V Gigabit Ethernet controller on the PCIe bus, to upgrade with a cheap PCIe dual Gigabit Ethernet cards for the WAN(s? I'm considering getting a cheap WiMax or LTE backup connection).

    Here's the doubt, since I've never before used a general-purpose computer for routing: considering that LAN<->WAN routing will probably never exceed peeks of 35Mbit/s in one direction and 3Mbit/s in the other in the worst end-of-the-world case scenario, and considering that LAN routing will be mostly done by switches and access points, do you think that computer has enough horsepower?
    And in the event of upgrading to a 100/10 VDSL (they are installing the fiber cables now, it will probably be possible next winter), will it still cut it?

    Thank you.



  • For what you describe (now and the future) that box has plenty of horsepower.

    I'd fire it up and try it out.

    Let us know how it goes.