Need help in choosing and setting up the right hardware for a SOHO router
I've been learning computer networking recently and would like to practically implement a secure network at home that simulates a small-business environment. I have a few android devices and planning to add a couple of machines that would be used as an Application server for my small personal apps.
I'm very interested in using pfsense as a SOHO firewall router and my first option was to buy the official hardware (sg-2220 with UniFi AC pro for wifi access point) and use it as a replacement for my existing ADSL router. Then, use sg-2220's LAN port to connect a managed Switch which would be used to connect the servers and the wifi access point.
Does this setup seem right? I'm still not sure how I can use the same setup when I move to a fibre broadband. Does sg-2220 support fibre cable? If it doesn't, should I leave the existing router as it is and connect the
firewall behind it? I'm guessing there would be a performance decrease if I go with this approach? Please advice on how you would configure it.
Sg-2220 - https://shop.amicatech.co.uk/shop/sg-2220/
Switch - http://amzn.eu/9DnzcaA
However, the only constraint here is that it would cost me well over £400. My preferred budget at the moment is £150 to £200. I'm still willing to go for the official hardware if it has significant advantages over the below alternative in this particular instance. Or may be, I can just use my existing ADSL router as an access point instead? This would would bring the cost down to £280.
My alternative option is to buy the below compact PC and install pfsense on it and use it as a SOHO router. Would you recommend this over my previous option? It only has a single LAN port, so how can I use it to connect it to the Internet?
Below are my preferred requirements for the alternative hardware
Low power consumption. (this is one of the reasons I opted to buy a dedicated hardware instead of using one my desktop PCs)
Reliability and performance. (Should contain a decent NIC that is capable of serving at least 10 devices and provide gigabit ethernet - I'm expecting some incoming traffic on my app server as well)
Guest Mode Access for wifi
Support for VPN Access
On a side note, could I please know if I should buy a managed switch or just go with an unmanaaged one? Also, does anyone know of any discounts for sg-2220 from UK based sellers?
I would greatly appreciate any help.
If you do get a 2 port device, such as the SG-2220, then you should probably get a managed switch so you can use VLANs to segregate your network.
It looks like you should have more than one internal interface. If you need separate guest wifi SSID that is usually provided on a VLAN from the switch.
If you are trying to learn networking then an SG-x is your best bet simply because it comes with gold and support. It will also be more reliable. I didn't look closely at the specific box you posted but many of those have crappy integrated NICs with no option to expand. Stuff like that can cause problems and end up with you chasing issues you wouldn't otherwise have.
Bang for buck will always be build your own or buy used. Easiest way to do this is just to use a standard sized PC (ITX+) so that you have the physical room to expand/change/upgrade parts if need.
If you want an appliance like box that you know will work buy an SG-x.
If you want to buy something off brand then make sure you read before you buy and get something with all supported components because you can't change then later.
Just to avoid disappointing anyone only the SG-1000 comes with Gold. The other SG series models come with support incidents but not Gold.
Thank your for your replies and confirmation. I will look at SG-2220 again and see if there are any deals available in UK.